The task is supporting harmonized standardization and certification. The Global Solar Certification Network has been implemented and is now in operation. ISO standards have been promoted and new proposals for ISO standards have been developed. Guidelines for establishing certification schemes at different levels are given.
Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN)
The Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN) is now in operation.
The GSCN facilitates cross-border trading for manufacturers and other suppliers of solar thermal products; its objective is to minimize the need for re-testing and re-certification in each new country where products are to be marketed and sold.
GSCN gives the framework for cooperation between solar certification bodies/schemes around the world. When a product has been certified by one of the participating certification bodies/schemes, the product can obtain certification from other participating certification schemes without re-testing of the product and without re-inspection of production facilities. By the end of 2018, certification schemes from USA, Europe and China are represented in the GSCN.
The GSCN is made up by industry representatives and participating certification bodies, test labs and inspection bodies + supporting members.
The concept of re-use of test and inspection reports in different certification schemes is now working. It has already been used by the first manufacturers – saving them a significant amount of money and time.
More information at the GSCN website: WWW.GSCN.SOLAR.
Support to ISO standardization
Four draft proposals for new ISO standards on solar thermal systems/components have been elaborated:
Some basic work was done for potential future standardization:
Promotion of ISO standards and capacity building in certification
A comprehensive guideline for use of the new solar collector testing standard ISO 9806:2017 has been elaborated. The purpose of this guide is to provide guidance about the application and use of the ISO 9806:2017 standard, concerning the testing of solar thermal collectors. It is intended to support the interpretation and application of the standard. The guide has been developed with three different target groups and objectives in mind. - A guide directed to established and new test laboratories for collector testing. The main purpose here is to give a quick introduction to the standard for new laboratories and in general to contribute to a uniform interpretation of the standard and presentation of results. - A guide directed to manufacturers and importers of collectors. Here, the purpose is to give a very light introduction to the standard and to explain how it is used for type testing as well as for innovation and development support. - A guide directed to certification bodies. The intention here is to provide access to easy evaluation of the presented results.
A new questionnaire with indication of interest in use of international standards has been elaborated – and the results analyzed.
To support implementation of certification schemes in countries regions with tradition/experience in certification scheme, an introduction to product certification schemes at a general level has been elaborated. Here guidelines for how to initiate and implement a certification scheme for solar heating and cooling products are given.
In the Arab countries a certification scheme (SHAMCI) for solar thermal product is being introduced. SHAMCI is very much inspired by the European certification scheme Solar Keymark, and in the task a comparison between SHAMCI and Solar Keymark has been elaborated.
The purpose and objectives of the task are to develop, improve and promote ISO standards on test procedures and requirements for solar thermal products - and to harmonize at international level certification schemes in order to increase in general the level of quality and at the same avoid the need for re-testing and re-inspection.
The Task will build on the good results and the network established in Task 43.
In Task 43 roadmaps for the need of new test procedures and improvement of test procedures for solar thermal products were made and a new improved ISO standard for collector testing did materialize based on this work. However, there is still a need for improvements in this standard – some climate parameters need adjustment e.g. to make the standard useable also in “extreme” climates – and e.g. new ideas on e.g. accelerated lifetime testing looks very promising and relevant to include. The standard has just been opened for revision to deal with these and other issues. This task will support this work – as well as developing/improving other relevant ISO standards for solar thermal products.
From questionnaires made in Task 43 we learned that in a number of countries, national standards (slightly or very) different from the ISO standards are used. It is the goal that with new improvements of the standards more countries will adapt the ISO standards directly. In this task efforts will be made to try to convince more countries to join the “ISO boat”.
The Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN) has been established in Task 43. Originally the aim was to make ONE globally harmonized certification scheme. But after some discussions it was agreed then – as a first step – to aim at mutual recognition of test and inspection reports. So the existing national and regional certification schemes stay – but the manufacturers can use test and inspection reports made under one certification scheme when he/she applies for certification in other schemes. So the Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN) will now be the framework for this “mutual recognition” concept, the requirements and procedures are in places – and operation is about to start. This task will support the kick-off of the operation of the Global Solar Certification Network.
The draft for the global certification scheme rules will be further elaborated to work as model for new national/regional certification schemes and as inspiration for improvements/harmonization of existing schemes. It will be considered if an ISO Technical Report for solar certification schemes should be proposed and elaborated.
The main activities in the Task 57 are grouped in the following subtasks:
- Subtask A: Kick-off of operation of Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN)
- Subtask B: Improvement of test procedures – support and input to ISO
- Subtask C: Promotion and capacity building with respect to ISO standards and state-of-the-art certification schemes