Intertek releases safety certification for wind turbine gearbox

ETL certification enables manufacturers and wind farm developers to demonstrate electrical safety compliance.

12/29/2009


Intertek, a testing, inspection, andcertification services company has announced the industry's first electricalsafety certification of a large wind turbine gearbox in NorthAmerica. This first certification was completed for GE DrivetrainTechnologies, a unit of GE Transportation, based in Erie, PA.

offshore_windfarm.jpg

Offshore windfarm. Gearboxes are housed in windmill's nacelle.


According to Intertek, confusion about the regulatory requirements for productsafety compliance for wind turbines has often lead to state, local andprovincial inspectors delaying completion of wind turbine projects until ownersor manufacturers can provide evidence that their product complies withapplicable product safety standards. The gearbox certification is part of Intertek'seffort to qualify safety critical wind turbine components and sub-systems, andeventually the wind turbine as a whole. By providing certification for themajor electrical and mechanical components such as the gearbox, Intertek isworking to reduce compliance challenges from inspectors.

"The lack of a U.S.national standard for wind turbines has slowed the growth of wind power in keystates," said Ann Ruggles, global business manager for Intertek's wind powerservices. "In response, Intertek has stepped up with certification options thatresult in a quicker approval process. This ensures the greatest revenuepotential for manufacturers, provides additional confidence to installers andinspectors, and delivers clean renewable energy solutions to the market."

As an OSHA-recognized NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) in the United States and a Testing Organization (TO)and Certification Organization (CO) accredited by the Standards Council ofCanada (SCC), Intertek has evaluated more than 1,000 large wind turbines in North America. Intertek is accredited to evaluate andcertify products to a wide variety of national product safety standards.Products proven to comply with those standards are then eligible to bear theETL Listed Mark.

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