Q. What value is PMC to us (i.e., the manufacturer)?
A. Part 1.PMC can save manufacturers time and money.
In the late 70s through the mid 80s the qualification test standard around the world was JPL Block V. This been replaced by the CEC 503, IEC 1215, and IEC 1646. While these are excellent standards, European countries, plus some Middle East and African countries are writing into their purchase specs that theses tests must be conducted by JRC/Ispra! Manufacturers around the world are going to JRC/Ispra because they are afraid that modules tested elsewhere may not be accepted by buyers in Europe, et cetera. These manufacturers are hostage to JRC/Ispra and have to pay their prices and work to their test schedule. According to our clients, the cost for IEC 1215 is $30,000+ and the wait is three to six months before testing begins.
US manufacturers need an organization to represent then in the international marketplace and force the issue of reciprocity. First, PMC can (and is) positioning US manufacturers in the US marketplace by encouraging major buyers to adopt and require the PMC label. PMC does not have to accept JRC/Ispra test results unless it wishes to do so. Until the US creates “incentives” (i.e., barriers similar to those imposed in Europe and other regions), we have no bargaining power. Major purchasers in the US, such as UPVG, SMUD, APS, and DOD have agreed in principle to require the PMC label as soon as PMC certified products are available. Also, PMC, in conjunction with US manufactures, DOE, SEIA, and others can market the PMC program internationally, such that PMC is written into the purchase specifications. (Part 2 will explain why PMC should be implemented by ALL buyers of PV modules).
- Part 2.PMC is a far superior program to any other program available.
CEC 503, IEC 1215, IEEE 1262, et cetera are one time tests. Products that have been tested to CEC 503, for example, are qualified as long as that product is manufactured (e.g. 20 years), even though the quality of the product may have degraded substantially over the years. PMC subjects both the product and the manufacturer’s quality system to periodic (e.g., annual) audits and re-qualification (similar in concept to the UL 1703 certification). This provides the customer with ongoing confidence that the product is reliable and durable.
PMC also verifies that a manufacturer’s modules meet the manufacturer’s power specifications. No other qualification test standard or certification program does this. The PMC label provides the buyer with confidence that the module will really deliver the rated power (at least at STC). This is a powerful selling point!