Solar charge controller certifications: IEC 62509 and IEC 62093

Solar charge controllers are an important component in Off-Grid solar systems as they have influence on the batteries and the efficiency of the overall solar power system. The certifications IEC 62509 and IEC 62093 are certification standards for the safety and durability of solar charge controllers.

Leading Certification Bodies

Leading national and international organizations, involved in the development of solar power generating systems, create certification standards that dictate the safety requirements and often durability requirements of solar charge controllers used in solar systems. While some standards are mandatory (violators may be prosecuted as per law), others are just for elevating the product standard and to include industry best practices and benchmarks. Leading organizations involved in developing standards, in the field of solar power are:

  • IEC: International Electro-technical Commission
  • UL: Underwriter Laboratories Inc.
  • IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • CEN: European Committee for Standardization

Solar charge controller certifications: IEC 62509 and IEC 62093

The following standards list requirements for charge controllers such as the minimum requirements for proper functioning, protection and safety. Two leading standards are:

  • IEC 62509
  • IEC 62093

IEC 62509: Key Points [1]:

  • This International Standard establishes minimum requirements for the functioning and performance of battery charge controllers
  • The main aims are to ensure BCC reliability and to maximise the life of the battery.
  • This standard shall be used in conjunction with IEC 62093,
  • The Standard addresses the following battery charge control features:
    • Photovoltaic generator charging of a battery,
    • Load control,
    • Protection functions,
    • Interface functions.
  • This standard does not cover MPPT performance, but it is applicable to BCC units that have this feature.
  • This standard provides tests to determine the functioning and performance characteristics of charge controllers.
  • This standard was written for lead acid battery applications.

IEC 62093: Key Points[2]:

  • This International Standard establishes requirements for the design qualification of balance-of-system (BOS) components used in terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) systems.
  • As defined in IEC 60721-2-1,this standard is suitable for operation in
    • Indoor, conditioned or unconditioned; or
    • Outdoor in general open-air climates
  • It is written for dedicated solar components such as
    • batteries,
    • inverters,
    • charge controllers,
    • system diode packages,
    • heat sinks, surge protectors,
    • system junction boxes,
    • maximum power point tracking devices and
    • switch gear
  • This standard is based on design qualification which is specified in IEC 61215 and IEC 62093.
  • Dust, fungus, insects, shipping vibration and shock, and protection class have been added to the appropriate environmental categories.
  • The high and low temperature and humidity limits have also been modified for the appropriate service environments.
  • This standard is applicable to lead-acid and nickel-cadmium cells and batteries.
  • This standard does not apply to photovoltaic modules. These are covered by IEC 61215 or IEC 61646.
  • Also, this standard does not apply to concentrator modules or to complete PV systems.

[1] Extracted in the original form from IEC 62509 ed1.0 (Battery charge controllers for photovoltaic systems - Performance and functioning), published in 2010-12-16. This publication is to be read in conjunction with IEC 62093:2005. [2] Extracted in the original form fromIEC 62093 (Balance-of-system components for photovoltaic systems - Design qualification natural environments), published in 2005-03-29.

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