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Testing Turbines in Order to Apply an International Consumer Label

svenruinHistorically, small wind turbine (SWT) manufacturers have not had to undergo the same stringent certification procedures as large wind turbine manufacturers, and SWT test data has often been provided by manufacturers without verification and in varying formats, making it difficult for consumers to compare products. To enable consumers to make an informed decision when purchasing a SWT, a method for consumer labelling has been developed under the wings of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This labelling method can also be of benefit to professional buyers of SWTs and should spur the industry to develop better products. Some manufacturers of SWTs have already done much of the type testing according to IEC standards, which is required for the label, and expect to apply the label to their products during 2012.

By Sven Ruin, TEROC AB, Sweden, and Jonathan Whale, Murdoch University, Australia

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