Germany-based TÜV Rheinland has opened what it says is the world’s “most state-of-the-art” test centre for solar modules in Cologne.
The firm has invested around €4 million not only in the new facility but also in advanced technical equipment for checking the safety, quality and energy efficiency of photovoltaic modules and solar collectors. The company now runs five test centres for solar systems on three continents.
Some 70 per cent of all solar module manufacturers worldwide have their products tested in these laboratories to obtain international market licences.
“The use of solar energy is becoming increasingly important and we want to do our bit too,” said Ing. Bruno O. Braun, CEO of the TÜV Rheinland Group. “As the number of manufacturers and users increases, so too does the importance of independent quality, safety and efficiency testing. We are investing directly in the future of sustainable energy usage as well as promoting transparency and reliability on the market.”
The TÜV Rheinland Group first started laboratory-scale technical testing of solar components in 1995.
At 1,800 square metres, the new test centre in Cologne is three times bigger than the previous one, which could no longer meet the requirements of a rapidly growing market for solar energy. In fact, the world’s largest facility for testing solar modules is located at TÜV Rheinland PTL in the US.