UGE’s products, the first vertical axis wind turbines certified by a third party

Urban Green Energy (UGE), the New York City-based manufacturer of wind turbines and related products, has received what almost no other small wind turbine manufacturer has. After completion of third party testing on its three leading products, its 600 W, 1 kW, and 4 kW vertical axis wind turbines, UGE received certification of the wind turbines’ power performance, noise levels, and vibration levels. Testing was completed in accordance with IEC-61400-12 (power production), IEC-61400-11 (noise levels), and ISO-2631 (vibration levels) standards.

While excited about all three certifications, it was the power curve certification UGE CEO Nick Blitterswyk wanted to speak about first: “Clearly we are very satisfied to have a third party test agency confirm the performance of our wind turbines,” said Blitterswyk. “In the past, the small wind turbine industry had been plagued by studies that showed competitors’ products performed well short of the advertised capacity. By being the first US-based small wind turbine company to achieve the 61400-12 certification, and one of the first worldwide, we are showing that we are committed to providing customers with complete confidence in our products.”

The noise level certification is remarkable as well in that the levels were so minuscule. Even at wind speeds of 20mph, the wind turbine was quieter than a human whisper.

UGE engineer Evan Huang recounts a recent meeting with an Australian customer at UGE’s factory: “We had just returned from lunch as we walked up to one of our 4 kW units. At that location the wind almost always blows in the early afternoon, and right on queue the wind picked up and the turbine started spinning. Standing right beneath the wind turbine, which was on a relatively short 20 foot tower no less, we couldn’t hear a thing even as the winds picked up to 20 miles per hour. The customer was amazed.”

Third party certification allows UGE to prove what its staff and current customers already know. Wind turbines should be “seen, not heard” states Blitterswyk. “It’s hard to find a source of clean energy that looks more beautiful than one of our products, but no one wants to have to deal with the high noise level some other units have. Here’s proof that you can make a great visual statement and not be bothered by the sound.”

The third certification attained was for the products’ vibration levels. The products were tested in accordance with the ISO-2631 standard.

Vibration levels are especially important in building integrated installations and atop telecoms towers, two areas in which UGE is heavily involved. Traditionally one of the biggest obstacles to both scenarios has been the vibration levels of other wind turbines. UGE’s low rotation speeds and innovative design serve to mitigate this problem in countless applications. “A major focus of our company is product adaptability,” said Blitterswyk. “Recently the American Wind Energy Association, or AWEA, projected 30-fold growth for the wind power sector over the next five years. This growth is being realized through advancements in technology that allow for wind turbines to be installed not just in rural areas, but atop buildings and other structures as well. This is creating whole new markets for our products.”

Prior to receiving these certifications, UGE had already had its products certified to the IEC-61400-2 standard, which addresses small wind turbine safety. In addition, UGE works with a major supplier of inverters that are UL approved for grid connection.

With all these certifications in hand, UGE is well on its way to being one of the first manufacturers to have its products attain Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) certification. The SWCC released its guidelines for certification last month. The SWCC expects the first certifications to be awarded later this year.

Urban Green Energy is a world leader in small wind energy focused on providing high quality, high performance, and attractive products to customers around the world. To date we have sold products in more than 20 countries through our offices in New York, London, and Beijing as well as our over 100 distributors.