IEA launches interlaboratory comparison for SSL product testing

The IEA 4E SSL Annex hopes that interlaboratory testing could result in a robust and reliable global network of accredited test houses.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has launched the 2013 Interlaboratory Comparison of solid-state lighting (SSL) product testing, as part of its Energy-Efficient End-use Equipment (4E) SSL Annex.

The Interlaboratory Comparison (IC) is being organized to investigate test methodology, and to verify the proficiency of laboratories worldwide for measuring SSL products. The organizers say they would like to encourage laboratories that are currently testing or wish to test SSL products to participate in the IC.

The IEA 4E SSL Annex hopes that this work could help to establish SSL testing accreditation worldwide and ultimately lead to a robust and reliable international network of laboratories proficient in SSL testing so that end-users can rely on information given in test reports.

The comparison parameters, measurement quantities, and other details are available from the Annex’s website in the IEA 4E SSL Annex Interlaboratory Comparison Generic Protocol.

The IC will be run by the SSL Annex’s four Nucleus Laboratories:

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the USA;
  • National Lighting Test Centre (NLTC) in China;
  • National Metrology Institute of the Netherlands (VSL); and
  • National Metrology Institute Japan (NMIJ) in National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan.
Participants will be assigned to work with one of these Nucleus Laboratories. They will be asked to measure a set of SSL parameters using the “IEA 4E SSL Annex Interlaboratory Comparison Test Method version 1.0,” which attempts to harmonize the requirements of several SSL test methods in published or draft form.

The Annex’s Test Method takes the most stringent requirements from these SSL test methods, including those used in the USA (IES LM-79), Europe (draft of EN 13032-4), Japan (JISC 7801, JIS C 8105-5), China (a set of GB standards and CQC specifications), and the test methods included in the IEC performance standards (drafts of IEC 62722-2-1, IEC 62612).

After the IC testing phase is complete, the SSL Annex will provide reports to relevant accreditation bodies, as proof of a laboratory’s successful participation in this IC. This could be done, for example, in support of a laboratory’s application for SSL testing accreditation to any of the above listed test methods.

The number of participants in this IC is limited due to the capacity constraints of the four Nucleus Laboratories. Participation from the IEA 4E SSL Annex member countries (i.e. Australia, China, Denmark, France, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Sweden, UK, and USA) will have priority. Participants from non-member countries may be accepted if Nucleus Laboratories still have capacity to accommodate them within the schedule of the IC.

The measurements for this IC will commence in October 2012 and will be completed by June 2013.

The fee for participation in this IC is EUR 2650 excluding VAT and shipping costs for a laboratory based in an IEA 4E SSL Annex member country, and EUR 750 more for laboratories in non-member countries.

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