Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the global leader in product safetytesting and certification, announced the opening of its testing andcertification facility for Photovoltaic (PV) equipment in Bangalore.
This state-of-the-art lab is UL’s 5th global footprint and has been set upwith an investment of $4 million The lab is equipped with EnvironmentalChambers, Sun Simulators and Instrumentation from global leaders likeESPEC, Spire Corp. and Agilent. It is capable of testing and certifying48 families of PV modules in a year. Apart from testing forcertification, this facility can also support testing for ProductDevelopment, Quality Control and Performance Assessment for PV PowerPlants.
Globally the demand for PV systems has significantlyincreased and will continue to grow as a sustainable energy source. With the JNNSM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) setting forthaggressive goals for deployment of solar power in India, there is astrong need in the Indian industry to have a full-fledged test facilityfor PV Modules and other Balance of Systems and also to support thelocal manufacturers aspiring to reach global markets with theirproducts.
This lab will enable Indian companies to get necessary certification of PV Modules and other Balance of Systems equipment tovarious National and International Standards like UL, IEC, EN etc.,thereby assisting their entry into the global markets.
RAVenkitachalam – MD and VP, UL Emerging markets, said: "There is agrowing demand for PV equipment globally driven by government andindustries striving for the development of sustainable energy sources.And since India too has joined the race this lab will enable the IndianPV manufacturers to get access to the state-of-the-art facilityevaluating and improving the quality and performance of their products."
Jeffrey A Smidt, VP and GM, Global Energy, UL added: "UL is installing alarge-scale network of PV test facilities in the key PV markets globally and India as one of the most important emerging PV markets must be part of that essential network. It is our focus to support manufacturersaround the world with the market access they are looking for, withoutneglecting the safety and performance of the PV module."
UL isengaged in formulating PV equipment safety specifications since the1980s. Apart from this facility in Bangalore, India, UL has four otherPV testing facilities in Ise City, Japan, San Jose, California (.US),Suzhou, China and Zeppelinheim (Neu-Isenburg), Germany.
Additionally, UL is working with various governmental departments and industry bodies in India to understand the needs of the manufacturers and users ofPhotovoltaic equipment in an attempt to provide proactive solutions tothe industry problems.
Some examples are the training coursesconducted by UL University – the training and consulting arm of UL andprovision for local engineering support to PV manufacturers as well assupporting professionals in extending their skills to qualified PVmodule installers in India. Similarly UL is working with otherorganization like BEE, QCI, UNDP, TERI, SESI and SEMI under variousinitiatives.