PV Pass Badge
To earn the PV pass badge for your sales/imports of a particular panel brand you must:
Reliably report the volume of modules of that brand which you annually procure and install.
All panels you send us from that brand:
a) must pass Visual Inspection and Electroluminescence tests with all panels at Grade B or better for manufacturing and transport defects
b) must be classed on their power rating as at least ‘Performing to specification’
c) must pass the Wet Leakage safety test
PV Pass Tests
We undertake four non-destructive tests and inspections in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) procedures 60904 and 61215:
1. Power performance testing at Standard Test Conditions (STC)
2. Visual Inspection for quality and reliability defects (VI)
3. Electroluminescence imaging and analysis for quality and reliability defects (EL)
4. Wet leakage for quality and safety defects (WL)
On PV Pass reports, Manufacturing and Shipping Defects comprise Visual Inspection and Electroluminescence analysis. These test each panel for different defects that are likely to have originated in the manufacturing process and/or during shipping and handling.
Description and Grading Criteria
Power Performance Test
STC power measurement determines the real output of the panel under standard test conditions (STC) relative to the manufacturer’s stated output or label value. STC power measurement is defined in IEC 61215-2 by MQT 06. STC power measurements are an indication of panel quality and likely long-term performance.
The individual and average STC power measurements of each model tested are reported as a percentage of the label value, as well as the average measured power (in watts). A simple graphic display will show how these panels compare to similar panels in the class with designated zones defining overperformance, see tiers below.
Overperforming: >3% above label value
Performing to Specification: +3% to -3% of label value
Underperforming: < -3% to -10% of label value
Critically Underperforming: < -10% to -20% of label value
Failed Performance: < 20% below label value
Manufacturing and Shipping Defects
Description: Visual Inspection Analysis
Visual inspection is defined in IEC 61215-2 by MQT 01. The purpose is to detect any visual defects in the module that may cause a risk of reliability loss. These including things such as misalignment or poor adhesion of between componentry, that are likely to have originated in the manufacturing process and/or during shipping and handling.
Description: Electroluminescence image analysis
Electroluminescence (EL) imaging is done by passing the short circuit current through the panel and induces near infrared luminescence. The panel luminescence is imaged within a dark room with a specialized camera.
The images are like an x-ray of the solar module and can make many material and processing defects as well as shipment damages visible. EL is a powerful tool for detecting damages at a cell level, including microcracks which are normally invisible to the naked eye. This is an indication of panel quality and likely long term performance likely as a result of the manufacturing process and/or shipping and handling.
Grading Criteria: Manufacturing and Shipping Defects
Each model is graded from A to E as follows and the average grade contributes to the overall model grade:
A. No critical defects. Non-critical defects observed in either VI or EL analysis in less than 3.3% of cells
B. No critical defects. Non-critical defects observed in either VI or EL analysis in less than 10% of cells.
C. Critical defects observed in either VI or EL analysis in less than 3.3% of cells, and minor defects in less than 16.6% of cells.
D. Critical defects observed in either VI or EL analysis in more than 3.3% of cells and/or and minor defects in greater than than 16.6% of cells.
Wet Leakage Test
The wet-leakage test is important from a safety viewpoint. It determines whether parts of the modules that should be electrically live (the cells) have any electrical pathway to parts of the module that should not be live (anything that can be touched).
The test is defined in IEC Standard 61215-2 by MQT 15, and measures resistance between the inner circuit of a module and a conductive water bath. For modules larger than 0.1m2 to pass this test, the measured insulation resistance multiplied by the surface area of the module must be greater than 40 MΩ*m2.
Pass: Greater than 40 MΩ*m2.
Fail: Equal to or less than 40 MΩ*m2.