Photovoltaic manufacturer Q-Cells has received a VDE certificate for its improved reliability of solar modules at the 2011 Intersolar trade fair in Munich, Switzerland.
Germany-based Q-Cells SE is officially awarded the VDE ‘Quality Tested’ with the cooperation of VDE (Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies), Fraunhofer ISE (Institute for Solar Energy Systems) on developing a test procedure that served as the basis for the certification with ‘Quality Tested’ seal of approval.
The VDE ‘Quality Tested’ seal of approval certification signifies compliance with higher standards by Q-Cells compared to the present standards in the photovoltaic sector.
The requirements of the VDE certificate exceed existing standards include conducting tests with more samples, thermal cycling test with higher cycles, damp heat test with longer test duration, test for dynamic mechanical stress, maximum admissible degradation in output is 5 percent for the entire test sequence for all tests, supervised test during production, and continuous monitoring of solar modules taken from the production line.
The major aspects of the test criteria that VDE applied are high reliability, optimized durability, low degradation and continuous line monitoring.
These criteria even exceed the requirements established in the renowned IEC standards.
Achieving VDE certification requires the solar modules to be subjected to the damp heat test for a long period and be pressed on by greater stress during thermal cycling test.
The admissible output reduction of the solar module for all tests is 5 percent. Also, one of the most important features of the seal of approval is a continuous monitoring, while during the manufacturing process there are possible deviations can be be addressed.
Q-Cells operates its own research and testing centers, with the reputation of producing high-performance solar cells and modules.
All solar modules of Q-Cells are subjected to several test cycles to ensure long-term reliability and quality of products.
The VDE certification will allow Q-Cells to put the VDE ‘Quality Tested’ seal of approval on all products and product-related information.
Meanwhile, Q-Cells chief executive Nedim Cen said on Thursday that the solar manufacturer is open to engage in partnerships due to the difficult trading conditions.
According to Cen, the importance of photovoltaic energy for large energy firms is highlighted by the recent purchase of solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corp. by French oil major Total SA.
Cen said as quoted by Dow Jones newswire: “As the executive board we have to examine all options such as partnerships.”
However, Q-Cells does not currently have concrete negotiations. THe firm expects to face challenges next year, while seeing market improvements in the following year.