RFP #5-10

Request for Technical Expertise on Inverters, Inverter Batteries and Uninterrupted Power Supply to Provide Technical Analysis during the Development of Minimum Energy Performance Standards in India

Introduction

The Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) is an international non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency standards and labeling for commonly used appliances and equipment. CLASP joined the ClimateWorks Foundation’s network as a Best Practice Network (BPN) in March of 2009. As a BPN, CLASP has expanded its efforts to support nations around the world that seek to improve energy efficiency in appliances, lighting, and equipment, and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

Leveraging support from the ClimateWorks Foundation, CLASP desires to add value to the Indian energy efficiency standards and labeling dialogue. To that end, CLASP is seeking to identify technical experts on inverters, inverter batteries and uninterrupted power supplies (UPS). These experts will work with CLASP and its partners in the development of technical analysis in support of India’s energy efficiency standards.

Background

The Government of India introduced the Energy Conservation (EC) Act 2001 and created the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) as a statutory body to implement the Act. S&L are two major program areas being implemented by BEE. BEE works through committees of experts and stakeholders, including representatives from industry, consumer organizations, and industrial associations, who determine how the program should be implemented on a product-by-product basis. BEE launched the first voluntary comparative energy label for refrigerators in May 2006. Other labeled domestic products to-date are air-conditioners, tubular florescent lamps, storage water heaters (geysers), color televisions, ceiling fans and cooking gas stoves.

BEE has identified inverters (including the inverter battery and UPS) as a significant source of backup power in India. Most businesses and many households use inverters to provide power to essential appliances during power outages. Inverters essentially are on all the time, charging or on standby, and may consume power continuously. The exact power demands of inverters are not well known, and the options for improving their performance are not yet well researched.[1] 

It is expected that the market for inverters (with batteries) and UPS will grow rapidly over the next years, potentially leading to substantial energy demands and efficiency losses across India. To assist BEE in its decision about a possible standard and/or label for inverters and inverter batteries, CLASP is seeking to identify and mobilize technical experts to analyze:

  • The size of the market;
  • The technologies and range of efficiencies currently available in the market; and those currently not marketed but potentially available;
  • Available Indian and international test standards for inverters, batteries and UPS;
  • Relevant testing capacities in India (government, manufacturer and/or third-party laboratories);
  • The typical costs of products;
  • The typical power demand during charging and during standby; and
  • The typical energy demand and energy losses per product.


[1] An inverter converts AC grid electricity into DC electricity, so that this can be stored in batteries, and back from DC into AC. The inverter charges batteries when there is grid power, and reverts this process in case of power failure. Some inverters are used solely to convert DC, e.g. from solar cells, into AC; these inverters, however, are not within the scope of this study. There are various kinds and qualities of inverters (main types are square wave, modified sine wave and sine wave inverters), with different costs and efficiencies.

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS, also known as uninterruptible power source or battery/flywheel backup) provide essentially the same functionality, however, for appliances and equipment that need emergency power without interruption in case of power failure. Although the basic function of inverters and UPS is similar, there are some technical differences that need to be taken into account in an analysis.

Scope of Work

Technical experts should have strong expertise in product specifications, test procedures, and energy efficiency standards for the identified products. Technical experts will collaborate with BEE and CLASP in the analysis of inverters, UPS and inverter batteries. Experts are expected to present the methodology used, interim results and consult with BEE and CLASP at each stage of the analysis, and participate in stakeholder consultations if needed. All findings should be documented in task reports, and the analysis should be summarized in an overview report setting out the national impacts of inverters in the current situation, and projected impacts if improved products were mandated and labeled.

The technical experts will be required to fulfill the following tasks and responsibilities:

  1. Assess the size of the market for inverters and UPS units (number and typical sizes of inverters and UPS units sold; market shares of main 5-10 suppliers; main distribution channels);
  2. Assess the inverter, UPS and battery technologies currently on the Indian market; and those currently not marketed but potentially available;
  3. Assess typical manufacturing and consumer / end-user costs of different sizes and technology types of inverters and UPS;
  4. Assess the range of power demands of inverters and UPS currently in the market, while charging and in standby mode;
  5. Assess typical power demands of new technologies not yet marketed;
  6. Assess typical usage hours, in charging mode, standby mode, and power supply mode;
  7. Assess typical energy demands and energy losses of different sizes of inverter and UPS technology;
  8. Assess the national impacts of inverters and UPS (national annual energy demand and losses; annual market turnover; annual energy cost), for the current situation and for (2 to 3) scenarios in which more efficient inverters and UPS units would be mandated.

Timeline

The analysis needs to be concluded by the end of 2010.

Criteria

Interested firms/individuals are required to register as CLASP Implementing Partners before final submittal. You may register to become an Implementing Partner here. Any questions about CLASP’s Partner Process may be directed to Corinne Schneider via email at cschneider@clasponline.org.

A panel appointed by CLASP will evaluate qualifications received from respondents. Selection of qualified experts will be based upon the following criteria:

  • Extent of international and local experience with standards and labeling analysis as well as with inverters and UPS units. Teams having a mix of local and international experts are preferred;
  • Experience working collaboratively with other experts on energy;
  • Experience of working on at least one product for S&L with BEE;
  • Familiarity with product-specific test procedures and efficiency standards;

Additional information about CLASP's selection process is available here.

Submittal

An interested party should submit:
  1. A full resume (1 page) of the individual conducting the study or, if a team effort, of each member of the team, including contact information. CLASP reserves the right to mix individuals that it selects from proposing teams to build the best International team possible;
  2. A detailed statement explaining why the proposed project leader is the best-suited expert for this study. If a team is proposed, credentials for all team members and the approach to jointly work should be summarized in one additional page per member;
  3. A detailed statement (3 pages) of the general approach he or she would undertake in conducting the research, describing data sources, analytical methodology, if applicable identifying recent and ongoing studies and initiatives that need to be taken into account to avoid overlap and duplication, etc;
  4. A work plan outlining roles, responsibilities, tasks, deliverables and timelines. A budget estimating costs broken down by major expense category in terms of testing and manpower including the hourly or daily rates for each member of the team.

We request that technical component of the proposal documents be submitted as a single electronic file (preferably in pdf format). We further request that the file be named as per the following example: “Contractor Name: Product: RFP #5-10”

The financial proposal may be submitted in hard copy through courier/registered post to:

79, Navjeevan Vihar
Ground floor
New Delhi – 110017

Please note that the sealed envelope should be addressed to Mr. Bodhisatya Datta and clearly mention - Response to RFP #5-10.

If necessary for the selection process, CLASP may request additional information from any applicant.

Interested Implementing Partners must submit the requested information by e-mail (please include "Response to RFP #5-10" in the subject line) to Bodhisatya Datta at: bdatta@clasponline.org

All questions may be directed to Bodhisatya Datta at: bdatta@clasponline.org. We request all enquiries be made by email and not by phone.  

Summary of Bids and Decisions

In keeping with CLASP's commitment to a fair and transparent evaluation of all bids, we have provided a basic summary of the bids received under this RFP as well as the basic rationale for the selections.

This was a competitive solicitation and responses were received from four groups:

  • ICF International
  • Bio Intelligence Service
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • Voluntary Organisation In Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE)

The assessment criteria of the review subcommittee required priority to be given to proposals that were comprehensive in addressing the project execution plan and cost projections, in accordance with the RFP. Only the bids submitted by BIO - I, PwC and VOICE met the criteria.

The shortlisted bids were assessed by each member of the subcommittee on the basis of:

  1. An assessment of the qualitative and quantitative adequacy of the proposed methodology and the presentation of the plan layout in the bidder’s proposal in terms of reasoning and applicability.
  2. The bidder’s expertise and prior experience in Standard & Labelling projects and estimate for the project tasks, as shared by the bidders.

While all finalists' submitted excellent proposals and considered strong and likely to result in a valuable final product, the winning submission for Technical Expertise on Inverters, Inverter Batteries and UPS to Provide Technical Analysis during the Development of Minimum Energy Performance Standards in India was by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The average scores out of 100 by the four member subcommittee comprising CLASP Consultant & Staff and external technical experts are as follows: 

AVERGE SCORE

PwC

85.41

BIO-I

77.5

VOICE

51.6