Southwest Wind Power R&D Test Site Development at the National Wind Technology Center: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-12-00472

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Southwest Windpower, Inc. (SWWP) has been designing and distributing small wind turbines for more than 22 years and is the recognized global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of small wind systems (400-3000 watts). The company has been a pioneer in the development of wind technology and has built and shipped more than 170,000 wind turbines to over 120 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Flagstaff AZ, SWWP has sales representatives in over 88 countries. Applications for SWWP systems include residential homes, commercial properties, micro grids, remote cabins, telecom transmitters, offshore platforms, water pumping and sailboats. In addition, U.S. Department of Defense uses SWWP’s products in Forward Operating Bases (FOB’s), USGS uses them for remote monitoring of glacier movements and the CIA uses them to provide power seismic monitoring. Today, SWWP plans development of new technologies to address distributed energy market needs and become even more aggressive in international markets. This strategy includes extensive Research, Development, Demonstration & Deployment (RDD&D) activities to improve existing production line into more simple, reliable, and cost-effective wind turbine systems. Important part of such activities is the field testing of the new systems, which should provide: (i) validation of the reliable operation of hardware and software; (ii) validation of numerical models of the system and its components; (iii) field comparison of various control and optimization strategies; (iv) customized reliability testing; (v) customized monitoring and analysis testing; and (vi) IEC certification testing (vii) filed demonstration of system performance and reliability. Such field testing facility should encompass multiple towers and appropriate data acquisition systems. SWWP is exploring to move part of the engineering department to Colorado, and execute its RDD&D strategies in this new location. Partnership with NREL will provide great insights into SWWP’s RDD&D processes and more efficient commercialization by utilizing NWTC as the field testing site, and working close with NREL personnel. NWTC is ideally suited to strain the design. NREL is very experienced with customized and IEC testing. During this project, Southwest Windpower aims to improve the value proposition of distributed renewable energy, and make it a competitive choice in the energy markets. As of today, more then 170,000 small wind turbines, manufactured in the U.S., are installed in more then 180 countries. With the improved value proposition, Southwest Windpower wants to create and address new market needs, substantially increase its sales domestically and internationally, which should have positive impact on the creation of American jobs, competitiveness of U.S. economy, export or U.S. products, and the use of renewable energy.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-77644


  • cost-effective wind turbine systems
  • power seismic monitoring
  • small wind systems


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