MNRE Issues Specifications for Lithium Batteries Used in Off-Grid Solar Applications

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has released the requirements for solar street lights and solar study lamps specifying minimum performance parameters for lithium batteries.

The ministry has issued provisions for solar street lights and solar study lamps being procured under the off-grid and decentralized solar applications program.

Currently, the specifications provide for the use of lithium ferro phosphate batteries in the solar systems. The ministry had received representations from stakeholders for the inclusion of all lithium batteries other than the lithium ferro phosphate batteries.

In August this year, MNRE had issued a draft notification detailing the specifications of lithium batteries that can be used for off-grid solar applications like solar street lights and solar study lamps. The ministry had called for comments and suggestions from stakeholders by August 28.

After considering all the facts and the stakeholders’ suggestions, the ministry decided to specify the performance parameters for batteries to be used in solar street lights and solar study lamps.

As per the new specifications, the batteries’ specific energy should be a minimum of 120 Wh/kg, and the charging rate should be a minimum of C/4. The charge-discharge cycles should be a minimum of 2,000 cycles at the C/10 rate (C rate is the measure of the rate at which the battery is discharged) at 25 degrees Celsius. The depth of the discharge should be 85% at 25 degrees Celsius. The batteries’ temperature should be in the range of 10 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius.

The ministry said all lithium batteries, fulfilling the above parameters, will be used for solar street lamps and solar study lamps in the future.

In March, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change had issued a draft notification for battery waste management with the regulations applicable to all types of batteries as listed in Schedule-I, regardless of their shape, volume, weight, material, composition, or use.

Previously, Mercom reported that MNRE had issued draft guidelines for performance testing of batteries (lead-acid and nickel-based chemistry type) series approval for mandatory registration with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Battery energy storage system (BESS) was brought under the ambit of the Solar Photovoltaics, Systems, Devices, and Component Goods (Requirement for Compulsory Registration under the BIS Act Order 2017), which was implemented on April 16, 2018.