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UL helps you launch new solar PV products with confidence.
UL understands the challenges of introducing new products and technologies. We created the first photovoltaic module standard in 1986, and have since helped hundreds of PV manufacturers test and certify their products and take them to market. We occupy a key leadership position in major international standards development and harmonization bodies (such as the IEC). We are also investing in new standards development for innovative or enhanced technologies, such as modules, inverters, converters and balance of system (BOS).
Our close collaboration with renowned national and university labs and cutting-edge manufacturers allows us to rigorously evaluate new technologies in our research labs.
Polymeric materials such as substrates, encapsulants, backsheets and adhesives, are essential to the fabrication of PV modules and can be found in other products comprising the system.
We test to gauge compliance with established safety standards, which helps to ensure safe operation and minimize the risk of failure, covering such areas as flammability, resistance to ignition, thermal endurance and electrical properties.
Critical components of a PV product must be individually assessed to determine safety and performance compliance. Noncompliance may delay product certification, increasing time-to-market and costs for design changes and additional testing.
To assist manufacturers, UL also offers the component recognition service, which allows quicker and easier sourcing of known components and enhanced supply chain management.
UL offers a wide range of services for PV modules, including crystalline, thin film, building integrated PV (BIPV) and concentrator PV. Our state-of-the-art testing facilities are designed to accommodate evaluation and testing of conventional and advanced technologies.
UL also offers the Master Certification Program for PV production equipment manufacturers. Based on UL 1703, IEC 61215, IEC 61646 and IEC 61730, this service allows manufacturers to gain efficiency by avoiding redundant test programs. A related service, UL’s Fast Track Certification Program, gives PV module manufacturers an easy way to add bankable consumer value and recognition while reducing costs.
From January 1, 2015, modules must be certified to UL 1703 in order to be sold in California. Other regions will require certification from 2016. Testing is aligned with the International Building Code, resulting in a Class A, Class B or Class C rating, indicating a PV system’s resistance to external fire exposure.
UL provides inverter certification and evaluation services for compliance with a wide range of local, national and international standards. The extent and scope of the testing is determined in part by whether the product is a standalone unit or intended for interconnection with a local utility. UL tests power inverters, converters and controllers to the requirements of all key international and local grid standards.
Mounting systems, mounting and clamping devices, and ground lugs for use with PV modules and panels require testing for ground mounted systems and as part of a nonstructural building component. In addition, UL 2703, the mounting system standard, is used to determine the fire classification of a rooftop-mounted PV system (which includes both a specific PV module and the racking system), as required for compliance with the building code requirements.
Balance of System
UL provides BoS equipment certification, covering PV wire, fuses, fuse holders, combiner boxes, switchgear, trackers and other end products comprising the system.