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02-03-2011, SCHOTT North America

SCHOTT Solar comes out on top in PV+ test conducted by Solarpraxis and TÜV Rheinland

• Top marks for SCHOTT Poly 290 double-glass module
• High module performance, energy yields and long life confirmed
• Photovoltaics test guarantees reliable data
Mainz, 3 February 2011 – Once again, SCHOTT Solar has provided impressive proof of its high standards of quality. In the PV+ test conducted by TÜV Rheinland and the solar energy knowledge service provider Solarpraxis AG, Schott’s double-glass module SCHOTT Poly 290 came out on top with an assessment of "very good (-)."

There are already well over 500 manufacturers of modules on today’s photovoltaics market, meaning that investors, installers, planners of solar power plants and consumers need help choosing the right ones. The international IEC standards, as minimum requirements, are not sufficient for this on their own, while tests by the German Stiftung Warentest consumer organization have up until now only been conducted at irregular intervals, mostly of several years. For this reason, Solarpraxis AG and the technical services provider TÜV Rheinland have joined forces to develop an independent seal of quality to certify adherence to the highest of standards. "The problem in the photovoltaics market is that some of the certified modules available are still not of optimum quality despite the certifications or do not comply with the actual certification standards. This was our reason for introducing this testing system as an additional quality measure - we’ve generated reliable data that consumers can trust," says Wilhelm Vaaßen, head of Regenerative Energies at TÜV Rheinland.

"Once again, the excellent results prove us right with our strategy of putting quality first. Our modules provide investors and operators of solar systems with a reliable basis for planning throughout the entire life of the system," explains Dr. Martin Heming, CEO at SCHOTT Solar AG.

SCHOTT Solar entered its double-glass module SCHOTT Poly 290 into the test and received an assessment of "very good (-)," putting the German manufacturer at the top of the table after the PV+ test’s first round.

The PV modules tested were purchased anonymously on the market to reduce the risk of manipulation, a fact which supports the validity of the results. Modules from eight manufacturers were tested thoroughly and examined according to the following criteria: performance, resistance to ageing, documentation, electrical safety, manufacturing quality, guarantee, and characteristics relating to assembly.

Among other things, the results of the test showed that SCHOTT Solar modules continued to deliver constant electrical output even after being subjected to ageing tests. Moreover, the module was also rated "very good" in terms of performance: at over 7 W, the module’s output as measured in the test was considerably higher than its nominal output. Its positive performance sorting means that SCHOTT Poly 290 gives its users high energy yields. There was another "very good" for the module's electrical safety. Product manager Neus Ferré explains: "Our modules need to pass tough tests of their resilience to environmental influences, as well as internal checks that are stricter than the stipulations of the required testing criteria. This is the only way we can be sure that our modules will deliver the performance we promise they will. Thanks to our 30-year linear performance guarantee, the SCHOTT Poly 290 module produces guaranteed additional returns of more than 20 percent over its useful life."

SCHOTT Solar’s success with double-glass technology has inspired a further variation on this product: the compact solar module SCHOTT Poly 185 in double glass, with 48 cells, based on the same technology. Its weight of just 24 kilograms makes it easy to install, and its compactness provides an opportunity for efficient use of space even on small roofs. The SCHOTT Poly 185 will be available from April 2011.
Further information
SCHOTT North America
Matthew Kraft
555 Taxter Road
10523 Elmsford