Atlas Material Testing Technology Announces Alliance with SGS

Two global players in material testing come together to expand PV module durability certification

Linsengericht, Germany, 14 June 2012 – Atlas Material Testing Technology, a global leader in accelerated weathering instruments and weathering testing services has entered into an alliance with SGS, the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, allowing for the expansion of the Atlas 25+ PV module durability test program. 
From its inception in 2009, the Atlas 25+ test program has helped manufacturers determine the long-term durability of their photovoltaic modules. By combining state-of-the-art accelerated instrument and outdoor exposure testing, the Atlas 25+ program complements short-term IEC qualification tests with long-term durability and reliability assessment to support warranty and performance claims. 

Consisting of a comprehensive battery of accelerated tests, the original Atlas 25+ program integrated both laboratory and outdoor environmental exposures targeting the long-term product "wear-out" period that can result in declining module performance or outright failure. 

As a result of the Atlas-SGS collaboration, the standard Atlas 25+ exposure and testing protocol will be enhanced beginning July 2012 with the availability of two new versions of the program - a six-month streamlined "basic" program for those needing faster results, and an expanded 12-month "premium" offering that includes additional climate factors and performance measurements. 

SGS will offer Atlas 25+ as both a stand-alone program and as an optional part of its larger "SGS - PV Performance Tested" scheme which includes options for corrosive gas (e.g. NH3), salt mist, fire, and potential-induced-degradation (PID) resistance among others. Modules passing these tests, including Atlas 25+, will be entitled to the SGS – PV Performance Tested marks. 

SGS is accredited as a National Certification Body (NCB) and is one of five German CB testing laboratories (CBTL) within the IECEE certification scheme for photovoltaics. As such, SGS can issue internationally recognized CB testing certificates and CB testing reports. Atlas will continue to offer the three Atlas 25+ programs (basic-standard-premium) as well as internationally certified versions through SGS. 

Rick Weiler, Division Vice President and Business Unit Manager of Atlas Material Testing Technology stated, "Atlas is extremely pleased to partner with a global leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification like SGS. This alliance helps our customers obtain from a single source both our recognized Atlas 25+ PV durability testing and certification of the test results from SGS. This combination provides manufacturers with information critical to product development while supporting their warranty and competitive sales positions. The entire PV industry can benefit from our partnership and we look forward to offering additional joint solutions with SGS." 

Jörn Brembach, Business Manager Photovoltaics at SGS, declares "We are glad to cooperate with Atlas, the leading experts in material and product weathering. Our new partnership addresses the most urgent question in the solar industry: How durable are the products? We go beyond the technical aspects of type approval and design verification of materials and components. Our testing results also have significant financial implications, affect investment decisions and give answers to the issues of eligibility and bankability."