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Market News

 May 29, 2009
Solar Panel Laboratory to Service $37-billion Market

 CSA International, a leading testing and certification organization, today opened a state-of-the-art laboratory for the testing and certification of solar panels and equipment used as an alternative energy source for homes and businesses worldwide.

"This new facility will increase testing capacity for the rapidly growing photovoltaic market which recorded 110 percent growth in 2008," says Randall W. Luecke, president, CSA International. "Governments and businesses are working to develop alternative energy solutions to drive economic recovery and reduce environmental impact. CSA International has the testing and certification experience needed to help manufacturers bring qualified existing and new ’green’ alternative energy technologies to market."

Testing and certification of photovoltaic (PV) modules at the lab are conducted in accordance with North American and international standards. The lab features conditioning chambers that perform TC200 / HF10 temperature cycling tests to simulate extreme weather fluctuations. To ensure the modules meet shock and fire standards, the lab can test panels for reverse current overload, current leakage, water resistance, and impact and scratch resistance.

The Vancouver-based CSA International solar photovoltaic laboratory will better serve the certification and testing needs of North American and international clients. The PV lab operates as a component of the Vancouver facility, which employs 85 staff with expertise in various product areas. The PV lab will soon operate at full capacity to meet high demands for alternative energy products.

In 2008, world solar photovoltaic market installations recorded revenues of $37.1-billion and reached a record high of 5.95 gigawatts, with the U.S. as one of the top three countries recording growth in 2008.(1) Photovoltaic prices have declined an average of four per cent annually over the past 15 years.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most solar electric systems last 30 years and pay for themselves in four to five years, after tax credits and rebates. According to the Appraisal Journal, a solar electric system can even increase a home’s value by $20 for every $1 in annual utility bill savings.(2)

CSA International also supported a consumer research study in the United States and Canada conducted by independent research firm Wakefield Research to assess consumer attitudes and beliefs about solar energy. Key findings included:

  • Awareness about the cost effectiveness of installing solar technology in the home is low, with 64 per cent of U.S. respondents and 66 percent of Canadian respondents indicating that the cost of installingsolar panels outweighs the potential energy cost savings.
  • 43 per cent of U.S. consumers and 37 per cent of Canadian consumers would consider installing a solar panel in their home in the future.
  • More than 70 per cent of U.S. consumers and 76 per cent of Canadians would view their employer as making a good business decision and being forward-thinking if they installed solar panels at their place of business.
  • Ninety-five per cent of Americans consider solar technology a safe energy solution for the home.

To learn more about CSA International solar testing capabilities, visit www.getsolarcertified.com.

About CSA International

CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA International certification marks appear on billions of products worldwide.

Source: CSR Newswire .