» Lean, Green Testing Regimes

18 May, 2009

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has granted accreditation for two new renewable resources testing processes. The accreditations, relating to tidal and wind power testing respectively, are the first of their kind to be awarded in the UK.

The European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) existing scope of accreditation has been extended to include testing of Tidal Energy Conversion Systems (TECS). Tidal power generation is measured by comparing the real-time electrical power generated against that available from the tidal flow. EMEC established its test site at the Fall of Warness in the Orkney Isles, where there is a strong professional community devoted to renewable energy.

Neil Kermode, EMEC Managing Director, said. “The Fall of Warness boasts some of the fastest tidal streams in Europe, running at some four metres per second, or eight knots. This, combined with being the most northerly community connected to the UK national grid, makes it the ideal testing ground for TECS. We are delighted to have been awarded what is believed to be the first TECS accreditation in the world.”

Accredited status for the testing of wind turbines and wind farms has been granted to Garrad Hassan Group. The accreditation is based mainly on the requirements of the IEC 61400-12-1:2005 standard, which requires the measurement of parameters such as wind speed, wind
direction, temperature and pressure. These measurements are compared with the electrical energy output of the wind turbines, enabling the efficiency of the system to be determined.

Andrew Tindal is Quality Director for Garrad Hassan. He said “A particularly interesting aspect of this accreditation is the assessment of the methods used to predict the energy production for wind farms. This is the $64,000 question for developing and financing wind farms – assessing how much energy the wind farm will produce over a lifetime of 20 or 25 years but doing this before the wind farm is built. Garrad Hassan has predicted the production of more wind farms on a worldwide basis than any other organisation and therefore we are delighted to have formal accreditation of our competence in this area.”

John Hurll, UKAS Assessment Manager, commented. “The granting of UKAS accreditation to both EMEC and Garrad Hassan for these new fields recognises the hard work that both organisations have put into their respective projects. It adds credibility to newly emerging environmental technologies, thereby increasing public confidence in them. It will also hopefully act to spur other companies into developing and refining their own renewable energy testing procedures.”