Published standards in combination with conformity assessment provide a solid foundation upon which to verify existing practices and build confidence in new technologies. The benefits of a factory certification to stakeholders include:
- Manufacturers – Demonstrate commitment and accountability to a common set of technical requirements, endorsed by a third party issued certificate.
- Investors – Access to an additional credential when making investment decisions, indicating defined steps have been taken to reduce manufacturing variation risk and assure quality PV module production.
- Developers –The factory certificate provides objective evidence of reduced risk in the selection of a PV module and increases confidence in the project for financiers.
- Independent Engineer – Supports pre-finance due diligence of PV technology showing objective information related to PV module manufacturing quality and consistency.
The requirements for PV module factory audits are found in IEC TS 62941 and are defined with the assumption that the quality management system (QMS) of the manufacturer fulfills the requirements for ISO 9001. The new technical specification:
- Is written specifically for PV modules
- Describes best practices for product design and manufacturing processes
- Places a strong focus on selection and control of materials used in PV modules
A manufacturing system in accordance with the TS 62941 specification ensures a PV module process that can uniformly meet the performance requirements as determined from the test sequences in the IEC 61215 series.
The three-part OD-405 series covers the requirements for quality system inspections of PV module factories.
- Part 1: Requirements for certification of a quality system for PV module
- Part 2: Audit checklist to be used when conducting an audit
- Part 3: Requirements for PV plant inspectors and PV factory auditors