Southwest Windpower’s Skystream 3.7 Gains UL Certification

Southwest Windpower is now shipping its 1.8-kilowatt (kW)-rated Skystream 3.7 residential-scale wind generator after receiving Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification for its inverter, a key component that converts wind energy into household power. This is the first UL certification for an inverter that is built into a small-scale residential wind generator (10 kW or less).

UL certification helps improve the safety of the electric grid and also the safety of electrical line workers in times of grid failure, repair and maintenance. Electric utilities require UL certification for all inverters that feed power into the electric grid. The inverter inside Southwest Windpower’s Skystream was granted UL certification for compliance with standard UL1741 / IEEE1547 after passing a series of tests. Tests include anti-islanding, automatic power export cessation in response to grid variations, moisture immunity, electrical hazard risk elimination, safe operation during electrical surge, elevated temperature operation, and safe design and construction. “The Skystream wind turbine can play a crucial role in the emerging home power market,” said Jim Green of the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo. “This design is a great combination of cost, performance, and noise reduction in a small wind turbine.” NREL, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Technology Program, has been a partner with Southwest Windpower on the development of the Skystream wind turbine since 2000. Skystream is a fully integrated wind generator “appliance” designed specifically for the grid-connected residential market. Skystream is a streamlined, plug-and-play technology with no battery or external electronics required that connects directly to the home. When the wind is not blowing, the home is powered by the electric utility. When the wind is blowing, the Skystream delivers power to the house and sends any unused power into the electric grid. This causes the electric meter to spin backwards and allows homeowners to receive a credit on their electric bill, if the utility allows “net metering.”
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