NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 23, 2010 – Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a global leader in safety testing and certification, announced today the expansion of its global photovoltaic (PV) footprint near the Frankfurt/Main airport in Germany, where it opens Europe’s largest photovoltaic testing and certification facility. The new Photovoltaic Technology Center of Excellence reinforces UL’s commitment to drive global progress and innovation of safe and reliable solar energy technologies and equipment.
UL is expanding its presence in Europe and Asia as the PV industry continues to experience significant global progress. The global installed capacity of solar photovoltaic power in GW has grown more than 1,000 percent from 2001 to 2008 and sales of photovoltaic technologies is predicted to reach $32.3 billion by 2012, according to BBC Research. Local service capabilities in San Jose, Calif., Suzhou, China, Frankfurt, Germany and upcoming facilities in Japan and India allow UL to bring an industry-leading portfolio of services to local markets and help manufacturers succeed in a rapidly changing environment.
The new state-of-the-art 22,600 square-foot testing facility in Germany houses 22 world-class testing chambers, including: fourteen climate chambers, four damp heat chambers, two large walk-ins and two temperature and humidity ovens and other cutting edge testing equipment. This added capacity allows UL to offer its European customers faster and more cost efficient testing processes due to the local presence and a highly skilled engineering team that speaks the local language. The comprehensive portfolio of services allows for global conformity assessment according to UL, IEC and EN certification requirements and enables faster global market access for UL’s customers.
“The opening of the German facility marks another milestone in our photovoltaic global expansion and underscores our commitment to the industry and our customers,” said Jeff Smidt, Vice President and General Manager for UL’s Global Energy business. “Whether it is through our industry expertise, innovations in our service portfolio or investing in state-of-the-art facilities, we are expanding our capabilities to help manufacturers deliver innovative and safe PV products to the market.”
UL is currently accredited to test to UL 1703 and IEC/EN 61730 standards and its UL Mark has complete market acceptance in the U.S. The new facility enables small and large European manufacturers to locally test PV technologies and gain efficient access to the global market.
The Photovoltaic Technology Center of Excellence in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt/Main is located at Admiral-Rosendahl-Strasse 23, Neu-Isenburg (Zeppelinheim). To learn more about the new facility and team, visit: www.ul.com/pv-video. For more information on UL’s PV services, visit: