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.

Toward Urban Resilience using Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources

Sustained operation of sanitary pumping stations in Richmond BC is critical to the health and safety of its residents. The overarching goal of this research project is to investigate strategies to improve urban resilience by operating the sanitary pumping station loads in coordination with distributed energy resources (DERs), including renewable generation and energy storage. Particularly, this project aims to develop a decision-making tool to optimize infrastructure investment in DERs while promoting resilience of sanitary pumping stations.

Improving energy system planning solutions by accounting for inherent uncertainties through robust optimization

More and more distributed energy resources (smart loads, self-generation, electric vehicles, etc.) are installed directly at the customers.  This causes fluctuations in the distribution network that can reverse the power flow or increase the cold pick-up effect.

FortisBC-UBCO Collaborative Research Project: Smart Energy Chair

Exploring the best smart energy choices to meet the growing energy needs of British Columbia (BC) is important due to Canada’s new climate change mitigation targets as well as the rising economic burdens of energy use. A collaborative study has been proposed between UBCO and FortisBC identify smart solutions energy conservation, climate change mitigation, demand side management, and the development of net-zero communities, and to provide recommendations and define long-term implementation strategies for the above smart energy choices.

Hydrorefined fuels - computational insight into the mechanism

Improving the quality of fuels, increasing the efficiency and also producing lower emissions is one of the main challenges of the 21st century. A Calgary company, Katal, is working on a hydrorefining process in order to produce diesel fuel with superior quality compared with the traditional fuel. The company, however, has limited scientific understanding of the current process and also needs to possess further insights to make the process more efficient. This project will help to better understand the hydrorefining process and improve the properties of diesel fuel.

Investigation of the Effects of Target Structuring and Composition on Nuclear Reaction Rates Under sub-MeV Ion Beam Flux

This project will use a low energy particle accelerator to explore methods of improving the number of fusion reactions in specially designed targets. This work will then be used assist in the development of a feasible commercial fusion power plant that is green, uses cheap and abundant fuel, and is reliable.

Development of a multi-function sensor for HV apparatus

The proposed research aims to develop a novel fiber optic based technology for the monitoring and detection of defaults in power transformers, which could lead to an in-service failure and power outages. The partner company has developed a sensor that is sensitive to vibration and moisture. Also, small electrical sparks, known as partial discharges, in high-voltage equipment generate acoustic waves that can also be detected in a similar way than vibrations.

A Big Data Analysis Framework for MBFC Manufacturing

The Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Division (MBFC) in Burnaby, Canada develops and runs the manufacturing processes required for the assembly of Fuel Cell Stacks prototypes. MBFC uses the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to collect and analyse data from the manufacturing lines to the database system. However, because the size of the collected data is very large, MBFC is not able to detect certain fuel cell defects in a timely manner and sometimes not at all.

Dynamic System Equivalents for Transient Stability Studies

It is difficult to perform the dynamic analysis on large scale power systems within a desirable time frame. Most utilities therefore resort to reduce the scale of power system by representing the external system using an equivalent network. This project proposal in conjunction with Manitoba HVDC Research Centre aims to develop simulation based methods complemented with modal methods to obtain a dynamic system equivalent for the external power system.

Graphics Processing Unit Solutions for Power Systems Computer Aided Design: Collaborative Exploration with the University of Winnipeg

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are usually employed to quickly render images on everyday computer screens, and do so quickly and efficiently for relatively little cost. Modern GPUs are able to do hundreds or thousands of simultaneous calculations; rewriting conventional computer problems in the language of GPUs offers the potential to dramatically decrease the computing time for complex problems such as Electromagnetic Transmission (EMT) simulations.