First certified braking system highlights need for certified components to promote the growth of clean energy.
The wind industry’s first electrical safety certification has been made to a large wind turbine hydraulic brake system for Hydrep, Inc. of Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada. Certification is an important step for expanding the use of wind power in North America, says Intertek, a company that provides support services for manufacturers, owners, and operators in the wind-energy industry. The widely recognized ETL Listed Mark lets this certification provide Hydrep with a means for ensuring their equipment will be accepted by safety inspectors throughout North America.
“The ETL Listing of our wind turbine brake system helps us to differentiate the product to customers and prospects, and provides them with assurance that the hydraulic brake has been assessed for compliance with applicable national product safety standards for the U.S. and Canada,” says Hydrep GM for Wind Products Pierre Yves Tremblay. “Intertek has developed a straightforward evaluation program that addresses electrical and hydraulic portions of the brake system. With only minor changes to our product, we were able to demonstrate full compliance with these requirements in a matter of weeks. Intertek guided us through the process and demonstrated their wind turbine compliance-engineering expertise.”
“The absence of a nationally accepted standard for wind turbines is leading to a significant slowdown in the completion of projects involving this critical source of energy,” says Intertek Director of Energy Services Brian Kramak. “Although Intertek has certified gear boxes and brake system for large wind turbines, there are still many major and minor components that have not been certified. Coordinated action by state, local, and industry officials is needed for the time construction of this clean energy source.”
The absence of a nationally accepted standard for large wind turbines has led to state, local, and provincial inspectors delaying completion of wind turbine projects. Owners or manufacturers must provide evidence that their product complies with applicable safety standards. Intertek says the certification of the brake system, along with the industry’s first certification of large wind turbine gearboxes to accepted standards, is part of its effort to qualify safety-critical wind turbine components and sub-systems, and eventually the whole wind turbine. Certification for the major electrical and mechanical components such as brake and gearbox systems, reduces compliance challenges for manufacturers.
Intertek is an OSHA-recognized Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory in the U.S. and accredited by the Standards Council of Canada as a testing organization and certification organization. The Company has evaluated over 1,500 large wind turbines in North America. It is accredited to evaluate and certify products to a wide variety of local, national, and international product safety standards.