GL Renewables Certification (GL RC) says that for the first time, it has undertaken a comprehensive survey of the standards within the directive for low-voltage equipment (LVD) as they apply to wind turbines' CE marking, an essential step in introducing products to the European market.
Wind turbine manufacturers must comply with at least five directives, with hundreds of harmonized standards potentially applicable. Failure to comply with any of them could result in legal liability, loss of reputation and the placement of a product on the Rapid Alert System for non-food dangerous products list.
The LVD has 681 harmonized standards with a potential application to wind turbines. GL RC has identified 12 categories of electrical equipment that are implemented or possibly implemented in wind turbines and subject to CE marking under the LVD.
Based on a comprehensive assessment of the harmonized standards, and taking into account the electrical layout of modern turbine systems, these 681 harmonized standards have been split into three categories: White, Black and Gray, GL RC explains.
Of the 681 harmonized standards, 406 are considered to not be applicable to CE marking of wind turbines – the Black. This list can contain superseded versions of applicable standards; however, these usually encompass a field that manufacturers or their representatives do not need to check.
There are 176 standards in the White category – standards judged to be fully applicable. This category includes only the most recent version of the applicable standards; a harmonized standard will be excluded even if it is fully applicable to the CE marking of wind turbines when there is an updated version.
The 99 standards in the Gray category will apply under some circumstances, depending on the utilization of the particular product. A questionnaire prepared by GL RC helps manufacturers and their representatives to verify whether a harmonized standard within this category applies to their product, the company says.