First Solar, Inc. Again Successfully Completes The Atlas 25+® Testing Program

Mt. Prospect, IL – Atlas Material Testing Technology, LLC, the global leader in weathering technology and services, is pleased to announce that, for a second time, First Solar, Inc. has completed the rigorous Atlas 25+® Comprehensive PV Durability Testing program and received test result certification from Atlas’ partner SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.

Testing was conducted on First Solar’s original Series 4 thin film photovoltaic module, which utilizes the core technology used in all of the company’s product offerings. 

The Atlas 25+ protocol is a proprietary, multi-dimensional durability test program designed to subject photovoltaic modules to the environmental degradation stresses that can be expected over long-term service. It provides manufacturers with the data they need to demonstrate long-term durability and to support warranty and performance claims, while reducing the costs associated with aftermarket product failure. 

The Atlas 25+ program exposes solar panels to a series of stresses, including UV-A/UV-B exposure, salt spray corrosion, condensing humidity, solar/thermal humidity cycle, solar/thermal humidity freeze cycle, Arizona and Florida solar tracking – including peak summer – and initial, final and multiple interval measurements.  In order to receive SGS certification, modules are required to have less than 8% degradation over the testing period.

“As part of the Atlas 25+ independent testing program, solar panels are exposed to harsh weather conditions similar to those faced during their lifetime,” said Richard Slomko, Director of Atlas’ Weathering Services Group.  “This is a tremendous achievement for First Solar to complete our Atlas 25+program again with impressive results. We are extremely pleased that the world's leading thin-film PV manufacturer continues to utilize our unique PV durability testing program to confirm module suitability for long-term operation in the world's harshest climates.”

”Only the strong survive in the highly competitive PV technology environment,” said Lou Trippel, First Solar’s Senior Director of Product Management. “Only a handful of PV manufacturers – and no other thin film manufacturer – have been certified. We are taking the world-class reliability documented here and building it into successive products. We believe product evolution depends on fundamental reliability.”  

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About Atlas Material Testing Technology – www.atlas-mts.com

Atlas is a recognized leader in material testing, offering a complete line of instruments and services for accelerated and natural weathering. In addition, the Atlas Consulting Group helps clients from various industries, including photovoltaics, coatings, plastics, textiles, automotive and cosmetics, develop the best weathering processes for their products. 

Atlas is a unit of AMETEK Measurement & Calibration Technologies, a division within AMETEK's Electronic Instruments Group, a recognized leader in advanced monitoring, testing, calibrating and display instruments. AMETEK, Inc. is a global leader in electronic instruments and electromechanical devices. 

Atlas Material Testing Technology is ISO 17025 and ISO 9001:2008 registered. Atlas products are designed and manufactured to conform to international, national and industry standard test methods, including ISO, ASTM, DIN, JIS and numerous others.

About First Solar, Inc. – www.firstsolar.com 

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, which use its advanced module and system technology. The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar's renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.