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Considerations When Choosing a Solar Panel Testing Laboratory
The growing need for alternative energy that is both clean and affordable is mainly attributed to the ever-increasing concern of global warming and high energy costs. Solar energy is considered the best alternative source of power as it is readily available, free, and also favorable for the environment. This type of energy uses Photovoltaic modules to generate power. Since these PV modules are exposed to extreme environmental temperatures and humidity throughout the life of the panel, there is a need to carry out laboratory testing on the same to increase production quality and product safety. This is especially important for manufacturers and retailers in the solar energy sector as it helps them to ensure that their products meet the set quality and performance standards. To achieve this, you may need to seek the services of a reputable solar panel testing laboratory. A good solar panel testing laboratory will carry out all the necessary PV module tests ranging from IEC qualification standard, PV module characterization, long-term outdoor exposure, accelerated environmental stress to performance testing for IEC standards and local incentive programs to ensure that your solar panels comply with the applicable quality, performance, and safety standards. However, with dozens of such laboratories on the market, finding one that will best cater to your solar panel testing needs may be quite tricky. To make an informed choice, you may need to take into account some aspects as will be discussed below.
Accreditation is one crucial factor you should consider when choosing a solar panel testing laboratory. You should settle on a solar panel testing laboratory that is nationally recognized by OSHA to ensure compliance with the set safety, quality, and performance standards. The laboratory should also have accreditation from a recognized professional body such as the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. With such a service provider, you will rest easy knowing that all your solar panel quality, safety, and performance needs are well-taken care of, hence save on costs. Since all accredited solar panel testing laboratories are listed on the state’s portal, you should go through the list to establish whether your preferred service provider is also accredited.
When choosing a solar panel testing laboratory, you should also consider industry experience. To meet your solar panel quality, safety, and performance compliance needs, you should look for a solar panel testing laboratory with many years of experience and a strong background in PV module testing and certification. The laboratory should also offer a wide range of PV module testing services such as product development, product testing and certification, product quality monitoring and inspection as well as performance and safety-related environmental testing. You should also ensure that the laboratory is well-equipped with the right set of equipment such as heat soak equipment, triple A-high end solar simulator, the testing calibration set STC, dedicated electroluminescence imagery to mention just a few. Such a laboratory will offer you assurance that they are adequately prepared to test the performance, safety, and quality of your solar panel modules. You can establish this by checking the laboratory’s track record and reading the online reviews posted on their website.