Initial Screening Method (ISM) Testing
Time Estimate: Typically 4 – 8 weeks from start of testing
The Initial Screening Method (ISM) is an optional, abbreviated test method that can offer key feedback to the manufacturer and indicate whether the product is likely to meet the Quality Standards. Tests in the ISM use a sample size of one, but several tests are conducted simultaneously, so the manufacturer must provide at least three product samples to the test lab. Random sampling is not required because the results are for informative purposes only; for a product to meet the Lighting Global Quality Standards and receive program support, it must undergo the more rigorous QTM testing.
- Pico-solar products (products with peak power rating of less than 15 W) are tested according to the latest version of IEC/TS 62257-9-5. This and other key IEC documents for rural electrification are currently available at a discount for qualified stakeholders.
- Solar home system kits, which for the purposes of Lighting Global are products with peak power ratings between 10 W – 100 W, are tested according to the Lighting Global Solar Home System Kit Quality Assurance Protocols. These methods are available from Lighting Global upon request.
For products with peak power ratings between 10 W – 15 W, manufacturers may choose which methods they would prefer be used. The SHS kit method is more appropriate for products that include appliances, though some country governments require testing according to IEC/TS 62257-9-5 for all products up to 15 W.
Step 1: We recommend that you choose a test lab that is approved for ISM testing by Lighting Global. A list of test labs is available here and related policies are below.
Step 2: You will enter into contract directly with the test lab. Sample shipments, payments and reporting are handled between you and the test lab.
Typically for ISM testing, you will need to provide at least three samples of the product directly to the test lab. Confirm the number of samples required and all other logistics directly with the test lab.
Random sampling is not required.
Step 3: If you wish to receive additional guidance on the test plan or feedback on the results, contact the Lighting Global QA team. You will enter into a “terms of service” agreement with Lighting Global. A three-step process is involved in which a member of the Lighting Global QA team will first send you an agreement to digitally sign and return. Next, the IFC will send a hard copy of an “Engagement Letter” which must be signed and returned by mail. The IFC will then invoice you directly for the test coordination, review, and reporting services. These services typically cost US$500. This cost does not include the testing fees, which are determined by the test lab.
If you have contracted with Lighting Global for report review, when testing is complete, the test lab will send a copy of the test results to the Lighting Global QA team. The QA team may require additional information from the test lab or yourself, and will contact each as needed.