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2014-01-28 at 17:26

More power

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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A group of mechanical engineering students have come up with an idea they believe could allow wind turbines to harness more power.

"Typical turbines can only have a fixed radius so when winds are too strong, they need electrical equipment to slow them down," said Cassandra Rotar, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at Lakehead University.

Rotar and her team have designed a vertical axis that will move according to wind speeds so turbines can maximize their power output.

On Tuesday the group of five received funding from Horizon Wind Inc., the developers of Big Thunder Wind Park, that will allow them to build a scaled-down model.

Rotar said they've been working all year on the project and the design is complete. They'll be able to start building the model next week.

The idea for the vertical axis turbine came from two group members who were out for dinner one night and drew the initial design on a napkin.

"We decided to get together and expand it," said Rotar.

"We used a smaller wind tunnel to do our calculations so far and everything is looking very promising."

The design will also be tested for residential use.

"The turbines we're building at Big Thunder Wind Park are very large turbines that need very specific wind conditions to operate," said Kathleen MacKenzie, director of community and public affairs for Horizon.

"These smart kids have come up with a turbine design that could be used in a variety of wind conditions and therefore could be used in a variety of applications - at the home, at a standalone business."

The company is still waiting on approval from the Ministry of the Environment before they can move forward with the Big Thunder Wind Park.

MacKenize said they expect to get final approval soon, but couldn't specify when that might be.

 

 

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Comments

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trips says:
those opposers to new technology have got to be cringing in their ski boots ...way to go kids
1/28/2014 6:01:14 PM
Ozone says:
Good job. We need smart young folks like yourselves tosolethisissues!
1/28/2014 6:44:03 PM
humnchuck says:
Great work!

What might make the Nor'Wester folks happy about this...

"VAWTs" (Vertical Axis Wind Turbines) are apparently more compactly placed, easier to maintain, and significantly quieter than "HAWTs" (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines). The original Big Thunder Wind Park plan uses HAWTs...the style of turbine you typically see with 3 or 4 long, narrow blades.

Maybe Horizon solves a number of issues by shifting to the VAWT design. Pretty sure there's a small one on outdoor display next to the McIntyre Building at Confederation College if anyone's interested in what it looks like.

Or...wikipedia:
1/28/2014 7:56:12 PM
det john kimble says:
see now there you go collaboration is key! then all sides will be happy city gets rent, and neebing residents that are concerned would be happy as well.
1/28/2014 8:55:22 PM
det john kimble says:
uh oh,
prepare for the gong show!!
...and a one
and a two...
and a three....
1/28/2014 7:57:10 PM
Gord says:
nicely articulated mindless comment. well done. You said nothing while saying .... nothing... just as I have done here so I stay on theme
1/28/2014 9:39:00 PM
bttnk says:
What do these kids know, they are probably just puppets of the wind companies or the mayor or the council. NIMBY!! NIMBY!!!
1/28/2014 8:33:42 PM
outofgas says:
Just interested how it will be different from present vertical design in use now. And how much better power output. Kenora airport MNR has several verticals in use, along with the Con College unit.
1/28/2014 9:28:06 PM
Today1 says:
great for the students....as we we pay wind turbine companies "not" to produce energy
1/29/2014 1:54:46 AM
unionbay880 says:
I would prefer to see the traditional wind turbines on the Norwester mountains. Possibly bigger ones with a modification to make them sound like a clown whistle or a kazoo and add some flashing twirling spotlights that would shine on the houses below.
1/30/2014 1:39:17 PM
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