SEMI International Standards
Standards New Activity Report Form (SNARF)
Date Prepared: 03/30/2010Revised (if Applicable):

Document Number: 4997
SNARF for: New Standard: Test Method for Mechanical Vibration of c-Si PV Modules in Shipping Environment

Originating Global Technical Committee: Photovoltaic
Originating TC Chapter: Taiwan
Task Force (TF) in which work is to be carried out: Vibration Test Method Task Force
Note: If a new task force is needed, also submit a task force organization form (TFOF)

1. Rationale:
a. Describe the need or problem addressed by this activity.
(Indicate the customer, what benefits they will receive, and if possible, quantify the impact on the return on investment [ROI] if the Document is implemented.)
Reliability is an issue that is particularly important in the PV industry, since a module manufacturer has to guarantee a lifetime up to 25 years. The buyers invest their money on both the performance and reliability of the product. Prior tests to ensure that the module can withstand the environmental conditions before being sent off to the customers are, therefore, the most promising solution to minimize the cost of both the customers and the manufacturer. This standard aims to provide a common test method for simulation of the mechanical vibration occurring during transportation and shipping. The module makers and buyers, or any other party interested, can thus have a common testing standard to refer to when desired. The standard can also accelerate the development for safer means of module protection during transportation.

Standard vibration and shock test methods exist for many electrical products, however, not specifically for PV modules. Therefore, as the PV industry grows at an increasing rate (from 10 GW global shipment in 2009 to a predicted 25 GW in 2012 [1]), such a standard to eliminate the unnecessary loss of investment and profit is more desired than ever. The data from TÜV Rheinland show that 9% of the c-Si modules and 13% of the Thin-Film modules arrived in the lab for testing in 2007-2008 failed during the initial measurement (insulation, power measurement and visual inspection, etc). Since the module makers perform some of these tests themselves before shipping, the data suggest that around 10% of modules were significantly damaged during transportation, caused most likely by vibration and shock. It is also possible that the ones that did not fail the initial measurement failed the other tests due to the same reason. Moreover, it is unknown whether the lifetime of those modules that pass the tests would not be shortened.

[1] Morgan Stanley Research, 2009

b. Estimate effect on industry.
2: Major effect on an industry sector - identify the relevant sector
Sector or Company Information:

c. Estimate technical difficulty of the activity.
II: Some Difficulty - Disagreements on known requirements exist but developing consensus is possible

2. Scope:
a: Describe the technical areas to be covered or addressed by this Document development activity. For Subordinate Standards, list common concepts or criteria that the Subordinate Standard inherits from the Primary Standard, as well as differences from the Primary Standard:

This standard aims to provide a standard test method, as well as a common literature, when the reference to PV module reliability and safety test method against vibration in shipping environment is needed. It will benefit the module manufacturers, the buyers, the package providers/developers, and the PV module testing laboratories.

The new standard will specify:
a. Basic vibration test system requirements
b. Fixation of the packaged modules on the shaker
c. Fixation of the accelerometers on the modules
d. Test conditions for shipping via sea, air and land.

This standard will not:
a. Restrict the design specifications of the package other than at the interface to the test system, in order to enable b. the mounting of the package to the shaker.
c. Specify the orientation of the modules.

b: Expected result of activity
New Standard

For a new Subordinate Standard, identify the Primary Standard here:

For Standards, identify the Standard Subtype below:

Miscellaneous (describe below):

3. Projected Timetable for Completion:

a: General Milestones
a. Activity Start: 12/11/2009b. 1st Draft by: 06/30/2010
c. (Optional) Informational Ballot by: d. Letter Ballot by: 10/30/2010
e. TC Chapter Approval By:12/30/2010

4. Liaisons with other Global Technical Committees/TC Chapters/Subcommittees/TFs:
List global technical committees, TC Chapters, subcommittees, or task forces in your or other Regions/Locales that should be kept informed regarding the progress of this activity. (Refer to SEMI Standards organization charts and global technical committee charters as needed.)

b. Intercommittee Ballots:

Identify the recipient global technical committee(s):

5. Safety Considerations:
The resulting document is expected:
NOT to be a Safety Guideline

NOTE FOR "to be a Safety Guideline": When all safety-related information is removed from the Document, the Document is NOT technically sound and complete - Refer to Section 14.1 of the Regulations for special procedures to be followed.

NOTE FOR "NOT to be a Safety Guideline": When all safety-related information is removed from the Document, the Document is still technically sound and complete.

6. Intellectual Property Considerations:
a. For a new Standard or Safety Guideline and for any part to be modified or added in a Revision of published Standards and Safety Guidelines:
the use of patented technology or a copyrighted item(s) is NOT required

If "patented technology is intended to be included in the proposed Standard(s) or Safety Guideline(s) " is selected above, then also check one:

b. For Revision, Reapproval, Reinstatement, or Withdrawal of existing Standard(s) and Safety Guideline(s):

c. The body of the Document and any Appendices, Complementary Files, Related Information sections, or Various Materials that may or may not be a part of the Document by reference:
will NOT include copyrighted material

NOTE FOR "the use of patented technology or a copyrighted item(s) is NOT required": If in the course of developing the document, it is determined that patented technology or copyrighted item(s) must be used to comply with the standard or safety guideline, the provisions of Section 15 of the Regulations must be followed.)

NOTE FOR "will include reproduced copyrighted material": A copyright release letter must be obtained from the copyright owner.

7. Comments, Special Circumstances:

8. TC Member Review:

Member Review Start Date; None.
Member Review End Date: None.

NOTE FOR ‘TC Member Review’ is required by the Regulations for a period of at least two weeks
before approval of a new, or a major revision of an existing, Standard or Safety Guideline. (See Regulations ¶ 8.2.1)
9.. SNARF Approval Dates:
TC Chapter or GCS03/30/2010
Recorded in TC Minutes03/30/2010
Attach Pictures and Files here: