SWT Certification Process Details


ICC-SWCC certifies small wind turbines to the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard  (AWEA 9.1-2009) and ICC-SWCC program policies.  Small Wind Turbines (SWTs) are defined by ICC-SWCC as electricity-producing wind turbines with a swept area up to 200 m2.

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 Notice of Intent Form together with a Configuration Description Form for each turbine along with supporting documentation and a Preliminary Review Fee (described in the NOI document).  This material is reviewed by ICC-SWCC staff and the Certification Commission.

NOTE: ICC-SWCC advises applicants to submit NOIs 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
A customized Certification Agreement is drafted for the applicant after the Preliminary Review is approved by the ICC-SWCC Certification Commission. 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 AWEA Standard requires the mechanical strength of the turbine system to be assessed using either the simple equations or aeroelastic modeling methods in IEC 61400-2. This strength analysis is typically performed by the applicant in conjunction with a professional engineer.

4) 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 comply with the applicable standard (AWEA 9.1) and ICC-SWCC Policies. All testing costs will be the responsibility of the certification applicant and must be 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 certification process. ICC-SWCC staff prepares and reviews the material submitted, and the ICC-SWCC Certification Commission is convened to make the final certification decision.

Once a turbine has been certified, ICC-SWCC issues a summary report, which contains the Rated Annual Energy, Rated Power and Rated Sound Level as well as other technical information. The report also notes that the turbine meets the durability and safety requirements of the AWEA Standard. The Summary Report, certificate, and certification label are then placed on the ICC-SWCC website.

6) Renewal
ICC-SWCC Wind Turbine Certifications are valid for a period of one year after approval. 90 days prior to the expiration, certification holders are sent a self-evaluation form and a renewal application form. When certification holder completes and returns the renewal application, self-evaluation form and annual renewal fees, the renewal is sent to the ICC-SWCC Certification Commission for review. If approved, the certification is renewed for another year. The process is repeated annually.