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New solar trough project getting tested at RRC

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Eric Bibeau,industrial research chair at the University of Manitoba, at the Solar Trough test site at Red River College.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Eric Bibeau,industrial research chair at the University of Manitoba, at the Solar Trough test site at Red River College. Photo Store

The power of the sun could someday heat Manitoba homes.

First, though, a pilot project being undertaken by Red River College, the University of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro has to be successful.

Ken Klassen, of the college's applied research and commercialization department, said solar thermal parabolic troughs are used in the southern United States but this is the first time they are being tested in Canada, "This can take heat and store the heat," Klassen said today at the announcement of the project.

"When the Sun goes down you can take the stored energy and heat a building."

The two rows of reflective troughs set up at the northwest end of the college's main campus should be able to produce enough heat to keep up to 10 homes warm on a winter day, he said.

The year long project is costing about $400,000 and was also partially funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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