BANGALORE: Bangalore based TUV Rheinland India, a 100 per cent subsidiary of TUV Rheinland Group, Germany, is a worldwide leader in Testing, Inspection, Certification & Training. The company has set up India’s first and South Asia’s largest Photovoltaic Laboratory at Electronic City in Bangalore. Its comprehensive test Facilities include Electrical Safety, Electromagnetic Compatibility & Reliability, thus offering a one stop shop for testing and certification of photovoltaic modules & systems. Enrico Ruhle, Managing Director, TUV Rheinland India, spoke to City Express on the importance of Solar PV Module testing and the company’s services in this area.
What opportunities do you perceive in the Indian solar power development space?
The JNNSM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) launched by the government of India has proved to be an icebreaker in development of solar powered power plants in India. JNNSM has set an aggressive renewable energy (RE) generation target of 20GW by 2022, 100 GW by 2030 and 200 GW by 2050.
We foresee many good opportunities in this solar power market, like:
■ Increase in demand for certification of new modules, mainly due to the increase in new module manufacturers.
■ Increase in co-certifications i.e. the certification extension from the OEM (Original Equipment
Manufacturer) to the trader with whom the manufacturer does business, in order to meet the
power plant module requirements.
■ Full time consultancy on setting up the module plants.
■ Technical training of the manpower for the manufacturers.
■ Setting up a training institute for the best practices in manufacturing of solar modules.
■ Scope extension for thin film module manufacturers, due to increasing use of thin film modules for the power plants in future.
What is the relevance of a solar PV testing facility in the Indian context?
In order to fulfil the JNNSM(Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) and MNRE(Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) guidelines on meeting the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) certification requirements, all manufacturers are required to test their modules from a NABL accredited testing laboratory. TUV Rheinland has the largest photovoltaic testing laboratory in India.
Solar Photovoltaic testing facilities have an important role to play in improving the solar photovoltaic module quality and decreasing the failure rate of modules, in the actual power plants, by way of long term tests conducted in these testing laboratories.
What has been TUV Rheinland’s experience so far in the Indian market?
From the early start, our global backbone & nationwide presence has helped us in the Indian market. We started our photovoltaic testing laboratories in India in 2010. I would say, we have been well accepted by Indian customers so far. Despite existence of many global players, all the major and reputed manufacturers are our clients. The extension projects of our existing clients has paved us a steady growth so far. The instability in module prices has affected TUV Rheinland in the recent past; the cost consciousness of the manufacturers will continue to be a major concern to TUV Rheinland. A high discount by our competitors on their prices for testing and certification, in order to survive their existence in India, is one area which has to be looked upon.
What is the role and importance of your Solar PV Testing Lab in Bangalore?
No emphasis is required to highlight the importance of technical expertise needed to perform quality testing and certification, which our Photovoltaic Laboratory in Bangalore is adequately enriched-with. All the staff members’ possess a sound background of Photovoltaic Technology, this is confirmed by the confidence our customers have in us. The fragility and logistic problems of module transportation outside India is a major concern to the manufacturers. Hence having a Photovoltaic Laboratory, like TUV Rheinland’s, inside India is a great advantage for the Indian manufacturers. TUV Rheinland also has a provision to test other Electronic / Electrical appliances and components for the long term test.
How has been the response to your services so far?
As far as testing is considered, the response has been very good. We have built a sizeable base of satisfied customers. We have been growing sustainably well in this business. Our order books are full for next few years. We are considering expansion of our facilities.