VDE and Fraunhofer to take on US PV power plant certification market


In addition to the new subsidiary, which is set to serve as the hub for initial sales, marketing and technical service provision into the Americas, VDE has established a new PV quality mark together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE – the "VDE Quality Tested for PV Power Plants".

The two institutions have developed a set of tailored products for the testing and certification of complete large-scale PV systems. The new quality mark will verify the complete certification of solar PV power plants, which include quality, performance and PV system safety.

Professor Eicke Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE announced this news today at the PV Rollout conference in Atlanta, stating that the product portfolio the two institutions have jointly developed will aid in supporting the American, as well as the international market.

Other certification bodies such as the Underwriters Laboratories, UL, in Illinois and TÜV with its TÜV SÜD America Inc. in Peabody, Massachusetts are already established in the U.S. VDE states that its approach with Fraunhofer ISE goes beyond established international standards with new, specialized test procedures and services to help solar projects achieve bankability by reducing technical risk.

Catering to growth

North America is currently seeing growing investments into large-scale PV plants and VDE believes that investors and lenders need quality assurance on a system-wide level, in order to reduce risk and increase the level of confidence in their investments, thus justifying its move into the region.

President of VDE Americas John Sedgwick elaborates, stating, "Each solar plant faces unique requirements and conditions and, over the years, real world experience has only served to highlight the importance of system design, proper planning, engineering, component selection and construction work for successful PV systems.

"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."