Update on the International PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force

Update on the International PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force

By Sarah Kurtz, NREL

Task Group 1 of the Task Force has been working to develop a guide for quality management systems for PV manufacturing.  This guide provides a PV-specific version of ISO 9001 and was submitted to the IEC Technical Committee 82 (TC82), Working Group 2 (WG2) as a New Work Item Proposal in October.  This proposal is being revised and reviewed and is anticipated to be published as a Technical Specification in 2015.  For those who would like to begin using it sooner, an early draft of the document can be downloaded at:  http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/58940.pdf.

Recently, the IEC (June, 2013) formed a new conformity assessment board for renewable energy, providing a systems approach for certification to standards relating to plant, equipment and services associated with solar, wind, or marine renewable energy systems.  This new board met for the first time in October and is currently drafting their Basic Rules.  This board will be putting together a comprehensive set of standards to increase confidence in reliability of PV and renewable-energy systems.

Updates on the work of each of the ten Task Groups can be found at: http://www.nrel.gov/ce/ipvmqa_task_force/.

Notably, four New Work Item Proposals have been submitted to IEC Technical Committee 82 as shown in the table:

New Work Item Proposal


Date submitted

Intl PV Module Task Group

IEC Working Group

Guideline for Increased Confidence in PV Module Design Qualification and Type Approval

Guide for audit of the Quality Management System

Oct. 2013



Comparative testing of PV modules to differentiate performance in multiple climates and applications –
Part 1: Overall test sequence and method of communication

Framework for rating system

Aug. 2013



Bypass diode electrostatic discharge susceptibility testing

Identifies the level of electrostatic discharge that a bypass diode can tolerate

Aug. 2013



Thermal cycling test for CPV modules to differentiate increased thermal fatigue durability

Assess the durability of the cell-to-heat-sink bond

Nov. 2013



To read about the history of the International PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force, go to http://www.nrel.gov/ce/ipvmqa_task_force/about.cfm.


SEMI, The Grid – December 2013