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Wind Turbine Standards

Updated on April 16, 2017
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, engineer, mother of 2, and published scifi and horror author.


While wind power is still developing, there are already a number of formal standards wind turbines must meet. Wind power systems must meet a host of standards by the IEC, ISO or ASTM. Depending on the wind energy system component, it may also need to meet AGMA standards.

Wind energy is on the move, growing by leaps and bounds.
Wind energy is on the move, growing by leaps and bounds. | Source

IEC Wind Turbine Standards

The IEC 61400 standards family is an internationally recognized standard for wind turbine design and performance.

The IEC 61400 standards have been adopted by the ISO and are recognized as formal European Union standards for wind turbines. IEC 61400-1 lists the design requirements for wind turbines. IEC 61400 part 2 gives the IEC's design requirements for smaller wind turbines. IEC 61400 part 3 gives the design requirements for wind turbines placed offshore.

Wind turbines can create a loud, recurrent noise that disturbs the sleep of nearby residents and has been blamed for triggering recurring headaches in those nearby. IEC 61400-11 describes the methods used to determine the noise level produced by wind turbines. IEC 61400-12 gives the power performance requirements for wind turbines used to produce electricity. IEC 61400-13 outlines the procedure for measuring the mechanical loads of wind turbines such as the stresses the turbine places on the supports. IEC 61400-16 is the specification for power transformers used with wind turbines.

IEC 61400-21 is the standard for assessing the power quality of wind turbines connected to the power grid. IEC 61400-23 is the standard for full scale structural testing of the wind turbine's rotor blades. IEC 61400-24 states the lightning protection requirements for wind turbines.

IEC 61400-25 describes the communication profile used for monitoring and controlling wind turbines. Subsections of 61400-25 like 61400-25-1 give the logical nodes and data classes used in the communication profile. IEC 61400-26 outlines how the time based availability of wind turbines is found. IEC 60050-415 lists the terms and definitions used in all wind turbine standards

ISO Wind Turbine Standards

ISO 81400-4 was the standard for the gear boxes used in wind turbines with power ratings over 500 kilowatts. This standard was revised by IEC standard 61400-4.

Aside from the ISO/IEC 61400 standards, there are no other wind turbine specific standards by the International Standards Organization.

UL Standards for Wind Power Systems

UL 6142 is the Underwriter's Laboratory standard for wind turbine power generating system safety. UL 6142 is the standard for wind turbine converters and their electrical interconnection systems. Underwriter's Laboratory does not have any standards for the construction or operation of wind power turbines.

ASTM Standards for Wind Power

ASTM International has not issued standards specific to wind turbines. However, a number of existing standards relate to wind turbines. ASTM E1780-12 describes the method of measuring outdoors sound generated by a nearby fixed source like a wind turbine.

ASTM E1503-12 outlines the test procedure using a digital statistical sound analysis system. ASTM E1779 gives ASTM's recommendations for preparing a measurement plan before measuring outdoor sound levels. ASTM E1014-12 gives the recommended steps for recording the outdoor, A-weighted sound level.

ASTM E1240-88 was the ASTM's method of measuring the performance of wind turbines. This standard was issued in 1996. The ASTM E1240-88 standard was withdrawn in 2001 and was not replaced by another ASTM standard.

AGMA Standards for Wind Turbines

AGMA 10FTM13 is an American Gear Manufacturers Association standard for designing gear boxes for wind turbines in order to minimize the noise produced. AGMA 10FTM13 was written so that gear box designs would meet the noise limits specified in IEC 61400-11.

AGMA 10FTM02 is a standard for improving the heat treating flexibility of wind turbine gears. This standard allows the gears to be carburized or quenched. AGMA 10FTM03 describes one possible way of refurbishing wind turbine gears.


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