New CFV Solar Testing Laboratory Opens in Albuquerque to Speed International Certification for Solar Panels

By Csa Group, PRNE
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Manufacturers Now Have Faster, More Cost-Effective Testing Options With Single Laboratory Able to Certify for Countries Worldwide

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, April 7, 2011 - To speed entry for solar panel manufacturers into the North American and
international markets, a new laboratory opened today in Albuquerque, New
, that offers worldwide certification services from one location.

CFV Solar Test Laboratory, ( a photovoltaic (PV)
certification test company, is jointly owned by CSA Group, VDE Testing and
Certification Institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)
and Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE).

The CFV laboratory offers complete certification and non-certification
testing services for PV technologies not readily available at other test
locations, including flat panel, thin film and concentrating PV (CPV)
testing. The facility will help manufacturers to enter the market more
rapidly and at lower cost, as the laboratory can simultaneously certify solar
panels for use in multiple countries and meet the unique standards for each

Driven by global needs for renewable energy and growing environmental
demands, solar panel manufacturing and installation is roughly a $40 billion
industry worldwide, and will approach $100 billion by 2014, according
to industry estimates. In North America, the utility PV market reached $1
in 2010 and is projected to reach $8 billion by 2015, according to
GTM Research.

Solar panels require testing and certification to assure the safety,
longevity and proper operations. Different countries worldwide have diverse
standards for solar panel certification, making the testing process complex
and costly for manufacturers.

"Solar panels are high-voltage electrical devices - often being placed in
very close proximity to people in offices and homes - that must be properly
tested and certified as being safe and effective in generating power," said
Ash Sahi, president and CEO, CSA Group. "We are proud to be one of the
partners in this joint venture as no other solar testing facility offers the
complete range of services and global capabilities as this new laboratory."

Testing in the 25,000-square foot indoor lab will include climate
chambers for thermal cycling and humidity freeze up of panels to 4m x 2.5m; a
large area AAA+ rated solar simulator with temperature controlled enclosure
for performance measurements; and access to a five-acre outdoor testing area
with single and two-axis trackers for accelerated light soaking and CPV
testing. The joint venture combines Fraunhofer's technical expertise and
extensive research capabilities with CSA Group and VDE's solar certification
proficiency, creating a new center of excellence for PV module testing.

"We are very excited to start this new venture in Albuquerque, New
," said Dr. Christian Hoepfner, director of technical operations at
Fraunhofer CSE and president of CFV Solar Test Laboratory. "This new test
laboratory will be instrumental in bringing new PV technologies and products
to the market, while maintaining the excellent PV industry track record with
regards to safety and product quality. The co-location with a Fraunhofer
research group will help CFV to stay at the cutting edge of PV technology."

"Our generations of international experience have shown that customer
trust and an excellent reputation with authorities can be achieved and
maintained only by ensuring independence, neutrality, and uncompromising
quality," said Wilfried Jäger, managing director of the VDE Testing and
Certification Institute. "We look forward to applying our highest standards
in working with customers in this dynamic and exciting industry, together
with our joint venture partners. We believe our bundled services are truly
unique and perfectly tailored to industry needs."

"From other markets we learned that accurate and efficient testing,
backed by profound R&D expertise, is a key element for quick deployment of
the PV industry," said Dr. Harry Wirth, head of department photovoltaic
modules, systems and reliability at Fraunhofer ISE. "Our joint venture has
the capabilities to provide the required comprehensive services."

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association
serving business, industry, government and consumers. CSA Group consists of
three divisions: CSA Standards, a leading standards-based solutions
organization, providing standards development, application products, training
and advisory services; CSA International, which provides testing and
certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a
variety of other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product
evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers.
For more, visit

About The VDE Testing and Certification Institute

The VDE Testing and Certification Institute is an independent institution
which is nationally and internationally accredited. Headed by Wilfried Jäger,
managing director, the VDE Institute is responsible for testing and
certifying the safety and performance of electronic devices, components and
systems for consumers and the general public by applying the highest
standards of quality. Since 1920, the VDE mark has stood for safety and
quality in electrical and information technology.

The Institute's independent test engineers subject more than 100,000
electric and electronic products a year to rigorous tests before affixing the
VDE mark. VDE experts supervise over 7,000 manufacturing plants throughout
the world. Cooperation agreements with more than 50 countries ensure that the
inspections conducted by the VDE Institute are internationally recognized.
More than 200,000 product families and well over a million individual
products worldwide carry VDE certification marks. The non-profit VDE Testing
and Certification Institute in Offenbach, Germany, employs around 450 staff
members. In the course of establishing a global network of local facilities,
with a focus on Asia, the Institute has increased its staff by 300 employees
to handle local testing and inspections. For more, visit

About Fraunhofer ISE and CSE

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied research
in Europe with 59 research institutes and 17,000 employees. Fraunhofer USA,
Inc. is a non-profit applied research organization headquartered in Plymouth,
with six research centers that collaborate with major universities
throughout the U.S.

One of Fraunhofer USA's research centers is the Center for Sustainable
Energy Systems CSE, located in Cambridge, MA. Fraunhofer CSE is an applied
research and development laboratory dedicated to the commercialization of
clean energy technologies. CSE engages in contract research and development
with private companies, government entities, and academic institutions.
Current research focuses on PV module design and manufacturing and energy
efficient building technologies.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, located in
Freiburg, Germany is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe.
The Institute is committed to promoting energy supply systems which are
sustainable, economic, safe and socially just. ISE develops materials,
components, systems and processes for seven different business areas:
Energy-Efficient Buildings and Technical Building Components, Applied Optics
and Functional Surfaces, Solar Thermal Technology, Silicon Photovoltaics,
Alternative Photovoltaic Technology, Renewable Power Generation and Hydrogen
Technology. ISE operates several testing centers for various solar
technologies and in the building sector.

    For further information:

    Anthony Toderian
    Manager, Corporate Affairs
    CSA Group

    Bernd Franke
    Head of Communications & Public Affairs
    VDE Testing and Certification Institute

    Karin Schneider M.A.
    Head of Press & Public Relations
    Fraunhofer Institute for Solar
    Energy Systems ISE

    Heather Snider
    Office Manager
    Fraunhofer CSE

    Martin Plass
    Senior VP and General Manager
    CFV Solar Test Laboratory

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Manager, Corporate Affairs, CSA Group, +1-416-747-2620, anthony.toderian at; Bernd Franke, Head of Communications & Public Affairs, VDE Testing and Certification Institute, +49-69-8306-277, bernd.franke at; Karin Schneider M.A., Head of Press & Public Relations, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, +49-761-45-88-51-47, karin.schneider at; Heather Snider, Office Manager, Fraunhofer CSE, +1-617-575-7250, hsnider at; Martin Plass, Senior VP and General Manager, CFV Solar Test Laboratory, +1-505-998-0100, martin.plass at

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