Underwriters Laboratories and Atlas team on solar module testing to increase test capacity

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Prolonged time frames for weathering testing services for PV modules due to capacity constraints could be easing with the announcement of a strategic alliance between Underwriters Laboratories and Atlas Material Testing Technology. UL currently operates Photovoltaic Centers of Excellence in San Jose, Calif., and Suzhou, China, and will open two new state-of-the-art testing facilities this year: one in Germany and one in Japan. Atlas Weathering Services Group has five laboratories and over 20 outdoor exposure sites around the world in a variety of climates, including desert, subtropical, high-altitude and corrosive.

“Atlas is highly regarded within the industry for accelerated aging test instruments and associated outdoor and laboratory testing services and we are happy to collaborate with them,” said Jeff Smidt, vice president and general manager of UL’s Global Energy Business.  “One of the great benefits that are available through this alliance is the geographical diversity of existing and new testing sites that allows us to minimize project delays that otherwise might occur due to natural weather conditions.”

Rick Weiler, CEO of Atlas Material Testing Technology, commented, “We are excited to partner with a well-respected worldwide standards organization and together we will help to meet the global needs of the solar industry. Our combined resources generate the synergies to provide much needed laboratory and outdoor testing capacity for solar panels and equipment.”

The partners said that the collaboration between the two companies has already led to shorter cycle times for some of the customers seeking the UL listing for solar modules and power systems accessory equipment.

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