turbines of all sizes
West Texas A&M University and UL have opened a turbine testing facility on 480 acres in Canyon, Texas. The Advanced Outdoor Wind Test Facility
will provide services for manufacturers of large,
small, and micro-scale wind turbines, as well as
research and design testing.
The facility lies in the middle of the Great Plains
Wind Corridor, where favorable wind blows all
year. The good conditions will help companies
receive quick turnaround on tests. The facility can
accommodate temporary and long-term installations,
a benefit to manufacturers whether testing blades,
generators, inverters, software, or some combination.
The facility is staffed full-time by engineers,
technicians, and a machinist, and has the equipment
necessary to install small and medium-sized turbines,
including foundations. The site features an indoor
space for instrumentation and troubleshooting. A
data acquisition system will provide customers real-time data for their turbine, accessible by a website.
The facility is capable of testing for various
standards, including UL 6141 and 6142, International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certification, and
Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) certification.
The facility will use an array of sensors to
tell wind speed, wind direction, temperature,
output voltage, current, and power, as well as
acoustic measurements. UL commissioned the
first turbine for tests in December 2013, and more
manufacturers are in the pipeline.
UL and West Texas A&M University will partner at
that facility with the DEWI Group. DEWI was acquired
by UL in 2012. DEWI-OCC is a generally accepted
certification body for land-based and offshore wind
turbines and their components.
The benefits of the test site will extend to the
university where it’s located. “WTAMU will become
a green campus as we produce power from the
wind turbines we test,” says laboratory director
Adam J. Holman. WPE
Dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering
at West Texas A&M University, discusses the testing facility at a recent
the crane along the skyline of Canyon, Texas.