STS recently released a new standard (STS-STD-PVM1:2018) for the approval of PV module manufacturing and dispatch. This standard enables PV module suppliers and buyers to apply specific requirements during production and dispatch to qualify PV module quality.
This standards brings together the requirements for manufacturing, dispatch, inspection undertaken at manufacturing premises and related testing activities taking place at ISO17025 accredited laboratories. It does not aim to replace other standards but instead to complement the established IEC and UL standards, taking into account the reality of PV modules conditions during mass-production.
STS-STD-PVM1:2018 has been developed based on existing standards, known limitations, extensive internal research, extended reliability testing and technical debates with manufacturers involved. STS has witnessed more than 5 GW of panel manufacturing and used that as the critical input baseline in addressing the reliability and practicality of the standard, to both secure quality and performance for buyers while addressing challenges faced by manufacturers.
“While IEC and UL standards are references to qualify PV modules design, safety and performance relative to specific environments, buyers and lenders are confronted to the challenge of validating the quality of modules coming out of the production line. Manufacturers had to define their own control methods and acceptance criteria as many of those are not addressed by such international standards,” said Alexandre Minuzzo, president of STS. “Consulting agencies have brought requirements to the buyers without solid basis for buyers to be guaranteed of getting the products quality and performance they were betting their investment on.
“For eight years, STS has perceived and worked on addressing this situation that often lead to conflicts between buyers and manufacturers,” Minuzzo continued. “Through our research, implementation of requirements at factories, feedback from producers, reliability tests analysis, we are now able to bridge this gap and offer consensus to all stakeholders. We have developed this standard with the spirit that it must be practical and easy to execute to serve a quality-effective yet economic purpose. With STS-STD-PVM1:2018, we finally bring the industry standard that was critically needed by the PV community to drastically reduce risks of underperforming PV modules and ensure financial returns of solar assets.”
STS-STD-PVM1:2018 Standard can be ordered via the STS website.
News item from STS