Full-service wind testing facility for global market access.

 

UL’s wind turbine test facility in Texas, one of the largest in the world, works in partnership with West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) to provide micro, small, medium and large wind turbine manufacturers with a testing location offering excellent wind resources.

The site enables manufacturers to install wind turbines for long- and short-term testing, providing capabilities for research, along with performance measurements and data collection required to gain international certifications.

The comprehensive testing offered at the facility can help lower costs, as problems can be remediated early in the development process, and reduce time-to-market since manufacturers can gain certifications to several standards in one streamlined process.

The facility provides 7,920 productive wind hours per year, with 519 hours a year over 15 m/s, and an average annual wind speed of 8.2 m/s at 50 m. The 400+ acres (161+ hectares) are strategically located for minimized installation permits, and is easily reached by rail, air and sea. There are no encroachments or topographic obstacles, which enables easy turbine installation.

UL services for micro, small and medium scale wind turbines and components include:

  • UL 6142 certification – A requirement by the National Electrical Code (NEC®) for code-compliant installations. The 2011 NEC® introduced a new article addressing small wind turbines (Article 694). Electrical inspectors now have specific guidance on the safe installation of small turbines, and will require certification to UL 6142.
  • AWEA 9.1 testing and MCS certification – Several states require certification to AWEA 9.1 to qualify for incentives. Because buyers look for certified turbines to help ensure they receive the maximum financial benefit, selling an uncertified turbine places the manufacturer at a competitive disadvantage. AWEA 9.1 certification is similar to MCS certification for access to the UK market (MCS 006). UL can perform both sets of tests in a single program for a nominal fee, saving time and money and opening an additional key market.
  • JSWTA 0001 testing – Provides access to the Japanese market with testing for required Feed-in-Tariff scheme for turbines with an output less than 20kW.
  • TAPS-2000 testing – Indian Type Approval – Provisional Scheme for grid connected horizontal access with rotor swept area greater than 40 square meters.
  • Type certification to IEC 61400-1 and 61400-2 – Provides access to global markets.
  • Load modeling and calculations for IEC 61400-1 and 61400-2 – A requirement for most turbine certifications, including AWEA 9.1, MCS and IEC Type Certification.
  • Research and design testing – Enables long-term field data collection for new blade designs, alternate generator or inverter, updated software, or similar product improvements.
  • Performance validation and customized testing – UL performs customer-specified test programs, consulting services and regulatory support.