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2 September 2013

Sherbrooke Shines During 21st Solar Tour

The solar-energy industry is flourishing in Sherbrooke and the most recent Solar Tour provided an opportunity to witness this firsthand!

The event was organized by Énergie solaire Québec (ÉSQ) and featured both Rackam, a Sherbrooke-based company, and Université de Sherbrooke’s Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT).

The 21st edition of the event was held on August 24, 2013, and took 56 participants on a tour of four solar- and wind-power projects in Estrie, Montérégie, and Montréal.

concentrateur-solaire-udesAfter a stop at the Kruger Energy wind farm in Montérégie, participants visited 3IT at the Université de Sherbrooke’s Innovation Park.

They learned more about the promising research projects conducted by teams in Sherbrooke. One project specifically targets improving the coating used on LED (light-emitting diodes) light bulbs drawing inspiration from fireflies. Another is working on creating high-efficiency solar cells.

Participants were also able to see the impressive research tool that UdeS researchers have been using since the beginning of summer 2013: a solar concentrator equipped with mirrors covering about 100 m² and permanently aligned with the sun.

Rackam-008The next stop on the guided tour was the Chagnon dairy plant in Waterloo, where a set of solar thermal concentrators designed by Rackam is used to heat the plant’s water. It stands out as Québec’s first solar thermal-power station.

The day ended with a tour of the impressive solar pump, which supplies water to the Mosaiculture exhibition at the Montréal Botanical Garden.

Burning Bright in Sherbrooke

According to Chloé Legris—Director of Business Development for the Cleantech key sector at Sherbrooke Innopole—“Estrie is a developer of promising solar technologies for countries that use solar energy extensively. Whether we’re talking about our research centres or our businesses, the word has yet to get out about our region’s expertise: solar walls (Enerconcept), parabolic concentrators (Rackam), photovoltaic concentrators (3IT), and energy storage (SigmaEnergyStorage). These innovative, efficient technologies hold great potential for the global solar industry.”

Green-Energy Openhouses

Énergie Solaire Québec organizes four Solar Tours per year, mainly in Québec. These activities, open to the general public, offer participants an opportunity to visit sites and see for themselves the renewable projects of organizations breaking new ground in this field. The next Solar Tour will head to Toronto on October 18, 2013.

For more details, visit the Énergie Solaire Québec Web site.

Photo credit: Michel Caron, Université de Sherbrooke and Sherbrooke Innopole

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