Novelty is crucial for Patent protection. Usually, the novelty is lost by:
(a) prior publication;
(b) prior public use;
(c) prior claiming (if it has been claimed in an earlier specification.)
However Section 31 and 32 provide that if the disclosure is before a scientific body or an exhibition notified by the Union Government, then, within twelve months from such publication or display, a patent application can be made.
A non-commercial experimental use does not defeat novelty. But, it is always better to apply for a patent first and publish or exhibit the product after patent application. If such publication or display had occurred prior to the application, contact a patent attorney immediately to know whether an application can be made notwithstanding the disclosure.