Solar association calls for international traceability at Intersolar meeting

The Solar Engineering & Manufacturing Association (SEMA)’s Matt Holzmann made key points on long-term reliability and solar module traceability at a meeting in conjunction with Intersolar North America.

July 18, 2011 — The Solar Engineering & Manufacturing Association (SEMA) held a well-attended meeting in San Francisco in conjunction with Intersolar North America last week. Presenter Matt Holzmann, SEMA president, made key points on long-term reliability and solar module traceability.

Participants included suppliers, module and cell manufacturers and safety and government personnel. The solar industry now is producing 30,000,000+ modules per year globally, with insufficient data about long-term reliability and limited traceability, SEMA reports. The association is running a long-term solar technology reliability report, covering reliability, durability, service lifetimes and bankability through testing, failure mechanisms, and modeling for both modules and inverters. Findings will be available to SEMA members.

Solar modules and installations are multi-generational, with 25+ year lifetimes, said Matt Holzmann, president of SEMA. He points out that electrical specifications, among others, should be easily and quickly identified for warranty and lifetime issues, code enforcement, safety, field service, and recycling. More than 700 companies worldwide manufacture solar modules and related products, which SEMA says neccessitates international traceability standards.

Other presenters included Jasbir Bath, technical committee chairman, who spoke on SEMA’s reliability report; and keynoter Jon Custer-Topai of The Custer Consulting group, who covered solar manufacturing business conditions and trends.

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