WINAICO has announced that it has worked with TÜV Rheinland to become the first company in the world to pass the 6000 Pa inhomogeneous mechanical load (IML) installed in landscape. The IML test is proven to be much tougher than the IEC 61215 mechanical load (ML) test commonly executed by most solar modules on the market, due to the complex forces pushing against the frame in a horizontal direction. While the ML test evaluates module reliability against forces perpendicular to the solar module, it does not simulate the horizontal pressure exerted by snow pushing against the bottom frame on a pitched roof. In major solar markets in the world, such as Europe, US and Japan, which experience heavy snowfalls during winters, frame breakages due to snow on pitched roofs have been quite common, despite the popularity of ML tests. Therefore, WINAICO has taken on the challenge of IML to make sure our customers are confident of WINAICO modules’ reliability in long winters.
The IML test setup by TÜV Rheinland begins with 240 hours of humidity freeze (HF 10) on the module to simulate the freezing conditions, before installing it at a 37° angle, with weights spread across the lower 2/3 of the module area, to simulate the build-up of snow over time. The 6000 Pa IML force is the vector sum of 4792 Pa perpendicular force (FP) and 3611 Pa horizontal force (FH), where the additional horizontal force FH directly pushes against the weakest points of the frame, making IML a tougher test than ML. By adding a 1.5 safety factor, WINAICO is certified to withstand 4000 Pa of non-uniform snow load, a pressure that simulates around 50 cm of settled snow on a pitched roof.
“WINAICO is working with the best reliability labs in the world such as TÜV Rheinland to create the most reliable solar modules on the market”, said Davis Chen, Chairman and CEO of WINAICO. “After passing the latest non-uniform snow load tests, our partners can confidently install WINAICO modules in areas prone to heavy snow.”
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