For the past year, a committee from the small wind industry has been working on a new article for the U.S. National Electrical Code (the NEC). The proposed new Article 694 Small Wind Electric Systems is modeled after Article 690 Solar Photovoltaic Systems, and applies to “small wind electric systems consisting of one or more wind electric generators with individual systems up to and including 100kW rated power output.”
Some specific new requirements are:
- Inverters must be listed or recognized
- Surge protection devices required
- Disconnect Requirements
- An exemption for turbine output circuits connected to controllers that regulate rotor speed
- An auxiliary grounding electrode
- Tower grounding connections must be accessible (i.e. easy to inspect)
In January, 2009, the proposal was presented by committee co-chairs Robert Wills (WindMonitoring.com) and Robert Preus (Abundant Renewable Energy) at an NEC meeting in Hilton Head, SC, and was accepted with a 12-0 vote. Proposals are now being reviewed by a Technical Correlating Committee, and will be released for public comment in July, 2009. The public comment period closes on October 23, 2009.
The NEC-Wind Committee requests that comments be forwarded through the committee so that an industry consensus can be presented, however anyone can also send comments directly to the NEC.
The NEC-Wind Committee has a web-based forum and monthly phone-conference. Information on joining, and full text of the proposed NEC small wind article is available at www.Wind-NEC.com .
Source: Robert Wills (WindMonitoring.com)