The Building Research Establishment (better known as BRE) is launching a brand-new certification scheme to allow solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installers to reassure their customers that systems are delivered safely and, more importantly, that PV systems will perform reliably.
There are currently around 870,000 PV systems in operation across the UK, fitted on residential and commercial properties. Despite that figure, there has never been a standardised certification scheme or best practice framework in place thus solar PV customers cannot be provided absolute confidence or certainty as to the value of the service provided.
With a view to remedying that uncertainty, BRE Global, is unveiling a new certification scheme capable of providing quality assurance on systems of 50 kWp (equivalent to around 350m2) and above.
BRE’s new scheme was launched at yesterday’s Solar PV Summit in London. With the solar PV certification scheme, the world-leading scientific research group, responsible for the much sought-after BREEAM environmental and sustainability building standard, principally aims to instil greater confidence in solar PV amongst installers, developers and customers and, in turn, ecnourage greater uptake of the energy generation technology.
Jonny Williams, Director of BRE’s National Solar Centre admitted that its currently difficult for end users to ascertain the standard with which their system has been fitted and be sure that it will continue to perform consistently in the years ahead. The new certification will eradicate that problem, he said, formalising the practice and expectations as well as making sure al solar PV systems are appropriate to the property on which they’re fitted.
As well as details on best practice installation, the scheme also comprises system design and on-site commissioning information. It has been developed on the back of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Code of Practice for Grid Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems.
Firms securing BRE certification must undergo regular surveillance assessments in order to maintain compliance.