Northern Ontario Transmission Grid Gamble
We know that electric transmission companies want to grow: that is their nature. The Northern Ontario electric transmission grid are estimated to cost over $3 billion. This represents a savings of $5 billion because of the present status of high cost of diesel power with a price tag of $8 billion over the next 50 years. The payback period is 25 years for this new proposed venture in Northern Ontario. Yet, a lot of innovations can happen during those 25 years, which will make large grids obsolete: that’s the gamble.
A view of inside the box includes the run of river systems. The downside of such systems in remote areas is the high civic costs of construction. In addition the head of system must be high otherwise it is simply not profitable. There are few ideal locations and these are usually associated with mountain terrain.
New electric transmission lines depend on demand. Here is the gamble: what if a system of low head turbines were invented before the 25 year payback period. There will be a loss of demand for an electric grid in remote areas and the investment will not pay back. This is what happened to Kodak and Underwood, which lost the demand for photographic film and typewriters.
We are aware of Canada’s aim for a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2050 to Shift from fossil fuels to clean electricity. We are not suggesting eliminating the grid up north entirely. There are options available for mini grids that unite communities and the flow of water in a 20 km radius – not a 90 km distance between sparse communities.
We will allow you a small peak into the world of the low head hydro power system that will probably make the wide ranging electrical grid obsolete in remote areas.
Envision in your mind a long torpedo at the end of which has a helical turbine. Each helical blade is slightly pivoted or rotated with respect to the water flows to create a “thrust” to the blade so that the blade will be urged to move faster than the velocity of the water.
The normal efficiency of helical turbines is 35%, which is much higher than the 20% efficiency of traditional turbines.
This system is called the HUG, which is protected from the action of moving ice in the spring because the HUG is entirely submersed. There is an alternative system for small reserves, which operate above the water level in order to keep the connected electric generator dry, but this system must be protected against the spring ice flow. This alternative system is small enough to be portable.
This innovative HUG technology can be a renewable energy export strategy in order to increase the export of renewable electricity technologies and services.
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