MNRE Issues Guidelines for Conducting Lab Tests on Solar PV Modules

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a series of guidelines for conducting tests on solar photovoltaic PV modules. These tests will be conducted by test labs for compulsory registration with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the implementation of the Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices and Component Goods Order 2017.

As per the guidelines for quantitative selection of samples, a total of eight modules will be tested at random from a production batch. Every module should contain- name, monogram or symbol of manufacturer, model number, unique serial number, nominal wattage, year and country of origin, and brand name. The modules should be manufactured from the materials and components specified in the relevant drawings and process sheets. The ministry has instructed test labs to not accept the modules for testing without these above.

Guidelines for PV modules’ safety qualification and requirements for testing and constructions state that in case of change in cell technology or modification in system, back sheet material, junction box, power output, module size etc, the modules will be retested to for maintaining the certification. The retesting guidelines permit an increase in module size by 20 per cent in length and width, however there is no limit specified for reducing the module size. In addition, the guidelines mandate that different brands should register separately. The guidelines also aim to assist labs and manufacturers in the approval of the ‘product family’. All models, included in a ‘product family’ have common design, construction, parts, or assemblies that can be considered essential for ensuring conformity with applicable requirements.