A Snow Water Equivalence Estimation Prediction (SWEEP) System to Improve Hydrologic Forecasts in British Columbia

The mountains of British Columbia store vast, but varying, amounts of water in winter snowpacks. Accurate estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) in these mountains are critical for hydroelectric power generation and flood forecasting, but the current observation network is often insufficient. Working with both industry and academic partners, Mitacs interns will use airborne laser measurements of snow depth, satellite-based observations of snow cover, and ground-based snowpack measurements to reduce errors in river forecasting.

Integrating high resolution remote sensing of multi-scale hydrogeomorphology into long-term river management - Year two

Large northward-flowing boreal rivers are an important hydroelectric resource, but effects of river regulation on downstream geomorphology and aquatic ecosystems are difficult to predict. Peace River, BC presents an ideal case study of river response to regulation, with continuous monitoring since dam construction in 1967. However, current understanding of system changes is based mainly on periodic ground-based measurements that may be less sensitive to characterize complexity at the scales at which the river responds.

Improving Outcome by Optimizing Illumination (IOOI) Study

Insufficient and mistimed artificial lighting within the hospital environment can disrupt circadian rhythms, adversely affecting patients’ sleep, mood, and recovery. In collaboration with BC Hydro, we will run a study at the Burnaby Center for Mental Health and Addictions to test whether controlled 24-hour lighting with enhanced daytime brightness and restricted nocturnal light exposure can help regulate the circadian cycle and improve the sleep and psychological well-being of patients with concurrent disorder (co-occurring substance abuse disorder and mental health disorder).

Energy Planning Analytical Research

The Energy Planning department at BC Hydro looks at how the company can meet B.C.'s future electricity demand through conservation, generation and transmission, and through upgrades to existing infrastructure. As new resources require lead times to develop, BC Hydro must plan ahead so that the new resources are ready when we need them.

Cognitive and well-being impacts of tunable LED lighting in secondary school students

The current project aims to examine how tunable LED lighting influences productivity and well-being in students at the Port Coquitlam’s Riverside secondary school. The project aims to identify the optimal lighting conditions in order to maximize productivity and well-being in healthy students as well as students with special needs. We hypothesize that the tunable LED lighting that is consistent with the natural daylight cycle will be more beneficial to students than standard constant lighting condition in an average classroom.

Calculation of the induced voltage between overhead transmission lines and adjacent gas pipelines via electromagnetic transients simulation

The candidate will utilize his knowledge and experience in transmission line modelling to implement test cases required by BC Hydro to validate the results of measured induced voltages between the transmission lines and gas pipelines. The simulations will be performed using well-known computer packages available at power laboratories of the University of British Columbia as well as computer programs written by the candidate to implement the recently developed line model in his PhD work. Simulation results will be compared with the measurements.

Passive optical remote sensing of channel bathymetry for monitoring of large river morphodynamics

Air photos and satellite images offer a comprehensive perspective on rivers that can be useful for the study and management of aquatic ecosystems. In particular, water depths can be determined remotely by relating image properties (color, brightness, etc.) to depths measured through fieldwork. However, this reliance on field data for calibration of the depth/image relationship requires costly, sometimes dangerous fieldwork and means the methods cannot be applied to data sources without associated field-measured depths.

Social and informational strategies for reducing electricity and natural gas consumption in multi-unit residential buildings

The proposed research will attempt to help residents reduce energy use in apartment buildings. The intern will provide residents with energy use feedback that shows their building’s energy use compared to a neighboring building. Buildings that reduce energy use will receive encouragement to continue conserving. The intern will work with two partnering utilities companies, FortisBC and BC Hydro. These partners will help provide energy use data for each building during the project.

Optimizing Numerical Weather Prediction for Clean Energy

Modern weather forecasts are made by computers that solve the complicated equations for air motion, heat, and moisture. Different computer codes, called weather models, use different atmospheric approximations, creating slightly different forecasts. This forecast diversity is good, because the average of all forecasts is often the most accurate, and the spread between forecasts measures uncertainty.

High Impedance Fault Detection System

A High Impedance fault (HIF) occurs when an energized primary conductor comes in contact with a semi-insulated object such as tree, structure or equipment, or falls to the ground. HIFs on distribution systems are extremely difficult to detect because they do not generate enough fault current to be detectable by conventional overcurrent relays or fuses. HIFs do not pose imminent danger to power system equipment because they have very little fault current. However, they are a considerable threat to public safety.