Regulations Surrounding the Key Components of a Solar PV System

It is quite well known through-out the Solar PV industry that there are regulations surrounding the key components of a Solar PV system. These regulations cover the manufacture, structure, size, cost, tolerances and efficiency, to name just a few.

Following a bout of ‘Chinese Whispers’ the European Commission has carried out a lengthy investigation. The investigation has unearthed three Chinese manufacturers doing their utmost to evade the minimum import price (MIP). The MIP was established in 2013 at a rate of €0.56 per watt to make it fair to all manufacturers and to have a level playing field. It would seem that three of the big Chinese manufacturers – Canadian Solar, ReneSola and ET Solar are the three main culprits. Because of this Canadian Solar, ReneSola and ET Solar are now facing an extra 47.6% import charge. Having to pay this import charge could price these three manufacturers out of the market.

The minimum import price (MIP) is not the only regulation that manufacturers have to abide to. With the industry coming under a considerable amount of scrutiny a strict Quality Management System – operational procedures – is established from the word go. This system quality checks everything from the materials and components, testing facilities both during production and at final testing and then again prior to shipment. The purpose of this is to detect any quality issues, while there is still time to fix them.

Points of interest may be:

  • The lifespan of the product (20 – 25 years)
  • The material (monocrystalline or polycrystalline)
  • Erosion
  • Coatings
  • Cell efficiency
  • Number of cells
  • Cell dimensions
  • Solar panel dimensions
  • Solar panel weight
  • Nominal power
  • Maximum voltage
  • Maximum current
  • Operating temperature range
  • Maximum load capacity
  • Output tolerance
  • Frame material


All of these specifications can generally be found on the Solar panel spec sheet which should be available on the manufacturer website prior to installation. Once installed you should receive a copy of the specification for your panels and your inverter in your handover pack.

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