Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules for consumer products - Design qualification and type approval

IEC TS 63163:2021 is intended to apply to terrestrial modules for consumer applications for outdoor operation shorter than those qualified to IEC 61215. The useful service life of modules so qualified depends on their design, their environment and the conditions under which they are operated. This document classes those PV modules into Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3 with respectively low, medium and high expected outdoor exposure. This specification is intended to qualify the PV portion of these devices. It may, however, be used as a basis for testing such PV modules, but does not qualify the electronic portion. The purpose of the test sequence is to determine the electrical, thermal, and mechanical durability characteristics of the module, and to show that the module is capable of withstanding outdoor exposure for different outdoor durations designated as “low”, “medium”, and “high”. Mobile and attached applications are considered to require lower mechanical durability than portable applications, which are more prone to mechanical damage.

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
13-Sep-2021
Current Stage
PPUB - Publication issued
Completion Date
14-Sep-2021
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IEC TS 63163
Edition 1.0 2021-09
TECHNICAL
SPECIFICATION
Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules for consumer products – Design
qualification and type approval
IEC TS 63163:2021-09(en)
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
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---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
IEC TS 63163
Edition 1.0 2021-09
TECHNICAL
SPECIFICATION
Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules for consumer products – Design
qualification and type approval
INTERNATIONAL
ELECTROTECHNICAL
COMMISSION
ICS 27.160 ISBN 978-2-8322-1024-3

Warning! Make sure that you obtained this publication from an authorized distributor.

® Registered trademark of the International Electrotechnical Commission
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
– 2 – IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021
CONTENTS

FOREWORD ........................................................................................................................... 4

1 Scope .............................................................................................................................. 6

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................... 6

3 Terms, definitions and abbreviated terms ........................................................................ 7

4 Selection of test samples ................................................................................................. 9

5 Marking and documentation ........................................................................................... 10

5.1 Nameplate ............................................................................................................ 10

5.2 Documentation ...................................................................................................... 11

5.2.1 Minimum requirements .................................................................................. 11

5.2.2 Information to be given in the documentation ................................................. 11

5.2.3 Assembly instructions .................................................................................... 12

6 Testing .......................................................................................................................... 12

6.1 General ................................................................................................................. 12

6.2 Qualification test sequence – Category 1 .............................................................. 13

6.3 Qualification test sequence – Category 2 .............................................................. 13

6.4 Qualification test sequence – Category 3 .............................................................. 15

6.5 Test conditions ..................................................................................................... 16

7 Pass criteria .................................................................................................................. 17

7.1 General ................................................................................................................. 17

7.2 Major visual defects .............................................................................................. 18

8 Report ........................................................................................................................... 18

9 Modifications ................................................................................................................. 19

10 Test procedures ............................................................................................................ 19

10.1 Visual inspection (CMQT 01) ................................................................................ 19

10.2 Performance at STC (CMQT 06.1) ........................................................................ 19

10.3 Maximum power determination (CMQT 02) ........................................................... 19

10.4 Outdoor exposure test (CMQT 10.4) ..................................................................... 19

10.5 Hot-spot endurance test (CMQT 10.5) ................................................................... 19

10.6 UV preconditioning test (CMQT 10.6) .................................................................... 20

10.7 Thermal cycling test (CMQT 10.7) ......................................................................... 20

10.8 Humidity-freeze test (CMQT 10.8) ......................................................................... 20

10.9 Damp heat test (CMQT 10.9) ................................................................................ 20

10.10 Robustness of terminations test (CMQT 10.10) ..................................................... 20

10.11 Wet leakage current test (CMQT 10.11) ................................................................ 20

10.12 Static mechanical load test (CMQT 10.12) ............................................................ 20

10.13 Bypass diode thermal test (CMQT 13) ................................................................... 21

10.14 Stabilization (CMQT 10.14) ................................................................................... 21

10.15 Bending test (CMQT 10.15) .................................................................................. 21

10.16 Folding test (CMQT 10.16) .................................................................................... 21

10.16.1 Purpose ......................................................................................................... 21

10.16.2 Procedure for foldable module ....................................................................... 21

10.16.3 Final inspection ............................................................................................. 21

10.16.4 Requirements ................................................................................................ 21

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IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021 – 3 –

10.17 Drop test (CMQT 10.17) ........................................................................................ 21

10.17.1 General ......................................................................................................... 21

10.17.2 Drop the module from 1 m height onto a concrete floor. ................................. 21

10.17.3 Final measurements ...................................................................................... 22

10.17.4 Requirements ................................................................................................ 22

10.18 Hail test (CMQT 10.18) ......................................................................................... 22

10.19 Insulation test (CMQT 10.19) ................................................................................ 22

Annex A (informative) Overview of categories and potential applications ............................. 23

Figure 1 – Geometry that shows radius of curvature of a flexible module ................................ 8

Figure 2 – Qualification test sequence – Category 1 ............................................................. 13

Figure 3 – Qualification test sequence – Category 2 ............................................................. 14

Figure 4 – Qualification test sequence – Category 3 ............................................................. 16

Figure 5 – Drop test .............................................................................................................. 22

Table 1 – Summary of test levels .......................................................................................... 16

Table A.1 – Overview of categories and potential applications .............................................. 23

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– 4 – IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021
INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION
____________
TERRESTRIAL PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) MODULES FOR CONSUMER
PRODUCTS – DESIGN QUALIFICATION AND TYPE APPROVAL
FOREWORD

1) The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a worldwide organization for standardization comprising

all national electrotechnical committees (IEC National Committees). The object of IEC is to promote international

co-operation on all questions concerning standardization in the electrical and electronic fields. To this end and

in addition to other activities, IEC publishes International Standards, Technical Specifications, Technical Reports,

Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) and Guides (hereafter referred to as “IEC Publication(s)”). Their

preparation is entrusted to technical committees; any IEC National Committee interested in the subject dealt with

may participate in this preparatory work. International, governmental and non-governmental organizations liaising

with the IEC also participate in this preparation. IEC collaborates closely with the International Organization for

Standardization (ISO) in accordance with conditions determined by agreement between the two organizations.

2) The formal decisions or agreements of IEC on technical matters express, as nearly as possible, an international

consensus of opinion on the relevant subjects since each technical committee has representation from all

interested IEC National Committees.

3) IEC Publications have the form of recommendations for international use and are accepted by IEC National

Committees in that sense. While all reasonable efforts are made to ensure that the technical content of IEC

Publications is accurate, IEC cannot be held responsible for the way in which they are used or for any

misinterpretation by any end user.

4) In order to promote international uniformity, IEC National Committees undertake to apply IEC Publications

transparently to the maximum extent possible in their national and regional publications. Any divergence between

any IEC Publication and the corresponding national or regional publication shall be clearly indicated in the latter.

5) IEC itself does not provide any attestation of conformity. Independent certification bodies provide conformity

assessment services and, in some areas, access to IEC marks of conformity. IEC is not responsible for any

services carried out by independent certification bodies.

6) All users should ensure that they have the latest edition of this publication.

7) No liability shall attach to IEC or its directors, employees, servants or agents including individual experts and

members of its technical committees and IEC National Committees for any personal injury, property damage or

other damage of any nature whatsoever, whether direct or indirect, or for costs (including legal fees) and

expenses arising out of the publication, use of, or reliance upon, this IEC Publication or any other IEC

Publications.

8) Attention is drawn to the Normative references cited in this publication. Use of the referenced publications is

indispensable for the correct application of this publication.

9) Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this IEC Publication may be the subject of patent

rights. IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

IEC TS 63163 has been prepared by IEC technical committee 82: Solar photovoltaic energy

systems.
The text of this document is based on the following documents:
Draft Report on voting
82/1899/DTS 82/1931/RVDTS

Full information on the voting for its approval can be found in the report on voting indicated in

the above table.

The language used for the development of this Technical Specification is English.

This document was drafted in accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, and developed in

accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1 and ISO/IEC Directives, IEC Supplement, available

at www.iec.ch/members_experts/refdocs. The main document types developed by IEC are

described in greater detail at www.iec.ch/standardsdev/publications.
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021 – 5 –

The committee has decided that the contents of this document will remain unchanged until the

stability date indicated on the IEC website under webstore.iec.ch in the data related to the

specific document. At this date, the document will be
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
– 6 – IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021
TERRESTRIAL PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) MODULES FOR CONSUMER
PRODUCTS – DESIGN QUALIFICATION AND TYPE APPROVAL
1 Scope

This document is intended to apply to terrestrial modules for consumer applications for outdoor

operation shorter than those qualified to IEC 61215. The useful service life of modules so

qualified depends on their design, their environment and the conditions under which they are

operated.

This document classes those PV modules into Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3 with

respectively low, medium and high expected outdoor exposure. For the purposes of designing

this document, Category 1 (mobile applications) is for applications such as smart phone

charging which most likely have “low” outdoor exposure. Category 2 (portable applications) is

for emergency power/hiking/camping applications with “medium” outdoor exposure and it needs

to have mechanical durability testing due to repeated deployment, potential for being dropped,

and other mechanical stresses. Category 3 (attached applications) is for “high” outdoor

exposure for applications, such as for motor homes, but is not intended for long-term utility or

long-term household rooftop applications. A summary of product categories and potential

applications is presented in Annex A.

Category 1 products are intended for installation where general user access and contact to

uninsulated live parts is anticipated. Modules are not be combined in series strings operating

at more than 35 V (V ) and do not have a system voltage rating above 35 V. These PV modules

are not intended for use in parallel with other PV modules or energy sources, unless the

combination provides protection from reverse current and overvoltage protection. The short-

circuit current is less than 8 A and the maximum power is less than 240 W when tested under

standard test conditions.

This document does not address the particularities of PV modules with integrated electronics,

such as energy storage devices, charge controllers, batteries, inverters which may be sold in

conjunction with the PV modules. This specification is intended to qualify the PV portion of

these devices. It may, however, be used as a basis for testing such PV modules, but does not

qualify the electronic portion.
This document does not apply to modules used with concentrators.

The purpose of the test sequence is to determine the electrical, thermal, and mechanical

durability characteristics of the module, and to show that the module is capable of withstanding

outdoor exposure for different outdoor durations designated as “low”, “medium”, and “high”.

Mobile and attached applications are considered to require lower mechanical durability than

portable applications, which are more prone to mechanical damage. However, the actual

outdoor exposure limits of the modules depend on their design, their environment and the

conditions under which they are operated.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies.

For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any

amendments) applies.

IEC 60269-6, Low-voltage fuses – Part 6: Supplementary requirements for fuse-links for the

protection of solar photovoltaic energy systems

IEC 60904-1, Photovoltaic devices – Part 1: Measurement of photovoltaic current-voltage

characteristics
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021 – 7 –

IEC TS 60904-1-2:2019, Photovoltaic devices – Part 1-2: Measurement of current-voltage

characteristics of bifacial photovoltaic (PV) devices

IEC 60904-3, Photovoltaic devices – Part 3: Measurement principles for terrestrial photovoltaic

(PV) solar devices with reference spectral irradiance data

IEC 61140, Protection against electric shock – Common aspects for installation and equipment

IEC 61215-1:2021, Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type

approval – Part 1: Test requirements

IEC 61215-1-1:2021, Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type

approval – Part 1-1: Special requirements for testing of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV)

modules

IEC 61215-1-2:2021, Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type

approval – Part 1-2: Special requirements for testing of thin-film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)

based photovoltaic (PV) modules

IEC 61215-1-3:2021, Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type

approval – Part 1-3: Special requirements for testing of thin-film amorphous silicon based

photovoltaic (PV) modules

IEC 61215-1-4:2021, Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type

approval – Part 1-4: Special requirements for testing of thin-film Cu(In,GA)(S,Se)2 based

photovoltaic (PV) modules

IEC 61215-2:2021, Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type

approval – Part 2: Test procedures

IEC 61730-1, Photovoltaic (PV) module safety qualification – Part 1 Requirements for

construction

IEC 61730-2, Photovoltaic (PV) module safety qualification – Part 2 Requirements for testing

IEC TS 61836, Solar photovoltaic energy systems – Terms, definitions and symbols

IEC TS 62915, Photovoltaic (PV) modules – Type approval, design and safety qualification –

Retesting
3 Terms, definitions and abbreviated terms

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in IEC TS 61836 apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following

addresses:
• IEC Electropedia: available at http://www.electropedia.org/
• ISO Online browsing platform: available at http://www.iso.org/obp
3.1
flexible module

PV module that exhibits a radius of curvature of 500 mm or less in at least one direction

according to the manufacturer’s specification and is capable of bending to conform to a flat or

curved surface

Note 1 to entry: A curved module with a rigid shape is not considered a flexible module.

Note 2 to entry: Radius of curvature is defined as shown in Figure 1. During testing, the applied radius of curvature

is no smaller than that specified by the manufacturer.
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
– 8 – IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021
Figure 1 – Geometry that shows radius of curvature of a flexible module
[SOURCE: IEC 61215-1:2021, 3.6]
3.2
foldable module

PV module that is separated into distinct PV sections nominally of the same size and connected

by a section that does not contain cells, but has the interconnecting busbars
3.3
representative sample

sample that includes all the components of the module, except some repeated parts

Note 1 to entry: The representative samples shall use all key materials and subassemblies, as detailed in Clause

4 of IEC 61215-1:2021.
3.4
very large module

module that exceeds the size of standard 2,2 m × 1,5 m commercially-available simulators

Note 1 to entry: A very large module exceeds 2,2 m in length or width, or exceeds 1,5 m in both dimensions. Thus

a 3 m × 0,3 m module is considered very large, as is a 2,2 m × 2,2 m module.

Note 2 to entry: Very large modules are exempt from class A simulator spatial irradiance uniformity requirements,

as detailed in IEC 61215-2 MQT 02.

Note 3 to entry: During test sequences representative samples may be substituted for very large modules, within

the limits described in Clause 4.

Note 4 to entry: In future editions, the size threshold to be considered a very large module will likely increase to

larger dimensions.
[SOURCE: IEC 61215-1:2021, 3.8]
3.5
consumer product category 1 (mobile applications)

PV module for applications such as smart phone charging with low outdoor exposure

Note 1 to entry: Modules shall not be combined in series strings operating at more than 35 V (V ) and shall not

have a system voltage rating above 35 V.
3.6
consumer product category 2 (portable applications)

PV module applications such as used for emergency power/hiking/camping applications with

medium outdoor exposure and mechanical strength withstanding repeated deployment,

potential for being dropped, and other mechanical stresses
3.7
consumer product category 3 (attached applications)

PV module for attached applications with high outdoor exposure, such as for motor homes, but

not for long-term utility or household rooftop applications
3.8
consumer product module quality test
CQMT
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021 – 9 –
3.9
bifacial PV modules

modules that can convert irradiation received on both the front-side and rear-side into electric

energy by means of the photovoltaic effect
[SOURCE: IEC 61215-1:2021, 3.9]
3.10
bifaciality coefficients

ratios between the I-V characteristics of the rear-side and the front-side of a bifacial module

each measured under Standard Test Conditions (STC – IEC TS 61836), namely the short-circuit

, the open-circuit voltage bifaciality coefficient φ and the
current bifaciality coefficient φ
Isc Voc
maximum power bifaciality coefficient φ
Pmax

Note 1 to entry: Bifaciality coefficients are fully defined in IEC TS 60904-1-2:2019, 6.2.

[SOURCE: IEC 61215-1:2021, 3.10]
3.11
bifacial nameplate irradiance
BNPI

higher irradiance at which nameplate verification is performed for bifacial modules,

2 2

corresponding to 1 000 W/m on the module front and 135 W/m on the module rear, applied in

any method allowed by IEC TS 60904-1-2
[SOURCE: IEC 61215-1:2021, 3.11]
3.12
bifacial stress irradiance

higher irradiance at which currents for stress are measured on bifacial modules, corresponding

2 2

to 1 000 W/m on the module front and 300 W/m on the module rear, applied by any method

allowed in IEC TS 60904-1-2, I-V characteristic at which may be extrapolated from lower

irradiances
[SOURCE: IEC 61215-1:2021, 3.12]
3.13
type approval
conformity test made on one or more items representative of the production
4 Selection of test samples
The PV module samples shall have been manufactured from specified materials and

components in accordance with the relevant drawings and process sheets and have been

subjected to the manufacturer’s normal inspection, quality control and production acceptance

procedures. The PV modules shall be complete in every detail and shall be accompanied by

the manufacturer’s handling, mounting, and connection instructions. When the PV modules to

be tested are prototypes of a new design and not from production, this fact shall be noted in

the test report (see Clause 8).

The number of test samples required is derived from the applicable test sequences.

For very large modules (as defined in 3.4), representative samples (as defined in 3.3) may be

used for all qualification tests. During the design and manufacturing of the representative

samples, attention should be paid to reach the maximum similarity to the full-size product in all

electrical, mechanical, and thermal characteristics related to quality and reliability. The cell,

encapsulation methods, interconnects, terminations, clearance and creepage distances around

all edges, and distance through solid insulation (relied upon insulation and cemented joints)

shall be the same as on the actual full-size products.
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
– 10 – IEC TS 63163:2021 © IEC 2021

Limits are placed on how much one may reduce the dimensions of a very large module in making

representative samples for qualification testing. In other words, when reducing the shorter

dimension, the representative sample shall be at least 0,75 m wide. In reducing the longer

dimension, the representative sample shall be at least 1,1 m long. If representative samples

are used for any test, the test report shall include a table listing the dimensions of the product

being qualified, and for each CMQT, the dimensions of the samples tested. The table shall

contain the statement, "Smaller samples were used for some tests as noted above. Use of

smaller samples may affect test results.” However, for verification of power determination a

standard production product shall be measured, either at the test facility or utilizing a test at

the manufacturer monitored by the testing entity.

If representative samples are utilized in the damp heat sequence, then one extra module, full-

sized, is required, and shall be subjected only to CMQT 10.12 (static mechanical load test) and

the requirements therein.

Any representative sample used for CMQT 10.5 (hot-spot endurance test) shall contain the

same number of cells per bypass diode (i.e. the same substring size) as the full-size product.

For modules containing bypass diodes which are not accessible in the standard modules as

produced, a special sample can be prepared for the bypass diode thermal test (CMQT 10.13).

Smaller modules in Category 1 or 2 which might have only a few cells and may not have bypass

diodes do not need to undergo this test, however the remainder of the test sequence shall be

applied.

For the requirements in the IEC 61215 series, a module shall be considered “bifacial” if the

manufacturer claims bifaciality on the nameplate or datasheet, or if the module exhibits a

maximum power bifaciality coefficient ≥ 20 %. If a module is to be tested as a monofacial

module, the test laboratory shall verify that the module is monofacial by at least one of the

following methods:

• Information from the manufacturer showing that the rear of the cell is fully metallized;

• Spectrally-resolved backsheet transmission data from the module manufacturer; or

• Determination of bifaciality coefficient on one sample according to the procedure in IEC

TS 60904-1-2.
5 Marking and documentation
5.1 Nameplate

Each module shall include the following clear and indelible markings for the Category 1, 2 and

3, whichever is applicable:
a) full name of manufacturer or registered trademark of manufacturer;
b) type or model number designation;
c) category in accordance to IEC TS 63163
Consumer product Category 1: mobile applications or
Consumer product Category 2: portable applications or
Consumer product Category 3: attached applications;
d) serial number (unless marked on other part of the product);

e) date and place of manufacture; alternatively, serial number allowing to trace the date and

place of manufacture;
f) polarity of terminals or leads (colour coding is permissible);
g) maximum system voltage;

h) class of protection against electrical shock (as defined in IEC 61140 and IEC 61730-1);

i) voltage at open-circuit or VOC including tole
...

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