Solar Panel Certification in Canada

lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
Is there a certain certification for solar panels in Canada? If yes, does anyone have any information to what they are and I would appreciate it if anyone could send me a link or supporting documents.

Thanks.

Luke

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    Re: Solar Panel Certification in Canada

    What kind of certification are you looking for? Safety (CSA, UL, NRTL) or something else?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • lukeylukey Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Solar Panel Certification in Canada

    Can a solar panel with UL listing be used in Canada? For example the Kaneka 60W amorphous panel. I receive conflicting statements. Some say UL listing is fine and others say that it also must be cUL(Canada UL) or CSA.

    I appreciate any kind of info.

    Thanks.

    Luke
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    Re: Solar Panel Certification in Canada

    Oh boy... a decade or so ago, I was already testing computer systems to "harmonized" US/Canadian standards (harmonized to EN--more or less, world standards). At that time (IIRC), the US standards were the same, with a few quirks thrown in that made the US standards just a bit tougher to meet in a few small areas--but if you met the harmonized standard, you were OK for both countries (and most of the world too). And as long as the agency was a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL--i.e., UL, CSA, TUV, etc.)--we were good to go.

    Usually, what it comes down to is what will your local building inspector (or equivalent) will accept. We have the National Electric Code book (NEC) in the US (local library or purchase at a book store or from an electrical supply house) and, usually, you can find the exact statement in the book about exactly which regulatory mark(s) is approved for any particular application.

    Realistically, I can't think of any general electrical issues where UL, vs cUL, vs CSA would make any difference--but it may matter to your local code inspector (in some cases, the local fire department).

    Here is a notice from Nova Scotia "Building and Equipment Safety" department on a cUL recall of a 3-prong adapter... It appears that they will require cUL mark on anything used in Canada.

    It is possible that your panels are cUL "approved" as (per UL) the cUL mark is optional.

    Lastly, most agencies are enforcing NTRL marks on devices plugged into an AC outlet--if this is an off grid application, generally they won't bother you (unless you are a manufacture incorporating this into a product you are building).

    Lastly, do you really want to use an amorphous panel instead of a mono/poly-crystalline panel? Generally, amorphous panels decay quite quickly in output when exposed to the sun--sometimes 20% in six months vs 20% over 20+ years for a crystalline panel (where else would you put a solar panel?)

    Sorry I don't have a better answer on the cUL mark for you--but contacting your local government office/inspector should answer the question.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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