TechnoCentre éolien

TechnoCentre éolien

January 16, 2007 11:35 ET

Centre CORUS: A Natural Laboratory Unique in North America

MURDOCHVILLE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 16, 2007) - The TechnoCentre eolien Gaspesie - les Iles and its partners are pleased to inaugurate Centre CORUS, a facility dedicated to the study of the various facets of extracting wind energy in nordic environments. This research, development and technology transfer centre established in Murdochville possesses expertise that is unique in North America.

Centre CORUS has chosen for itself a highly appropriate name since the word "corus" means a cold wind from the north west, which happens to be the dominant wind in the Murdochville region. Located at an elevation of 660 metres and swept by winds with an average speed of nine metres/second, Centre CORUS is a place of innovation, a magnet for Quebec know-how, and its expertise will help drive wind energy industry development.

The purpose of the centre is to provide affiliated researchers with the best possible research environment and specialised state-of-the-art research tools. It offers an integrated service with the support of its partners, the Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS), Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi (UQAC), Universite du Quebec a Rimouski (UQAR), Cegep de la Gaspesie et des Iles and Cegep de Matane.

Research done at Centre CORUS focuses on the following areas:

- Climate conditions, wind energy potential, and field trials;

- Blade aerodynamics and wind farm simulations;

- Materials and processes; and

- Ice and de-icing techniques.

"Centre CORUS is highly innovative. Over the last few years, we have worked unstintingly to develop Quebec competencies in matters connected to the wind energy field. Today, we can proudly affirm that by pooling our resources, Quebec has taken the lead in research and development," stated Jean Desrosiers, General Manager of the TechnoCentre eolien and Centre CORUS.

"I am proud of the support the Government of Canada has given the TechnoCentre eolien Gaspesie - les Iles to develop this emerging industry. Since 2002, it has invested some $3,480,000 in the project, at the same time providing support for the Centre CORUS we are inaugurating today. The establishment of such a centre is a major step for knowledge building and economic diversification in the region," stated the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of Canada Economic Development.

Centre CORUS is housed in a former Noranda building ceded by the Ville de Murdochville for the symbolic sum of one dollar. Renovation work called for an investment of $500,000. The centre already has equipment worth nearly $300,000 and two permanent jobs have been created to date.

Centre CORUS and the TechnoCentre eolien share an annual operating budget of about one million dollars, a total investment of six million dollars over five years.


The nordic context: An environment to discover and learn to use

Centre CORUS began its research program two years ago and since then has conducted two measurement campaigns, in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, using a multi-measurement tower to characterise the nordic climate.

The goal of these measurement campaigns was to:

- Conduct a preliminary comparative study of measurement instruments commonly used in the industry; and

- Identify the characteristic parameters of conditions conducive to the appearance, formation and build-up of ice.

The two measurement campaigns were conducted jointly with Universite du Quebec a Rimouski, the Ecole de technologie superieure's Canada Research Chair on the Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines in Nordic Environments and the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi's International Anti-icing Materials Laboratory.

The findings resulting from analysis of the data obtained show that under specific conditions, some measurement instruments provide erroneous data or simply stop functioning. Consequently, much remains to be done to improve the reliability of measurement instruments. These conclusions were presented at the International Conference on Wind Energy and Remote Sites held on the Magdalen Islands in October 2005 and at the annual conference of the Canadian Wind Energy Association in Winnipeg in October 2006.

The TechnoCentre eolien takes the opportunity provided by the inauguration of Centre CORUS to present the members of the scientific committee. They are notably responsible for assessing projects, according to pre-established criteria, that the scientific community and the industry will submit to the centre and which, if accepted, will be carried out by Centre CORUS and its partners.

The members of the Centre CORUS scientific committee are:

- Redouane Megateli, Scientific Director

- Christian Masson, President, ETS representative

- Jean Perron, UQAC representative

- Adrian Ilinca, UQAR representative

- Christian Vezina, Groupe Ohmega

- Robert Vincent, 3Ci

- Denys Laplante, Ministere du Developpement economique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation

- Antoine Lacroix, Natural Resources Canada

The third phase of the measurement campaign project will begin in spring 2007 with the installation of a tower on Mount Needle at an elevation of 900 metres. During this phase, some twenty measurement instruments will be compared and the various types of ice and their characteristic parameters will be examined more closely.

Four other projects currently being fine-tuned will gradually take shape over the course of the next few months.

- Surface treatment to prevent ice formation

- Full instrumentation of a high-power wind turbine

- Biodegradable lubricants

- Canada's Wind Energy Research Network

"Climate conditions and more generally, the North American context, are quite different from those encountered in Europe. Centre CORUS will enable the wind energy industry to adapt existing technologies and develop new ones to meet the challenges posed by our geographic reality and all its related parameters. The centre will advance research as far as possible to address the needs of all players in the wind energy field," indicated Redouane Megateli, the Centre CORUS Scientific Director.

The mission of the TechnoCentre eolien is to contribute to the development of an industrial wind energy network able to compete on foreign markets in areas involving equipment and services. It seeks to facilitate networking amongst stakeholders in the public and private sectors and thus solidify Quebec leadership in developing the wind energy sector via the regions comprising the Gaspe Peninsula - Magdalen Islands and the MRC de Matane.

A photo will be available on CP picture wire via CCNMatthews' website.

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