James Madison University

Small Wind Training and Testing Facility


The Small Wind Training and Testing Facility (SWTTF) at JMU provides the primary resource in Virginia for training developers and installers of small wind power projects and other from other trades who support such efforts. The SWTTF was officially opened during the 2012 Wind Symposium hosted at JMU. A 7.5-kW Bergey XL-R topped on a 120-foot lattice tower was installed in April 2012 prior to the official opening ceremony of the facility.

Installer Education Center

A curriculum package is currently under development in conjunction with SED, Inc. of Rochester, NY and will offer the following modules;

  • Business Planning
  • Technical Sales
  • Technology Selection
  • Permitting
  • System Design
  • Construction
  • Operation & Maintenance

Educational Goals

  • Provide a unique resource to the region
  • Train future workforce for small wind industry
  • Provide hand-on, experiential curriculum for all education levels (K12, 2-yr, 4-yr)
  • Engage professionals who seek to enter the wind energy field
  • Emphasize safety, site assessment, installation and troubleshooting


The SWTTF is a unique and independent testing center in Virginia – the closest facility for small wind testing is located at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. The SWTTF will be very useful in characterizing and field-testing new technologies, attracting small wind manufacturing to Virginia, and providing students and the established and developing installer base the opportunity to learn the required skills for the testing of wind power technologies.

Testing Capabilities

  • Power performance verification, prototype testing, research and improvement on existing technologies
  • Robust meteorological monitoring and wind assessment capabilities including Weatherbug Professional to serve campus at large
  • Turbine testing programs are to be developed by interdisciplinary student teams with faculty supervision.

If you are interested in working with our facility to test your turbine/equipment, contact us.

Equipment and Facilities

Interior and exterior lighting is high efficiency LED. The excess electricity generated by the renewable energy systems feeds into a battery bank system which is used when these systems are not generating enough electricity to power the facility. If the battery banks are full, excess electricity is rerouted to JMU. The renewable energy systems can operate in either grid-tied or stand-alone manner.

A Weatherbug Professional System has also been installed at the SWTTF facility. You can view data, forecasts and a live camera feed on our Weatherbug Page.


The SWTTF is equipped with robust suite of measuring and monitoring equipment, including the Weatherbug station mentioned above. The wind turbine tower itself has a total of six anemometers, four wind vanes and two 3-D sonic sensors attached on booms at 10-, 20- and 30- meters height. In addition, more data is recorded from the Outback Power Invertor and the Honeywell Interconnection system. The following data is currently being measured at the facility:

  • Weatherbug (Meteorology)
    • Wind speed, direction, gust
    • Temperature, relative humidity, heat index, barometric pressure
    • Rain accuulation and rate
    • Lightning sensor
  • Outback Power MATE3 (Inverter)
    • Real-time power production from solar array
    • Real-time inverter input and output
    • Real-time battery charging status
  • Met One CR1000 (Wind Measurement)
    • Sensors at 10-, 20- and 30-meters
    • Wind speed, direction and gust at each height
    • Stores data at regular time intervals
  • PowerWise INDAC System for Data Monitoring coming in 2017
    • Wind data will be available for download
    • Turbine and solar energy production will be recorded and streamed to a web interface
    • Energy imparted to the JMU grid will be monitored
    • The web interface is expected to be ready in 2017


We offer tours of the SWTTF! If you or your organization is interesting in coming out and learning more, please contact us.