IPC to address solar panel assembly standards

ipclogoBannockburn, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries has formed an IPC Solar Standards Committee to work on standards for the assembly of solar panels.

Committee members include representatives from Jabil, Flextronics International, Celestica, 3M Company, Bürkle North America Inc., Christopher Associates Inc, DEK, Indium Corporation, EFD Inc., Vitronics Soltec and Lincoln International.

The committee will address seven areas of standardization:

  • Acceptability guidelines for solar panel lamination
  • Specification for materials used in tabbing and stringing
  • Acceptability criteria for tabbing and stringing
  • In-process test methods for solar panels
  • Visual acceptance criteria for solar panels — final module assembly
  • Guidelines for final test with an emphasis on flash test
  • Design guidelines for tabbing and stringing

“It’s interesting how many of the solar assembly processes, from tabbing and stringing to lamination, have some commonality with the manufacture and assembly of PCBs,” said Thomas Cipielewski, clean technologies technical director, Jabil, in a statement.

Cipielewski also noted that IPC’s current acceptability and performance standards, such as IPC-A-600, Acceptability of Printed Boards; IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies; and J-STD-001, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, are known and used by hundreds of thousands of technologists worldwide. “It’s exciting that we can develop much-needed standards for this segment of the solar industry,” he said.

“As solar energy manufacturing takes on a global scale, it is critical that comprehensive assembly standards, including DFM, process materials, workmanship, test and inspection, are developed and adopted across the industry. IPC, with active support from its members, is well positioned for this, said Dr. Dongkai Shangguan, vice president of advanced technology, Flextronics, in a statement.