Instilling confidence in a whole industry

IECRE System offers a common language for a highly technical product

By Antoinette Price

Established in 2014, IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, is the newest of the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems.

Wind turbine transported to destination World’s longest wind turbine rotor blade (154 m) transported through Denmark (Photo: Siemens)

Comprising three renewable energy sectors, wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and marine, the System harmonizes the certification process with the result that one certificate is valid for multiple markets.

IECRE issues first certificate

Over the past year, IECRE has issued its first and four subsequent wind turbine certificates to companies in China and Denmark.

Currently, there are 16 participating countries, eight certification bodies (RECBs), 164 testing laboratories (RETLs) and one inspection body (REIB), with the authority to carry out testing and certification of wind turbines and/or solar PV power facilities.

The solar PV sector expects to issue its first certificate before the end of 2017, while the marine sector has created the required documentation to operate a CA System once the International Standards have been completed and published.

Spreading the word worldwide

As the work evolves, IECRE is being promoted at events and trainings in different countries.

For example, the Chair of IECRE, Sandy Butterfield, presented the marine energy sector at Hydrovision International, the largest gathering of hydro professionals worldwide, held in Colorado, US, in June.

The System is also being promoted by the MET-CERTIFIED project, managed by the Dutch Marine Energy Centre, which has organized a series of workshops in Belgium, France and the UK, to highlight international certification of marine energy technologies under development by IECRE. The events attract financers, insurers, consenting authorities, technology developers, test facilities and certification bodies from the industry.

IEC Vice President and Chair of the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB), Dr Ulrich Spindler, gave a comprehensive presentation of IECRE and its three sectors at the International conference on renewable energy development and technology, in Frankfurt, Germany, in June. The event was hosted by IEC and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC).

George Kelly, member of the RE Management Committee (REMC), presented the solar PV sector of the System at the Sayuri-PV workshop in Tsukuba, Japan, in October, 2016, at a PV module reliability workshop in Colorado, US, in March this year, and at the 44th IEEE PV Specialists Conference in Washington held in June.

Wind turbine transported to destination World’s longest wind turbine rotor blade (154 m) transported through Denmark (Photo: Siemens)
From sun to power Sun is converted into energy through solar panels (Photo: Independence Renewable Energy)
Tidal energy device Triton platform tidal energy device (Photo: TidalStream)