Update on Standards

Update on Standards: Efforts of the International PV QA Task Force (PVQAT) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

By Sarah Kurtz, NREL

Quality Management

A primary effort of PVQAT has been development of a guide for identifying robust quality management systems.  In collaboration with PVQAT, a Technical Specification is being developed by IEC: IEC/TS 62941 Ed. 1 is scheduled for publication by the end of 2015. Discussion is ongoing about how to implement this in such a way that it provides the desired confidence in the quality management. Adequate training of the inspectors and use of a checklist have been proposed for increasing the consistency of the reviews.

Climate-specific Qualification Testing

IEC 62892-1 “Comparative testing of PV modules to differentiate performance in multiple climates and applications – Part 1: Overall test sequence and method of communication” is being guided by PVQAT research. An update on this research was presented as part of two sessions on Nov. 27, 2014 at the 6th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. Of special interest were proposals of how to shorten accelerated tests while strengthening the correlation between failures observed in the field with failures observed after accelerated testing.


At the first meeting of the IECRE (IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications) Management Committee (REMC) and PV Operating Management Committee (PV-OMC) in September, subcommittees were formed to create a scheme for certification of PV systems. A second meeting was held in Spain in November.  Standards are being identified or developed to complete all of the steps that would be useful for a PV system certification.  If you are interested in joining this effort, please contact George Kelly george@sunset-technology.com.

The Grid 
December 15, 2014