UL 61646

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Thin-Film Terrestrial Photovoltaic (PV) Modules – Design Qualification and Type Approval
standard by Underwriters Laboratories, 01/25/2012

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This International Standard lays down requirements for the design qualification and type approval of terrestrial, thin-film photovoltaic modules suitable for long-term operation in general open-air climates as defined in IEC 60721-2-1. This standard is intended to apply to all terrestrial flat plate module materials not covered by IEC 61215.

The test sequence is derived from IEC 61215 for the design qualification and type approval of terrestrial crystalline silicon PV modules. However, it no longer relies on meeting a plus/minus criterion before and after each test, but rather on meeting a specified percentage of the rated minimum power after all of the tests have been completed and the modules have been light-soaked. This eliminates the technology-specific preconditioning necessary to accurately measure the changes caused by the test.

This standard does not apply to modules used with concentrators.

The object of this test sequence is to determine the electrical and thermal characteristics of the module and to show, as far as possible within reasonable constraints of cost and time, that the module is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure in climates described in the scope. The actual life expectancy of modules so qualified will depend on their design, their environment and the conditions under which they are operated.

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