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Offshore Standards and Research Validation


NREL's Offshore Wind Research Capabilities

  • 35 years of wind turbine testing experience
  • Custom high speed data acquisition system integrated for offshore testing
  • Trained crew of offshore certified test engineers and technicians
  • Colorado- and Boston-based laboratory test facilities for large blade and multi-megawatt drivetrain testing
  • A2LA accredited certification testing to IEC standards
  • Third-party design verification of innovative floating and fixed-bottom wind turbines

NREL's standards and research validation capabilities address the need to validate our experience with emerging offshore wind industry.

Research Validation

Applying 35 years of wind turbine testing expertise, NREL has developed instrumentation for high resolution measurements at sea by adapting its existing land-based testing capabilities. NREL maintains offshore-trained research engineers and technicians, who conduct a wide range of field measurements to verify turbine performance and dynamic responses.


Turbine research run by NREL's experienced staff includes certification compliance to the latest IEC standards for power performance, load measurement, acoustic emissions, and power quality. In fact, NREL engineers helped to write these wind turbine standards over the past two decades. NREL is fully accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditors (A2LA) to conduct these tests.

NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) introduced customized sensors and instrumentation to advance the industry. NWTC has been responsible for some of the wind industry's landmark experiments, such as the NASA Ames unsteady aerodynamics experiment. The center leads the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative. In addition to its strength in field research validation of wind turbines, the NWTC also houses the nation's premier laboratory facilities for structural research of wind turbine blades, drivetrains, and major wind turbine structural components.

For further detail on NREL's research validation capabilities, see Testing.