The CEC’s Enhanced Listings Program For Solar Panels

CEC enhanced listings for solar panels

What do cows have to do with solar panel quality? Read on.

The Clean Energy Council’s Enhanced Listings Program for solar panels has grown significantly since July last year, with modules from 20 companies now included.

The program differentiates solar panels that have passed independent testing exceeding minimum standards required to be included on the CEC’s Approved Product List{1. When installing solar panels in Australia, modules must be on the Approved Products List at the time of installation in order to qualify for the “solar rebate“].

The eight Enhanced Listings categories are:

  • VDE Quality Tested
  • IEC TS 62941 – an extension of the IEC 9001 quality standard
  • PVEL PQP (Product Qualification Program of PV Evolution Laboratories)
  • IEC 61701 Salt mist corrosion resistance.
  • IEC 62716 Ammonia corrosion resistance – modules installed on farm buildings can be exposed to high levels of ammonia (hence the cow icon above).
  • Module Accelerated Sequential Test (MAST) Backsheet Durability
  • IEC TS 62804 PID (Potential-Induced Degradation) Resistance
  • JCU Cyclone Testing, which goes beyond what is required for the Northern Territory.

You can learn a bit more about the categories here.

Currently, the total number of PV modules on the CEC’s Approved Product List is 3,685. Of those, 901 products from 20 manufacturers have at least one Enhanced Listing – so around 24%.

But which panels boast all of those additional certifications? That’s a bit hard to tell given when you start ticking categories on the approved solar modules database search page, the filter works on OR rather than AND – but it turns out  none of them do yet.

The Enhanced Listings category with the least number of solar panels is the IEC 62941 quality standard category – just 20 products at the time of writing and all of those from one manufacturer – Wuxi Suntech.

Additional Reassurance

The Enhance Listings help bring a bit of extra reassurance to Australian solar buyers – for example, salt mist corrosion resistance is a particularly important one for those living on the coast.

The current CEC Approved Products list for solar panels in general has trimmed down significantly in comparison to years gone by. Back in November 2017, more than 6,900 different panels were listed – the number has dropped by 47% compared to then. 3,685 modules is still a huge number to wade through, so the Enhanced Listings help those modules with extra certifications stand out from the pack.

The chances of a manufacturer successfully using dodgy documentation to apply for an Enhanced Listing look fairly slim given the CEC’s checklist for verification, which will be further enhanced from April next year.

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