Articles filed under Technology from Canada

Warm weather brings back wind plant

An eight-day shutdown of Melancthon 1 wind turbines was undoubtedly costly but is being viewed by industry officials as among statistically and meteorologically predictable occurrences for any wind plant. The turbines were shut down when ice formed on the blades during the ice storm of Friday, Dec. 1, and came back online only after the ice had thawed from the blades at some point late Sunday.
14 Dec 2006

Designs evolving for wind turbines

Some people say these wind turbines look like corkscrews or a piece of Twizzlers candy. And these uniquely designed wind machines cost about a third the price of conventional wind turbines, according to the Canadian startup company that is building and marketing them. Windaus Energy of Brantford, Ontario, says its wind turbines can be easily scaled for use in residential backyards or large commercial wind farms. In addition to their lower cost, they appear to address some, but not all, of the issues that have riled opponents of wind power. "We have interest from all over the world," said Maurice Deschamps, a former crane operator who is president of Windaus Energy -- pronounced win-DAY-us. "I get it from Argentina, China, India, all over." His wind turbines have no "swoosh" noise and do not kill birds or bats, two problems that have made existing wind-turbine designs controversial, he said. The bird-friendly claim has not been independently verified, and some people are skeptical. Nevertheless, the Windaus turbine doesn't have the typical propeller blades used on conventional wind turbines, such as the ones along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Somerset County. These blades range in length from about 100 to 300 feet. Instead, Windaus employs a vertical column with three twisting wings made of a light but strong composite material. The wings catch the wind from any direction and operate at lower wind speeds.
26 Nov 2006

Windmills aren't the answer

It must be a harrowing time for those who once thought the cool breeze could save us all from the coming ecocide. The expectations of wind advocates have already had to be minimized as they realize there is nothing inherently virtuous about their pet piece of tech. Alas, like recycling fanatics, they are likely to end up praising wind power as a moral enterprise that "instills good habits" and signals "green consciousness," even if the honest cost-benefit analysis goes against them in the long run.
21 Nov 2006

World Needs To Expand Alternative Energy, U.S. Energy Chief Says

Countries must expand the range and availability of alternative sources of energy to reduce global dependence on oil and to help meet growing energy demand, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says. Bodman said oil and other hydrocarbons alone cannot meet rising demand, much of it coming from fast growing economies in Asia......The energy secretary said the U.S. government has been supporting development of renewable sources such as solar, wind, nuclear and ethanol as well as new technologies such as zero-emission coal plants and hydrogen fuel cells. The U.S. goal is to identify technologies with the greatest marketplace potential in the near future and push them more quickly to market, he said.
14 Nov 2006

How much wind power is too much?

Wind power has become a key part of Canada’s energy mix, with the number of installed wind turbines growing exponentially in recent months. But the fact the wind doesn’t blow all the time is creating a potential roadblock that could stall growth in the industry. Alberta and Ontario, the two provinces with the most wind turbines up and whirling, face concerns that there are limits on how much power can be generated from the breeze before their electricity systems are destabilized.
30 Oct 2006

Protecting Nova Scotians with the wind

Last week, when questioned about the Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee recommendations intended to allow large consumers (such as HRM) to purchase electricity directly from independent power producers, EnergyMinister Bill Dooks was less than enthusiastic. First, the minister stated that he supported NSPI’s monopoly on the distribution of electricity, since he had to protect Nova Scotians. Second, he said, "If someone depends totally on wind energy, what happens if the wind stops blowing?" Taken together, these two statements leave the reader with the impression that the minister wants to protect Nova Scotians from interruptible and potentially unreliable sources of energy. This is reassuring, as energy security should be the focus of any government.
22 Oct 2006

A heavy blow for wind power - Cap on generation ’stalls the business’

In May, citing a potential for reliability problems for the provincial network, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) — which oversees the electricity market and transmission network in Alberta — surprised the industry by announcing that wind power generation in Alberta, currently at about 300 megawatts (MW) of capacity, would be capped indefinitely at 900 MW. However, there are proposals for about 3,000 MW of projects above and beyond the ones already lined up and paid up to meet the 900 MW mark.
21 Oct 2006

Wind technicians keep active at turbines

Whether it happens in the "wee hours" or the middle of the day, if anything goes wrong with a wind turbine, it'll shut itself down immediately and send an alert to a wind technician, says Kevin Carswell, the operations manager at Canadian Hydro Developers Cowley Ridge installation in Alberta.
13 Apr 2006

Magenn Power announces distribution agreement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Jan 10, 2006 Magenn Power Inc. today announced a distribution agreement with Krystal Planet Corporation to market the Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS), an airborne tethered wind generator. This innovative new product will deliver up to 4 kW (kilowatts) of power at a cost per kWh (kilowatt-hour) potentially much lower than conventional wind turbines mounted on towers.
10 Jan 2006
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