Southwest Windpower has received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification for a key component of its 1.8-kW Skystream 3.7 residential-scale wind generator. UL certified the Skystream’s inverter.

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.

UL 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. 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.

A wind generator with a built-in inverter, such as the Skystream 3.7, decreases the cost of wind systems and simplifies the installation process. Small wind turbines have been traditionally designed for either off-grid, battery-charging applications or to be plugged into a separate inverter for grid connection.