The objective of the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Centre (CHTTC) is to create a national hydrokinetic turbine testing location that allows companies to test hydrokinetic turbine systems. The center is located on the Winnipeg River in the rural community of Seven Sister Falls, Manitoba. The CHTTC assists in accelerating Canada’s development of hydrokinetic turbine technologies and helps address the identified pre-commercialization needs contained in the Canadian Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap.
The CHTTC attracts turbine manufacturers and developers, including universities, and focuses on life-cycle project solutions for fully integrated systems. The center offers an actual commercial setting with the following assets: regulatory approval, equipment for manned and unmanned deployment and retrieval, a connection to the Manitoba Hydro utility grid using CSA standards for testing new power converters and test equipment to study the impact of the environment on turbines and the impact of the turbines on aquatic life.
The CHTTC provides an opportunity to better understand the operational effects of hydrokinetic devices on the environment and provides information to help inform regulatory decisions for future projects. The center provides significant cost savings to stakeholders by reducing the time and cost to market for developers and by providing a framework for the industry to develop standards, protocols and safety procedures. The CHTTC allows technology developers to save time, cost and effort when installing and field-testing their turbines.
Furthermore, the CHTTC has become practised at writing collaborative grants between the hydrokinetic industry and the University of Manitoba. In this way, turbine manufacturers can subsidize the cost of research and the technology’s growth can be accelerated to market level. The University of Manitoba uses the funding to obtain measurement instruments and supporting equipment, as well as spend time and labour working with these companies. In this way, the CHTTC assists in reducing the cost and accelerating the growth of hydrokinetic turbines.
In addition to the testing of hydrokinetic turbines, the CHTTC is pushing forward with novel resource characterization techniques. Researchers at the CHTTC have developed multiple flow measurement procedures that allow for the complete assessment of the hydrokinetic resource in a particular marine environment. This is a service offered by the CHTTC. Any person interested in operating hydrokinetic turbines may contact the CHTTC, and we will be happy to meet and discuss the potential. CHTTC personnel have acquired experience in working with communities to improve their energy portfolio by relying less on expensive fossil fuels and moving to producing their own renewable energy, creating local jobs and community independance. CHTTC personnel can meet and discuss our capabilities and the steps needed in order to install a hydrokinetic turbine, as well as introduce you to the nation’s leading hydrokinetic turbine developers.
The CHTTC address key areas of technology development which include:
- Validating the operation and performance of hydrokinetic turbines and operation in cold climates
- Field test hydrokinetic turbines integrated onto the grid
- Reduce installation, deployment, and retrieval costs
- Develop safety protocols for operators
- Field test new foundations for turbines: installation, deployment, retrieval and maintenance operations in remote locations
- Investigate the effect of scouring on turbine components: erosion on rotating components.
- Test the system reliability and availability
- Perform resource assessment in any area with hydrokinetic potential to identify local resources
- Communicate with local communities and assist in the move from fossil fuels to renewable technology
- Design solutions for local communities, given available resources, to install hydrokinetic turbines