Synchrotron investigation of water distribution in fuel cells and correlation to properties and performance

Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into electrical power through an electrochemical reaction, producing water and heat. These fuel cells have been considered for automotive powertrain applications. In this proposed work, a set of varying PEMFC materials will be investigated to advance the performance of PEM fuel cells. The fuel cells will be run under a wide range of operating conditions, including temperature, pressure, inlet gas relative humidity as well as compression pressure.

Automation of Natural Fibre Properties Analyses

With increasing interest in the use of natural fibres, quality characterization is needed to provide benchmarks and uniform standards in order to use the abundance of natural fibre products in niche and higher value markets. Natural fibres are inexpensive, biodegradable and leave no waste, and are sustainable and readily available throughout Canada. By utilizing natural fibres in various industries, farmers can potentially gain a second source of revenue stream from their crops of selling both the seed and straw and furthermore, a lower carbon footprint can be achieved.

Aircraft Piston Engine Detonation Measurements and Data Analysis

Aircraft piston engines are widely used for aviation in North America and still use leaded fuel. 100 octane low-lead (100LL) aviation gasoline (avgas) is the common fuel used in aviation that contains lead in the form of Tetra-ethyl Lead (TEL). The TEL additive is mainly used to modulate the aviation gasoline octane levels to avoid knock and engine failure. This lead additive is harmful for the environment and it has been phased out in the automotive industry in the 1970-1980’s and completely phased out in 1993 in Canada and 1996 in the United States.

Development of Novel Power Take Off and Control Scheme for a Canadian Wave Energy Converter

In the proposed project, an exploratory study will be conducted on the control concept and WEC design developed by P2H2P in order to prove its viability for energy recovery from the waves. For this purpose, a time domain model and unique control system will be constructed considering the particularities of the design, as provided by P2H2P. The outcome of this project will be the predicted power output from the WEC in the typically sea states that occur off the West Coast of Canada, alongside the expected annual energy generation from this concept.

Innovative Ladder Design via Optimization and Design Methodology

As ladders are such a common tool, its potential improvement can be easily overlooked. The purpose of this project is to invent a new ladder design. To avoid the lock-in effect of existing ladders, topology optimization is applied to explore new possible designs. The key of this technique is to let algorithms search for theoretically possible designs that satisfy some basic usage conditions (e.g., overall size limits and applied loads).

Testing of Offshore Wind Turbine Positional Controller

A previous mathematical model of an offshore wind turbine was established and then, a positional controller was designed and simulated for a single Wind Turbine in order to provide movement around an area using the force of air that acts on the wind turbine. The goal of my research project is to validate this Position Controller by testing its performance in a real offshore wind turbine system in a controlled environment provided by the host university. By achieving this goal, we will be capable of modifying and controlling the position large-scale offshore wind turbines.

Simulating heat transfer mechanisms for additive manufacturing processes

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a process family which is widely used for deposition of thin protective layers of novel alloy materials on components operating in severe conditions, and also for fabrication and repair of complex 3D parts. The scope of this research is to establish a process planning framework for metal based bead deposition processes that considers the various machine, materials, and process parameters.

Improving Process and Product Performance through Innovative and cost effective solutions

EHC Global - our industry partner, is a worldwide industry leader in design and manufacture of escalator handrails and many other products for the lift industry. They mainly deal with thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs), which are versatile engineering polymers with a wide range of applications, however processing of TPUs is a complicated and challenging task. The complications arise from the relatively high melting temperature of crystalline hard blocks and the degradation and crosslinking that take place at temperatures slightly above melting temperatures.

Development of fabrication, microstructure and performance relationships in inkjet printed polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrodes for automotive applications

Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) running on hydrogen are a preferred choice for on-board electricity generation in automobiles. A major challenge associated with this technology is its high cost due to the use of platinum as electrocatalyst. Implementation of inkjet printing as a fabrication tool has been investigated by the applicant and the academic supervisor to fabricate and test PEFC electrodes that are 5 times thinner and contain 15 times lower platinum than conventional electrodes resulting in an improved catalyst utilization.

Development of Combined Building Integrated Photovoltaic/Thermal (BIPV/T) System for Net-Zero Energy Building Applications

"Building integrated photovoltaic–thermal array (BIPV/T) incorporated within a building structure is a system that combines the roof/facade, photovoltaic cells and thermal collector as an all-in-one product instead of installing each individually. BIPV/T effectively replaces conventional building materials and is more cost-effective than having several separate products, and installation of the BIPV/T system can be implemented during initial building construction.