Purohit Hemang

Respected sir,
can we replace electrical cable base lighting system by solar base lighting system for street / main passage/ remote areas in chemical industries under factory act -1948 ?
is it acceptable as per statutory norms & standards ? because I think that solar base street lighting system is more economical than conventional base power supply system & by this way we can helpful to increase company profit.
please discuss .

From India, Mumbai

Dear Hemang,
You can change the electrical power to solar power. No legal issues at all.
In fact before few years there used to be encouragement by the Government to use solar energy.
However you should be analyse the entire system.
Solar power uses PV cells, its life durability has to be evaluated.
It may apprar costly at the begining but can give a payback less than 18 months.
Thanks & Regards,

From India, Nasik
raghuvaran chakkaravarthy


Understand the concept of rules/act itís all woks in same concept all over the world.

For example rule/act says we need to use Schedule 80 pipe and 30'' depth for road crossing to avoid damage of pipes on vehicle traffic . In some cases you canít get Schedule 80 and particular depth due to unforeseen condition what you will do on this case. In this case even you didnít have SCH 80 pipe as well, but you have schedule 40 what you will do now? You will wait for the SCH 80 if so project will get delay. So in this case go ahead with SCH 40 and place the concrete encasement so now you meet the requirement as per rules/act (The main purpose of SCH 80 and 30íí depth was avoid damage the pipe from vehicle traffic you meet that requirements by using SCH 40 and place concrete encasement).

Dear Mr.Hemang,

Same thing applicable for your query only they can say they need light with specific requirements for particular areas then itís all depend upon us. Then its depend upon us how we are going to get power for lights i.e., electrical, solar, ups etcccc as long as we meet rules/act nobody canít raise any questions ever that how all business works now.

Hope its helps.

Dear Sudhir,

Thanks for your inputs on time.

From United States, Fpo
Bhardwaj Ramesh

Dear Sudhir and Raghu,
Thanks for valuable inputs.
As per Ffactories Act 1948 (India) there is no restriction on such lights, Act only speaks that all safety precautions should be taken for providing safe work place.
Today only I discussed with my Inspector of Factories regarding such provisions. Mr Sudhir is very much right that todays Govt itself encourging the Industries to solar based systems.
Mr.Hemang, you raised very important point. You please note that in chemical/pharma units use only flame proof systems................

From India, New Delhi
Dear Sudhir, Install solar lighting only by MNRE approved supplier. You may get some subsidy. If required I will provide you details of supplier. Hemant
From India, Mumbai

Dear Hemang,

I was trying to loacte the following document when I first replied on this thread.

Environmental Aspects of PV Power Systems

IEA PVPS Task 1 Workshop

25-27 June 1997

Utrecht, The Netherlands


The workshop report is available from the Department of Science, Technology & Society under the following title:

Evert Nieuwlaar and Erik Alsema, "Environmental Aspects of PV Power Systems", Report on the IEA PVPS Task1 Workshop, 25-27 June 1997, Utrecht The Netherlands. Report no. 97072, December 1997.

The workshop report (without appendices) can be obtained as a PDF file. This file does not include the 15 papers which were delivered to the workshop (see end of this page for a list of these papers).


Executive summary


During normal operation, photovoltaic (PV) power systems do not emit substances that may threaten human health or the environment. In fact, through the savings in conventional electricity production they can lead to significant emission reductions. There are, however, several indirect environmental impacts related to PV power systems that require further consideration. The production of present generation PV power systems is relatively energy intensive, involves the use of large quantities of bulk materials and (smaller) quantities of substances that are scarce and/or toxic. During operation, damaged modules or a fire may lead to the release of hazardous substances. Finally, at the end of their useful life time PV power systems have to be decommissioned, and resulting waste flows have to be managed.

An expert workshop was held as part of the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Implementing Agreement Programme, to address these environmental aspects of PV power systems. The objectives of the workshop were:

Review/overview of issues and approaches regarding environmental aspects of PV power systems;

Enhanced clarity and consensus regarding well-known aspects like Energy Pay-Back Time;

Identification of issues of environmental importance regarding PV power systems ('hot spots');

Identification of issues requiring further attention ('white spots');

Establish a network of researchers working on PV environmental issues.

The workshop had 25 participants from Europe, the United States, Japan, and Australia, representing the researchers in the field of environmental aspects of PV systems, R&D managers, industry and utilities.

Issues and approaches

The environmental issues that are considered most relevant for PV power systems were identified in the workshop as well as the approaches that may be used to investigate them. The main environmental issues discussed at the workshop were:

Energy use.

Resource depletion. For example, the resource availability for indium (used in CIS-modules) and silver (used in mc-Si modules) has been indicated as potentially problematic.

Climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions (notably CO2) mostly originate from energy use and the potential for PV power systems to reduce these emissions is receiving increasing attention.

Health and Safety. Continuous or accidental releases of hazardous materials can pose a risk towards workers and the public.


Land use; at least in the case of ground-based arrays.

A life cycle approach is needed for the assessment of environmental aspects of PV power systems because they mostly occur at life cycle stages other than the operation of the PV power system itself (i.e. manufacturing, end-of-life waste management). This life cycle approach is incorporated in the recently developed method of environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA(1) involves the comprehensive assessment of all environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a product, service, sector of the economy (like the energy sector) or the society as a whole. Due to the high degree of complexity of any comprehensive analysis framework, lack of consensus regarding the assessment of various environmental impacts, and lack of data, simplified forms of LCA have been developed and applied to the assessment of PV power systems. Energy pay back times and CO2 mitigation potentials of PV power systems are the results of simplified forms of LCA and may be used to give a first indication of environmental aspects. Since these indicators do not express all PV specific environmental risks, Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) assessment and control is needed as a complementary procedure.

Health, Safety and Environmental Aspects

Substances that are the subject of HSE assessment and control are (i) toxic and flammable/explosive gases like silane, phosphine, germane, and (ii) toxic metals like cadmium (in CdTe- and CIS-based technologies). The prevention of accidental releases of such hazardous substances is very important for the success of PV power systems. Current environmental control technologies seem to be sufficient to control wastes and emissions in todays production facilities. Technologies for recycling of cell materials are being developed presently. Enhanced clarity is however needed regarding costs, energy consumption and environmental aspects of these processes. Depletion of rare materials will probably not pose restrictions if further development towards thinner layers and efficient material (re)use is pursued.

The use of cadmium and other 'black list' metals in PV systems remains a controversial issue although the presented studies gave no indications of immediate risks. The perspective of the decision maker (risk aversion, risk comparison or risk-benefit evaluation) will determine the acceptability of new cadmium applications because this issue cannot be solved on the basis of scientific research only.

The use of hazardous compressed gases in PV manufacturing requires continuous attention. Further research and demonstration towards safer materials and safer alternatives is needed. Further progress in using less material (thinner layers) more efficiently (better deposition processes) is also needed and will lead to further reduction of energy use and emissions.

The general conclusion was drawn that the immediate risks from the production and operation of PV modules to human health or the ecosystem seem to be relatively small and well manageable.

Energy pay back times and CO2 mitigation potential

The Energy Pay Back Time (EPBT) of a PV system is the time (in years) in which the energy input during the module life cycle is compensated by the electricity generated with the PV module. The EPBT depends on several factors including cell technology, PV system application and irradiation. There still seems to be a popular belief that PV systems cannot 'pay back' their energy investment. The data from recent studies show however that although for present-day systems the EPBT can still be high, it is generally well below the expected life time of a PV system. For c-Si modules most energy is needed for silicon production, while for thin film (a-Si and CdTe) PV modules the encapsulation materials and the processing energy represent the largest energy requirements.

It is important to note that the potential for energy efficiency improvements is large. It seems feasible that the energy pay back time for grid-connected PV systems will decrease to two years or less in case of c-Si modules and to one year or less for thin film modules (under 1700 kWh/m2/yr irradiation, which is representative for the Mediterranean countries).

The operation of PV power plants does not involve the combustion of carbon-containing fuels and can therefore lead to a significant CO2 mitigation potential. Indirect emissions of CO2 occur in other stages of the life-cycle of PV power systems but these are significantly lower than the avoided CO2 emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions other than CO2 should also be considered. For example, fully fluorinated compounds like SF6 and CF4 have a very large Global Warming Potential, so their use in PV manufacturing should be avoided.

Environmental Life Cycle Assessment

The first LCA studies on PV power systems show that emissions are largely dominated by the energy use (electricity in particular) during PV production. From these results it is important to realize that the environmental performance of PV power systems heavily depends on the energy efficiency of PV system manufacturing and on the performance of the (national or regional) energy system itself, electricity production in particular.

The fuel mix of the electricity production system strongly determines the results of PV power system LCA's. A careful choice of the fuel mix is therefore important. The choice of the fuel mix should be consistent with the objectives of the study and must be reported. For certain cases (like international comparisons) a 'generic fuel mix' could be defined.

System aspects

For grid-connected systems LCA results show that Balance-of-System (BOS) components (supporting structures, power conditioner etc.) do not seem to have a large effect on the results because most energy is required for module production. In the future this will change when module production becomes more energy-efficient. In that case BOS components become more important and grid-connected, building-integrated PV systems will then have a significant advantage over ground-mounted systems.

LCA studies are also used to compare environmental aspects of different PV system options (e.g. grid-connected versus stand-alone operation). In such analyses options for energy demand reduction must always be considered along with the assessment of PV applications.

The scope of analyses can be extended beyond the assessment of environmental impacts of the life-cycle of specific PV systems through the analysis of the (environmental, but also social and economic) impacts of PV power systems within the entire energy system or the entire society. Such analyses must consider system integration aspects like energy storage and the treatment of imports and exports.

Comparative assessments

Comparisons between PV module technologies, between Balance-of-System alternatives or between PV and non-PV power production technologies can be made on the basis of LCA results.

Such comparisons require a careful identification of the study objectives before choices are made regarding the alternatives to be compared and the environment or 'background' where the comparison takes place (i.e. the electricity production system). In the sessions on Health, Safety and Environment, Energy Pay-Back Time, LCA and System Aspects a number of (implicit) technology comparisons were presented. Other, more general conclusions on technology comparison were not drawn during the workshop.

General conclusion

From the assessments made so far of the environmental risks of PV power systems and the possibilities regarding management of these risks, the conclusion may be drawn that, from an environmental point of view, the use of PV as a replacement for fossil fuel-based electricity generation has significant environmental benefits and there seem to be no significant bottlenecks that cannot be overcome.

Papers delivered to the workshop:

B-1 Ola GrŲndalen: Aspects and Experiences on PV for Utilities in the Nordic Climate

B-2 Evert Nieuwlaar: Environmental Aspects of Photovoltaic Power Systems: Issues and Approaches

B-3 Vasilis M. Fthenakis: Prevention and Control of Accidental Releases of Hazardous Materials in PV facilities

B-4 Mike H. Patterson: The Management of Wastes associated with thin film PV Manufacturing

B-5 Hartmut Steinberger: HSE for CdTe- and CIS-Thin Film Module Operation

B-6 Erik Alsema: Understanding Energy Pay-Back Time: Methods and Results

B-7 Atsushi Inaba: EPT and CO2 Payback Time by LCA

B-8 K. Kato, A. Murata, and K. Sakuta: 'Energy Payback Time and Life-Cycle CO2 Emission of Residential PV Power System with Silicon PV Module'

B-9 Roberto Dones and Rolf Frischknecht: Life Cycle Assessment of Photovoltaic Systems: Results of Swiss Studies on Energy Chains

B-10 Angelika E. Baumann: Life Cycle Assessment of a Ground-Mounted and Building Integrated Photovoltaic System

B-11 Ken Zweibel: Reducing ES&H Impacts from Thin Film PV

B-12 A.J. Johnson, M. Watt, M. Ellis and H.R. Outhred: Life Cycle Assessments of PV Power Systems for Household Energy Supply

B-13 A.J. Johnson, H.R. Outhred and M. Watt: An Energy Analysis of Inverters for Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems

B-14 Bent SÝrensen: Opportunities and Caveats in Moving Life-Cycle Analysis to the System Level

B-15 P. Frankl, A. Masini, M. Gamberale, D. Toccaceli: Simplified Life Cycle Analysis of PV Systems in Buildings, Present Situation and Future Trends

1. Unless explicitly mentioned otherwise, LCA is used in this text as a shorthand for environmental Life Cycle Assessment. In a more comprehensive sense, Life Cycle Assessment also involves other (e.g. social and economic) impacts.


From India, Nasik

go ahead ....Solar Lighting application is OK ..... Check for Life Cycle Costig as well as Payback and the decide Regards RAVI
From India, Madras

Logically it is electricity that you will be using- produced from an alternate source. You may check with the provisions in Electricity Act which may be applicable. Ultimate objective of the law is to provide adequate protection to the people handling it and if you ensure it you are not in conflict with law
From India, Coimbatore
Dear Purohit, Will you please contact details of good solar light suppliers. Regards Asheesh
From India, Panipat
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