The fastest growing renewable technology is Photovoltaic (PV) solar. New PV solar technologies are being introduced all the time, with a growing number of manufacturers offering many products incorporating PV modules. Supported by Federal, and in many cases State incentives, PV solar is one renewable energy resource that is easily applied at the residential level, allowing individual home owners to access renewable energy. This is fueling the exponential growth of this industry. Increasingly important is the need for good consistent standards, not just for PV panels, but also for the entire energy conversion system and interconnection to the grid.
Since 1981, voluntary participants in the IEC committee TC 82 have been active in the preparation of international standards for photovoltaic conversion of solar energy into electrical energy and for all the elements in the entire PV energy system. TC 82’s scope includes standards pertaining to PV cells, modules, inverters, and balance of system, including the interface with the electrical system to which energy is supplied.
In the US, a TC 82 technical advisory group (TAG), comprised of experts in the PV Solar energy field from manufacturers, testing labs, certification bodies, operators, owners, and government agencies provides the US national input and direction for international standards, adoption of US standards, and development of new standards.
ARESCA offers a platform for information and interaction for United States companies, industries and government experts as they participate in TC 82 activity. ARESCA can provide services to support the US TC 82 TAG, which represent the US interest in the IEC TC 82 international PV energy standards development.
Solar Energy Certification
Within the IECRE, there is a sector dedicated to solar energy with a goal to offer a harmonized application for conformity assessment around the globe for solar energy equipment. This sector is represented within the US by the USNC/IECRE.
Within the context of the IECRE, PV solar conformity assessment and certification is addressed by the PV-OMC (Operating Management Committee). The mission of the PV-OMC is to define the certification schemes for the solar sector. The PV-OMC focuses on issues that are specific to the PV solar sector to serve market needs, build trust, and shall include:
• Support of mutual recognition and to manage national differences;
• Prepare a proposal for decision regarding applications and continued operation of Certification Bodies and Testing Laboratories for the consideration of REMC;
• Publish results of interpretations and conclusions regarding conformity assessment and test procedures;
• Provide transparent and independent certification process;
• Define scope of standards applicable in various market segments with in solar sector;
• Coordination of requirements for component certification under other IEC systems (IECEE)
• Nurture and drive the development of standards that are complementary with the OMC goals;
• Provide understanding of which issues are critical to end users and geared towards reducing their risk;
• Ensure a balanced representation of: .
• Test laboratories and Conformity Assessment Bodies;
• Utility scale solar plant designers and installers, their consultants and major component suppliers;
• End Users (owner/operators, customer, insurance, banking and authorities having jurisdiction, government representative);
• Certification bodies;
• Commercial and small solar power plant installers representatives and
• O&M representatives;
• Propose PV OMC subcommittees and Working Groups to the REMC;
• Ensure a common approach to the application of IECRE Scheme Rules and Operational Documents where applicable