|Today's date: Thursday November 15, 2018||Vol 51 Issue 46|
We Cover The County...
Ryerson planning six research turbines
by David Meyer
C. WELLINGTON TWP.
There are more wind turbines coming to this area, although a project planned for Highway 6 just north of Fergus is far different from the wind farm proposal for Belwood.
Ryerson University will be doing tests of various sized windmills on about 50 acres of land owned by Richard Ross.
The project is made possible by a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Ministry of Industry grant recently announced for more than $665-million for new state-of-the-art infrastructure at 41 Canadian research institutions.
Ryerson University’s Dr. Bin Wu’s “WindTech R&D” project was funded for $729,771.
The main objective of the WindTech project is to conduct research in wind energy generation and utilization. The WindTech mandate is to advance wind energy technologies through research and innovation, thus accelerating the development, generation and integration of wind energy.
Property owner Richard Ross said in an interview last week the turbines “are all small” and that their total output would be about 40kW. A normal house with two amp services would use about 24kW of power.
Ross said the research could provide a number of benefits for the area.
First, he said, the smaller turbines will be much cheaper to build and install and they will run along his lane. There will be several different types of turbines, which will allow a variety of technology and comparative testing.
Those turbines will be connected to turbines that are already located on the property.
Researchers in four Ontario institutions will actively participate in the project, including Ryerson University (leading institution), University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and University of Western Ontario.
The WindTech facility will also be used by the dealers, suppliers, developers, grid owners and operators and electricity regulators in the wind energy business for testing, data requisition and other purposes.
The WindTech program will provide practical, hands-on training for students and other technical personnel. That is to better prepare trainees to enter high technology jobs in the emerging wind energy market, and thus contribute to the economic growth in Canada.
Ross said there will be two turbines at 90 feet high and the largest of those will generate 10kW. The smallest would generate 5.3kW.
Ross said, “The existence of small turbines on my property would mean no larger ones nearby.”
That is because with turbine technology, placing turbines on some properties eliminates their use on other properties because they would interfere with each other’s operation.
“Any large wind farms would have to stay away,” Ross said. He added, “We’re not involved in any way with these large wind farms.”
Ross said the project will cost about $1.2-million, with 80% of that in the form of grants and 20% from Ryerson itself.
The wind turbines are of different technologies and designs. They include horizontal- and vertical-axis turbines, induction and synchronous generators, single-phase and three-phase systems, variable- and fixed-speed operations, grid-tied and standalone systems, and gearboxed and direct-drive technologies.
These turbines represent the latest wind energy technology and can be used to develop leading edge technologies for future applications. The wind turbine systems were selected so they can be used to fulfill all the research objectives and activities.
Since the power rating of the facility is below 50kW and all the turbines are land-based, the facility is Class 2.
The activities that will be engaged in as part of the renewable energy project.
The research activities can be categorized into four areas.
Investigates power converter systems and wind generators to match the different scales of wind energy generation. Those include cost-effective, low-power converters for small wind turbines in rural areas, high-performance converters for larger wind turbines in commercial wind farms, and innovative wind generators for enhanced performance and reliable operation.
Develops control schemes for various types of wind energy systems. Advanced controls ensure maximum wind power capture and conversion, minimum manufacturing and operating costs, optimal system performance, and reliable turbines.
The project will also focus on reliable fault diagnostics and protection of individual wind turbines and wind farms to accommodate grid-side power-quality events and erratic wind speeds that can damage wind turbines and other equipment in a wind farm.
It will also address wind farm power management through active and reactive power control, frequency regulation, and grid voltage control. The adverse effects of wind farm interactions with the grid intensify as levels of wind power penetration increase. To be integrated into the utility grid, wind farms must meet standard codes that govern the operation, development, and coordination of all grid users.
The name plate capacity of the renewable energy generation facility.
The project expects no negative environmental effects. All the turbines have small power ratings. The biggest turbine is 10kW only and all horizontal-axis turbines are of three blades operating at low rotational speeds.
The three-blade turbines produce much lower noises than two-blade turbines.
In addition, no farmland will be taken out of production since all of the wind turbine will be erected on the existing laneway (used by farming vehicles and equipment) of Class 3 land.
Ross said that he expects there will be some construction jobs created for the project. He added that the site is within commuting distance of Toronto, London, and Waterloo, and he expects many researchers will be working there one or more days a week.
But, he added, just because it is within an easy drive does not prevent researchers from relocating to the community.
Finally, he said, such a facility could attract other high tech operations to Centre Wellington. He noted that Waterloo has many high tech firms due to the innovation of Research in Motion, and he foresees the same possibilities for Centre Wellington and area.
Dr. Bin Wu is the lead researcher of the project. The Advertiser left messages for him, but he did not respond.
Vol 43 Issue 13
The Wellington Advertiser
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