Hanwha solar PV modules pass stringent hail stone impact test
Published: 9 February 2015 - Marianne Evans
Hanwha SolarOne, a top-10 global photovoltaic manufacturer of high-quality, cost-competitive solar modules, has announced that its HSL S solar module series has successfully passed the stringent “Hail Stone Impact Test Level 4" (HW4). The HW4 test criteria are defined by a Swiss insurance group and significantly exceed solar industry standards.
Hail storms represent one of the hazards a PV module might face during its lifetime. Consequently, all IEC approved solar modules are required to withstand a specific impact from hail, as defined by the “Design qualification and type approval” for crystalline PV modules, IEC 61215). In anticipation of more extreme weather following climate change, insurance companies are increasingly defining stricter requirements for building components, including PV rooftops. The “Hail Stone Impact Test Level 4" (HW4), established by a Swiss insurance group, illustrates the trend; to comply with the HW4 criteria, a solar module must withstand an energy impact significantly exceeding the IEC 61215 requirements.
Hanwha Solar is the first solar module manufacturer to have signed up for the HW4 test at German testing institute TÜV Rheinland. “Hanwha Solar’s initiative to verify high resistance against hail stones confirms our perception of more stringent requirements from insurance companies”, said Jörg Althaus, business field manager Solar Energy at TÜV Rheinland. “With turbulent weather ahead, we expect such qualifications to become increasingly common; and not only in Switzerland and Austria.”
During the HW4 test, hail stones with a diameter of 40 mm strike the solar modules at 27.7m per second, or about 100km per hour (km/h). Following the simulated hail storm, the modules are thoroughly tested for performance degradation and mechanical damage. The HSL S modules successfully passed all testing categories.
“As part of our quality program, the extended reliability of Hanwha Solar products has been verified by a number of independent tests,” said Winfried Wahl, senior director products and marketing at Hanwha SolarOne. “These include the Long-Term Sequential Test, the PV+ Test 2.0 and the Power Controlled Certification, all of which significantly exceed industry requirements.”
Hanwha Solar recently launched its new polycrystalline module series HSL S, distinguished by state-of-the-art cell technology and increased durability. The module series is backed by a 12-year workmanship warranty as well as a 25-year linear performance warranty.