US manfuacturer Suntech's solar modules have passed the 'blowing sand test' by inspection and certification company SGS.
This confirms they are suitable for solar installations in desert regions.
Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech's Chief Technology Officer, said: “As solar energy proliferates around the world, it is critical to develop solar modules that can perform optimally in different terrains and environments. For our customers, passing the Blowing Sand Test confirms that Suntech's solar modules are well-suited for desert regions and can withstand high-velocity sand and windy conditions.”
Dr Wenham added: “Quality assurance is an integral part of Suntech's value proposition, and we pride ourselves on rigorous testing procedures to ensure that our customers have a product that can operate for 25 years anywhere on the globe.”
To determine the effects on solar panels of dust and sand suspended in air, SGS's Desert Dust Test simulates the erosion effects of high-velocity sand particles within dust chambers. Pulses of compressed air are blown through a manifold located in the bottom of a collection trough, forcing dust up and over the solar module. Suntech solar modules passed the maximum power determination, the insulation test and the wet leakage current test.