As announced earlier this year, all pico-PV products that start testing after 1 December 2018 will be held to revised Quality Standards that include requirements for ports and circuit protection. These requirements have been in place for SHS kits and will now be applied to pico-PV products. The revised standards will now be aligned with the latest version of the test methods, IEC/TS 62257-9-5:2018. Key changes include:
- Ports: Port voltage and current specifications, if provided, must be accurate. Included appliances must function when connected to output ports. Power output of ports must be sufficient to power appliances that are advertised but not included. The standard specifies requirements for 5 V and 12 V ports.
- PV Overvoltage Protection: If the battery is disconnected or isolated, the system must not be damaged and PV open-circuit voltage must not be present on load terminals.
- Miswiring Protection: The user interface should be designed to minimize the likelihood of making improper connections. If improper or reversed connections can easily be made, they should cause no damage to the system or harm to the user.
- Circuit and Overload Protection: The system must pass an overcurrent and an overload protection test. Products must include a current limiting mechanism to prevent irreversible damage to the system.
- Battery Protection for Lithium Batteries: Lithium batteries must carry UN 38.3 certification and have overcharge protection for individual cells or sets of parallel-connected cells.
These are substantial changes, and we have shared a draft of the revised pico-PV standards to help manufacturers prepare for compliance. Note that additional minor changes may be included in the final version. Once the standards are final, we will also update the Change Log for Quality Standards, which details all of the changes in the Quality Standards for Pico-PV and SHS kits over time.
Quality Standards for SHS kits are not changing significantly at this time, though we will issue a new version with a few small updates and clarifications. There will still be several key differences between the Quality Standards for SHS kits and the upcoming Quality Standards for pico-PV products related to the warranty, wire sizing, and consumer information. These requirements are only applicable to SHS kits as they are generally larger products with longer expected life spans.
Finally, all tests of pico-PV products that begin on or after 1 December 2018 must be conducted according to the new edition of the test methods used for testing solar products, IEC 62257-9-5:2018 (also written as IEC 62257-9-5 ed. 4).
- If you are interested in testing at a specific laboratory after 1 December, please contact our team to ensure that your chosen lab can perform accredited tests to IEC 62257-9-5:2018.
- If you are interested in purchasing the new version of the test methods, first check to see if you qualify for a discount on this and other key IEC documents.
If you have additional questions, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.