Cleanfield Energy goes commercial with small wind

Cleanfield Alternative Energy, maker of a new vertical-axis small wind turbine, unveiled its new 3.5 kilowatt product recently after collaborative study with the Ontario Centres of Excellence and McMaster University’s mechanical engineering department in Hamilton. The Ancaster, Ont.-based company, founded in 2002, also announced it was raising up to $1.5 million through a private-equity offering.

(OCE has a profile of the company here).

Cleanfield has been testing the VAWT prototype with McMaster since 2005 and completed the tests last spring. Originally, it was rated as a 2.5 kw system, but tests were so successful the company was able to re-rate the product at 3.5 kw.

What will be interesting is how the City of Hamilton decides to proceed with a proposal from Cleanfield to install 150 of its turbines on up to 50 municipal buildings as part of a project partially funded by Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Green Municipal Fund. It will be a great test of the technology, and one of the only small-wind projects I’m aware of that could participate in the province’s standard offer program.

Cleanfield’s timing is also good, given the government is launching a pilot financing program that will provide zero-interest loans to homeowners and small businesses that want to install solar thermal/PV, geothermal and small wind systems. The program is limited initially to Peel Region, including Mississauga and Brampton, but could expand across Ontario if it proves effective in sparking take-up of small-scale renewable energy systems.

10 thoughts on “Cleanfield Energy goes commercial with small wind”

  1. user should be aware of the wind regine that they plan to use small turbines in, go to the envirement canada wind atlas web site and putin your location .It will give you the wind output for this location and it has a calculator for turbines. Southern ontario is the worst in the country for wind. The indusrtry will thrive with credible predictions not incredible ones.

  2. i currently live in peel region and due to the layout of my property, i can’t use my barbecue if the winds are 20km/h (roughly) or higher. The number of days so far this year that would not allow me to use my barbecue have been much greater than days i could. last summer saw similar stats.

    this would work well if it can produce anything with winds starting at 20km/h.

  3. based on 5meter a sec wind ( approx 20 k/hour) as an average you would be roughly 4000 kwatt hours per year so at the current energy rates approx 320 dollars per year. go to the wind atlas site to see your specific location and the wind.

  4. Thanks for pointing out the Canada Wind Atlas ( however you may want to look at it again. Convert the map to show ‘wind speed’ and you will see that Southern Ontario is actually higher than much of the country and in line with the southern praries…where it seems to be the windiest on land.

    PS: my rough calc for the area where i live (see post above) falls right in line with what the wind atlas states. $320/year would cut my annual electricity costs by approx. 50%.


  5. Even more interesting…when i plug in the spec’s for the above mentioned wind turbine into the wind atlas website, i get these results for my neighbourhood:

    Power Output: 1.26 kW

    Energy Output: 11.09 MWh/year

    Use factor: 25.29 %

  6. more people should use this independant tool, many claims from this industry are not real, when you look at hamilton for example there is little or no wind, we are in Oakville and the payback is forty years. B

  7. just to add to the last one with a 15,000 dollar capital cost plus installation of 5000 you are looking at a 62 year payback How old are you? B

  8. There are also often micro-winds on a site such as are produced between two buildings in close proximity that may not be incorporated into the atlas.

  9. the problem with wind around buildings is that up to half of the energy has been used up from hitting urban trees and obstuctions such as buildings. Virgin wind off the ocean or large lake has much more desity in it, power is disipated in an urban setting. Putting turbines on leading edges is totally wrong, the wind sees the approaching building and over deflects and reattaches further down the roof you need then 15-20 meters up into clean air. Check out Sander Mertens a guy from Holland who is a recognised authority on Urban wind.

  10. Monetary payback depends on how fast grid electricity prices rise. A 62 year payback forecast assumes that the cost of grid hydro will remain the same for decades….not likely.

    Anyway, what’s the payback on your new car, or your new kitchen? A wind turbine will eventually pay for itself while helping the environment. That’s pretty good payback. Let’s not get too hung up on monetary payback alone.

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