New turbine-type certification service for the wind sector is the right solution to support a cleaner energy future
(WK-intern) – The new Wind Turbine Type Certification IEC 61400 service launched today from Lloyd’s Register Energy is developed to help overcome many of the technical, financial and environmental risks associated with turbine design and manufacturing.
Type certification confirms that the wind turbine type is designed, documented, and manufactured to comply with the design specifications, specific standards and other technical requirements.
Ross Wigg, VP Renewables at Lloyd’s Register Energy said: “Success in the wind energy industry requires multi-disciplinary competences to understand the wind resource; choose appropriate technology; and design, install, and operate robust projects.” Wigg continued, “With the certification landscape changing, we have launched this new certification service to address a growing need in the market for independent provision of type certification for onshore and offshore wind turbines.”
Recent consolidation in the industry has reduced the number of organisations offering turbine-type certification services.
“We feel that clients in Europe, America and Asia could benefit from a fresh, more intuitive, approach while retaining the technical excellence already associated with Lloyd’s Register Energy as an acknowledged independent global certification and classification company.”
The Lloyd’s Register Type Certification process is carried out in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) — IEC 61400-22 — which is an internationally recognised and a mandatory requirement in some regions. It sets out the key requirements for assessment of wind turbine design, manufacturing and testing. The certification and testing of wind turbines is essential to provide confidence, trust and continuity to all entities involved in wind energy projects, from the wind park operators and banks, through to government and agencies involved in the sector.
The company also has launched a unique pre-certification ‘SMART Audit’ module specifically designed to plan for innovation challenges in future technology advances. Its experts conduct a full audit of a client’s early stage design, management systems and resource so they can make adjustments where necessary. A pre-certification audit is then put in place to plan for likely technical or innovation challenges which can be worked through in advance and minimising delays further down the line.
“We are providing the global wind sector with a different service offering to what is presently available. This includes training seminars to help clients understand the standards available, the certification process, how to prepare and how to avoid the typical stumbling blocks.”
Wigg says that his global team pride themselves on their open-minded approach to technical innovation. “While turbine technology is now significantly advanced, we never consider that there is only one way to achieve robust high performance turbine technologies.
“Our experts have grown up with the industry and, while they have a comprehensive understanding of the entire turbine design, testing and certification process, they acknowledge that there are still opportunities for future innovation, particularly in materials, structures, control systems, safety and electrical systems.“
Ultimately, the new service from Lloyd’s Register Energy will support the end-users of turbines, typically developers, who require that the technologies they use are effective, robust and safe.
“While our Type Certification process is based on core engineering principles, it is structured in a way that supports innovation where there is a clear case for thinking differently.“
Lloyd’s Register Energy is active on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and plays a key role in defining consistency across certification modules in the wind energy sector to make the process of bringing wind energy turbines to market easier for manufacturers and developers alike.
The specific wind turbine standards used to perform these evaluations may be of international, regional or national levels. National standards are found in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a series of international standards. The IEC standards, which have the reference number 61400 and are entitled Wind Turbine Generator Systems, have already been adopted by several countries around the world or are used as the foundation for the development of national standards.
When it comes to wind’s contribution to national electricity needs, European countries top the leaderboard. Denmark gets one third of its electricity from wind, well on its way to a target of 50 percent by 2020. Portugal, Lithuania, Spain, and Ireland come in at around 20 percent each. In fact, wind came within a percentage point of beating nuclear power for the title of Spain’s number one electricity source in 2013. And Germany, Europe’s largest economy, obtained 8 percent of its electricity from wind farms (source: Global Wind Energy Council).
PR: Lloyd’s Register