|Raising the anemometers.
Students at Centennial College in Canada are investigating the potential for using the wind generated by the high volumes of high-speed traffic on Highway 401—Canada’s busiest highway—to drive wind turbines to generate electricity.
A research team has erected three anemometers on a 30-meter tower to measure the force and speed of the wind adjacent to the 16-lane highway.
Collected data will be used to determine the amount of available wind energy, so that the college and its partners can put up an appropriately-sized wind turbine that will feed electricity into the local power grid.
The viability project has been led by Centennial Environmental Protection Technology students Matt Vonarburg and Dave Clark, whose initial findings were reviewed and approved by Toronto Hydro engineers.
If all goes well, the site will be prepared for the installation of a full-scale wind turbine as early as the summer of 2006. Centennial intends to augment the wind-powered generator with other alternate energy sources, such as solar panels and biofuel electrical generators.
All of these technologies are being considered to support a renewable-energy college program which is in development. The post-secondary program will deal with the issues facing the electricity generation industry, and will train students how to install, service and maintain equipment involved with renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines and photovoltaic solar panels.
(A hat-tip to creaza!)