Small Wind Turbine Testing at the NCWTC

NCWTC: Northern Colorado Wind Test Center


The NCWTC is a site where RRD Engineering and its collaborators perform field tests of small wind turbines (rotor diameters <16 m, power rating <65 kW). These tests are intended to help manufacturers engineer new projects, as well as certify established products against internationally recognized standards.

In the United States, small wind turbines are certified by the Small Wind Certification Council upon completion of the following tests: Power Performance, Duration (or endurance), Strength and Safety (or Safety and Functioning), and Acoustic Noise test. Each one of these tests is rigourously regulated by norms explained in the AWEA Standard 9.1 - 2009 Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard, and IEC 61400-2, -11, and -12-1.

Our facility is located in Weld County, Colorado, about 60 miles north-north-east of Denver. The terrain satisfies IEC 61400-12 Annexes A and B criteria in terms of acceptable variations from an ideal plane, and no further calibration is needed.

  
Annual average wind speed is 5 m/s at 20 m above grade, and wind speeds in excess of 15 m/s are recorded abpproximately 185 hours per year.

  
The site utilizes state-of-the-art data collection, communication instrumentation, and software to minimize response times and man hour requirements for data analysis and reporting.

We recommend manufacturers to contact us early in the process, as installation of towers, instrumentation and power grid interconenction may require some time before tests can officially start.

For more information on certification of Small Wind Turbines go to http://www.smallwindcertification.org .


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