To best ensure that photovoltaic (PV) modules last for 20-25 years, manufacturers have often relied on their own private testing protocols due to a lack of a standardized solution. This can create ambiguity and uncertainty in the industry and the lack of a consistent set of requirements can lead to decreased functionality, greater costs and a lack of consumer confidence.
Introducing EXP 450 - Photovoltaic (PV) Module Testing Protocol for Quality Assurance Programs, a breakthrough guideline designed to support PV module manufacturers looking to test the quality & performance of their products against a unified set of requirements applicable to the needs of different PV industry stakeholders. Addressing the gaps in current industry standards, EXP 450 establishes testing requirements based on industry best practices. This Express Document provides PV project stakeholders with a protocol which allows them to consistently work with different manufacturers and laboratories across the globe and compare durability testing results consistently. EXP 450 might be used as a basis for further standardization in the future.
EXP 450 could be used for:
• evaluation of comparative reliability among different module manufacturers or designs;
• evaluation of comparative reliability among different module bills of materials (BOMs);
• diagnosis of potential problems with new module manufacturing equipment or facilities through comparison with equipment and facilities that are known to be good; and
• provision of data for ongoing quality monitoring programs after product validation.
• Provides a publically-available, consistent and comparative evaluation that can be used by a variety of manufacturers and labs across North America to reduce inconsistencies, reduce waste and provide an even-playing field in the industry.
• Developed by a bi-national committee of stakeholder experts representing manufacturers, testing bodies, research firms and financiers from both the United States and Canada.
• Designed to be flexible and can be quickly updated as new test methods are developed and validated
This is the first edition of CSA EXP450, Photovoltaic (PV) module testing protocol for quality assurance programs. This Express Document is not a consensus publication; that is, it is not a Standard and it has not been formally reviewed or approved by a CSA Technical Committee. This Express Document might be used as a basis for further standardization.
This Express Document outlines a PV module testing protocol for quality assurance programs. It is intended to be used by banks, developers, independent engineers, and manufacturers as a publicly available document reflecting industry best practices for module quality assurance and reliability testing. This Document is intended to be a stand-alone document that does not interact with other safety or qualification standards. It is possible that some testing in this Document might duplicate testing in safety and qualification standards. However, market practices as they currently exist might require independent quality assurance and reliability testing and due diligence by parties not associated with the safety and qualification testing.
The individual test legs in the protocol of this Document are derived from existing tests in safety, qualification, and reliability testing described in existing IEC documents and NREL Photovoltaic Module Qualification Plus Testing, and may be updated over time as new test legs and protocols are validated and published. The test legs in this Document are designed to reproduce failures that have been seen in the field or potentially could be seen in the field. Test leg durations have been carefully considered to avoid accumulated exposures greater than those that might be reasonably expected in actual deployment scenarios. This Document is intended to be used across PV module technology types.
This document may be potentially used for the:
a) evaluation of comparative reliability among different module manufacturers or designs;
b) evaluation of comparative reliability among different module bills of materials (BOMs);
c) diagnosis of potential problems with new module manufacturing equipment or facilities through comparison with equipment and facilities that are known to be good; and
d) provision of data for ongoing quality monitoring programs after product validation.