Welcome to IEA Wind and Task 27
Providing a standard consumer label for small wind turbines
The safety, reliability, and productivity of small wind turbines pose a challenge both to consumers and to governments. Since consumers want a good turbine and governments want to promote safe equipment, most countries with wind energy development programs want to ensure the performance of small wind turbines.
In response to this worldwide need, IEA Wind organized Task 27 Consumer Labeling of Small Wind Turbines. Beginning in 2009, Task 27 participants* developed and IEA Wind approved (in 2011) simplified standard tests and a label to provide understandable information on small wind turbines (up to 200 m2 rotor swept area).
The Recommended Practices for Wind Turbine Testing and Evaluation 12. Consumer Label For Small Wind Turbines provides both a standard label for small wind turbines and the procedures for conducting the tests needed to provide the information on the label.
Establishing an association for testing organizations
Standard test protocols and standard presentation of this information will give customers and governments information about the safety and performance of small wind turbines. The acceptance of this label by the public should encourage manufacturers to improve the technical reliability and performance of small wind turbines.
A successful consumer label requires qualified testers to carry out the production, sound, and endurance tests specified in the Recommended Practices for Wind Turbine Testing and Evaluation 12. Consumer Label For Small Wind Turbines. Task 27 has created the Small Wind Turbine Association of Testers (SWAT) to promote standardized testing for small wind turbines (See SWAT link at left).
Next: small wind turbines and buildings
Because many of the problems with small wind turbines occur in city environments, Task 27 will work over the next two years to develop consumer information for this special application. The result will be new Recommended Practice for Design of Small Wind Turbines in the Built Environment. It will address the special resource assessment needed for the built environment and the special testing and design standards needed for small wind turbines operating in communities.
Built-environment Wind Turbines (BWT) (See Figure 1) are installed on the roofs of buildings, side-mounted to a building, integrated into the building design, or otherwise operate in the urban setting. This new Recommended Practice will extend the consumer label to small wind turbines in the built environment.
Figure 1. Examples of small wind turbines in the built environment. Left to right: Side-mounted to building, roof-mounted, ground-mounted near buildings, building-integrated
*The Task 27 participants worked for three years with the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) IEC 61400-2 Design Requirements for Small Wind Turbines, MT2, a new initiative approved by the TC88 Committee in October 2008. The IEC initiative is still underway. IEA Wind consumer label is included in the IEC 61400-2 third edition draft as Informative Annex N.