New Comprehensive Standard for Wind Turbine Electrical Systems

CSA Group has just published a new standard for wind energy industry, CSA C22.2 No. 272 – Wind Turbine Electrical System. The standard is the first to cover all major electrical components for large and small wind turbines, and it is the first standard of its kind in the world providing requirements for the certification of wind turbine electrical systems all under one cover. This consensus-based standard was developed by a technical subcommittee with input from a diverse group of wind industry stakeholders including regulators, developers, original equipment manufacturers, certification bodies, industry associations, utilities, consultants and academics. The CSA Wind Turbines Technical Committee is harmonized with the Standards Council of Canada mirror committee to IEC TC88, which has the mandate to develop international standards for wind turbines that convert wind energy into electrical energy.

A number of wind energy stakeholders identified the need for a Part II electrical standard that could provide consistent and enforceable regulatory requirements and to manage costs related to the approval of turbines. Development of this standard was initiated by the need to replace CAN/CSA-F416-87 – Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) – Safety, Design, and Operation Criteria, which did not reflect technological advances in the industry and so has been withdrawn. The new standard also attempts to align electrical requirements with IEC 61400-1, Wind turbines – Part 1: Design Requirements, and to retain adherence to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I.

A wind turbine is a complex structure that contains components manufactured all over the world and sub-assembled in the field within the turbine. Commercial scale, multi-megawatt wind turbines consist of over 8,000 individual components manufactured and assembled in controlled settings. The field construction of a wind turbine consists of installing the foundation, raising the tower (typically in three or more sections), raising the nacelle, assembling the hub, cone and blades, and finally raising the completed hub and blades into place. While the nacelle contains many electrical and mechanical components, it is delivered to the field as a complete assembly. Prior to the publication of CSA C22.2 No. 272, developers, regulators and original equipment manufacturers literally had to look into hundreds of related component and design standards for safe and well-designed turbines.

CSA C22.2 No. 272 covers all sizes of wind turbines and applies to complete wind turbine electrical systems and associated electrical equipment intended for connection at not more than 46 kV and for use in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I. It should be noted that products covered by the scope of this standard are subject to the requirements of CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 0. This standard does not apply to performance with respect to grid codes or to power performance of wind turbines.

Since the Technical Committee is comprised of members very active in the international forum, it was critical for our stakeholders that CSA C22.2 No. 272 meets their needs while best maintaining harmonized requirements with existing IEC standards. CSA C22.2 No. 272 is based on an IEC standard that covered electrical equipment of machinery and was augmented by wind turbine electrical system standards development activity in the US. International standards were considered for key areas such as machine safety, functional safety and insulation coordination. Topics reviewed in depth by the committee include working space in front of equipment, ampacity of cables within the turbine, and safety- related control systems. Within the standard, clear requirements for wind turbine components are included, making the document very user-friendly.

CSA Group has an established reputation in North America for electrical safety, and we are recognized by authorities having jurisdictions, manufacturers and specifiers. Based on our existing business offerings and new complementary services, we now offer unique value-added programs to augment the requirements within the CSA C22.2 No. 272 Wind Turbine Electrical Systems Standard:

  • Enhanced component and sub-assembly testing and certification;
  • Attestations for safety related controls and functional safety;
  • Training to occupational health and safety (OH&S) regulations;
  • Testing & certification of OH&S equipment;
  • Assessment of wind turbines for electrical safety.

CSA Group can service its customers through model certification, witness testing, inspections, field evaluations, special acceptance and special inspections.


For more information about CSA C22.2 No. 272, please contact: Muktha Tumkur, Project Manager, CSA Group; Email: or to purchase visit