- VDE has developed a new testing system to be able to certify entire balcony solar power plants
- The testing process also ascertains the interaction of individual components with each other
- It is aimed to provide safety to consumers and security to retailers since the testing covers applicable regulations and standards
Germany-based VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies has developed a testing system to test and certify balcony solar power plants as a complete system, and not just individual components, with immediate effect.
Referred to as mini solar power plants, balcony solar systems comprise a single or 2 solar modules, and come with cables, plugs, inverters, mounting systems and grid connection.
These are becoming popular with prosumers due to the ease of their installation; however, their safety has been a concern as Bundesnetzagentur found out in a recent study. It cautioned consumers from buying unauthorized inverters for their balcony systems and that these should carry the CE mark (see Germany Fears Unauthorized Inverters For Plug-In Solar).
VDE CEO Ansgar Hinz said with this certification, the association is responding to ‘numerous reports’ on safety deficiencies in mini-PV systems. It also wants to support consumers wanting to actively participate in the country’s energy transition.
The association’s testing process covers the interaction of individual components with each other to increase the protection and safety of users.
The test specifications were developed by factoring in the current legal basis and the applicable regulations and standards. It explains that this provides security for the retailers and grants more safety to the consumers.
To expand the use of solar, the German government has included balcony solar in its solar package, Photovoltaic Strategy. The inclusion makes it easier for prosumers to install these panels in their balconies with no need to register with the network operator nor get a new meter installed (see German Federal Government Approves Solar Package).
Balcony PV, along with other advanced solar module applications as BIPV, floating solar among others, will be discussed at length during TaiyangNews Virtual Conference on Advanced Module Applications on September 26, 2023. Registrations to the event are free and can be done here.