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April 08, 2008— Ottawa, Ontario

Solar and wind power may offer hope for the future, but they're also dependent on one of life's great uncertainties — the weather. A Newfoundland company has invented a sophisticated system that lets Canadians take advantage of renewable energy when it's there, and revert to conventional sources when it's not.

WES Power founders Michael Snow and Philip Crowley saw a gap in the renewable energy market for a technology that could link together a homeowner's wind, solar and conventional power systems.
WES Power founders Michael Snow and Philip Crowley saw a gap in the renewable energy market for a technology that could link together a homeowner's wind, solar and conventional power systems.

The ARCS1000 is a control system that integrates a homeowner's wind, solar and conventional grid power systems. It was developed by WES Power Technology Inc. of St. John's, with support from the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). "WES Power recognized that there was no one out there trying to integrate these different systems," says Carl King, an industrial technology advisor with NRC-IRAP.

The ARCS1000 manages all three power sources and decides which should be active at any given time. When the sun shines or the wind blows, the system takes advantage of the available energy rather than drawing on the conventional power grid. It determines the optimal mix of solar and wind power, and automatically takes power from the grid when renewable energy isn't available.

WES Power's technology is so promising that the company was recently acquired by ICP Solar Technologies in Montréal. The company is housed in the industry incubator at the NRC Institute for Ocean Technology in St. John's, and has received financial support and advice on market trends from NRC-IRAP. "We recognize the movement of the world towards greener power," says King. "We saw that WES Power had designed a product for tomorrow's markets."

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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