The following is a representative list of our projects by strategic area:
Testing Leading to Certification
Research, Development and Demonstration
Training, Outreach and Public Education
- Visiting Professors and Academics Program (VPAP) [details »]
- Co-op Engineering Students Employment Program [details »]
- Wind Turbine Technician Program [details »]
Technical Consultation and Assistance
- National Research Council Canada / Industrial Research Assistance Program [details »]
- NRCan / Correction Services Canada, Wind Resource [details »]
For a listing of Historical projects see [details »].
In 2007 WEICan initiated a Type Testing program for small wind turbines and announced a RFP for turbine manufacturers. Type Testing will be in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400 standard. Specific tests include; power performance, power quality, acoustic noise emissions, duration and safety. Results can be certified through organizations such as the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC). There were nine applicants as a result of the RFP and Raum Energy's 1.3 kW is the first wind turbine erected, of the five chosen for Type Testing. Contract negotiations have concluded, the wind turbine was delivered to WEICan and WEICan staff (above) oversaw the erection of the turbine on September 19, 2008.
In 2007 WEICan initiated a Type Testing program for small wind turbines and announced a RFP for turbine manufacturers. Type Testing will be in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61400 standard. Specific tests include; power performance, power quality, acoustic noise emissions, duration and safety. Results can be certified through organizations such as the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC). Contract negotiations with Cleanfield Energy for testing of their V3.5, a 3.5 kW vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) have been completed. The turbine has arrived at WEICan and is installed.
Catch The Winds' Vindicator
In late 2007 WEICan announced a RFP for developers of innovative technologies with substantial potential benefits for the wind industry. A variety of responses were received. Three companies were selected to pursue RD&D activities at WEICan's North Cape site. The first company to begin the RD&D program is Catch The Wind Inc. (CTW). CTW has recently introduced the Vindicator™ Laser Wind Sensor with the ability to measure wind speed and direction while mounted on a wind turbine generator (WTG). The nacelle-mounted Vindicator™ Laser Wind Sensor (LWS) (above) gives data on wind conditions directly in front of the WTG. WEICan will correlate the wind speed and direction from the Vindicator™ LWS with standard wind measurements located around the WTG. As the structure of the wind is constantly changing, both the stress and energy produced from the wind depend directly on the WTG's ability to adjust nacelle yaw and blade pitch to those dynamic conditions. By looking ahead into the wind approaching, the Vindicator™ LWS hopes to give the WTG control system critical time to process the wind data and make those adjustments.
Wind Energy Strategic Network
The Canadian Wind Energy Strategic Network (WESNet) recently announced its start-up as Canada's nation-wide wind energy research collective. This multi-partner alliance includes leading researchers from 16 Canadian universities in six provinces, NRCan and Environment Canada, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, utility companies, wind sector businesses and WEICan. WESNet activities are divided into four themes: Wind Resource Assessment, Wind Energy Extraction, Power Engineering and Wind Energy Integration. On September 17, 2008 WESNet held a meeting of its Scientific Committee at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (above). Liuchen Chang, Principle Investigator of WESNet had this to say; "WESNet is looking forward to working with WEICan, this world class laboratory with experienced personnel will be invaluable towards achieving goals in our four theme areas. UNB has been collaborating with WEICan since 1995 and one of the goals of WESNet will be to have more universities capitalize on this synergy." WEICan has committed to providing financial and intellectual support to WESNet up to a total of $150,000 over five years and agreed to contribute $30,000 of in-kind support per year as well. With total financing of $5M over 5 years, WESNet is poised to play a leading role in nationwide academic wind energy research.
University of New Brunswick / Université de Moncton Wenvor 30kW
UNB/UdeM supplied a Wenvor 30 kW turbine to WEICan in December 2007 for research into turbine operation and as a test bed for UNB's newly developed prototype inverter. The turbine has been installed and is in service in its standard configuration and UNB is performing initial tests on the prototype inverter. The inverter, when fully operational, will control the rotational speed of the turbine by adjusting the electric frequency across the generator. It will increase the power output by slowing the turbine blades at low wind speeds and capturing more of the energy in the wind.
WhalePower Corporation of Toronto, Ontario, has been doing preliminary research into turbine blades that emulate the tubercles (bumps) found on the leading edge of humpback whale fins. WEICan reviewed the initial research and agreed to develop a test program. WhalePower has built one set of blades by modifying the blades of a Wenvor 25kW turbine which has been installed at WEICan since 1998. The blades were installed in September 2007 and test data was accumulated in accordance with IEC 61400-12 power performance measurement standard. WEICan issued a report in July, 2008 presenting the turbine performance. The next phase of tests are being developed.
WEICan is collaborating with the PEI Energy Corporation to develop the potential for hydrogen storage and subsequent use, and the applications of such technology for remote and island communities. The Wind-Hydrogen Village work at North Cape is part of a wider nationwide investigation that is being undertaken in order to assess the potential of hydrogen in the Canadian economy. The Wind-Hydrogen Village will involve the construction and operation of a hydrogen production system that is powered independent of the grid by wind turbines currently installed at WEICan's North Cape site. The hydrogen production system will consist of a load regulator, electrolyser, gas holder, compressor, gas control panel, storage tanks, genset package and control systems required to integrate all components. The hydrogen fueled genset will be operated to supplement or replace wind power when wind speeds are too low to generate sufficient electricity. Connected loads will be added incrementally. Initially, electrical loads will be limited to those associated with the North Cape Wind Farm utility building but eventually additional loads may be added including WEICan operations.
University of New Brunswick Projects
The University of New Brunswick's (UNB) Department of Engineering, Test Facility for Wind and Solar Energy Conversion Systems, was established in 1999, on the WEICan site. With support from WEICan, NRCan and other partners, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) established the Sustainable Power Research Group (SPRG) led by Dr. Liuchen Chang, Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Focusing on renewable energy systems, particularly wind energy conversion systems, UNB SPRG has grown into one of the largest groups for renewable energy research in Canadian universities, with four faculty members and more than 20 Ph.D. and M.Sc. students. Funded by the Canadian Foundation of Innovation, Atlantic Innovation Foundation, NRCan and WEICan, the Sustainable Power Research Group has established comprehensive wind test facilities including wind turbine simulators, direct drive generators, energy storage systems, power conversion facilities, energy control center, and communication facilities, at both WEICan and at the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton, NB. These test facilities are augmented by wind turbines at WEICan.
The Sustainable Power Research Group (SPRG) led by Dr. Liuchen Chang, and in conjunction with WEICan staff and facilities has conducted numerous R&D projects including;
- 100kW three-phase IGBT inverter for Lagerwey 18/80 wind turbines
- 30kW three-phase grid-connected IGBT inverter for Wenvor wind turbines
- 3kW, 10kW and 25kW single-phase grid-connected IGBT inverters for variable speed wind turbines
- 30kW single-phase standalone IGBT inverter
- 12kW single-phase grid-connected wind/PV hybrid IGBT inverter
- 10kW direct drive permanent magnet synchronous generator
- 50kW direct drive synchronous generator for wind turbines.
Operational Wind Turbines
There are a number of wind turbines undergoing or have undergone long term operational testing at WEICan. Some of these turbines are being evaluated to identify long term technical deficiencies and some are being used as test platforms on various development projects. WEICan, in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), developed a Small Wind Test Bed (SWTB) to enable operational and performance tests to be carried out on smaller wind turbines. While the performance of larger wind turbines has been widely studied and generally readily available, objective information of the performance and reliability of smaller wind turbines has been difficult to obtain. The intent of the SWTB is to test a series of small (< 10 kW) turbines over a sufficient period of time to reasonably evaluate both the performance and the reliability of the units. The test results will be publicly available. Currently there are several medium and small sized wind turbines installed at WEICan, see below.
EWS -EW 15/50
Entegrity Wind Systems, manufactures their EW15/50 wind turbine on Prince Edward Island. The EW 15/50, a 50 kW turbine has been operating at North Cape since 1993. The turbine has three, fixed pitch blades and operates in free yaw, downwind of the tower. Tip brakes are used as the primary braking device. The turbine is designed for Canadian applications because it is suitable for net metering applications and for remote community installations.
The WindMatic WM15S, a 65kW turbine was installed in 1994 to provide energy supply to wind-diesel tests which were underway at that time. The turbine is mid-1980s Danish technology that was reconditioned prior to installation. The turbine continues to operate and serves as an energy source. In 2008 the turbine was being used as the test bed for Catch The Winds' Vindicator.
Wenvor WV 10/25
Wenvor Technologies Inc. is based in Guelph, ON and manufactures a turbine for farm and industrial applications. The turbine is self erecting on a 25 meter tower by use of a gin pole. Its design utilizes free yaw system and has two blades with pitch control using a counter weight mechanism. The WV10/25 is a 25 kW turbine has a 10 meter diameter rotor. It was installed at WEICan in 1998. In 2007 this turbine was used as test bed for Whalepower Inc, to test their blades.
Vergnet GEV 15/60
The Vergnet 60kW, manufactured by Vergnet Canada, Fergus Ontario, was installed at WEICan in 2002. The turbine has a rotor diameter of 15 meters and generates 60 kW in wind speeds of 14 m/s. The turbine has two blades and operates in free yaw downwind mode. It is designed specifically for use in isolated areas and uses gin poles and winches to enable the units to be self erecting.
The Bornay 3kW was installed at WEICan in 2006. This turbine is manufactured by Bornay Wind Turbines of Castalla, Spain. The turbine has two carbon glass fiber blades, is up wind, free yaw, vertical furling, with a three phase permanent magnet alternator. This unit pivots vertically to reduce angle of attack into the wind rather than to compensate for stronger winds.
The ARE 2.5kW wind turbine is manufactured by Abundant Renewable Energy, LLC, Newberg, Oregon, USA and was installed at WEICan in 2006. The turbine has three blades, a 20m guyed lattice tower, up wind operation with side furling and a three phase permanent magnet generator. The ARE turbine uses side furling, which includes a tailfin at an angle rather than inline with the rest of the turbine. As the wind speed increase this pivots the turbine to reduce the angle of attack.
The Sky stream 1.9kW, manufactured by Southwest Wind Power, Flagstaff, Arizona,USA, was installed at WEICan in 2007. The unit is mounted on a 20m free standing tower, with three blades, downwind free yaw, stall regulated, with a gearless brushless permanent magnet generator. This turbine is intended for low wind regimes and is directed at the residential market.
The Wenvor 30kW wind turbine manufactured by Wenvor Canada was installed at WEICan in 2008. The turbine is installed on a 25m free standing tower; it has two blades and operates upwind with tail vane yaw. The unit was installed for the universities of New Brunswick (UNB) and Moncton (UdeM). UNB is currently conducting research on this unit to develop power electronics to allow for more efficient power generation at variable speeds.
The Raum 1.3kW wind turbine manufactured by Raum Energy Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was installed at WEICan in 2008 under our Type Testing Program. Installed on a 20m guyed pole tower the turbine has two carbon glass fiber blades, operates upwind with free yaw and vertical furling and a three phase permanent magnet alternator.
The Cleanfield 3.5kW wind turbine is manufactured by Cleanfield Energy in Ancaster, Ontario was installed at WEICan in 2008 under our Type Testing Program. Installed on an eight meter monopole tower the three meter vertical axis turbine has three reinforced fiberglass blades and has a three phase permanent magnet generator.
Visiting Professors and Academics Program (VPAP)
The Visiting Professors and Academics Program was developed in order to enhance and recognize the contribution of scholars in the field of wind energy. Participants are able to enhance their scholarship through intellectual interactions with other visiting academics, WEICan management and staff and other clients of WEICan. Since its inception WEICan has had professors visit from California Polytechnic State University in the United States; Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario, Canada; Hefei University of Technology in China; and the University of Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information on the [VPAP Program].
Co-op Engineering Students Employment Program
A concerted effort has been undertaken to attract engineering students from across the country for work terms at WEICan. To date students from University of New Brunswick, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dalhousie University, Concordia University and the University of Waterloo have accepted assignments at the Institute. The co-op program at WEICan has been very successful and rewarding for both the student and WEICan. Hiring co-op students provides WEICan with the opportunity to inject new and innovative ideas as well as have additional resources available for specific projects and tasks. The work term provides the student a chance to explore the wind energy field and gives them an opportunity to bridge the realms of academia and industry. Over the years co-op students have worked on many different projects including: power curve performance programming, uncertainties calculations, data reduction and analysis, product selection, project coordination, modeling, instrumentation, repairs, oral presentations and working with a technical team.
Wind Turbine Technician Program
Holland College, located on Prince Edward Island, offers a 9 month Wind Turbine Technician program. The program is certified by the internationally recognized BZEE.
Holland College and WEICan operate a training tower located at WEICan's North Cape site and provide wind tower climbing and rescue training to their students, wind industry service and erection companies, regional and municipal first responders and others. For more information on the technician program or custom tower training for your organization click on [Holland College Wind Industry Training.].
National Research Council Canada/ Industrial Research Assistance Program
In July 2007 WEICan signed a cooperation agreement with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC/IRAP) to provide technical assistance and review of applications NRC/IRAP receive from the wind energy sector. Under this agreement WEICan has been working with a number of renewable energy start-up companies and other business; expanding upon our client base.
NRCan / Correction Services Canada, Wind Resource Assessment
WEICan has been assisting Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Corrections Services Canada (CSC) for a number of years, performing wind resource assessment at a total of five sites. The photo to the right shows WEICan staff installing a wind resources assessment tower at Dorchester, New Brunswick. As a result of this program CSC will be putting a 600 kW wind turbine into service at one of their facilities in January 2009. WEICan continues to explore opportunities for such contract services with select clients as a revenue generating activity.