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College part of Saturday’s province-wide Green Energy Doors Open event

Lambton College is set to open its doors Saturday so the public can check out two green energy research projects.

The college on London Road in Sarnia is participating in Green Energy Doors Open 2015, a province-wide initiative of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, with a free public open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors will be able to tour the college’s Sustainable Smart House, as well as check out the Atmospheric Vortex Engine research project.

The Sustainable Smart House is a centre for research in renewable energy, energy storage and management, as well as green technologies, including wind, photovoltaic, geothermal and solar thermal energy.

The project also converts wind and solar energy into hydrogen gas used to generate electricity, and provide the Smart House with standby power.

Saturday’s open house will offer demonstrations of renewable energy generation, conversion and storage techniques.

The Atmospheric Vortex Engine project at the college is a partnership with AVEtec Energy Corporation.

Invented by former Imperial Oil engineer Louis Michaud, the prototype vortex engine at the college admits warm air into a circular area, causing the air to spin as it rises, forming a small, anchored, tornado-like vortex with a diameter of 50 centimetres and a height of 40 centimetres.

Michaud has said the ultimate goal is to use waste heat from power plants to fuel vortexes able to spin turbines and generate electricity.

The project is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and one of Facebook’s first outside investors.

Both projects were also showcased during last fall’s Green Energy Doors Open event at the college.

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