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Photovoltaics

Eco-Friendly Energy Production

Photovoltaics is one of the pillars of renewable energy production. TÜV Rheinland can support manufacturers and service providers by testing the quality of their PV modules, PV components, and PV systems. TÜV Rheinland’s new Solar Energy Assessment Centre in Cologne has been in operation since June 2009. With optimized process flows and state-of-the-art testing and simulation facilities, the 2,000-square-meter centre is one of the world’s leading test laboratories.

Benefits at a Glance

With TÜV Rheinland’s PV testing services, you:

  • Benefit from TÜV Rheinland’s 30 years of experience in the field of photovoltaics
  • Take advantage of the capacities of our seven test laboratories, which offer you fast, first-class service all over the world
  • Gain a partner that has earned worldwide acceptance
  • Earn the TUVdotCOM quality seal to prove that your PV components and PV systems have passed tests conducted according to national and international standards ensuring their high quality, safety and reliability

Our Services

PV Modules

We perform:

  • Standard test condition and capacity measurements and electroluminescence analyses
  • Qualification, certification, and tests according to international standards IEC 61215, IEC 61646, IEC 61730, IEC 62108, ANSI/UL1703, and IEC 61701
  • Tests for special conditions, for example, for ammonium or transport loads
  • Yield measurements
  • Long-term testing, for example, open-air weathering tests

Further information is available under “PV Module Testing.”

PV Components

We qualify and certify:

  • PV installation systems (frames)
  • PV backing films
  • PV connectors, including T-connectors and Y-connectors TUV
  • PV sockets
  • PV inverters
Complete PV Systems

We perform:

  • Site evaluation, including yield assessment
  • PV system qualification and certification
  • PV inspections and PV acceptance
  • Defect and damage assessments
  • PV system monitoring
  • Certification of large PV installations

Further information is available under “Solar Power Plants/PV Power Plants.”

Qualification of Manufacturers and Service Providers

We perform:

  • “Power-controlled” certification, including confirmation of module capacity
  • Flasher classification (sun simulators)
  • Calibration of PV measurement systems
  • Certification of PV installation operations
  • Monitoring of manufacturing facilities
  • Pre-shipment inspection
  • Transport loads tests

Qualification and Certification of Photovoltaic Products

We test your standardized PV systems and PV components – including PV modules, grid-connected systems, power inverters, frames, cables, and connectors – according to national and international standards. If no applicable standards exist, our experts can carry out tests based on TÜV Rheinland specifications.

Certification Process

In addition to laboratory testing, certification of PV modules and PV components also covers the manufacturing facilities.

Laboratory Testing
In our accredited laboratory, we test selected samples to determine whether your products satisfy applicable standards. The test criteria – transparent at all times to customers – are documented along with the test results.

Manufacturing Testing
Our experts carry out additional periodic quality and product audits at your production facilities. That way, we can ensure that all PV modules are manufactured with the same materials and processes as the samples tested in the laboratory and that product quality is consistent.

Our Testing Laboratory

TÜV Rheinland’s PV laboratory is accredited in compliance with the DIN/EN/ISO/IEC 17025 norm and listed as a certification test laboratory by the worldwide certification system of the IECEE in the photovoltaics category. In addition, TÜV Rheinland LGA Products GmbH has been qualified as a national certification body.

Research and Development

In the field of photovoltaics, our research focuses on the development of analytical, metrological, and test methods for PV modules as well as investigations into the feasibility of using accelerated ageing processes of PV modules for the purpose of improving the assessment of long-term behaviour. Our participation in standardization committees enables us to ensure that the generally applicable testing requirements always correspond to the current state of the technology.

An Overview of Research Topics

Our research topics include the following:

  • Measurement and test methods for performance characterization of PV modules
  • Test methods for accelerated ageing of PV modules
  • Analytical methods for PV modules, including electroluminescence, infrared, spectral analyses, and polarization
  • Ageing behaviour of PV modules under open-air weathering with different climate conditions
  • Determination of yield through maximum power point (MPP) tracking with changing exposure and temperature conditions
  • Simulation of mechanical stresses, for example, transport loads
  • Test methods for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)
  • Failure analyses
  • Participation in standardisation committees at German, European and international levels

Module Technology Workshop

Every year we conduct a workshop on module technology, where we disseminate any new findings from our research and development. For information on current research projects, projects completed in recent years, or any references, please visit the “Downloads” section.