UL Dramatically Reduces Duration Of Turbine Power Performance Testing


Favorable wind conditions at new WTAMU facility allowed testing and data collection to be completed in only 29 days, instead of normal 8 to 18 months

One month following the opening of an advanced wind turbine test facility at West Texas A&M University, UL announced they have completed the Power Performance testing and data collection on a small wind turbine in 29 days. Depending on wind conditions, this testing typically takes from 8 to 18 months to fill all of the required wind parameters.

The Power Performance testing is one portion of the AWEA 9.1 certification. For the Power Performance portion of AWEA 9.1, the turbine must be tested at a variety of wind speeds. The wide range of annual average wind speeds at the UL wind test laboratory allowed the data to be collected in 29 days. To achieve AWEA 9.1 certification other tests must be completed, but the Power Performance portion typically takes the longest due to the number of different wind speeds which are required to meet the standard.

“Being able to complete the Power Performance portion of the AWEA 9.1 certification process, means the certification process will be finished much quicker,” said Adam Holman, laboratory director at the  UL/WTAMU wind turbine test laboratory. “Because our wind turbine test laboratory is in the Great Plains Wind Corridor, we were able to reduce the certification testing time and the manufacture will be able to go-to-market sooner.”

“UL, the DEWI Group and West Texas A&M University collaborated to establish this outdoor wind test laboratory to provide services for large and small wind turbine manufacturers,” said Jason Hopkins, business development manager for wind at UL. “This site is great for installing wind turbines for extended periods for research, performance measurements and certification purposes.”

The wind turbine test facility is located at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas–with over 400 acres available. Turbine manufacturers can use this site to test, measure and certify their turbines or prototypes. The service portfolio includes different measurements (power curve, mechanical loads, acoustic noise/vibration and electrical characteristics for grid connection, certification of wind turbines/components, as well as customized test programs, data collection and testing consultation.