The new IEC standards – IEC 61215 and IEC 61730 – were revised in March 2016 to reflect the emerging requirements of the solar industry in the face of evolving technology and dramatic variations in climatic and other environmental conditions around the world. The latest edition of the standards differs from its predecessor in multiple ways, signaling changes in the test procedure, sequence, duration and methodology for evaluating structural safety and performance of solar modules manufactured with crystalline silicon and other thin-film technology.
For instance, the new standards call for an increase in cycle time from 15 days to 120 days to account for the rising UV radiation in the atmosphere. IEC has also introduced a requirement that classifies PV modules as per their ability to perform at varying degrees for outdoor pollution to better assess panel damage. Finally, the criteria for visual inspection are more stringent in the 2016 revision as are the requirements for functioning safely at higher voltages.
Commenting on the accreditation, Mr. Suresh Sugavanam, UL’s vice president and managing director for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa said, “With over 40 years of expertise in the solar field, UL leads the market in catering to the sector. As one of the earliest organisations accredited by the IEC, we have been at the forefront of expanding our capabilities and expertise to service our customers for meeting the changing requirements. Compliance with IEC standards are imperative to gain increased market share around the globe. India has a significant share of PV module manufacturers in India who cater to the global market and they can gain competitive advantage by partnering with us to gain the IEC certification to ensure wider market entry and faster time to market.”
Mr. Surender Pal Singh Saluja, Chairman of Premier Energies said, “We are proud to have partnered with UL for IEC 61216:2016 certification for solar-panels. As one of the pioneers in Indian PV Industry since 1995, Premier Energies has always given the highest priority to quality of products churned out from our state-of-the-art automated manufacturing facilities. We believe in partnering with reputed, accredited and trusted testing partner is the need of the hour to ensure our products adhere to the IEC standards and is endorsed by a globally reputed testing and certification body. This certification opens up avenues of opportunities for us in over 50 countries.”