In spite of their often relatively simple appearance, wind turbines are sophisticated machines, requiring proper design, manufacture, testing, operations, and maintenance to provide electrical energy in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner. This is increasingly critical as a larger percentage of the power that helps us to function in our modern world comes from renewable wind energy each year. Converting mechanical wind energy to electrical power requires hundreds of critical components, manufactured around the world to be designed, manufactured, and assembled to harmonized standards.
Where do these standards come from? Most all wind turbines are designed to IEC standards which were developed through participation of companies, industries and governments in meeting, discussing and developing the international standards they require.
The IEC Technical Committee for wind energy generation systems is known as TC88. The scope of TC 88 covers standardization in the field of wind energy generation systems including onshore and offshore wind turbines, wind power plants, and interactions with the electrical system to which energy is supplied. These standards address site suitability, resource assessment, design requirements, engineering integrity, modeling requirements, measurement techniques, test procedures, operation and maintenance. Their purpose is to provide a basis for design, quality assurance and other technical aspects.
In the US, the US TAG for IEC TC 88 is comprised of experts and other stakeholders in the wind energy field from manufacturers, testing labs, certification bodies, operators, owners, and government agencies. It provides the US national input and direction for TC 88 related standards, organization of standards, and future development.
ARESCA offers a platform for information exchange and coordination among members of the US TAG for TC 88, broadly representing US stakeholders as they participate in TC 88 related advisoryand voting functions. To further support these functions, ARESCA offers to serve as Administrator for the TAG.
Wind Energy Certification
Conformity assessment and certification is a uniform means for interested end user parties to know that the wind energy generating systems are designed, built and tested in accordance with the internal standards of the IEC. The IECRE provides the guidance and harmonization for wind energy system conformity assessment and certification, as noted above.
Within the IECRE, there is a sector dedicated to wind energy with a goal to offer a harmonized application for conformity assessment around the globe for wind energy equipment. This sector is represented within the US by the USNC/IECRE.
On the international level there are sub groups, to insure that all stakeholder groups are represented in determining the certification process:
- Certification Bodies
- Test Labs
- Original Equipment Manufactures
- End Users (such as Owners, Operators, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Regulatory Authorities)