Ascent’s modules passed the complete list of tests required to attain the certification, including the rigorous standard of 1000 hours of damp heat testing at 85 percent relative humidity and 85 degrees Celsius which is set by IEC for performance and long term durability testing.
Farhad Moghadam, president and chief executive officer of Ascent Solar released a statement saying, "Becoming the first monolithically integrated flexible CIGS module manufacturer to achieve IEC certification is a major industry milestone. We are now looking forward to demonstrating our ability to compete with existing technologies currently being used for large commercial, industrial and residential rooftop applications by adding new beta site installations in addition to those completed with existing and new potential customers that have been waiting for this development.
"We feel that we have a significant advantage when it comes to power to weight ratios and the real capability our product has to reduce balance of systems costs in turn reducing overall system installed cost to the end customer. Our demonstration of the first flexible CIGS package which meets the IEC testing opens the door to penetration into these large market opportunities.
According to TÜV Rheinland’s paper, "Design Qualification and Type Approval of PV modules", the IEC 61646 was an addition to the IEC 61215, which comprises of all the examination parameters required for the ageing of PV modules. The IEC 61646 was released to address the new developments in thin film technologies which also takes into account the degradation behavior of thin film modules due to irradiance exposure.