Northbrook, Ill., May 26, 2009 -- Today, Underwriters Laboratories, a world leader in product safety testing and certification, outlined plans to maintain its position as a preferred partner in the photovoltaic (PV) marketplace by enhancing its capabilities, as well as opening and expanding its facilities dedicated to PV services in markets around the world.
"In just one year, Underwriters Laboratories has established itself in two of the key PV markets," said Jeff Smidt, General Manager of UL's Global Energy Business. "Our global customers benefit from state-of-the-art and largest-of-their-kind, laboratories in San Jose, California and Suzhou, China. These facilities offer our customers an industry-leading portfolio of services that enable manufacturers to more easily and efficiently access global markets. And that is only the beginning."
To accommodate the PV market's global growth, UL is extending its reach and continues to invest in new markets. In 2010, UL plans to open new facilities in Germany and Japan. "Germany and Japan are the bedrocks of photovoltaic manufacturing, research and innovation," said Smidt. "Expanding to these markets is a natural next step for UL. We are committed to fostering the development of safe, renewable technologies and providing our valued customers regardless of their location with the tools they need to succeed in this rapidly developing industry."
In addition to building new capacity around the globe, UL continues to expand its existing facilities. Recently, UL added new equipment to its 20,000-square-foot testing facility in San Jose and now has a total of 20 test chambers. Additional solar simulation equipment (for indoor testing) is being installed and will be operational this July. This lab is also undergoing a 13,500 square-foot expansion, which will provide 35 percent more space to UL's current PV testing operations by July. Project capacity at this facility will grow an additional 30 percent year-over-year compared with July 2008.
Beyond its new, soon-to-open, and expanded Photovoltaic Technology Centers of Excellence, UL is enhancing its engineering capabilities across other relevant PV markets by exploring new partnerships in Asia.
UL is currently the only National Certification Body for PV product testing in North America that is able to test and certify products in accordance with both the UL Standards and the International Standards (IEC), which helps its customers get faster access to global markets.