A certification investigation covers not only the suitability of the end product, but also the subsystems (tracker, support structure, etc.) and components (plastics, wiring, connectors, electronics, etc.). The correct standards must be taken into account for the subsystems and components in order to determine their respective suitability within the overall system of the product. This assessment sets the tone for the investigation, from a documentation perspective, all the way until the final inspection of the product.
Identification of critical standards and requirements for subsystems and components – This depends on which market the solar product is to be marketed to.
Preparation of required subsystem and component documentation – All pertinent documentation, including certificates of compliance and conditions of acceptability, will be transmitted to the evaluation certification engineer. The purpose of this exercise is to establish document traceability for the subsystems and components, which creates a paper trail of where the subsystems and components come from, how they are manufactured, how they are evaluated (if applicable), and what materials they consist of. This process can be more involved than one would think because it requires due diligence to take into account not only traceability issues but also confirm the suitability of the subsystem and component as it is used in the overall system of the product.