Small Wind Turbine: Electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept area up to 200 m2.
Medium Wind Turbine: Electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept area greater than 200 m2 and less than 1,000 m2.
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.
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.
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.