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SunPower Successfully Passes TUV Rheinland’s Sand and Dust Testing

published: 2014-05-28 15:33

SunPower has successfully passed TUV Rheinland's rigorous sand abrasion testing for PV modules, system components and mounting structures. This also represents a new benchmark for PV systems installed in desert environment.

TUV Rheinland experts have researched different desert conditions such as sand grain size and wind speeds, and identified a set of parameters that can be used as a benchmark for PV modules and other system components. TUV Rheinland first proposed the initial test sequence at the 39th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in 2013.

The criteria for the new test include UV aging and are based on the U.S. technical military standards. To conduct sand abrasion testing on SunPower PV modules, TUV Rheinland partnered with National Technical Systems (NTS), based in Calabasas, Calif., which has extensive expertise in sand and dust testing.

Further development of the test standard is ongoing at TUV Rheinland in Cologne, Germany. The goal of the development is to provide a comprehensive approach to evaluating modules that will be installed in a desert environment.

Florian Reil, business field manager for innovations in the solar branch at TUV Rheinland, stated: "There is a definite need for sand abrasion testing, but we wanted to develop it as part of a complete reliability testing approach for such environments.  With the significant growth of PV forecasted through 2030 in desert regions, such as the Southwestern U.S. and Middle East, these tests are particularly timely."

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