Wind energy is the fastest growing source of electricity in Canada. However, its supply is not aligned with the energy demand, thus energy storage becomes important. The Power to Gas process (P2G) is a promising technology in which electrical energy is converted into chemical energy (methane). Methane can be stored in already existing natural gas distribution infrastructure. Within the P2G process, excess electricity is converted to hydrogen via water electrolysis and subsequently converted with CO2 (biogas upgrading) to methane.
The rapid depletion of fossil fuels (such as Coal, Natural gas, Oil etc.) and the escalation in environmental pollution have prompted increased investigations in the field of alternative energy sources. In this context, solar cells are being studied to satisfy the increasing power needs of today’s society as photovoltaic power uses pollution-free energy source, solar energy. Silicon solar cells are still very expensive due to both the using of expensive materials and the employing costly processing steps.
This research will identify best practices for the design of renewable energy investment programs targeting the social housing sector. Involving mixed methods of research, including literature review, interjurisdictional scan, and strategic interviews with third party experts, the research will result in a set of actionable recommendations for provincial and federal governments, municipal social housing authorities, and other third party private sector actors involved in the renewable energy and social housing sectors.
Ocean wave energy converters (WECs) are devices that utilize ocean energy to produce electricity or fresh water. A key stage in developing these devices is scale model testing in wave tanks, as it allows the power generation capabilities of a design to be evaluated at a much lower cost and with no environmental risk compared to full scale testing in the ocean. One of the challenges with designing scale models of WECs is the power take-off (PTO) system which can be infeasible to implement at small scales.
Hydrogen fuel cells require humidification in order to operate effectively, yet, at the same time produce a constant stream of moisture through their exhaust. Membrane fuel cell humidifiers provide a method of recycling this moisture, thereby saving energy. They work similarly to heat exchangers, but take advantage of special polymer membranes in order to exchange moisture. Fuel cell environments can be very taxing on membranes, reaching temperatures of 95C, so selecting the right membrane material is of utmost importance.
Production and utilization of ammonia in the transportation and power generation sector brings numerous advantages by introducing environmentally friendly, sustainable and efficient systems. Ammonia (NH3) is the only carbon-free chemical energy carrier together with hydrogen suitable for use as a transportation fuel. In this project, renewable energy based NH3 production methods are investigated for power generation, transportation and energy utilities. Specifically, concentrated solar energy based electrochemical ammonia synthesis is experimentally investigated.
The conversion of low value lipids, including tall oil, brown grease, and yellow grease, to hydrocarbons without the use of hydrogen or catalyst has been patented and scaled up by our group (Forge Hydrocarbons). This project seeks to develop an improvement to the existing process by incorporating microwave heating to the reactor configuration. The process is expected to help reduce the acid number and improve the process economics by decreasing the undesirable side reaction leading to coke formation.
Hydrogen powered polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a clean energy technology that generates electricity without harmful emissions at the point of use. To accelerate commercialization, current R&D efforts mainly target reduced cost and increased lifetime. The proposed research project addresses both aspects by developing a unified chemical and mechanical modeling platform for evaluating membrane durability in PEMFCs. The core validation is based on extensive test and field data provided by our industry partner, Ballard Power Systems.
Etalim is a Canadian high technology company developing a breakthrough heat engine generating electricity from any fuel or heat source. The Etalim TAC (Thermal Acoustic Converter) is a unique technology that converts any high temperature gradient to electricity, with high efficiency (20%-30%) and simplicity. The TAC represents a unique class of device that combines principles of thermodynamics, high-amplitude acoustics, mechanical resonance and materials science in a unique way.
Aqueous rechargeable lithium battery has received great attention recently due to the less toxicity, lower cost and higher safety compared to the non-aqueous systems. When using the commercially available lithium manganese oxide as active materials, there are demands in suppressing manganese dissolution and graphite consumption in the cathode. As a potential solution to achieve these goals, in this proposal, two dimensional graphene materials are integrated on the surface of the cathode, forming a hybrid cathode aqueous battery.