UL Launches Mobile OVRT Lab in India for Solar and Wind

CEA has made it mandatory for wind and solar energy projects to have OVRT capabilities

November 21, 2019


Underwriters Laboratories, commonly known as UL, a global safety science company, has come up with India’s first mobile over-voltage ride through (OVRT) laboratory to help solar and wind companies comply with the latest grid codes.

This comes close on the heels of the regulations put in place by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which went into effect on February 8, 2019, that made it mandatory for all wind and solar energy projects at any voltage to have OVRT capabilities.

The main aim of these new regulations is to enhance grid stability, and also give the licensee the power to disconnect the renewable energy project from the grid in the event of non-compliance.

OVRT is the ability of the power generating station to remain connected to the grid even if the voltage crosses the specified limits. The primary function of the OVRT laboratory is to successfully transfer the power generated from renewable energy sources onto the grid.

Speaking about this latest development, Chakradhar Byreddy, director for renewables in the Asia Pacific at UL, said, “We launched our low voltage ride through (LVRT) mobile testing laboratory following the introduction of grid connectivity standards for wind and solar power generating stations by the CEA in 2013. UL has now launched the mobile OVRT laboratory to help the industry quickly meet the deadline to comply with the new requirement by February 2020.”

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to test the wind turbines and inverters before supplying it to renewable power projects for commissioning, but with the OVRT laboratory, the companies can test the inverters and wind turbines at the site and up to the range of 10 MW. The results can then be analyzed by an expert who can later fine-tune the turbine or inverter to meet the requirements. This makes it easier for the power generating companies to comply with the latest grid codes, which are not applicable for the already commissioned projects.

Speaking about the company’s growing involvement in India, Suresh Sugavanam, UL’s vice president and managing director for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “As part of our ‘In India, for India’ strategy, we will keep building local testing capabilities to serve our client needs in India. We intend to continue making further investments and will soon offer local services in prototype testing that will help the country get closer to its 175 GW renewable energy target by 2022.”

As reported by Mercom, in the quarter ending September 2019, India’s total renewable energy capacity (including large hydro) stood at 130.68 GW, which is 35.7% of the total installed power capacity in the country — integrating this intermittent energy on to the grid while maintaining its safety and stability, is challenging for the grid operators.

UL announced the launch of its first ever mobile solar PV testing laboratory in New Delhi earlier in June.