by SUSAN MANN
Ryerson University was awarded $729,771 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to establish a WindTech Research Laboratory on Rossland Farm near Fergus in Central Wellington Township.
The rest of the $1.8 million in project funding is coming from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ryerson and the Canadian industry, says Richard Ross, a former pork producer who has experimented with wind power and owns the farm where the turbines are being located. He will be the site manager.
The WindTech lab will have six different wind mills with a capacity of almost 100 kW. The biggest turbine will be 35 kW, while the smallest will be 3.5 kW. The lab will be built in the next eight to 12 months. When it’s completed the laboratory will be one of the best wind energy research infrastructures in a North American university.
“The wind turbines are of a size that an individual farmer might buy for himself,” Ross says. They’re a lot smaller than the big ones going up everywhere. He adds there’s a huge gap in technology for that size of turbine.
The project, expected to last at least five years, will provide raw data “as to how much electricity each produces,” he explains.
Ryerson researcher Dr. Bin Wu will be joined by colleagues from the universities of Toronto, Waterloo and Western Ontario to study and develop leading-edge wind power technologies. Dr. Wu originally declined to comment on the project before an official announcement and hasn’t returned subsequent calls from Better Farming.
The program focuses on four strategic areas to address major technical challenges in the wind industry. Researchers will study optimal power converter systems and wind generators for different scales of wind generation energy. They’ll also develop advanced control schemes for various types of wind energy systems; focus on reliable fault diagnostics and the protection of individual wind mills and farms; plus address wind farm power management and optimization. BF