ASTM, DOE meet on Solar Glass Standards project

Glass Magazine
October 6, 2009
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION : GREEN

Officials at ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa., including members of ASTM International Committee E44 on Solar, Geothermal, and Other Energy Sources, and ASTM International Committee C14 on Glass and Glass Products, got together with U.S. Department of Energy representatives, Sept. 29, for an organizational meeting for a new ASTM International activity on solar glass.

Objectives of the meeting were to:

  • Bring together individuals, companies, and organizations representative of this industry to determine the best future course of action regarding standards development.
  • Identify specific areas to be addressed in the development of standards. If the participants agree on the need for standards and have an interest in developing them,
    then:
  • Formally establish a new activity by approving a title and scope, and
  • Secure from meeting attendees (via formal vote) a commitment to organize a new standards developing activity within ASTM International.

Glenn Strahs and Edward Etzkorn from the DOE talked about the background of the need for the meeting: "The origins of the Solar Glass Standards project began with a workshop that the Department of Energy (Industrial Technologies and Solar Energy Technologies Programs) held in April 2008 (in Golden, Colo.) to determine how the glass and solar industries could best meet each others’ needs. A Glass 101/Solar 101 tutorial (held at DOE in May 2008) was suggested and glass strength was also raised, but is being sufficiently managed by others. The development of solar glass standards was identified as a beneficial role for DOE so that any solar manufacturer could purchase their glass from different suppliers so long as it met necessary standards for transmissivity, strength, coatings and other characteristics. DOE contacted ASTM to explore if they could be the appropriate group to assist with developing solar glass standards. After several conference calls with ASTM, a Solar Glass working group and other representatives from glass and solar companies, it was decided in an extensive conference call on September 29 to convene a consensus standards development process."

Discussion at the meeting focused on: PV applications; glass strength, type, composition and use in CSP devices; coatings; film quality; durability and reliablility; solar hot water and heating systems; terminology; and guide(s) on glass applications.

At the end of the meeting, the participants came up with the following title and scope:

Title: Standards Developing Activity on Glass for Solar Applications

Scope: The development and maintenance of standards for glass and glass coatings for solar applications that include, but are not limited to, photovoltaic, solar thermal, and
concentrating applications. The standards will address the characteristics that affect
performance, durability and reliability.

The work of this activity will be coordinated with other ASTM Committees and outside
organizations having mutual interest. 

The officials also decided that ASTM International will organize a new standards developing activity for Glass for Solar Applications. The activity will be housed under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E44 on Solar, Geothermal, and Other Alternative Energy Sources, and carry the designation E44.20. ASTM is soliciting volunteers to serve as officers to lead the activity: write Pat Picariello  or Christine DeJong if interested in participating in this process.