Association News

ASTM Standard will increase durability of solar equipment.

Press Release Summary:

Sep 17, 2015 - ASTM has published standard that provides important test for PV equipment used to generate solar energy. E3006, Practice for Ultraviolet Conditioning of Photovoltaic Modules or Mini-Modules Using a Fluorescent Ultraviolet Lamp Apparatus is used to screen out materials that degrade quickly when exposed to UV radiation from sunlight. Module manufacturers will use standard to test new materials and designs prior to submitting them to accredited laboratories for independent qualification.

ASTM International - West Conshohocken, PA

Original Press Release

New ASTM Standard Will Help Increase Durability of Solar Energy Equipment

Press release date: Sep 15, 2015

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., – ASTM International published a new standard that provides an important test for photovoltaic equipment used to generate solar energy. The standard (E3006, Practice for Ultraviolet Conditioning of Photovoltaic Modules or Mini-Modules Using a Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Lamp Apparatus) is used to screen out materials that degrade quickly when exposed to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.

According to ASTM member Sean Fowler, the standard uses the same technology described in another ASTM standard (G154, Practice for Operating Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials). As a result of this alignment, the method should be relatively easy for manufacturers, laboratories and others to use.

“By making the test easy to understand, perhaps more such testing will occur, thus improving the long-term durability of solar energy modules,” says Fowler, weathering and corrosion technical manager at Q-Lab Corp.

With growing global demand for renewable energy, many governments have provided substantial research funding for photovoltaic energy. At the same time, technology and innovation in this area have increased efficiency and driven down costs. However, manufacturers need to show that photovoltaic modules are durable enough to compete with other energy sources. The new standard will help simplify and reduce costs of UV conditioning tests – key to durability – making it easier for the marketplace to develop durable products.

Module manufacturers will be the primary users of the new standard, using it to test new materials and designs prior to submitting them to accredited laboratories for independent qualification. Material suppliers to the manufacturers will also benefit from the practice, as will testing laboratories that will be able to simply procedures and lower costs.

Solar energy stakeholders are invited to join in the standards developing activities of E44. 

To purchase standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (tel +1.877.909.ASTM; sales@astm.org). ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at www.astm.org/JOIN.

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For more news in this sector, visit www.astm.org/sn-energy.

ASTM Committee E44 on Solar, Geothermal and Other Alternative Energy Sources Next Meeting: Nov. 17-18, 2015, November Committee Week, Tampa, Fla.

Media Inquiries:
Nathan Osburn
tel +1.610.832.9603
nosburn@astm.org

Technical Contact:
Sean Fowler
Q-Lab Corp.
Lorain, Ohio
tel +1.440.835.8700
sfowler@q-lab.com

ASTM Staff Contact:
Kristy Straiton
tel +1.610.832.9640
kstraiton@astm.org