Complete PV Power Plant Certification: New Standards for Quality Assurance of Large Scale PV Power Plants
The quality of a PV system in terms of design, construction, safety and performance is crucial for the return-on-investment. Certification of modules, inverters etc. to international standards has provided a first level of quality assurance on the component level for a number of years but the industry also needs a standardized assessment on the completed PV power plant from design and planning through to execution and operation. VDE Testing and Certification Institute, a certification body with profound knowledge across the electrical and electronic industries, and Fraunhofer ISE, a leading applied research organization with more than 30 years of experience in the field, have now developed a complete power plant certification, creating a “VDE Quality Tested” label which is both transparent and simple yet customized to the plant under assessment. This establishes a new standard for quality assurance of utility scale PV power plants combining existing standards and established quality assurance procedures with the latest research results. The “VDE Quality Tested” certification is to state that the PV power plant meets the highest quality criteria as implemented, with an associated reduction in technical risks and with higher confidence yield forecast. This contribution provides an overview of the certification process itself, and explains especially the PV performance related steps (such as verification of module characteristics and performance ratio) based on field experience and concrete examples.