NCPRE | January Newsletter
Consultancy Programme on Secondary Cell & Module Calibration
Technical and Quality Enrichment Solution for Lab Accreditation

Uncertainty in determination of power generation is one of the critical factors contributing to the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. Precise measurement of cell and module characteristics are indispensable in reducing the financial risk associated with the investments in PV industry. Since, it is not economical to measure all cells and modules in the production line with the required precision and certainty; calibration becomes a key step in PV performance analysis value chain. As the PV reference cells are difficult to obtain and maintain, many PV measurement labs use secondary cells/modules calibrated against the primary reference devices. Thus, there is a need for accredited secondary characterization laboratories, which can serve the purpose by maintaining the ISO 17025 quality standards. Besides, Indian solar photovoltaic (PV) industry spends considerable revenue and spends considerable time in getting calibration certificates from international certifying centers.

However, the process of establishing secondary cell calibration facility setup requires clear understanding of legal, technical, and accreditation related aspects. In connection to this a consultancy programme on Secondary Cell & Module Calibration has been initiated under the scope of the project “Strengthening Quality Infrastructure for the Solar Industry” This activity is the combined efforts of PTB, Germany & MNRE, India with technical expertise from Fraunhofer, Germany. NCPRE, IIT, Bombay is leading the activity as national coordinator and will be the participant as well during these consultancy workshops. The aim of these workshops is to support the Indian labs in improving their measurement procedures, and quality infrastructure to get the accreditation level based on ISO 17025 quality standards. This programme consists of nine modules encompassing all the major related topics including standards and traceability, quality assurance & quality management procedures, and equipment upgradation. At the end of this consultancy workshop a round-robin intercomparison exercise will be performed for technical evaluation of the participant labs. Based on this exercise specific feedback and guidance will be provided for overall improvement of individual laboratory. Recently Kick-off workshop session was successfully commenced with general introduction of participant labs i.e. IIT (Bombay), NISE (Gurugram), NPL (Delhi), and CPRI (Bangalore). Therefore, in essence these consultancy workshops with NCPRE, IIT, Bombay as the national coordinator will assist the Indian participant labs on secondary calibration facility setup establishment up to the accreditation level.

Acknowledgement: This activity is supported by PTB, Germany, and Fraunhofer, Germany

Prof. Anil
Prof. Narendra
Dr. Tanvi
Dr. Diksha