German Module Inspector PI Berlin Creates Indian Subsidiary


The Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) has created an Indian subsidiary based in New Delhi that will enable it to provide services to the Indian market from a local base of operations.

“India is a young solar market experiencing dynamic growth. We see great potential here for the provision of services and consultation relating to the planning, construction and operation of solar power plants,” said Saurabh Kumar, PI Berlin’s local coordinator for sales and customer service.

PI Berlin offers services such as module laboratory tests that provide quality assurance for the planning, construction, and operation stages of photovoltaic (PV) projects. As feed-in tariffs fall, the company says it is becoming more crucial than ever to inspect project components to identify any errors made the during the plant planning, module production, transportation, or installation process as soon as possible.

Continuous inspection makes it possible to remedy any damage or defects early and rectify problems before a power plant comes online. Most of the modules used in India today are sourced from China.

Steven Xuereb, head of the PV systems business unit at PI Berlin said offering Indian module manufacturers the ability to consult on production and quality improves the ability of local producers to stand out from the competition in the market.

The Indian government is currently taking steps to address the prevalence of low-quality solar equipment. Mercom reported earlier this month that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is preparing to implement a quality control order that will force manufacturers to register with the Bureau of Indian Standards to use a standard mark that demonstrates their compliance with Indian quality standards.

The order, titled “Solar Photovoltaics/Systems/Devices/Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2017” is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2018.

Indian solar PV projects operate in a variety of challenging landscapes, from arid deserts to tropical forests, which can make it difficult to inspect components and system design to ensure the optimal, long-term operation of PV installations.

The establishment of PI Berlin’s Delhi subsidiary comes as the Indian government is working to achieve its goal of installing 100 GW of PV capacity by 2020. Kumar said this long-term plan gives market players the security they need to make investments.

Another German testing and inspection company, TUV Rheinland India announced expansion of its footprint in India last month with the opening of a €2.5 million (~₹192.6 million) facility in Bangalore to test Solar PV and other technologies. The company is a subsidiary of TUV Rheinland Group, a training, inspection, consulting, and certification company based in Germany.

Image credit: PI Berlin