Establishment of Small Wind Regional Test Centers: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


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 werein 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 Wind Technology Center (NWTC) under the ongoing Independent Testing Project. Within the past few years, the DOE, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and some states have worked with the North American SWT industry to create a SWT certificationinfrastructure. 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), a North American certification body, began accepting applicationsfor certification to the AWEA standard in February 2010. To reduce certification testing costs, DOE/NREL is providing financial and technical assistance for an initial round of tests at four SWT test sites which were selected via a competitive solicitation. The four organizations selected are Windward Engineering (Utah), The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M (Texas), a consortiumconsisting 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 subcontract with DOE/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.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 National Solar Conference - Raleigh, North Carolina
Duration: 17 May 201121 May 2011


Conference2011 National Solar Conference
CityRaleigh, North Carolina

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-50806


  • certifications
  • regional test centers
  • small wind market
  • SWT
  • wind turbine
  • wind turbine testing


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