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Standards, Certification

Europe: Solar Keymark Network to Improve Complaint Procedures

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 31, 2016
The Solar Keymark Network has decided to establish a working group in order to revise and improve the complaint procedures and put them into one document, as they have so far been described in several different papers and various articles: The Solar Keymark Scheme Rules, Article 2.2, includes instructions on how to handle complaints and there is Article 6.3. Special Test, whereas the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations Part 4, Article 7.4, describes the appeal procedures (see the attached documents). This move is deemed necessary because at the end of 2015 – for the first time since the Solar Keymark label was launched – several complaints were submitted to one of the empowered certification bodies. “In our network meeting, we informed the members about the first big complaint and discussed the need for putting the complaint procedures into one document, to make it clearer for the solar thermal industry how to use them,” said Jaime Fernández González-Granda, Chairman of the Solar Keymark Network and Product Officer at the Spanish certification and standardisation body, AENOR. 
 

Germany: One Week, Three Global Solar Certification and Standardisation Meetings in Berlin

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 17, 2016
Between 8 and 11 March, Berlin will be the venue of choice for standard and certification experts from all corners of the globe. Then, the city will host three international meetings to discuss standard and certification issues at European and global level: First, there is the meeting of the Solar Keymark Network (SKN), which will be held on 8 and 9 March and will be headed by Jaime Fernández González-Granda (left); second, there is the one of the Global Solar Certification Network on 10 March led by Harald Drück (middle). The third event that will take place in the same week is the kick-off meeting of the newly created Task 57, Solar Standards and Certification, which will be held on 10 and 11 March and will be headed by Jan Erik Nielsen (right).

Quality Infrastructure Crucial to Emerging Markets

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 11, 2016
IRENA 2In December 2015, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a comprehensive report on how to establish a quality infrastructure (QI) for solar water heaters on small-scale markets (see the attached document). The 76-page study is part of a series on Quality Infrastructure for Renewable Energy, which uses information from 83 survey respondents and data from interviews with 34 experts on QIs for renewable energy sources. The report discusses established international system and collector testing standards as well as examples of implementation across selected countries. It also highlights market barriers and makes recommendations for developing solar water heater Qis, focusing mainly on emerging markets. The programme highlights the complexity of a quality infrastructure, including the establishment of a product label, test labs, installers’ certification and the involvement of inspection bodies.
Source: IRENA
 

Uruguay: The Battle for Market Growth Continues

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 23, 2015
Uruguay market developmentUruguay, whose population of 3.4 million makes it one of the smallest countries in Latin America, has shown positive market development since 2007. Cumulated installed solar thermal power saw a notable increase from 1 to 9.5 kWth per 1,000 inhabitants. According to numbers published by the National Energy Department and the annual national energy report, the country’s total collector area installed by the end of 2014 amounted to 46,241 m². Mesa Solar, the multi-sector network for the promotion of solar energy in Uruguay calls for accelerated growth to achieve 1 million m² in 2020. The official target of the government is 150,000 m² until 2024.
Source: Construcción y operación de Bancos ensayo de Solar Térmica en Uruguay, presentation held in San José, Costa Rica, on 29 June 2015
 

Egypt and India: UNIDO Supports Industrial Solar Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 22, 2015
UNIDOThe United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) started two projects in the first quarter of this year with the aim of increasing the deployment of solar process heat: January of 2015 marked the launch of a 5-year programme in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote business models for an increased market penetration and scale of concentrated solar thermal heating and cooling applications. Three months later, UNIDO launched the 5-year programme Utilizing Solar Energy for Industrial Process Heat in Egyptian Industry together with the Egyptian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises. Both projects are funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). 
Figure: UNIDO
 

Latin America on Its Way to Solar Thermal Quality Standards

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 31, 2015
Costa Rica WorkshopBrazil is going to implement compulsory certification of solar water heating (SWH) equipment in 2015. Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Mexico already have laboratories for testing, and Costa Rica has recently set up one. Latin America is working through the regional Pan American Standards Commission, COPANT, on regional standards for SWHs, with the aim of harmonising them with ISO standards. The region is not yet considering a common regional testing and certification scheme, but there is a growing consciousness of the fact that testing and certification performance, as well as quality is very important to developing the SWH markets of the region. It is the reason why 50 experts from 14 countries have recently discussed how to accelerate the process: The Regional Forum (from 29 to 30 June 2015) was jointly organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the project “Quality Infrastructure for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)” coordinated by the National Metrology Institute of Germany, PTB, the Latin American Energy Organization, OLADE, the Electricity Institute of Costa Rica, ICE, and the National Standards Body of Costa Rica, INTECO. All presentations are available for download on the IRENA website.
Photo: IRENA
 

IEA SHC: Mutual Recognition of Test and Inspection Reports Saves Industry Costs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 4, 2015

The work of the Global Solar Certification (GSC) Network is expected to continue within the framework of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC). The Executive Committee of the IEA SHC approved the set-up of a task definition workshop in Paris on 7 October 2015, in order to establish a new task under the title International Standards & Global Certification. “Collector and system manufacturers selling products in several countries, as well as representatives of certification bodies, test labs and inspectors from all around the world are invited to join the meeting in Paris and become members of the international research community discussing the harmonisation of standards and certification schemes worldwide,” explains Jan Erik Nielsen, Manager of the GSC Network and initiator of the new task. Other groups which could benefit from the new two-year task are stakeholders and public authorities in countries which do not have standards in place yet or which employ old ones. The network plans to develop guidelines for them on how to correctly use the international standards and to offer training materials and assistance. The photo shows the expert group during the first GSC Network meeting in Spain in April 2014.
Photo: GSC Network

Enhanced and Expanded Solar Thermal Test Capabilities (2011)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 21, 2015

This document focuses on new solar thermal test capabilities used in the certification of solar thermal collectors. The Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) created this document to help explain how their certification systems works and what the benefit will be to the solar thermal market.

Utility Solar Water Heating Initiative and Energy Star (2011)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on April 7, 2015

This letter was written by Chip Bircher of USH2O, a solar thermal water heating industry group, to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It answers questions that the EPA had regarding solar thermal water heating and its eligibility for the Energy Star Program.

USH2O makes the argument that solar thermal water heating should remain eligible for the Energy Star labeling program. Solar thermal sales have shown consistent growth, and so it is important to maintain the relationship as the use of solar thermal becomes more widespread.

India: First Vacuum Tube Testing Centre Established

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 2, 2014
Pune UniversityThe School of Energy Studies at Savitribai Phule Pune University, located in Maharashtra state, has set up India’s first vacuum tube testing centre. The investment was around INR 4 million (about EUR 50,000) and was funded entirely by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). “Considering the expertise available at our university – in physics, electronics, as well as chemistry - it was the obvious choice,” Professor Subhash Ghaisas, Director of the School of Energy Studies, said. His institution also has the first testing centre for concentrating solar thermal technology, which was inaugurated in July 2014. 
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy
 

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