TÜV Rheinland opens South Asia's largest PV testing lab in Bangalore

TÜV Rheinland has opened India’s first and South Asia’s largest photovoltaics (PV) testing lab in Bangalore, India.

Just last week, Deepak Gupta, secretary, MNRE, had mentioned during his valedictory address at Solarcon India 2010 that an international lab was due to start a facility in Bangalore, and here you go! But first, a bit on TÜV Rheinland.

TÜV Rheinland has the expertise of testing PV modules, having been in the solar business for over 30 years. It has a market share  over 70 percent, and has seven PV labs spread across Germany, China, Taiwan, the US, Japan (two labs), and now, India. Its testing focus is on safety, efficiency, quality and durability of solar systems.

According to the TÜV Rheinland official, the total global investment in solar PV reached a record $40 billion in 2009. The PV cells production capacity is likely to exceed 33GW in 2011. Most importantly, 78 percent of manufacturers will be located in Asia. Further, the installed capacity of global solar panels is likely to reach 33.4 thousand MW by 2015.

Business prospects in India

TÜV Rheinland is well focused on the Indian solar PV market.

TÜV Rheinland is well focused on the Indian solar PV market.

TÜV Rheinland obviously has been closely following the Indian solar PV market. India boasts of over 250 clear sunny days in year. Also, India’s solar potential is estimated at 600 TW per year. The PV industry output between 2002 and 2007 was said to 335 MW, with an export rate of 75 percent.

Coming to well known Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JN-NSM), the Indian solar PV industry is estimated to grow to 100 GW by 2030. Also, 5 percent of the total power plant area will be used for PV power plants. The Indian government is promoting roof top solar generation.

TÜV Rheinland’s test laboratory in Electronics City, Bangalore, is spread over an area of 20,000sqft., including 5,000sqft. outside exposure testing area. It has invested close to $3 million in setting up the lab, thereby indicating a very deep interest in developing the Indian solar PV industry.

This PV test lab in Bangalore also happens to be India’s first and South Asia’s largest such facility. It has some unique facilities such as five climatic chambers and two sun simulators. With the inauguration of this facility, the availability of local testing and certification will now plug a key gap for the Indian industry.

TÜV Rheinland is offering the following PV services in India – PV module testing, PV module certification, PV power plants, conventional power projects, welding and non-destructive testing, installations, material tests and third party inspections. For the statistical minded, 70 percent of PV modules go through one of the TUV Rheinland labs worldwide.

The group’s global management is well focused on the Indian market and this PV test lab is a reiteration of an ongoing, long-term commitment to India.

Friedrich Hecker, CEO, TÜV Rheinland AG, said: “With the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission being operationalized, India is poised to take a huge leap in solar/PV. Module manufacturing, a key component of the chain, is largely domestically manufactured and offers a great export potential as well.

“The setting up of the PV lab by us today in Bangalore not only addresses the lack of such a facility in India but actually enables Indian module manufacturers to eye markets beyond India. India has always been a key strategic market for the group and all our different business units and this marks another step forward in that commitment.”

Andreas Höfer, chief regional officer, TÜV Rheinland (India, Middle East and Africa), said, “With abundant sunshine and high quality of radiation levels combined with focus on both grid and off grid applications, there is every possibility that India will be the market to watch out for in the region. We see a lot of overseas players investing here and setting up facilities or licensing technology for local players to manufacture with. In that way, both our entry and the setting up of this lab is timed well.”

Enrico Rühle, MD, TÜV Rheinland India, added: ”The Indian PV lab will be tightly interlinked to the other six laboratories across the world and will employ over 200 experts across functions. The lab which has facilities unheard of in the region like climate chambers and sun simulators will reduce the time for testing for Indian manufacturers.”

TÜV Rheinland India is part of the TÜV Rheinland Group, a leading provider of technical services worldwide.

Focus on IMEA
TÜV Rheinland is especially focused on the IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa) region. There is a huge potential for solar thermal Power Plants in the Middle East. The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) has approved the financing of $750 million to  mobilize an additional $4.85 billion from other sources, to accelerate global deployment of concentrated solar power (CSP),  by investing in the CSP programs of five countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Next, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are entering the PV industry as well. Sri Lanka is coming up with its power plant requirements. TÜV Rheinland is trying to collaborate with the Sri Lankan government. Also, a PV power plant conference will be held in Bangladesh next month.

Founded in 1872 and headquartered in Cologne, the TÜV Rheinland Group employs over 14,000 people in 490 locations in 61 countries and generates annual revenues of € 1.2 billion. The Group’s mission and guiding principle is to achieve sustained development of safety and quality in order to meet the challenges arising from the interaction between man, technology and the environment.

TÜV Rheinland has a vision of becoming the preferred supplier of services that assist makers, sellers, buyers & consumers to enjoy the benefits of technology while reducing risks to generally accepted levels. Its mission and guiding principle is to achieve sustained development of safety and quality in order to meet the challenges arising from the interaction between man, technology and the environment.

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