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Test Methods

VeraSol develops and maintains test methods that advance product quality assessment across the off-grid market to produce essential data.

Why Test Methods?

The off-grid market, while nascent, is evolving quickly. Many sector stakeholders need guidance on how to evaluate products and define key performance metrics for a growing number of solar solutions. Appropriate and widely-accepted test methods benefit everyone. They are essential for assessing product performance and producing comparable and robust product data. VeraSol designs test methods specifically for off-grid solar solutions and aligns them with internationally recognized test methods when available.

Test methods why test methods

What Are Test Methods?

Test methods are the first component of a quality assurance framework. Test methods define a standard set of processes that evaluate products of a given type. They enable test labs, manufacturers, and others to assess product performance and produce test results that are consistent, comparable, and repeatable. The test methods used by VeraSol are developed using a rigorous process in consultation with industry stakeholders and international standardization bodies to support all market actors and avoid biases.

Learn more about VeraSol’s stakeholder engagement process on test methods.

Work With Us

How to Use the Test Methods

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Test their products with VeraSol or align their in-house test methods with ours to accurately assess and benchmark product performance.

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Test Labs

Expand their testing capacity by receiving training on the test methods and technical support from our team of experts.

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Utilize VeraSol’s established test methods or work with our team to develop new test methods that help keep sub-standard products out of the market.

Test Methods for Solar Energy Kits

VeraSol tests and certifies solar energy kits with solar modules up to 350-Watt peak. The test methods we use are defined in IEC TS 62257-9-5: Laboratory evaluation of stand-alone renewable energy products for rural electrification. They are specifically designed to measure aspects such as performance, durability, safety, quality of workmanship, lumen maintenance, and more.

We conduct all testing according to IEC TS 62257-9-5, but the number of required samples and method for sampling depends on the purpose of the testing:

Initial Screening Method (ISM)
An optional, abbreviated test method that can offer key feedback to the manufacturer and indicate whether or not the product is likely to meet the quality standards.

Quality Test Method (QTM)
The full test method used to verify comprehensive product quality and performance. Results from QTM testing are used to determine if a product has met the quality standards. QTM results are valid for two years.

Market Check Test Method (MCM)
The MCM is used during Market Check Testing to ensure products sold in the market meet that measured during program entry. The MCM is also used for renewal testing to extend the certification for another two years.

Accelerated Verification Method (AVM)
An optional, alternative certification pathway that is faster than standard QTM testing. The AVM maintains the rigor of certification through a combination of eligibility screening and comprehensive follow-up QTM testing.

Test results from QTM and AVM are used to determine if a product meets the quality standards and will be certified by VeraSol. Testing is performed by VeraSol’s global network of approved test laboratories.

Test Methods for Solar Appliances

VeraSol uses the Global LEAP test methods for standalone TVs, fans, refrigerators, and solar water pumps intended for use with off-grid solar energy systems, such as solar home system kits or mini-grids. The Global LEAP test methods leverage pre-existing and widely-accepted international test methods, adapted in close collaboration with off-grid professionals and other market, product, and testing experts. These standardized test methods enable consistent product-to-product comparisons.

The Global LEAP test methods primarily cover:

Energy Performance
Energy consumption, efficiency, and other product-specific metrics in nominal conditions and conditions reflective of off-or weak-grid scenarios (e.g. over-and under-voltage, and high temperatures)

Quality & Durability
Quality of service being provided by the appliance (e.g. luminance of a TV) and durability in off-grid conditions (e.g. functionality after voltage fluctuations or drop test)

Safety & Consumer Protection
Product safety (e.g. ingress protection) and consumer-facing information (e.g. warranty and performance claims)

The Global LEAP test methods are used by VeraSol to test and evaluate off-grid appliances. All of the appliances contain in the VeraSol Product Database have been tested according to these test methods.

Full test methods