Solar PV Component Quality Assurance Services

Materials and manufacturing processes can have a significant impact on the quality of solar PV components such as modules, inverters and batteries. The industry standards do not adequately assure manufacturing quality. The surest method for ensuring quality is to evaluate PV components and related manufacturing processes in advance of production to identify and mitigate any safety, reliability or performance risks. Kiwa, through the group member PI Berlin, offers buyers of solar PV components independent and impartial quality assurance that include the following key services.

Contracting Assistance

Enforcing quality standards is only possible if the supply contract reflects the agreed terms. PI Berlin can provide a set of contract exhibits with clear criteria and remedies that are crucial to support your procurement activities. If you already have your own contract templates, let us review them and give you an expert opinion based on our vast experience negotiating with manufacturers.

Factory Audits

Factory audits provide a valuable risk assessment of manufacturing facilities before production begins. Our reports together with our comprehensive rating system highlight the critical aspects of the manufacturing facility benchmarked to the hundreds of audits already completed by PI Berlin. A final check with a corrective action review ensures all measures have been implemented to ensure quality production.

Production Supervision and Inspection

Once production starts, having an independent set of eyes in the factory assures the equipment is produced according to the customer’s expectations. In-factory pre-shipment inspections (PSI) ensure that each batch meets agreed quality criteria before being released for shipment. Equipment is only delivered once we provide our expert confirmation.

Laboratory Testing

Our ISO 17025 accredited laboratories in Germany and China provide independent testing of modules before or during production, or after shipment. Our tests verify the manufacturer’s data sheet as well as the agreed quality criteria before acceptance by the buyer.

Our Global Services

  • PVEL’s data and consulting services provide you with actionable insights and reports to support your procurement efforts.
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  • Pre-shipment inspection of finished PV modules serves to check the modules for any obvious physical defects. Inspection is carried out on a sample basis and used to release modules for shipment.
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  • Specify the PV module, manufacturing, quality criteria, and quality assurance requirements. Define defects and identify potential remedies. Assist with contractually managing and mitigating potential safety, performance, and reliability risks.
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  • Conduct post-shipment inspection of modules prior to installation to check for potential damage sustained during transportation.
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  • Inspection of packaging integrity and loading of containers to ensure compliance with manufacturer’s specification before leaving the factory or storage facility.
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  • Deploying quality assurance engineers in the factory during production to ensure that all required material, process, and production controls are applied correctly.
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  • Assessment of a module manufacturer’s traceability procedures and practices for their upstream material supply chain from polysilicon through finished PV modules.
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  • All aspects of the supply chain, product, manufacturing, and management process are audited and evaluated.
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