Solar Keymark Certification
In order to remove trade barriers inside Europe and to support the establishment of a uniform European market the European standardisation bodies CEN and CENELEC created a uniform methodology for the marking of products on the basis of European standards. The mark resulting from this approach is the so-called Keymark which aims to be accepted all over Europe (see Figure 2). For solar thermal products the corresponding label is named Solar Keymark.
The Solar Keymark is a voluntary third-party certification mark. By obtaining the Solar Keymark, the solar product qualifies for nearly all the different European member state regulatory and financial incentive schemes.
The elaboration of the specific Solar Keymark scheme rules /5/ which provides the basis for Solar Keymark certification started at the beginning of 2000 within the framework of a European project initiated by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, ESTIF and co-financed by the European Commission. At the beginning of 2003 the final version of the Solar Keymark scheme rules were published. During the years 2006 and 2007 these scheme rules were revised within an other European project. In both projects representatives from the solar thermal industry, the leading solar thermal test institutions and certifications bodies co-operated.
The Solar Keymark for solar collectors requires that the products fulfil the requirements stated in the European Standard EN 12975-1 and are tested according to EN 12975-2.
In order to certify factory made solar thermal systems according to the Solar Keymark scheme rules they must be in line with the requirements of EN 12976-1 and must be tested according to EN 12976-2.
In order to obtain the Solar Keymark the following three major steps are required:
• Picking of random test samples from the factory production or the manufacturer’s stock by an accepted inspector.
• Successful type testing of the solar collectors or systems respectively by an accredited test lab
• Inspection of the manufacturer’s quality management system
If all the requirements mentioned above are fulfilled the Solar Keymark certification can be issued by certification bodies empowered by CEN Certification Board.