The U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released an updated proposal to toughen standards and ensure reliability of photovoltaic (PV) technology. NREL says the document can be used by industrial PV manufacturers to increase investor, utility and consumer confidence in PV system performance.

NREL has worked with local industry partners in the United States and international colleagues to develop PV-specific quality management standards to supplement the existing ISO 9001 in the application of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 61215.

The technical report, “Updated Proposal for a Guide for Quality Management Systems for PV Manufacturing: Supplemental Requirements to ISO 9001-2008,” enables PV manufacturers to start using the specification proposed for release in Technical Specification IEC/TS 62941, "Guideline for increased confidence in PV module design qualification and type approval," due to be finalized in late 2015.

NREL, along with other international groups, has also spearheaded the International PV Module Quality Assurance Task Force (PVQAT) to establish guidelines for testing PV modules for adequate durability, ensuring consistent manufacturing and that the final system is fully functional.

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