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All solar products in Uganda to undergo conformity tests – UNBS

Solar panels in Gomba. File Photo


Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 
Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is set to carry out conformity tests all solar equipment in Uganda even after solar standards under review are adopted.

The UNBS standards department recently started a review of solar standards but the solar association and standards specialists in UNBS say they had missed out the requirement of doing conformity tests which are vital for all solar products imported in Uganda.

According to Winnie Onziru, a senior standards officer at UNBS, developing Uganda’s solar standards are not in themselves sufficient to clean Uganda of fake solar products unless conformity tests are done in Uganda. The conformity tests will be carried out alongside implementation of the solar standards on newly manufactured products and solar products already on the market.

She says that Uganda is reviewing standards for all solar products, currently under review until 30 November 2020, but several quality tests methods are required for the solar sector in Uganda that does not do manufacturing, but depends on imported products.

She says that for newly manufactured solar products being imported into Uganda for the first time, a Quality Test Method (QTM) and Accelerated Verification method is needed. The standards under review specify safety, health and sizes of products, but the conformity tests will prove the actual value and usability of the solar products in terms of energy and lifespan.

Joyce Nkuyahaga, Chief Executive Officer Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA), says conformity tests would confirm the actual performance of solar products as it is measured to meet the standards under review in Uganda.

She says that even with the standards in place, one would want to know how the solar product works, how much energy it stores, light it emits and its actual lifespan which requires conformity tests to be carried out alongside the solar standards of health, safety and labelling.

The conformity tests will allow for standards to be maintained, but also keep check on solar products especially those newly introduced on the market to measure their actual performance and value for money in Uganda.

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