MUNICH, GERMANY & WUXI, CHINA: All of the core products offered by Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest producer of crystalline silicon solar panels, were recently certified by the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) to maintain high performance when exposed to ammonia.
The DIN 50916 standard is most relevant for consumers who frequently deal with livestock and fertilizers that emit ammonia. For example, this certification will provide farmers with confidence to install Suntech solar panels on top of greenhouses, barns, and/or warehouses.
"We are confident that this certification will make a substantial difference for consumer and investors working across agricultural industries or environments. DIN standards have been around for a long time, as they are used and respected for many different types of farm equipment," said Winfried Wahl, Product Manager for Suntech in Europe. "Around the world, we work closely with our partners and listen to their needs, so that together we can provide everyone with reliable access to solar energy."
To receive the certification, Suntech's solar panels were completely saturated with a highly alkaline atmosphere (pH grade: nine) of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) at thirty degrees centigrade for 28 days. Following the test period, the power characteristics and material integrity of the panels were rigorously assessed for potential performance losses and structural problems.
The test is designed to determine whether the solar panels will withstand long-term exposure to ammonia or similar alkaline chemicals, often found in agricultural production facilities. It is somewhat more intense than the comparable German Farmer Association (DLG) certification, which exposes panels to only 70 percent atmospheric saturation but at a higher temperature of seventy degrees centigrade for a long period of time (1,500 hours).