Solar PV Certification: A Comprehensive Guide

Recently, published the report “A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Photovoltaic Certifications”. This video will give you a 5 minute introduction to pv module certifications and will tell you about the following topics:

  1. Why do we need PV certifications?
  2. When you certify a new solar product, how does the process work, and what are the certification bodies involved?
  3. And as a pv expert, what are the main international, country specific and environmental certifications that you should know about?

Most people in the pv industry see PV certifications as a reference of trust, because they stand for certain safety, quality and performance standards. Besides that, certifications have become a legal entry barrier in many countries.

So can PV certifications be trusted blindly? And are certified solar panels always of excellent quality? The answer, unfortunately, is no.

Certification bodies

Certification bodies issue the pv certifications to factories. Most PV module manufacturers will contact either the German bodies:

  1. TÜV Rheinland
  2. TÜV Süd
  3. VDE.

Other less frequently used options are:

  1. Swiss SGS
  2. French Bureau Veritas
  3. American Intertek

These major certification bodies own the labs in which new solar products can be tested. The certification of a PV module is a multilevel-process and may take several months before completion.

Certification process

It’s usually the pv manufacturer that submits a new solar product with a certification body.

A pv factory submits:

  1. Solar panel samples
  2. Documentation
  3. Factory audit

After the certification body will start accelerated lab tests, that will be executed over a period of 3 to 6 months time.

Examples for such lab tests are:

  • Climate chamber tests, that simulate extreme weather circumstances.
  • Mechanical load tests that simulate wind and snow load.

When a dozen of these test are successfully passed, the pv certifications are issued.

International certifications

The main certifications are:

IEC 61215 – Aging of pv modules

IEC 61646 – Similar to 61215, for Thin Film modules.

IEC 61730 – Electrical safety qualifications

IEC 62108 – CPV, concentrator PV modules

Besides these, there are several more International Certifications to learn and know about.

Besides the international certifications, there are many country-specific certifications:

Country-specific certifications

–    CEC – Australia, Clean Energy Council
–    INMETRO, Brazil
–    JET PV, Japan
–    NRE, South Korea
–    CNS, Taiwan

There are dozens more country specific certifications.

On top of the international and country specific certifications, there are standards related to the ecological conformity of pv modules.

Environmental certifications

We divide them in 3 categories:

  1. Environmental Certifications
  2. Recycling schemes, such as PV Cycle
  3. Environmental regulations, such as WEEE Directives

If this information was useful and you want to learn more about pv certifications, I recommend you to download the report called “A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Photovoltaic Certifications”.


  1. The first and only complete guide on solar panel certifications
  2. A must read for any pv expert.
  3. A comprehensive, 200 page explanatory guide, which will make you an instant expert on pv certifications.
  4. You will discover everything about International + Country specific + Environmental certifications.
  5. The report will give you a complete understanding about the certification bodies and highlights the lab tests they perform.
  6. After reading the reading report, you will be able to assess the significance, advantages and loopholes of recycling schemes related to solar pv modules.
  7. Finally help to Identify scams and avoid pitfalls, such as Identifying fake certifications, when you purchase solar panels.

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