Intertek (www.intertek.com)
 

Intertek accredited for testing of small-scale wind turbines

Intertek’s testing laboratory has now been accredited as one of three in Europe for testing of small-scale wind turbines under the IEC-EN 61400-2 basic standard and the 61400-11 (noise) and 61400-12-1 (performance) supplementary standards. Intertek is also, as the sole laboratory in Europe, able to perform accredited tests at customer sites.

In Sweden third-party certification of small-scale wind turbines is voluntary, and self-declaration under the low voltage and machinery directives is sufficient for CE marking.

“Still, you of course need to make sure your documentation is in order, and the standard requires a test report,” Roger Larson, a technical expert in wind power at Intertek, says. “What’s more, testing takes six to twelve months to complete depending on the wind conditions, and not everyone has access to suitable test sites.” 

Many manufacturers are also choosing to perform accredited tests, as an accredited test report serves as documentation for the UK’s MCS certification. The reason is that this certification gives the owner of a wind turbine the right to receive extra payment for the electricity he or she supplies to the national grid in the UK, and thus constitutes a competitive advantage for the manufacturer. No such system currently exists in Sweden, but similar systems are in place in many other European countries.

Since 2011 a voluntary consumer marking scheme for small-scale wind turbines has also been in place, a marking which needs to be performed by a third party. The marking, which states the noise level and power produced at a specified wind strength, is an initiative of the IEA (International Energy Agency).

To qualify as a small-scale wind turbine, the turbine must have a swept area (rotor area) of less than 200 square metres, and it is the whole turbine – foundations, tower, blades, generator, etc – that is tested under the standards.

Intertek can perform the accredited testing either at its own wind power testing site on Lilla Båtskär in Åland or on site. Intertek is the only testing laboratory in Europe that is able to perform accredited on-site testing for customers.

To find out more, please contact Tom Bengter, tom.bengter@intertek.com