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F R A U N H O F E R I N S T I T U T e F o R so l ar ener g Y syste m s I S E

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1 Double climate chamber with solar

simulator for testing modules under
PV Module Certification
real conditions.
2 Double climate chamber for various tests
for new Standards and
(e.g. hot-spot test).
new Technologies
Photovoltaics have become an important The TestLab PV Modules
pillar in the world-wide energy supply. at Fraunhofer ISE
Fraunhofer Institute for Recently, the application of PV technology
Solar Energy Systems has especially gained importance in coun- In cooperation with VDE Testing and
Heidenhofstrasse 2 tries with challenging climates e.g. in the Certification Institute in Offenbach,
79110 Freiburg Middle East and North Africa. Due to the Fraunhofer ISE operates the accredited
Germany constant cost pressure on module produc- TestLab PV Modules in Freiburg since
Phone +49 761 4588-0 tion, a standardized quality assurance of PV 2006. High-grade and innovative
modules remains crucial to ensure safe and testing facilities, accredited to
TestLab PV Modules reliable products. ISO/IEC 17025, ensure the most precise
Daniel Philipp testing results. Our in-house partner
Phone +49 761 4588-5414 Currently, new technologies require an ad- laboratory CalLab PV Modules is an aption of standardized testing. In the past accredited calibration laboratory which
few years, the most relevant international conducts performance measurements standards for PV module safety, design at a world-leading leading measure- qualification and type approval have been ment uncertainty of 1.6 %. In addition,
revised to keep pace with the innovative our customers profit from the scientific
technologies penetrating the market as environment of Fraunhofer ISE in which
well as to consider recent findings. both measurement labs are embedded.
For many years, our experience in PV
The accredited TestLab PV Modules at module reliability has been contributing
Fraunhofer ISE has updated its capabilities to standardization procedures and we
to meet the new standards IEC 61215-1/-2 have participated in the revision process
edition 1 and IEC61730-1/-2 edition 2. of the new standards as well.

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New Developments in PV Module Testing New Technologies 1 The hot-spot test (IEC 61215) is carried out
Standardization Despite joint efforts of various testing in our double climate chamber with a solar
To give room to a fast developing and laboratories worldwide, international simulator. ©BSW-Solar
innovative market, the standard’s structure standards are always one step behind the 2 Measurement device developed for hail test.
has been revised. While in the past, there latest developments in PV module and cell
were different standards for two major technologies. Thus, test procedures for the
technologies (IEC 61215 ed. 2 for crystalline newest technologies often do not exist.
former version
silicon and IEC 61646 ed. 2 for thin film PV
modules), the new standard is divided into Two prominent examples for such technolo- IEC 61215 Ed. 2
two parts. As illustrated in Fig. 3, one part gical trends are bifacial PV modules, which
states the test conditions, while the other use the front and rear side illumination to
IEC 61646 Ed. 2
part includes general requirements as well generate electricity, and PV modules with thin-film
as special adaptions of the test conditions so-called organic or dye solar cells.
for individual technologies. In addition,
almost every test procedure has been The TestLab PV Modules supports custo- new version
(partly released)
technically adjusted and new tests have mers in adapting and developing suitable
been added. testing conditions for new technologies
IEC 61215-1 Ed. 1 test requirements
in close cooperation with the certification
Exemplarily some highlighted changes are: body VDE. Our long-term experience in
IEC 61215-1-1 Ed. 1
n consideration of LID : Independent from PV module testing helps us to identify c-Si

the cell technology, every module is necessary modifications in test conditions IEC 61215-1-2 Ed. 1
tested for its sensitivity to an initial light- that enable certification testing for new CdTe

induced degradation technologies. Our expertise enables us to IEC 61215-1-3 Ed. 1

a-Si / µ-Si
n evaluation of module power with detect possible risks at an early stage. We
respect to nominal value: The measured ensure that with every modification in a IEC 61215-1-4 Ed. 1
power of each test sample must not test procedure, the original objective of the
deviate strongly from the nominal value. underlying standard is preserved. IEC 61215-1-… Ed. 1
(new technologies)
n replacement of NOCT (nominal
operating cell temperature): NMOT IEC 61215-2 Ed. 1 test procedures
(nominal operating module tempe-
rature) with a respectively changed test
procedure is implemented instead. 3 Former and new standard IEC 61215
in comparison.
These changes require modifications in the
test equipment and processes as well as
in the evaluation of results. The TestLab
PV Modules has completed all necessary
adaptions and is now able to test
according to IEC 61215-1/-2 edition 1
and IEC61730-1/-2 edition 2.