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All you need to know about MNRE’ s Revised Guidelines For Series Approval of SPV Modules

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued revised guidelines for series approval of SPV Modules for conducting testing in Test Labs for implementation of Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices and Component Goods Order 2017.

The guidelines has been issued to facilitate labs/manufacturers in formation of series of products for approval of product family including change in design, materials, etc. for performance testing of SPV Modules in test labs for compulsory registration with BIS for implementation of the Solar Photovoltaics Systems, Devices and Component Goods Order 2017.

The revised guidelines will now be followed for conducting tests on SPV Modules (crystalline and thin film, including bifacial type) by test labs.

A product family can be defined by the maximum configuration of components/subassemblies plus a description of how the models are constructed from the maximum configuration using these component and sub-assemblies. All models which are included in the family typically have common design, construction, parts or assemblies essential to ensure conformity with applicable requirements. Out of the entire range of models intended to be covered under registration, the highest rated model shall be tested to cover the entire range of family.

MNRE in the guideline notes that the lab will be required to charge the cost of testing only for the highest rated module and test report can be issued to all such sets of lower wattage and higher wattage modules. Product label of each series model shall be placed in the test report. If there is a change in BOM in the family then the retesting guidelines will be followed for submitting samples to test Labs, and for which appropriate testing charges will be made by test lab.

Guidelines for Quantitative Selection of Samples

Design Qualification and type approval of crystalline silicon (including bifacial) and Thin Film terrestrial PV modules

A total eight modules shall be taken at random from a production batch or batches, in accordance with the procedure given in IEC 60410. The modules shall have been manufactured from specified materials and components in accordance with the relevant drawings and process sheets and have been subjected to the manufacturer’s normal quality control and production acceptance procedures.

The modules shall be complete in every detail and shall be accompanied by the manufacturer’s handling, mounting and connection instructions, including the maximum permissible system voltage. The modules should contain the bypass diode wherever applicable. In case of the modules with sealed junction box the client should provide one extra module having access to the diode for conducting the bypass diode test. All the modules should contain the following clear and indelible marking laminated inside the glass as per IS/IEC 61730-1, clause 11.

  • Name, monogram or symbol of manufacturer;
  • Model number
  • Unique serial number
  • Nominal wattage ± 2%
  • Year and country of origin
  • Brand name if applicable

Other details as per IS/IEC 61730-1 clause 11 should be provided at appropriate place. The actual Power Output Pmax shall be mentioned on the label pasted on the back side of PV Module. In case of thin film modules information need not be provided laminated inside the glass, however, it should be provided as per IS/IEC 61730-1 clause 11 at an appropriate place with clear and indelible marking

In addition to the above, the following information should also be provided

  • Polarity of terminals or leads (colour coding is permissible) on junction Box housing near cable entry or cable and connector.
  • The Maximum system voltage for which the module is suitable to be provided on the back sheet of the module.

The Test laboratory should not accept the modules for testing without above detail. However, in case the samples have already been submitted to Test Labs are in the process of submission, the concerned manufacturers will be required to submit an undertaking for compliance of the instructions contained in these guidelines to BIS for granting registration. All other manufacturers who have already got registration from BIS shall include mandatory marking inside the laminate and actual power output on the label on the backside of the SPV panel. The testing sequence and the pass criterion should be strictly followed in accordance with the test standard.

ALSO READ: All you need to know about guideline issued by MNRE on SPV Inverters for conducting test

PV module safety qualification and; Requirement for testing

A total 7 Nos. of PV modules (6 Nos. normal modules and one laminate) shall be taken for testing. Laminate sample testing as per clause 10.5/MST 14. All these modules should fulfill the requirement as stated above for IS 14286: 2010 Design Qualification and type approval of crystalline silicon terrestrial PV modules and IS 16077:2013 for thin film Solar Modules. In case the module is sold with frame impulse voltage test to be conducted on the module with frame.

PV module safety qualification and; Requirement for construction

The client should submit all the details of Bill of materials & fabrication etc. in accordance with the standard IS/IEC 61730-1: 2004. The necessary IS/IEC compliance certificates where available and applicable for the pre-certified bill of material should also be submitted to the Laboratory for review. For components, the certification should be as per IS/IEC where available and applicable, and, in case such standards are not available, other IEC harmonized standards shall be acceptable.

Retesting guide lines: Product or process modifications requiring limited retesting to maintain the certification In case of change in cell technology, modification to encapsulation system, modification to substrate, increase in module size, modification to back sheet material, modification to junction box, change in cell interconnect material or technology, change in electrical circuit of an identical package, modification to frame higher or lower power output (by 10%) in the identical package without change in size and cell process & modules without frame the requirement of limited testing for extending the certification to the module family should be followed strictly as per CTL decision sheet DSH0647A:2010 enclosed at Annexure I for design qualification and type approval (IS14286/ IEC61215, IS 16077) and DSH 770: 2010 enclosed at Annexure II for photovoltaic module safety qualifications as per IS/IEC 61730-2 – 1:2004 and IS/IEC 61730-2:2004 guidelines*: While the retest guidelines PDSH 770 : 2010 allows increase in module size by 20% in length and width, there is no limit to decrease in module size.

*In case of the crystalline silicon modules constructed by using the cut cells while maintaining the same number or area of interconnects and equivalent number of solder bonds per unit area for extending the certificate to other models hot spot test, reverse current overload test and bypass diode thermal test should be conducted on the module of the model which contains maximum number of cut cells of smallest area in the family. Further, the model in which the cut cells does not meet the requirement of same number or area of interconnects and equivalent number of solder bonds per unit area shall not be considered under the category of limited testing to maintain the certificate. In case number of cells per by pass diode increase from the base model then only bypass diode test to be conducted.

Pass criteria

Pass criteria for module should be as per the clause number 6 of IS 14286 and IS 16077

Fire Test

For conducting fire test, the requirement of number of fire tests samples will depend on the size of the PV panel and fire safety class declared by the manufacturer and for this additional 3 nos. modules are required to be submitted to the test lab.

Brands

Different brands are required to be registered separately. However, it is feasible to do so based on a common test report, if the product and the manufacturing location are the same. All brands with respective model numbers should be listed in the test report. Test samples of all brands are not required to be submitted. However, product labels for respective brands must be placed in the test report. Lab may also include statement about coverage of this brand and respective model numbers to be covered based on the representative model tested and the declaration submitted by the manufacturer about multiple brands and respective model numbers.

Visit “Process for Registration” under Registration Scheme available at BIS website www.crsbis.in.

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