Four questions for Mr. Ulrich Fritzsche, project manager at TÜV Rheinland, specialized in PVT (photovoltaic and thermal) technologies. Mr. Fritzsche managed the test procedures of the DualSun panel in the TÜV Rheinland laboratories in 2013.
Please explain the new process for obtaining a Solar Keymark certification for hybrid solar technologies, and the TUV’s involvement.
TÜV Rheinland has made a significant effort in developing test procedures for PVT collectors in the past years. With this experience, we’ve also taken the lead in the Solar Keymark Network Working Group for PVT. Together with other European experts, we’ve elaborated the requirements for PVT technologies which are now part of the Scheme Rules.
What does this change for manufacturers with respect to what existed before?
With the new chapter 13.7 of the Solar Keymark Scheme Rules, it is no longer possible for a PVT product to obtain a Solar Keymark certificate, where only the solar thermal collector standard is the basis for testing. The certification body is responsible, that the final PVT-collector still complies with the relevant IEC standards for the electrical part of the PVT. The integral PVT product shall be certified according to the new specific standards for PVT, not only as separate PV laminates and thermal absorbers.
Do you confirm that DualSun is the first panel to obtain the certification with the new process?
Of course, we can only talk about the tests made by TÜV Rheinland. In our laboratories, DualSun was the first manufacturer to successfully pass all tests according to the new Solar Keymark Regulation.*
*DualSun note: DIN CERTCO, certification body, confirmed that the DualSun DS 250M is the first collector to be certified according to the new SOLAR KEYMARK regulations specifically mentioning the rules for testing and certification of PVT collectors.
What is your vision of the future of hybrid solar technology?
From our perspective, there’s definitely a good potential for PVT technologies. If we think about integral energy concepts for residential houses in the near future, the combination of PV and thermal collector is logical; combining PVT with a heat pump might also be an interesting solution…
“If we didn’t expect a growing PVT market, we wouldn’t make such an effort in the development of applicable test procedures!”