The two small wind turbines were tested by engineers at West Texas A&M University’s Alternative Energy Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture facility in Bushland. They are the first units to get approval from the Small Wind Certification Council.
The consumer labels show the Rated Annual Energy, the Rated Sound Level and Rated Power. SWCC has also published official certificates and a Summary Reports for the Excel 10 and Skystream 3.7. The reports contain each turbine’s respective tabulated power curve and acoustic data, tower design requirements, and confirms that each meets all of the AWEA Standard’s requirements on durability, mechanical strength, safety and function.
SWCC also awarded Conditional Temporary Certification to the Xzeres-442SR, which joins the Evance R9000, and the Evoco 10 kW in receiving the certification. Additional requirements of the AWEA Standard are required by SWCC before it releases consumer labels for conditionally certified turbine models. Applicants must submit a full application package, including acoustics data reanalysis.
SWCC is an independent nonprofit based in New York that issues certificates and consumer labels that list estimated annual energy production, sound level and rated power output when wind speed is 24.6 mph, the standard established by the American Wind Energy Association.
“The full certification of two turbine models is a major leap forward in establishing consistent consumer ratings and aiding incentive programs with determining eligibility,” said SWCC Executive Director Larry Sherwood. “Our labels allow easier comparison shopping and will help small wind turbines gain mainstream acceptance.”
Small wind turbines are becoming more popular and manufacturers are trying to boost their market presence by submitting their products to evaluation processes. In 2009, nearly 10,000 units were sold in the U.S. Although there are several obstacles to wider adoption of small wind turbines, such as zoning ordinances and public acceptance, there are incentives and rebates for small wind turbine owners, like the ones listed by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.