SunPower aces sand-abrasion test

SunPower's PV modules have passed sand abrasion trials with German testing body TUV Rheinland, giving a stamp of approval to the technology for use in desert projects.

The tests, which checked the modules' performance in a range of conditions with differing sand grain size and wind speed, were based on US technical military standards. 

"There is a definite need for sand abrasion testing, but we wanted to develop it as part of a complete reliability testing approach for such environments," states  Florian Reil, business field manager for innovations in the solar branch at TUV Rheinland.

"With the significant growth of PV forecast through 2030 in desert regions, such as the southwestern US and the Middle East, these tests are particularly timely."

SunPower executive vice president Jack Peurach adds: "Our high efficiency solar panels withstood real world stresses such as dust storms, intense UV ageing and erosive sand that impact glass and back sheets, adding these results to other reliability tests recently performed by independent labs."

TUV Rheinland partnered with US R&D centre National Technical Systems, which has extensive expertise in sand and dust testing, for the recent SunPower module trials.