Las Cruces, NM – March 14, 2012 – The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) has released a new report that represents the implementation of the March 2011 Solar ABCs policy statement (Photovoltaic Module Power Rating) into a photovoltaic (PV) module standard with a text format acceptable to standard developing organizations such as ASTM International, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The European Union has developed a related standard (EN 50380, "Datasheet and nameplate information for photovoltaic modules"), and the proposed Solar ABCs standard differs in three major respects:
The proposed Solar ABCs standard provides language that standard making organizations can use to develop a PV module standard. It also identifies information to be included on PV module nameplates and datasheets, five rating conditions under which the performance parameters of PV modules shall be reported, and a simple statistical method to determine the number of samples to be used for the power rating measurements.
"If adopted, the Solar ABCs standard will make it easier for consumers, states, and organizations providing PV system incentives to more accurately evaluate the performance of PV modules than is possible at present," said Mr. Larry Sherwood, Project Administrator, Solar ABCs.
Manufacturers typically rate PV modules at standard test conditions only. The Solar ABCs standard would require them to test modules at the additional four test conditions included in the IEC 61853-1. The proposed standard also requires nameplates and datasheets to include specific information, and provides a simple statistical method to determine the number of samples required for the power rating measurements.
Solar ABCs recommends that standard making organizations require PV manufacturers to meet the following requirements:
About Solar ABCs
The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) is a collaborative effort among experts to formally gather and prioritize input from the broad spectrum of solar photovoltaic stakeholders including policy makers, manufacturers, installers, and consumers resulting in coordinated recommendations to codes and standards making bodies for existing and new solar technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy funds Solar ABCs as part of its commitment to facilitate widespread adoption of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar technologies.