The ministry of new and renewable energy is in the process of finalizing a national lab policy to set norms for testing, standardization and certification of renewable energy related products, and define the infrastructure required for testing centers.
A committee headed by ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) director BS Negi and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) director OS Sastry has already prepared a draft policy document.
Noting that there are no existing standards for products such as solar pumps, solar batteries, solar lanterns and solar thermal systems, the draft said these need to be quickly put in place. It also spelled out the highly technical standards that each of these products should adhere to. Currently, there are only three laboratories for testing solar equipment in the country — Gurgaon-based NISE and two private laboratories in Bengaluru, owned by Germany-based TUV Rhineland and US-based UL.
Ganga Charan Sharma, vice-president at TUV, and Sudhir Zautshi, head (government and industry affairs) at UL India, are members of the committee that prepared the draft policy. Other members include Vikram Kumar of IIT Delhi, Srinivasa Murthy of IISc, Bengaluru, and S Gomathinayagam, director at National Institute of Wind Energy. Apart from the absence of standards for a number of products, there has been no direction yet from MNRE regarding testing of solar thermal systems.
Setting standards is in line with the government’s thrust towards manufacturing more solar cells, modules, inverters and components indigenously. Currently there are no BIS standards for components of wind energy systems. The NIWE follows global IEC standards while assessing equipment.
By EB Bureau