VDE Americas Enters North American Market for Solar PV Power Plant Quality Assurance

March 05, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

VDE has established a U.S.-based wholly owned subsidiary, VDE Americas. One of the first key activities is the introduction of a set of premium tailored products for the testing and certification of complete large scale PV systems with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE). The new quality mark — VDE Quality Tested for PV Power Plants — verifies the complete certification of solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants , including quality, performance and safety of the PV system.

“There is enormous potential for growth of PV installations worldwide, and with increasingly competitive price levels there is a strong need to ensure the safety and performance of the system as a whole”, said Prof. Eicke R. Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE, at the PV Rollout conference in Atlanta. “I am sure that the product portfolio that Fraunhofer ISE and VDE have developed together, will support the American and global market. Fraunhofer ISE contributes 20 years of experience in PV power plant assurance, including yield reports, precise module characterization, system testing and system monitoring.”

The approach of VDE and Fraunhofer ISE goes beyond established international standards with new, customized test procedures and services to help solar projects achieve bankability by reducing technical risk. In North and South America, multi-million dollar investments are being made into individual solar PV power plants. Several new large-scale projects are on the way, following the growing demand for clean energy generation sources worldwide. Investors and lenders require a premium and trustworthy level of quality assurance on a system - wide level in order to reduce risk and increase the level of confidence in their investments.

“Each solar plant faces unique requirements and conditions and, over the years, r eal world experience has only served to highlight the importance of system design, proper planning, engineering, component se lection and construction work for successful PV systems," stated John Sedgwick, President of VDE Americas . “Together, VDE and Fraunhofer ISE have created new internal regulations and test procedures that anticipate and meet investor demands around quality, safety and performance assurance in this new era of solar PV power.

The commonly operated CFV Solar Test Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will also support the quality assurance services being offered by the partners.