IEC 61215 and EN 61215 describe a wide variety of qualification tests, based on potential aging influences, for artificial loading of materials used in PV modules. The following individual loading groups are identified:
- Sunlight, including UV
- Climate (cold, head, humidity, changes in climate)
- Mechanical loading (hail, wind, suction and pressure, snow)
The materials are considered to have passed the tests if no major visible damage is apparent and the performance output and insulation properties have not changed or have only changed negligibly compared to the position at the start of the test. The test certificate to IEC 61215 has established itself in the past few years as a quality mark for crystalline PV modules and is nowadays required by most national and international funding authorities.