TÜV Rheinland: hailstorm test for solar collectors and photovoltaic modules

At its Cologne Solar Centre TÜV Rheinland is offering a more stringent hailstorm test for solar collectors and photovoltaic modules. The test with a 35-millimetre sphere and four times higher energy represents particular stress levels.

Global climatic changes are increasingly resulting in damage from severe storms, with far-reaching effects. More stringent testing therefore provides greater information and certainty on product quality, particularly under hailstorm conditions. The new  hailstorm test rig is already recognised by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS).

Effective immediately, photovoltaic modules and solar collectors, as well as other industrial products, can be bombarded with 35-millimetre hailstones impacting at a speed of 27.2 metres per second. Initial tests have already been successfully concluded on solar collectors.

The 35-millimetre stones have nearly three times the mass of 25-millimetre stones, and carry nearly four times the kinetic energy. Insurers and project planners are right to insist more and more on the tougher testing, since damage to solar systems from hailstorms has considerably increased over past years.

National reality also play an important role. In Switzerland and Austria building damage from hail has become more frequent in recent years. In response to the resulting increasing regulatory costs, Swiss insurance companies now require stricter hail testing for PV modules and solar collectors. In this case, the previous IEC standard test of hail class 2 (25 mm) should be replaced by testing with hail class 3 (35 mm). The resulting new test conditions also bring about a shift in category from T0 to T1 on the internationally recognised TORRO scale (for registering the intensity of tornadoes and strong winds).

source : TÜV Rheinland

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