One missing piece
remains: electrical testing
and listing of small wind
turbines for code
compliance. UL is
electrical safety standards
to address this issue.
S WCC Consumer Label
standard for reporting turbine energy and sound
performance, and provides consumers with performance data to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
AWEA is recognized by the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an
accredited standards developer. The AWEA
standard was developed in a regimented ANSI
process for “voluntary consensus standards,”
which requires participation from representatives of manufacturers, technical experts, public-sector agencies and consumers.
The AWEA standard is based upon three
international standards issued by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC):
• IEC 61400-2: Design requirements for small
• IEC 61400-11: Wind turbine generator systems – Acoustic noise measurement techniques;
• IEC 61400-12-1: Wind turbines – Power performance measurements of electricity producing
In addition, the AWEA standard is similar to
the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA)
standard issued by RenewableUK and used by
the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
SWCC issues labels showing the rated
annual energy output, rated power and rated
sound level for each certified turbine. The labels
also confirm that fully certified turbines meet
durability and safety requirements. As turbines
are certified, SWCC’s web directory includes
their power curves, annual energy performance
curves, measured sound-pressure levels and
other technical information.
swcc issues easy-to-understand labels
showing the rated annual energy output,
rated power and rated sound level for each
certified turbine. the labels also confirm
that fully certified turbines meet durability
and safety requirements.
Reports from testing organizations accredited to ISO/IEC Standard 17025, such as the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, require
minimal scrutiny from SWCC. Test reports
from non-accredited organizations require a
higher level of scrutiny to independently verify
the competence of the organization and the
quality of the test reports and that the testing
complies with the AWEA standard. SWCC performs onsite evaluations of all non-accredited
SWCC maintains a list of test organizations
that intend to test small wind turbines for the
North American market. The list may not be all-inclusive and is not an endorsement of any test
organization, only a resource intended to help
manufacturers find a test organization.
SWCC certification takes approximately two
to four months from the time SWCC receives
test reports and a complete application, depending on the quality of the test reports and the issue
resolution required. The structural analysis of the
wind turbine can be performed in parallel with
field-testing, but SWCC recommends that this
analysis be performed early in the certification
process, before field-testing begins.
Once its Certification Commission grants
certification, SWCC issues a certificate and
posts technical information about the turbine
model on its website. While applications are
pending, SWCC lists the applicant’s name and
turbine model, the date the applicant’s contract
was executed, the date the turbine testing began
and the date the applicant submitted reports.
The applicant can choose to have its name,
model and status remain confidential while it
Milestones in SWCC’s process include —
• Under Contract: Indicates that the applicant has executed a certification agreement
• Under Test: Indicates that the small wind
turbine has been installed at the test site, commissioned, instrumented and is collecting data.
• Reports Submitted: Indicates that the
applicant has submitted a complete test and
analysis report to the SWCC with a certification application.
• Conditional Temporary Certification: Indicates that SWCC has granted a time-limited
certification for a small wind turbine tested and
certified to the IEC 61400 series of standards
or the BWEA Standard by a certification body
that has signed an agreement with the SWCC.
Process depends on Quality testing
Eligible turbines are newly manufactured
electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept
area up to 200 square meters ( 2,150 square feet).
That corresponds to a rotor diameter of about
16 meters ( 52 feet). Depending on the turbine
design, this maximum size is a turbine producing
about 50−65 kilowatts. Both horizontal- and ver-tical-axis turbines are eligible for certification.
SWCC does not test turbines; it accepts
reports from testing organizations. Testing a small
wind turbine to the requirements of the AWEA
standard takes at least six months due to durability testing requirements. Depending on the wind
regime in which the test facility is located, the
wind turbine design and issues that arise, testing
and reporting may take one year or more.