PV certification body TÜV Rheinland is offering new real-world performance ratings for PV modules in an effort to overcome the limitations of existing test conditions for PV equipment.
TÜV Rheinland is proposing services that characterise modules under various real-life conditions, noting that standard test condition power ratings for modules are conducted at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a fixed irradiance of 1000 W/m2, and one sunlight (AM1.5G) spectrum.
Bill Shisler, director, at TÜV Rheinland Photovoltaics Testing Laboratory, said: “TÜV Rheinland PTL is one of the only testing laboratories that measures PV module power rating outdoors under natural sunlight. Our clients may now get an advanced performance characterisation from an accredited laboratory of their product that can be used to more accurately model how their product will perform under many scenarios. Our comprehensive Power Rating Suite provides more confidence for investors of PV.”
To provide banks, investors, EPCs and other stakeholders with confidence in their module selection, TÜV Rheinland said that its service includes: a complete irradiance versus temperature matrix; spectral response; incident angle effects; best practices for evaluating light-induced degradation (LID) and module operating temperature as a function of wind speed; ambient temperature; and irradiance incident on the module.
The testing service also includes a statistical method of sampling to report entire lots of PV modules, which better reflects real-world applications.
The service is being offered for all countries and regions where TÜV Rheinland has facilities, which include Tempe, USA; Bangalore, India; Gyeongsan, Korea; Cologne, Germany; Osaka and Yokohama, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Taichung, Taiwan.