Environmental and social risk assessment to support informed collaborative decision making for vegetation management of northern Rights-of-Way

Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) is an approach that utility companies can use to manage vegetation under or near transmission lines and has been successfully applied in southern jurisdictions. IVM requires practitioners to understand and manipulate plant communities to meet management objectives, such as maintaining a low growing plant communities that help prevent the regrowth of trees.

Comparative Analysis of Milking Systems in Nova Scotia to improve efficiency and sustainability of water resource

This project will provide a detailed evaluation of the energy, water and labour requirements of the four different types of milking systems used in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia currently has 36 robotic milking systems installed with more expected in the near future. It is generally considered that robotic systems use more water than free stall systems, however tie stall systems use less than free stall. If the industry is moving to high water use systems then such evaluations are important to ensure a sustainable and responsible approach to water use if achieved.

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.

Stochastic optimization of a hydroelectric production system for the aluminium industry

Rio Tinto operates aluminium plants in Saguenay that are powered by their hydroelectric system. An efficient management of water available in the system is primordial to ensure energy supply to the aluminium smelters. This quantity is uncertain since the exact inflows in the reservoirs are unknown when decisions are taken. Stochastic optimization is used to make decisions under uncertainty. Mid-term optimization models determine reservoir volumes while short-term models dispatch the available water as efficiently as possible between the power plants and turbines in the system.

Optimal Two-Dimensional Energy Management of Grid-Connected Thermal/Electrical Hybrid Energy System

This project is designated to develop a next generation optimal two-dimensional energy management algorithm for a novel grid-connected thermal/electrical hybrid energy system. On-site implementation of the model and algorithm will be phased into a real community at an undisclosed location for performance evaluation.

Aeration of hydraulic turbines for increased dissolved oxygen

In warm climates warm temperatures cause thermal stratification in hydropower reservoirs inhibiting mixing and leading to deoxygenation of waters at depth (hypolimnium). Turbines withdrawing water at depth result in low dissolved oxygen (DO) in the downstream flow having a large negative impact on the downstream riverine ecosystem. Legislation in the USA and elsewhere now requires hydropower operators to guarantee meeting minimum DO limits in downstream flows.

Probabilistic Evaluation of Distribution Networks Containing Distributed Energy Sources, Energy Storage and Electric Vehicles

After introducing deregulated power markets and small scale distributed generation (DG) in power distribution systems, the probabilistic evaluation gained much attention to quantify the uncertainties due to parameters such as wind speed, solar irradiation, power market price etc. Meanwhile, due to increasing penetration of electric vehicles (EVs), the load demand due to EV charging has become very relevant information needed for power system planning studies.

X-ray Microtomography Imaging and Finite Element Modeling of Copper-Coated Steel Corrosion Processes for Long-Term Nuclear Waste Management

Through the Mitacs internship program, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is partnering with Western University researchers to build confidence in the lifetime of copper-coated steel containers, proposed as one of several barriers that will keep nuclear waste contained and isolated from the environment. The intern, Ms. Thalia Standish, will simulate the corrosion of copper-coated steel materials in a variety of conditions, followed by three-dimensional imaging using X-ray microtomography. Together with her supervisor, Dr. David Shoesmith, Ms.

Modelling transient flow in a hydropower station

Modelling the movement of water through a hydropower station is an important tool for understanding this very complex behaviour, where water is pushed and pulled through long tunnels and spinning turbines, resulting in a vast range of pressures and speeds. There are generally two types of models: 1-dimensional (1D) models, which are simple and cost-effective, but do not provide adequate detail for the more complex features in the power station. The second type is 3-dimensional (3D) models, which are very detailed but cost both time and money.

Evaluation and Identification of Gaps and Technical Challenges in Candidate Carbon Capture/CO2 Conversion Technologies

In the wake of the Paris meeting on global climate change in December of 2015 (COP21), commitments to drive down greenhouse gas emissions have escalated around the world. Man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are accepted as the largest contributor to climate change. Promising next-generation technologies for decreasing CO2 emissions are being investigated at the lab scale. Unfortunately, the technology developers often lack next-step projects and connections with industrial end-users to allow the technology to advance and become commercialized.