Easier and faster certification and market entry

Third-party testing laboratory for certification of commercial roofing products, FM Approvals and TÜV Rheinland announced today that they will cooperate to deliver the most comprehensive approval standards for both flexible and rigid PV modules.Under the agreement, FM Approvals will test the fire and natural hazard performance of PV modules as part of the complete large scale assemblies at its Natural Hazards Laboratory in West Glocester, Rhode Island in the U.S. TÜV Rheinland will oversee the electrical safety and performance certification testing required by the new FM Approval Standards.

The new FM Approval Standard 4476, ‘Approval Standard for Flexible Photovoltaic Modules’, and Approval Standard 4478, ‘Approval Standard for Rigid Photovoltaic Modules’, are currently undergoing final review and will be released by the end of 2010. These new standards will enable PV module manufacturers and others to obtain FM Approval for their products when used as part of an FM Approval’s roofing assembly. All approved PV modules will be listed in FM Approvals’ online roofing resource, RoofNav.

“To best meet the needs of both manufacturers and end users, FM Approvals believed it was in our customers’ best interest to enlist the help of the world leader in photovoltaic electrical testing,” noted Paris Stavrianidis, FM Approvals general manager. He added, “TÜV Rheinland maintains the industry’s most extensive global network of PV testing laboratories and FM Approvals has a long-standing interlaboratory relationship with them. This combination of factors made them a natural choice that fits perfectly with the global scope of FM Approvals.”