For Immediate Release

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada collaborates on Wind Energy Strategic Network (WESNet) Project

The Wind Energy Institute is collaborating with University of New Brunswick (UNB), and École de technologie supérieure ÉTS

05 March, 2013
North Cape, Prince Edward Island

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada (Institute) is collaborating with University of New Brunswick (UNB), and École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) (the WESNet Team) to test a small wind turbine, manufactured by the WESNet Team. The objective of the project is to develop an integrated small wind turbine package with advanced technologies available for transfer to wind industry for commercial deployment.

Partners meet in the Institute's Boardroom to discusss installation of the WESNet wind turbine.

As the members of the WESNet Team working on the electrical part of the project Dr. Liuchen Chang of UNB and Dr. Bin Wu of Ryerson University are leading a team of researchers from their respective universities on the development of advanced technologies for the power converter and control of the variable speed wind turbine. The objectives of the research team are to develop advanced pulse-width-modulation algorithm for high power quality, new maximum power point tracking algorithms for maximized power output, and anti-islanding and protection methods in compliance with interconnection standards; and to integrate the developed technologies into a small wind turbine package for performance evaluation.

Dr Simon Joncas and his team at ETS were responsible for the mechanical design and manufacturing of the turbine. Four engineers contributed to different aspects of the technology; 1) Jonathon Sumner, a PhD student of Dr. Christian Masson, did the aerodynamic design of the blades 2) Louis-Charles Forcier was responsible for the structural design and testing of the blades 3)Tommy Gagnon developed the active pitch system of the turbine and 4) Sébastien Bérubé was in charge of the design and manufacturing of the mechanical components of the turbine. The WESNet turbine now installed at the Institute will help Dr. Joncas and his team to develop active pitch control strategies for small wind turbines and experimentally test a new structural blade design concept.

Now that the design stage is complete the wind turbine has been installed at the Institute’s North Cape site. Testing and data acquisition for power performance to IEC standard 61400-12-1 has begun with an expected test period of approximately one year.

Installation of the WESNest wind turbine at the Institute in North Cape, Prince Edward Island

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada, located at North Cape, Prince Edward Island is a not for profit, independent research and testing institute. Its mission is to advance the development of wind energy across Canada through research and demonstration, testing leading to certification, training and public education, and collaboration. The Institute’s location and its access to a multi-seasoned wind resource make it an excellent choice for testing wind systems of any size.

Small wind turbines are defined as having a swept area of less than 200m2. They utilize wind energy to produce clean, emissions-free electric power for individual homes, farms, and small businesses. In some cases, excess energy can be sold back to the grid. The Wind Energy Institute has been doing power performance and durability testing since 1981.

Another major project the Institute is working on now is their Wind R&D Park. In 2010, the Wind Energy Institute was awarded a five year, $12 million federal grant from the “Clean Energy Fund” to demonstrate the economic and technical feasibility of wind energy storage in Canada. The demonstration will feature 5 wind turbines - generating capacity of 10 MW, a utility sized electricity storage system and the examination of grid integration technologies to increase the economic viability of intermittent electricity generation (wind, solar, tidal, etc.).

The NSERC Wind Energy Strategic Network (WESNet), is a Canada wide, multi- institutional and multi-disciplinary research network funded by industry and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The Objectives of WESNet are to:

  • Promote wind energy as an economically competitive and environmentally beneficial supplement to energy portfolios
  • Develop innovative solutions to key technical issues facing the wind industry, particularly cold climates issues
  • Empower the Canadian wind manufacturing sector to become an international player
  • Address the growing needs for highly qualified personnel in the wind energy sector

Thirty-nine (39) top researchers from sixteen (16) universities across the country participate, and are supported not only by their home institutions but also by a network of other institutional and industrial partners including those from the wind energy sector, power companies, wind energy institutions and associations, and government.

For more information Contact

Karen Kinch
Manager of Administration
Wind Energy Institute of Canada
Office 1-902-882-4126

Wind Energy Institute of Canada
21741 Route 12 Tignish, PEI C0B 2B0
Tel: 902-882-2746 Fax: 902-882-3823

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