Sustainable Development Technology Canada unveiled today its latest stable of clean technology projects, representing an investment totalling $48 million and an additional $111 million from public-private sector consortia partners.
I’ll dig deeper into individual projects later, but out of 22 new projects here’s a list of some standouts:
1) Wind Smart Inc. of Edmonton is co-developing a new drive system for wind turbines that will increase power generation compared with gear-driven assemblies while reducing maintenance costs. Unlike conventional models, the motor and generator will be situated at ground level. The system will replace the gearbox presently employed on wind turbines with a hydraulic motor to drive a hydrostatic pump. This will drive a synchronous generator, which in turn will generate power directly into the grid. The system will enable the capture of more wind energy over a wider wind speed range, using the same turbine. A key innovation is the ability to control the hydrostatic drive unit and to prevent over-speeding of the wind turbine. This application is designed for wind turbines up to1.5 MW with standard off-the-shelf components.
2) New Energy Corporation Inc. in Calgary will demonstrate tidal power generation on British Columbia’s west coast. The project consists of installing up to 500 kW of power-generating capacity in a narrow channel between Maude Island and Quadra Island, adjacent to Seymour Narrows, near Campbell River, B.C. The technology to be demonstrated is New Energy’s EnCurrent vertical axis turbine, which employs vanes mounted parallel to a vertical shaft to extract energy from a moving stream of water regardless of its direction.
3) The Pressure Pipe Inspection Co. of Mississauga is developing and demonstrating “PipeDiver,” a robotic device that inspects small diameter, pre-stressed cylindrical concrete pipe (PCCP) used for water transmission. The device will enable the identification of distressed pipe, enabling water utilities to minimize operational risks, optimize their investment, and extend the safe and economic life of their pipelines – saving themselves, and taxpayers, millions of dollars. Canada’s PCCP infrastructureis aging, and is starting to decay. While the risk of pipe failure is low, failures can be catastrophic. Such failures result in interruptions to the water supply as well as damage to adjacent pipes and infrastructure.
4) Unicell Ltd. of Toronto will demonstrate the environmental benefits and operational advantages of an all-electric, lightweight composite monocoque urban delivery vehicle in typical Canadian operating conditions. The demonstration involves putting a small fleet of the vehicles into commercial use with Purolator Courier in Toronto and other cities across the country. These vehicles will replace conventional gasoline-powered delivery vans, eliminating on-street emissions and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 per cent. These vehicles will have twice the useful life of conventional vans, leading to further environmental and economic advantages. The project also seeks to demonstrate that couriers using the vehicle will be more productive in their route activities, leading to substantial savings for their operators.
5) Advanced BioRefinery Inc. of Ottawa will demonstrate a 50 tonne-per-day, transportable fast pyrolysis system that converts logging residue including slash and bark into an energy-dense, economically transportable bio-liquid. The system is primarily designed for remote logging sites but has applications anywhere sufficient biomass exists. The liquid fuel will be used as a replacement for fossil fuel in industrial boilers and furnaces. The renewable fuel can also be used to generate electricity via a gas turbine. The company will field test the equipment, determine operating costs and establish relationships between feedstock qualities and product energy and chemical values. This project would seem an ideal fit for turning B.C. trees killed by the pine beetle into biofuel.
There are several more worth highlighting. I encourage readers to take a look at the complete list. In total, SDTC has funded eight rounds of projects since April 2002 — this amounts to 97 projects with a commitment of $217 million. Add consortia contributions and the total investment to date is $776 million.