TÜV Rheinland offers certification for building-integrated PV


From pv magazine Germany

TÜV Rheinland has developed new testing guidelines for the certification of BIPV modules.

The German certification body said the new testing guidelines will bring greater transparency to the BIPV market. It said it hopes that it will pave the way for manufacturers to get their systems approved by building authorities.

When certifying according to the guidelines, experts from TÜV Rheinland examine the properties of the BIPV panels that are relevant to building requirements and electrotechnical specifications. They consider European Construction Product Regulation CPR 305/2011, which harmonizes the rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. They also take Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU into account, as it ensures that electrical equipment within certain voltage limits provides a high level of protection for European citizens. In addition, they look at CENELEC standards, which satisfy industry and legislative requirements for electric and electronic goods sold in Europe.

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“The new TÜV Rheinland certification offers a solution for subjecting building-integrated photovoltaic modules to an independent and standardized testing and quality assurance process before they are sold,” said Lukas Jakisch, head of the solar department at TÜV Rheinland.

Reaching consensus on BIPV and what makes it different from conventional rooftop PV tech is one of the challenges that the emerging industry has to deal with if it wants to move from niche to mainstream. IEA-PVPS recently published a report to assemble developments from different parts of the world into a clear set of standards. They clearly defined functions for different products, in terms of their roles as construction materials and energy generators. At system level, the report notes three main types of BIPV systems: roof, facade, and external integrated devices.

*The article was updated on Nov. 15 to reflect that TÜV Rheinland has developed guidelines for new testing, and not standards as we previously reported.

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