This research project proposes the exploration of various mechanical systems configured in two residential homes in Milton, Ontario. The primary goal is to determine the energy consumption and monetary costs associated with integrating new technologies of both heating and cooling requirements of a new home. Refinement of previously collected data and software modeling are keys to providing successful long term projections on potential savings in energy usage and economic payback periods.
A strategic opportunity exists to integrate, strengthen and reform land use, transportation and municipal energy planning policies to address climate change goals in Ontario. The kinds of policies that reduce urban sprawl go hand in hand with climate policy, and vice versa. The project with the Pembina Institute, an organization committed to sustainable energy solutions, will analyze existing government initiatives and relevant government policies to determine opportunities for Green House Gas (GHG) reductions through policy modifications or additions.
Energy-production performance is one of the most frequently analyzed parameters by wind-power site operators. Carrying out performance assessments is not usually a technical challenge for so-called conventional sites. However, the complex nature of winds and their interaction with turbines does make it difficult to assess wind-power performance. To date, only standard CEI 61400-12-1, which assesses performance for a single turbine at a time, is accepted industry-wide. In addition, it is a relatively onerous method.
This project is targeted at rehabilitating closed landfill sites to produce biomass energy crops as an alternative to traditional agricultural crops. The establishment of agricultural crops on brownfield lands like these present unknown risks of contamination from legacy materials in the landfill. Growing biomass energy crops on these sites eliminates that risk and provides a significant technical, economic and system related unknowns associated with producing biomass energy crops under this type of site condition.
Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. As the technology has evolved it has become increasingly attractive to companies to invest in large solar farms. Solar energy is an inherently intermittent resource. For companies to invest millions (each 10MW solar PV farm represents an investment somewhere between $40 ‐ $45 million) in developing solar farms they must possess extremely reliable predictions of the energy output of the system.
SWITCH Materials is developing a revolutionary new type of film for application in SMART window technology. The proposed SWITCH film will allow windows to automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, blocking harmful Ultra Violet and Infrared Radiation and improving occupancy comfort while also providing the user the ability to, at the flick of a switch, “clear” or “bleach” the windows on lowlight days to allow natural day light through the window.
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells have great potential for mobile and stationary power applications. For such applications, this type of fuel cell must be capable of operating at a high power density with an ultra-low content of electrocatalyst to reduce its weight, volume and cost. Presently, the cost of this fuel cell is too high and this remains a major hindrance for commercialization. Thus, this proposed research addresses this issue with a novel Pt-sputtering based on mono or multi-layers of carbon material as anode.
Tidal currents can provide a significant and predictable source of renewable energy. This project will research the use of composite materials for the blades of a tidal turbine to harness this energy. The rotor blades are currently made of steel, which leads to several problems in the marine environment, expensive manufacturing processes and difficulties in handling (due to weight). Composites are potentially able to solve these problems.
Results from a state-of-the-art regional climate model will be used to analyze properties of near-surface winds (speed, direction, power, and variability in time) in selected regions of southern British Columbia. Station observations taken over recent decades will be used to develop a relation between model output fields and wind characteristics that can be used to deduce wind properties at station locations in any future period.
In another project directed by Carmanah, the engineering intern devised a strategy that would maximize the operating efficiency of the LEDs over the life of the product they were integrated into. The net effect would be to maintain a brightness that complies to the end user's expectations while broadening the number of sites the product can be deployed into. With better operating efficiencies, it would be possible to install solar powered marine lanterns at higher and lower latitudes than was previously possible.