BIPV Solar Modules: Testing Requirements and Mitrex's Results


November 3, 2023

Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is an innovative approach that integrates photovoltaic panels as part of the building structure, offering architectural aesthetics, functionality, and energy production. As with any new technology, especially one that intertwines with the construction industry, rigorous testing is essential. Let's dive into the requirements for BIPV solar modules and examine how Mitrex, a leading innovator in the sector, has performed in its tests.

BIPV Solar Modules Testing Requirements

  • Safety: The primary concern with any building material, especially those that involve electricity like BIPV, is safety. Testing ensures that the product can withstand external pressures such as fire, electrical failures, or other unexpected events.
  • Durability and Reliability: Given that BIPV solar modules become an integral part of a building's structure, their longevity and dependability are paramount. Panels must be resistant to corrosion, UV radiation, and moisture, and must maintain their structural integrity over time.
  • Performance: It's crucial to ascertain that the photovoltaic components of BIPV maintain high efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity. This involves monitoring energy outputs under various conditions.
  • Weather Resistance: BIPV solar modules should withstand diverse weather conditions, including high winds, snow loads, heavy rain, and more.
  • Thermal Performance: As part of a building's envelope, BIPVs need to provide suitable insulation, maintaining a building's thermal performance.

Mitrex's Testing Results

As a leading industry player, Mitrex has dedicated a significant portion of its resources to ensure our BIPV solar modules meet industry standards.

Building Standards & Certifications

Certifications addressing the structural and safety aspects of construction materials encompass both fire-related and mechanical evaluations. For mechanical evaluations, Mitrex undergoes several tests, notably: ASTM E1996-14a for Missile Impact, ASTM E331-00 for Water Infiltration, and ASTM E1886-13a for Pressure Cycling, among others.

Fire Safety Protocols

Mitrex aligns with all requisite fire safety certifications, reinforcing the code compliance of our BIPV solar modules. Essential fire evaluations they undergo include CAN/ULC S134-92 for Exterior Wall Assembly Fire Tests, CAN/ULC S102:2018 assessing Surface Burn Characteristics of Building Components, CAN/ULC S114 for Ascertaining Non-Combustibility, the ASTM E119 Test for Fire Ratings, and the NFPA 285 Multi-Story Fire Test.

Assurance of Photovoltaic Quality & Safety

Mitrex's BIPV solar modules come backed by certifications from CSA, UL, and IEC. These accreditations stem from a myriad of standards, notably: UL 61215, UL 61730, CSA C22.2 No. 61730, CSA C22.2 No. 61215, IEC 61215, and IEC 61730. Specifically, IEC 61730 vouches for the mechanical and electrical safety and reliability of the PV modules.BIPV systems, like those offered by Mitrex, represent a promising frontier in sustainable construction. As BIPV technology continues to evolve, rigorous testing remains crucial to ensure the safety, efficiency, and longevity of these innovative solutions.

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