Solar Energy

Photovoltaic Testing: A Very Bright Outlook

Solar and other renewable energy technologies are evolving quickly, and they continue to be readily adopted in both residential and commercial applications. As prices drop and rebates and other incentives for converting to solar energy increase, the market for solar devices — and the need for photovoltaic testing to verify new product safety and performance — will continue to grow. Of course, so much growth is likely to create increased regulatory demands.

This is where NTS’ Solar industry expertise, extensive test capabilities and accessible facilities work to your advantage. We were one of the first national lab networks to offer solar cell test services, and we continue to refine our capabilities to provide our Solar industry partners with across-the-board services and solutions.

Complete Solar Power / Photovoltaic Technology Services

NTS has your Solar / PV needs covered, with the industry-leading capacity and capability to evaluate and test your products. Our engineers will verify the consistent and lasting performance of your Solar / PV products to their intended design life under the unique conditions of your environmental applications. Our services encompass the standard test requirements of industry specifications such as UL1703, IEC 61215 and MIL-STD-810. The UL and IEC certifications include environmental and electrical safety tests NTS has been performing for decades, including:

  • UV Radiation Exposure
  • Extreme Temperature and Humidity
  • Arc Tests
  • Insulation Resistance
  • High Voltage Withstanding
  • Resistance to hail/stone impact and other simulated environments

MIL-STD-810, Method 505 Testing

The MIL-STD-810, Method 505 standard for photovoltaic devices is one of the most important protocols for new solar products coming to market. Not only is it essential for any device used in defense applications, it also represents a standard of quality more consumers have come to trust.

Investing in proper photovoltaic testing will help you stand out in the crowded, ever-growing solar marketplace. It will also reduce your liability by ensuring every device lives up to its promised expectations for performance and longevity.

Compliance with MIL-STD-810, Method 505 involves a two-procedure test:

Heating Effects Testing: MIL-STD-810, Method 505 compliance requires testing a PV device’s ability to withstand extended exposure to heat and solar radiation. Testing is performed to determined the maximum exposure temperature that can be reached before degradation or equipment failure occurs. For this type of testing, temperature-only simulation is considered imperfect, as it does not take into account the differential heating effects caused by solar radiation.

Actinic Effects Testing: This testing measures the negative impacts of extended exposure to sunlight on a device. The use of air-cooled, mercury-doped metal halide lamps can speed up the testing process, replicating the effects of extended exposure times without the wait. This allows you to more accurately determine the average lifespan of a PV product and set your warranty policies accordingly.

Requirements for MIL-STD-810 photovoltaic testing can be executed at a number of NTS locations around the country. The UL and IEC certifications include a variety of environmental and electrical safety tests NTS has been performing for decades, including UV radiation exposure, extreme temperature and humidity, arc tests, insulation resistance, withstanding high voltages, resistance to hail/stone impact and other simulated environments.

Let our engineers develop a PV testing program that meets your regulatory requirements and positions you for future success. Request a Quote today.

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