China’s Wind Power Sector Further Powered Up

As one of the largest drivers for global wind power development, China has faced difficulty in exporting domestically made wind turbines. However, that hurdle seems to have been lifted after China Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI) became a member of the Measuring Network of Wind Energy Institutes (Measnet), an elite club of the world’s wind energy sector which serves the industry by working to ensure high-quality measurements, uniform interpretation of standards and interchangeable results.

It not only means that exported wind facilities can be tested and assessed in China to substantially lower their test overheads, but also helps the technical upgrade of wind power manufacturers with the know-how of global standards and avant-garde technologies.

Why is this membership so important?

Measnet has an important say when the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, formulates a standard. For example, most of the experts of the IEC’s wind turbine technical committee come from Measnet-accredited members.

“Now that we have joined Measnet, we know what the international society is doing and what the future direction is,” said Qin Shiyao, deputy director of the Renewable Energy Department of CEPRI.

This marks the first time for Measnet to accept a country outside Europe and America to become one of its members.

“The achievement means that CEPRI’s performance is internationally recognized and the National Wind Power Integration Research and Test Center (NWIC) of CEPRI is capable of doing testing as other advanced labs in America and Europe,” said DuBois Andreas, a German expert working in CEPRI as the project director of the China Wind Power (Research & Training) Programme.

Applause from Chinese Turbine Manufacturers

Test capabilities provide strong support to the healthy development of the wind sector in China. CEPRI’s certification is certainly good news to all domestic wind turbine manufacturers who are eager to sell their products overseas.

“We used to go through a long process to have our products tested by foreign labs. We have to invest a lot of money, manpower and time. It normally takes us one to two years to finish the certification. Now CEPRI is accredited by Measnet and we can test our products without stepping out of the country. Besides, CEPRI can offer us advice on the documents we have to submit, saving at least one third of our time,” said Hou Yuhan, director of Strategy and Public Relations at Goldwind.

And the news means more than just saving time. An international qualified test institute can guide equipment manufacturers in prospective technical research and improve their competitive edge.

“The standard formulation in Measnet represents the future and trend of the wind sector in the world. CEPRI is now participating in a lot of international standardization, such as the IEC’s technical committee of Grid Integration of Large-capacity Renewable Energy (RE) Generation. These efforts steer the global wind power sector and in a way boost the technical capability of Chinese wind power companies,” said Qin Shiyao.

A World-leading Lab

The National Wind Power Integration Research and Test Center (NWIC) of CEPRI in north China’s Hebei province occupies an area of 25 square kilometers and is the world’s largest wind power test base with the strongest test capability.

Li Shaolin, test engineer from the Renewable Energy Department of CEPRI said, “Take low-voltage ride-through test as an example, the efficiency of our test system is ten times that of the equipment of the same kind in the world. Three fifths of these tests of wind power equipment throughout the whole country are accomplished here.”