SWT Certification Process Details


ICC-SWCC certifies small wind turbines to the ACP 101-1 standard and ICC-SWCC program policies.  Small Wind Turbines (SWTs) are defined by ICC-SWCC as electricity-producing wind turbines with a peak power < 150 kW.*

1) Preliminary Review
The first step in the ICC-SWCC application process is the conduct of a Preliminary Review. During this review, ICC-SWCC’s Certification Commission reviews the turbine to ensure it is eligible for ICC-SWCC certification, and determines the applicable submissions for certification. If approved, the manufacturer is invited to formally apply for ICC-SWCC Small Wind Turbine Certification.

The certification process begins when the manufacturer submits a Preliminary Review Application Form for each turbine along with supporting documentation.  This material is reviewed by ICC-SWCC staff and the ICC-SWCC Certification Commission.

NOTE: ICC-SWCC advises applicants to undergo a Preliminary Review before beginning testing to ensure that test plans conform to all requirements and documentation is obtained during testing. Especially for non-accredited test sites, it is advisable for ICC-SWCC to begin the site evaluation and test witnessing early in the process in order to avoid delays and added costs.

2) Certification Agreement
Upon successful completion of the Preliminary Review, a customized Certification Agreement is drafted. The agreement details the specific turbine seeking certification, submittals (test reports, documentation and analyses) and test plans to be required with an application for certification, and certification fees based on the type and characteristics of the turbine. After the Applicant signs and returns the Certification Agreement, the Applicant can choose to allow ICC-SWCC to publicly identify the Applicant’s name and turbine model and be listed on the ICC-SWCC website.

3) Strength Analysis
The ACP 101-1 Standard requires the mechanical strength of the turbine system to be assessed using methods such as simplified load or aeroelastic modeling detailed in IEC 61400-2. This strength analysis is typically performed by the applicant in conjunction with a professional engineer.

4) Turbine Testing
Applicants who have not already conducted testing, may choose to use testing laboratories that are accredited or non-accredited to ISO 17025 or conduct the testing themselves (subject to ICC-SWCC requirements). Non-accredited testing organizations must agree to the required ICC-SWCC test site evaluation. The test site evaluation involves an in-person inspection of the testing fixtures, sensors and procedures once the turbine is installed at the test site and ready for testing. Test site evaluations are conducted by ICC-SWCC staff or qualified designees. The applicant is responsible for fees and costs associated with the test site evaluation. All testing must be done according to ACP 101-1 and ICC-SWCC Policies. Testing costs are the responsibility of the applicant and are paid directly to the testing laboratory.

5) Certification
Upon completion of all testing and analyses, the applicant sends all submittals and fees required in the Certification Agreement to ICC-SWCC for completion of the evaluation process. ICC-SWCC staff prepares and reviews the material submitted, and the ICC-SWCC Certification Commission is convened to recommend a certification decision.

Once a turbine has been certified, ICC-SWCC issues a summary report, which contains the Rated Annual Energy, Power Production and Sound Level as well as other technical information. The report also notes the IEC SWT Class satisfied for durability and safety. The Summary Report, certificate, and label are then posted publicly on the ICC-SWCC website.  The new certification is valid for a period of one year from the date of approval.

6) Renewal & Inspections
After one year, certifications must be renewed to maintain the certifications. 90 days prior to the expiration, certification holders are sent a renewal application form. When the certification holder completes and returns the renewal application forms and annual renewal fees, the renewal is reviewed by the ICC-SWCC Certification Commission. If approved, the certification is renewed for another year. The process is repeated annually.

Production facilities are subject to inspections of their quality management systems to ensure ongoing compliance with program requirements.  The first inspection must be completed within 6 months of the award of the certification.


*Note that SWCC previously certified small wind turbines to the AWEA 9.1-2009 standard.  That standard covered small wind turbines with a swept area up to 200 m2.  Small wind turbine certifications awarded prior to 2022 were conducted to the AWEA 9.1 standard.  These legacy certifications may be maintained to the AWEA 9.1 standard, and are not being required to update to ACP 101-1 at this time.