Applied Materials Inc. says both single- and tandem-junction solar photovoltaic modules produced by its SunFab Thin Film Line have met the requirements of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards 61646 and 61730, certifying that these modules will meet performance and safety specifications under challenging environmental conditions. The certification, Applied says, will enable SunFab customers to accelerate the IEC process, which will reduce the time to market for modules.
To be awarded certification, the IEC standards subject PV modules to a series of harsh tests designed to simulate years of exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures, wind and precipitation. The IEC 61646 standard for thin-film modules tests environmental conditions and power output, while the IEC 61730 standard mandates additional electrical and environmental testing to provide assurance of safe operation of a module throughout its expected lifetime.
The testing and certification of the SunFab modules were conducted by TUV Saarland of Germany and cover both single-junction and higher-efficiency tandem-junction modules for what is currently the most commonly installed size (1.1 meters x 1.3 meters). Module manufacturers using SunFab can produce four panels of this size from each 5.7 square-meter substrate. Certification of full-size 5.7 square-meter modules is expected in the first half of 2009.
Applied Materials: (408) 727-5555
SOURCE: Applied Materials