Today, hundreds of different mounting structures are available on the market, some of them produced in large quantities and others are custom-made. To ensure high reliability of the PV system and high satisfaction for the end-users, the mounting structures and the installations themselves have to be of high quality. Presently few institutions give certification on mounting structures as no international standard (e.g. IEC) is available. For systems larger than 50 to 100kWp, M&E engineers are responsible for the quality control and specify in their tender the product quality and the installation. Of course this increases the cost, but for systems larger than 50kWp the cost is justifiable. PV systems less than 50kWp are mainly turn-key installations from one system integrator. For turn-key installations, it is often the responsibility of the end-user to determine the product quality and the quality of the mounting but the end-user is not qualified and experienced.
This situation applies for Malaysia, too. In the coming years, the majority of PV systems will be less than 100kWp and mainly turn-key installations from one party. To ensure ease of installation, good performance and reliability of the PV system and high satisfaction for the end-user, MBIPV sets up a quality control centre on mounting structure (MSQCC). The MSQCC is to ensure that imported mounting structures and locally manufactured products meet the requirements under local conditions.
Objectives of MSQCC
To assess the ease of installation and conformance with manufacturing tolerances for different mounting structures and provide quality testing for locally manufactured products;
To collaborate with manufacturers on mounting structure product improvement to ensure product quality and performance over its design life under the local conditions;
To investigate any leakages, wind load or mounting problems in the field, and collaborate with manufacturers on product improvements;
To disseminate information on results, lessons learned and best practices to relevant stakeholders (e.g. CIDB, MPIA, JKR, etc.) and industry (service providers, manufacturers);
To collaborate with international organization (e.g. TÜV, ISPRA and others) on exchange of results and experience; and
To collaborate with MBIPV in developing a guideline (pre-building code) addressing PV in the building.
Scope of Work
Quality Control Testing Facility
The MSQCC will offer an excellent opportunity for local system integrators and manufacturers to test their mounting structures. The service can be offered to test prototypes and come up with improvements. Alternatively system integrators may test parts of their mounting structures under real conditions to ensure they supply high quality products.
MSQCC can further assess the ease of installation of the structures, assist in design calculations for the mountings and in the decision process on the use of suitable materials for the product. MSQCC will provide expertise in design calculations for high quality products for safe mounting and installation.
The MSQCC shall operate as an indoor and later as outdoor test facility and can consist of one or two test beds. Testing includes the following but not limited to:
- Rain and wind -> Water tightness;
- Wind load, mechanical fixation load test;
Any party active in PV installation in Malaysia will inform the MSQCC via PTM on leakages or other damage to PV system installations, with focus on mounting structures. The MSQCC will investigate any problems (leaking, wind load, etc.) from PV systems in the field. Findings will be disseminated to all relevant stakeholders.
This activity is critical to understand the higher impact (compared to Europe, US and Japan) of the local conditions and ensure high satisfaction for the end-users.
The MSQCC collaborates with international parties, such as ISPRA (Italy), TÜV (Germany) and others. Collaboration will be on exchange of results and transfer of know-how.
Further the MSQCC can collaborate with international mounting structure manufacturers on product improvements to meet local conditions or conduct testing on client’s requirements on a fee for service basis.
Dissemination of Information / Building code addressing PV
MSQCC will collaborate closely with Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the PV Industry in Malaysia, JKR, Ministry of Housing and local Government to improve the confidence in high quality and reliable PV systems. This includes dissemination of all findings and results (reports, technical papers, seminars, and others). The MSQCC will develop a guideline addressing PV in the building and include PV as part of the (Uniform Building By-Laws) UBBL