28 January 2010


Concentrix wins IEC certification for new CX-75 CPV module

Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system maker Concentrix Solar GmbH of Freiburg, Germany says that its latest CX-75 generation of FLATCON module has received IEC 62108 certification from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) electrical and electronic standards organization. The firm’s previous module generation passed the IEC tests in 2007.

Concentrix was founded in 2005 as a privately held spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In December, about 80% of its shares were acquired by the Soitec Group of Bernin, France, which manufactures engineered substrates including silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers (as well as III-V epiwafers through its Picogiga International division).

IEC 62108 is the CPV industry’s standard, ensuring that modules and assemblies are suitable for long-term operation in a wide range of outdoor climates. Concentrix says that, by producing the CX-75 module in its fully automated production line (with an annual production capacity of 25MW), it can ensure consistent, high-precision manufacturing in high volume.

Concentrix claims that the high degree of automation ensures that all modules are of equal quality and deliver high efficiencies and reliable system operation over long time periods. In particular, the firm says that, with the CX-75, it has increased the AC (alternating-current) system efficiency of its concentrator systems from 23% (achieved in May 2008) to 25% (announced last August), while average module efficiency is now 27.2%, as confirmed at installations in San Diego, USA, and Puertollano, Spain.

The IEC 62108 certificate confirms that the new CX-75 module is ready for full, commercial deployment in utility-scale electricity production, says Concentrix’s CEO Hansjorg Lerchenmuller. “It attests that our systems are capable of withstanding prolonged exposure in harsh climates and are designed to withstand severe environmental conditions such as rain, hail and high winds,” he adds.

The assessment was performed by the Spanish accredited testing institute CENER (Centro Nacional de Energias Renovables) and certified by the Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification (AENOR). The certificate confirms that the CX-75 module has passed all the necessary IEC performance and accelerated aging tests and therefore received design qualification and type approval.

Since 2009, the IEC 62108 standard specifies the requirements for the design qualification and type approval of CPV modules and assemblies suitable for long-term operation in demanding outdoor conditions. According to the testing standards for conventional PV modules, the IEC 62108 norm simulates environmental conditions and influences for CPV modules to verify the performance reliability and aging resistance. This includes testing of hail impact, mechanical load, insulation and wet insulation as well as outdoor exposure.

See related item:

Soitec acquires CPV system maker Concentrix Solar

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