Are there time limits for turbines that are seeking SWCC certification?

SWCC maintains an Applicant list with turbines that are actively seeking SWCC certification. Both the Small Wind Turbine Certification Policy and Wind Turbine Performance Certification Policy have an Inactivity clause (section H.6) that sets limits on how long an Applicant can remain on the list based on specific milestones. A certification application will be placed on “Inactive” status and removed from the SWCC website under the any one of the following conditions:

The turbine has not yet achieved “Under Test” status after 18 months from the “Under Contract” date;

The turbine has not yet achieved “Reports Submitted” status after two (2) years from the “Under Test” date; or

After one (1) year from the “Reports Submitted” date SWCC has not yet granted, conditionally granted, or rejected certification.

Any extensions to the time limits described above will be considered if adequate progress toward certification is demonstrated or good cause is shown, as described in writing to the Technical Director

How long will it take to certify a turbine?

Testing a small wind turbine to the requirements of the AWEA Standard will take at least six months due to the requirements of the Duration Test. Depending on the wind regime in which the test facility is located, testing and reporting may take as much as 1 year to complete. The process of completing SWCC certification depends on the quality of the test reports and level of issue resolution required. SWCC certification is expected to take approximately 2 to 4 months once test reports are received. The structural analysis of the wind turbine can be performed in parallel with the field testing.

For medium wind turbines, the testing period for power and acoustics is considerably shorter. Testing and reporting may take several months to complete. The certification process is expected to take approximately 2 months once test reports are received.

Does anyone require SWCC Certification?

Several incentive programs have started requiring certification for distributed wind turbines to become or continue to be qualified to receive funding. For a summary see SWCC’s Incentive Eligibility page and Links to Incentive Programs that are requiring or expecting to require certification. The Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) also has current information on dozens of additional state and utility policies for wind incentive programs.

What are the benefits of SWCC certification?

Certification enables consumer comparison of the wide variety of wind turbine products on the market. Funding agencies and utilities will gain greater confidence that distributed wind turbines installed with public assistance have been tested for safety, function, performance and durability and meet requirements of consensus standards. Certification can help prevent unethical marketing and false claims, thereby ensuring consumer protection and industry credibility.

What is the difference between the AWEA Rated Power and a Nominal Power listing for a certified turbine?

Small wind turbines certified to the AWEA Standard are required to publish the AWEA Rated Power in their specifications. This rating is the wind turbine’s power output at 11 m/s (24.6 mph) per its certified power curve. Manufacturers may still describe or name their turbine using Nominal Power. Nominal Power is designated by the manufacturer for descriptive marketing purposes.

What happens to a turbine certification if the manufacturer goes out of business?

Turbine certification is valid so long as the certification renewal conditions listed in the SWCC certification policies are met. Certification must be renewed annually. If ownership of the turbine design changes, a new Certification Agreement must be signed by the new owner to maintain the validity of the certification, per the ‘Change in Ownership’ clause in the SWCC certification policies.