CSA International opens solar panel laboratory to service $37-billion market



    
    North Americans view solar energy products as positive and safe but cost
    remains a concern
    

    CLEVELAND and VANCOUVER, May 29 /CNW/ - CSA International, a leading
testing and certification organization, today opened a state-of-the-art
laboratory for the testing and certification of solar panels and equipment
used as an alternative energy source for homes and businesses worldwide.
    "This new facility will increase testing capacity for the rapidly growing
photovoltaic market which recorded 110 percent growth in 2008," says Randall
W. Luecke, president, CSA International. "Governments and businesses are
working to develop alternative energy solutions to drive economic recovery and
reduce environmental impact. CSA International has the testing and
certification experience needed to help manufacturers bring qualified existing
and new 'green' alternative energy technologies to market."
    Testing and certification of photovoltaic (PV) modules at the lab are
conducted in accordance with North American and international standards. The
lab features conditioning chambers that perform TC200 / HF10 temperature
cycling tests to simulate extreme weather fluctuations. To ensure the modules
meet shock and fire standards, the lab can test panels for reverse current
overload, current leakage, water resistance, and impact and scratch
resistance.
    The Vancouver-based CSA International solar photovoltaic laboratory will
better serve the certification and testing needs of North American and
international clients. The PV lab operates as a component of the Vancouver
facility, which employs 85 staff with expertise in various product areas. The
PV lab will soon operate at full capacity to meet high demands for alternative
energy products.
    In 2008, world solar photovoltaic market installations recorded revenues
of $37.1-billion and reached a record high of 5.95 gigawatts, with the U.S. as
one of the top three countries recording growth in 2008.(1) Photovoltaic
prices have declined an average of four per cent annually over the past 15
years.
    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most solar electric systems
last 30 years and pay for themselves in four to five years, after tax credits
and rebates. According to the Appraisal Journal, a solar electric system can
even increase a home's value by $20 for every $1 in annual utility bill
savings.(2)
    CSA International also supported a consumer research study in the United
States and Canada conducted by independent research firm Wakefield Research to
assess consumer attitudes and beliefs about solar energy. Key findings
included:

    
    -   Awareness about the cost effectiveness of installing solar technology
        in the home is low, with 64 per cent of U.S. respondents and 66 per
        cent of Canadian respondents indicating that the cost of installing
        solar panels outweighs the potential energy cost savings.
    -   43 per cent of U.S. consumers and 37 per cent of Canadian consumers
        would consider installing a solar panel in their home in the future.
    -   More than 70 per cent of U.S. consumers and 76 per cent of Canadians
        would view their employer as making a good business decision and
        being forward-thinking if they installed solar panels at their place
        of business.
    -   Ninety-five per cent of Americans consider solar technology a safe
        energy solution for the home.
    

    To learn more about CSA International solar testing capabilities, visit
www.getsolarcertified.com.

    About CSA International

    CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification
services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other
products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA
International certification marks appear on billions of products worldwide.
CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA, a
leading solutions based standards organization, providing standards
development, application products, training and advisory services; and OnSpeX,
a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services
for retailers and manufacturers. For more information, visit
www.csa-international.org.

    Version française disponible

    
    ----------------------
    (1) Annual World Solar Photovoltaic Industry Report released March 16,
        2009
    (2) Own Your Power! A Consumer Guide to Solar Electricity for the Home
        (January 2009). U.S. Department of Energy
    





For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E: anthony.toderian@csagroup.org

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