Certification bodies for Wind Turbines
Wind Turbine Associations and Standards
As with any other energy industry there are associations and bodies in the US that aim to help the wind power sector maintain standards.
American Wind Energy Association
One of the major ones is the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) which covers all installations from large wind farms to small, local projects. Based in Washington, the association produces a number of fact sheets for all aspects of the industry including manufacturers, suppliers and installers. This includes recommended practices that members should adhere to.
International Electrotechnical Commission
The IEC 61400 is a series of technical standards that need to be applied to wind turbines and is something that the US is heavily involved in helping to develop and regulate. This standard forms the basis for the industry in America and equipment is tested by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.
There are a number of companies and organizations that provide certification for all aspects of wind turbines. It’s not just the hardware you see such as the blades and tower that need to be top spec but the electric components such as inverters.
Installer and Sales Tactics to Avoid
Across the industry there is some sound advice for those who are inviting wind turbine installers or salesmen or women into their homes. As we all know, there are bad traders out there who don’t adhere to good practice and need to be avoided. These are our top tips:
- If a rep is stuck in your home for more than two hours trying to convince you to buy, he or she is probably more worried about their commission than the quality of the product they are going to install and whether it is right for your needs.
- If the installer or rep starts by offering you a high initial price and then brings it down substantially, be on your guard.
- If they offer you discounts for either signing that day or providing good testimonials to boost their own sales, make sure you resist the urge to pick up your pen.
- If they hold back important price information before the end or claim that the product they are trying to install has a limited availability, then opt for another, more reputable installer.
Always make sure you have done your research about the technology you are opting for and check that the installer has the right certification and quality controls in place before you agree to anything. You can check our list of reputable installers here.