ECN receives IEC Certification for Metal Wrap Through Solar Panels

editor, 21 February 2011

ECN, the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands, announces that it has achieved the IEC 61215 industry standard certification for their Metal Wrap Through (MWT) module technology, in collaboration with and on behalf of an undisclosed solar PV company. The certification is the first milestone of a collaborative research framework agreement. This certificate allows sales of PV modules based on ECN's module technology to commercial projects.

Paul Wyers, Manager ECN Solar Energy: “After years of development we were not only confident about the performance, but also about the robustness of our back-contact modules. The back-contact module production method is beyond state-of-the-art. We use materials that are new for crystalline silicon modules, such as conductive adhesives and conductive back-sheets. We are very happy that our MWT module technology has been awarded the certificate by TÜV-SÜD and we are confident that modules with this technology will be sold in the near future.”

MWT modules combine high-speed manufacturability with 4-5% higher output power when compared with state-of-the-art. By using this technology, ECN was the first to reach 17.0% module efficiency using multi-crystalline silicon solar cells in December 2009. The IEC 61215 certificate shows that the MWT technology is designed for reliable energy generation over a period exceeding 25 years.

The specialized module assembly equipment, which can be used to manufacture modules using all types of back-contact cells, has been developed in co-operation with Eurotron, a Dutch based manufacturer and supplier of handling equipment for module assembly. “From the moment we started with promoting our equipment in 2008, there has been strong interest in this unique technology”, says Bram Verschoor, commercial director of Eurotron. “The MWT module certification allows us to sell turn-key production lines. A single Eurotron line is capable of assembling 150MWp of MWT modules per year with a footprint comparable with a 20MWp tabber stringer”

IEC 61215 is a recognized industry standard that verifies that the modules have passed the required series of tests and are suitable for long-term operation in a wide range of outdoor climates. These tests examine the important technical requirements for photovoltaic modules, namely reliability, durability, efficiency, electrical and performance degradation over time. IEC certification for photovoltaic modules is a requirement for sales to the global market.

August 2010


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