New Canadian & US Racking and Tracker Safety Requirements

If you manufacture Photovoltaic Module Racking Systems or Tracking Systems in the US, you probably know that the UL 2703 and 3703 subject standards are fast becoming industry requirements. Until recently...

12 December 2012

If you manufacture Photovoltaic Module Racking Systems or Tracking Systems in the US, you probably know that the UL 2703 and 3703 subject standards are fast becoming industry requirements. Until recently, there has been no approved standard or requirement for Canada. But that is now changing effective October 23, 2012 CSA International issued listed technical requirements for Photovoltaic Module Racking Systems (AE-001-2012) and for Photovoltaic Tracking Systems (AE-002-2012) which mandates that products sold on the Canadian market meet these requirements.

The Canadian Standard for the Racking System requirements apply to the Photovoltaic Module and Panel Racking System which are intended to be used as part of the bonding path for the module or the panel accessible metal. The specification includes a technical engineering construction review which includes evaluating polymeric materials, metal parts, bonding and grounding, gaskets and seals, mechanical loading and markings. Environmental testing is done per CAN/CSA IEC 61646 for Thermal Cycling and Humidity Freeze Testing. The standards also reference specifications in CSA Standard C22.2 No. 61730-1 and -2.

The Canadian Standard for the Tracking System for use with Photovoltaic Modules covers the Safety requirements of Fire, Electrical Shock and Mechanical Loading of the Platform. The specification covers a Construction Review of the electrical control system, the motor, electrical enclosures and mechanical loading. There are also requirements on the markings.

Other changes impacting the racking and tracker products includes a change that took place on November 13, 2012 whereby UL 2703, Outline of Investigation for Mounting Systems, Mounting Devices, Clamping/Retention Devices, and Ground Lugs for use with Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Modules and Panels, Issue #2, has released a new Issue, the first update since UL 2703 was initially published.

You can learn more about system testing and certification including racking and tracker products. Do you have questions or comments about today's post? Please leave a comment below or contact us to learn more.