June 19, 2018
Aligning your PV module product launch to the new PV module safety standards
Global commerce depends upon the use of technically valid standards. Most manufacturers today do business across the globe and have their PV modules evaluated to multiple safety standards which is costly and in some cases result in duplication of effort. UL actively pursues harmonization to IEC standards when there is alignment to existing U.S. safety requirements. Last year, UL harmonized its PV module safety Standard to IEC 61730, and on December 4th published UL 61730, the North America and International Safety Standard for PV modules. The Standard contains U.S. national differences and complies with the National Electric Code. It also includes new and updated requirements to address innovation in component technology and materials. A few requirements are more stringent than those for UL 1703 certified products and if a bill of material (BOM) change is in your future, retesting to UL 61730 may be required.
UL understands the impact of standard(s) changes on our customers’ business which is why the Standards Technical Panel (STP) determines a reasonable timeframe within which “new” products should be certified to UL 61730. Once manufacturers serving international markets assess the benefits and cost savings of testing new products to the harmonized standard, they should plan to have it done before December 4, 2019. After this date, all new product submittals will be tested to UL 61730. To further ease the impact on our customers, after December 4, 2019 products previously certified to UL 1703 may continue to apply the UL label in the factory. However, if a “critical component” in the BOM changes then a full evaluation to UL 61730 will be required to continue to apply the UL label.
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