Establishment of Small Wind Regional Test Centers

Tony Jimenez, Trudy Forsyth, Arlinda Huskey, Ismael Mendoza, Karin Sinclair, Joe Smith

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The rapid growth of the small wind turbine (SWT) market is attracting numerous entrants. Small wind turbine purchasers now have many options, but often lack information (such as third-party certification) to select a quality turbine. Most SWTs do not have third-party certification due to the expense and difficulty of the certification process. Until recently, the only SWT certification bodies were in Europe. In North America, testing has been limited to a small number of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) subsidized tests conducted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) under the ongoing Independent Testing Project. During the past few years, DOE, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and some states have worked with the North American SWT industry to create a SWT certification infrastructure. The goal is to increase the number of certified turbines and gain greater consumer confidence in SWT technology. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard, AWEA Standard 9.1 - 2009, in December 2009. The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) and Intertek, North American SWT certification bodies, began accepting applications for certification to the AWEA standard in 2010. To reduce certification testing costs, DOE and NREL are providing financial and technical assistance for an initial round of tests at four SWT test sites, which were selected through a competitive solicitation. The four organizations selected are Windward Engineering (Utah), The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M (Texas), a consortium consisting of Kansas State University and Colby Community College (Kansas), and Intertek (New York). Each organization will test two small wind turbines as part of their respective subcontracts with DOE and NREL. The testing results will be made publically available. The goal is to establish a lower-cost U.S. small wind testing capability that will lead to increased SWT certification. Turbine installation is ongoing. Testing began in early 2011 and is scheduled to conclude in mid-late 2012. 499.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2011
Event40th ASES National Solar Conference 2011, SOLAR 2011 - Raleigh, NC, United States
Duration: 17 May 201120 May 2011


Conference40th ASES National Solar Conference 2011, SOLAR 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRaleigh, NC

Bibliographical note

See CP-5000-50806 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-55077


  • certification infrastructure
  • codes and standards
  • consumer confidence
  • small wind turbines


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