MLT – Mechanical Load Testing / Clamp Testing / Mounting Systems per UL Outline 2703 / Tracker Testing per new IEC 62817
The CFV mechanical load test stand is unique in the industry, in that it can perform both static and dynamic load testing, at both room temperature and as sub-zero conditions. We have been working extensively with Array Technology to qualify their center mounted clamp design with different PV module types. Typically this testing is done in a 50/50 cost share between Array Tech and the module manufacturer.
UL 2703 is an outline for the evaluation of PV mounting structures, such as racks or single axis trackers. CFV can provide the mechanical load testing of small arrays of modules mounted on the rack to be evaluated. CSA typically conducts the electrical and safety tests required for this certification. Many racking system manufacturers are obtaining the certification to this outline.
Other manufacturers or project developers like to stress their modules under dynamic load, to better simulate wind loads on modules, often followed by thermal stress tests. Both static and dynamic load tests can determine a modules susceptibility to micro-cracking, something that can cause power degradation later on, especially after thermal stresses.