Engineering students test new niche wind turbine

March 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Wind Energy Institute CEO Scott Harper believes there could be a niche market for the 10-kilowatt turbine. (Courtesy of Wind Energy Institute of Canada)

Students from 16 universities from across Canada have designed and erected a mid-sized wind turbine now being tested at P.E.I.’s Wind Energy Institute of Canada.

The project was created by a group called the Wind Energy Strategic Network.

The 10-kilowatt turbine can create enough electricity for about two homes, and Wind Energy Institute CEO Scott Harper said if it performs well it could find a niche market.

“There are some turbines in that size, but it seems they’re either smaller — so a couple of kilowatts, there’s a large number — and then we’ve got others that are up in the 30, 50 to 100-kilowatt range,” said Harper.

“There’s maybe a market niche there for something in the 10-kilowatt size. I think it was more, as they designed it, it was big enough, designed large enough to prove that it can work, and test it here to show real results.”

Harper said wind turbines are multidisciplinary projects that make for great student learning.

“There’s mechanical engineering, there’s electrical engineering, there’s structural engineering,” he said.

“It’s a really good practical first-hand, hands-on experience for these students to put their textbook knowledge to work. Move away from their computer screens and put the pencils away and actually get a wrench out and help put it up.”

Five students came to P.E.I. to erect the turbine.

The project runs until next fall, and at that time the Wind Energy Institute will send data back showing how well the turbine worked.

Comments are closed.