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Small Wind Turbine Independent Testing

One of the barriers for the small wind market has been the lack of small wind turbine systems that are independently tested and certified. To help industry provide consumers with more certified small wind turbine systems, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy (NREL/DOE) launched the Independent Testing project in 2007.

Through a competitive solicitation, NREL selected five commercially available small wind turbine systems to test in 2008 and 2009.

Through a competitive grant selection, a second round of Independent Testing was initiated by the DOE Golden Field Office in 2009.

The small wind turbines were tested to standards adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and in compliance with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) standards for small wind turbine systems.

The resultant test reports may be used by the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC), a nonprofit organization formed with support from the DOE, AWEA, state energy offices, and turbine manufacturers to certify small wind turbine systems. Learn more about SWCC's independent certification from NREL's small wind webinars. Test data could also be submitted to international certification agents as partial input for international certification.

Small wind turbines that are tested and certified will give consumers greater confidence that the systems they install will perform within specified wind regimes as advertised by the manufacturer.