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"Meeting the requirements of qualification standards is considered to be a minimum requirement for any module procurement. Photovoltaic modules sold or installed in the U.S. shall be independently tested and certified to the following qualification standard: UL 61215 Crystalline Silicon Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules - Design Qualification and Type Approval, UL 61646 Thin-Film Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules - Design Qualification and Type Approval, and UL 62108 Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Modules and Assemblies - Design Qualification and Type Approval."
In the U.S. marketplace there is currently no testing required to substantiate claims of minimum durability, lifetime, or reliability of modules in the field. Therefore, if any PV modules produced that do not pass internationally recognized qualification testing provides the incentive to direct those lower quality modules to the U.S. market. As a result, the U.S. marketplace may be flooded with lower quality modules.
This recommendation is important because it outlines a minimum standard that will eliminate poorer quality PV modules to be sold in the U.S. market which results in reduced PV performance and lifetime expectancy. Without the use of this recommended policy could have a negative impact on the U.S. PV market and overall increased levelized cost of electricity.
Solar ABCs intends to develop other recommended policies to address the current consumer and industry concerns related to the use of various performance, reliability/qualification and safety standards. Specifically, the use of standards for performance and safety will be addressed in future recommended policy statements.