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May 17, 2018

Focused on power: researching a bright new way to use the sun’s energy

Focusing energy increases productivity: it’s true for people, so no surprise it’s true for the sun, as a unique device called a solar concentrator demonstrates. Lakeland College’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation site is now home to a solar concentrator prototype, which can concentrate the sun’s energy to temperatures in excess of 2,000 °C, hot enough to melt metal. The concentrator works by reflecting the sun’s light from one mirror to a curved mirror, which in turn concentrates the light into a focused circular beam aimed at a target. Controlling and directing the beam is done by tilting the mirrors and... Read more
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May 17, 2018

What goes around (water) comes around (as heat)

In February 2015, Lakeland College opened the doors of its new Bio-Energy Centre. The building features a micro cogeneration unit built by Yanmar Energy Systems Co. Ltd. of Japan. The cogen unit uses an engine fueled by natural gas to generate electricity; at the same time, water is heated by the engine’s warmth. Heat from the engine’s water jacket and exhaust is collected through heat exchangers and used to provide base heat to the centre. The Yanmar unit is rated to simultaneously produce 10 kW of electricity and 16.8 kW of heat. The cogen starts up automatically when the building... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Repairing the riparian area — riverbank rejuvenation in Vermilion

Lakeland College’s Vermilion campus was founded in 1913 as an agricultural school and is surrounded by land used for studying and researching farming. In addition to space for farming and grazing, the fields contain wetlands which, with growing recognition of their importance in the overall health of the environment, are increasingly the subject of research themselves. That’s because riparian (literally, river bank) areas provide habitat for wildlife, have an important role in protecting water quality and limit the damage caused by floods. But the banks of wetlands and rivers are often badly degraded — by animals seeking water and by... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Strong, straight and nutritious: research to improve cereal crops

Keeping cereal crops healthy and strong over the summer gives them their best shot of producing a high yield of grain. How to achieve that is the focus of the cereal research taking place at Lakeland College, led by Laurel Perrott. Recent research trials have had three main themes: in-season nitrogen fertility, optimal fungicide timing, and preventing lodging. Under the first theme, Perrott is studying the effect of applying additional nitrogen fertilizer on different varieties and classes of wheat after the crop has emerged, either early or later in the season. She’s also studying barley foliar fungicide timing. Fungicides are... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Bridging the gap between parking management and technology

Drivers with smart cars and smart phones are looking for smarter parking spots, and Precise ParkLink is working to meet that demand. Precise ParkLink is a North York, Ontario-based company involved in all aspects of the parking business, from building parking lots to providing equipment and attendants for them, to managing the revenue they generate. Having recognized that as the public becomes more tech savvy and dependant on its mobile phones, its expectation for a different way to pay for parking would grow, Precise ParkLink developed a web-based portal called i PASS, designed to streamline the process. Precise ParkLink then... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A mobile platform to keep patients safely in one place — home

When something goes wrong and patients have to return to hospital for the same problem in the month after they’ve been discharged, it takes a toll both on the individual and the health system. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, hospital readmissions cost the healthcare system as much as $1.8 billion per year. It’s estimated, however, that almost 60 per cent of those readmissions could be avoided if those who were most likely to have to return to hospital could be identified and given better care before and after discharge. Older people, those with multiple health problems, those... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A bit of research today keeps the doctor away — from the apples

Apples, the fruit that famously keeps the doctor away, are getting some help to keep away unwanted visitors themselves. Ontario’s apple trees are facing damage from a new pest – the apple leaf curling midge. The galls (bumps that appear on leaves) produced by the midges can interfere with the normal growth and development of the terminal shoots of young apple trees, which delays or stunts their structural development. It’s a particular problem in Durham Region, where the amount of land dedicated to growing apples has doubled in the last five years, because young trees are particularly affected, but apple... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Easier video surveillance

Lanoptic Video Solutions Inc. designs, sells and supports digital video devices for security and surveillance. It recently developed a system for installing digital video cameras that combines the mounting system with tools and a fastener. Called Novattach, the system makes cameras much simpler and faster to install than traditional methods. Lanoptic, however, wanted to reduce the device’s overall cost without affecting its functionality and turned to researchers and students at Durham College for help, with a goal of ultimately creating a family of engineered solutions. Two students from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program worked on this project, creating designs for... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Tracking the Wanderers

People with autism or dementia tend to wander, which puts them at risk — so knowing their whereabouts are being tracked 24/7 can give their caregivers peace of mind and help ensure the wandering one’s safety. That’s why Strategic Smart Inc. developed WeTraq. Unlike other tracking tools that use Bluetooth or GPS, WeTraq is an “internet of things” device. That’s the phrase used to describe objects, from cars to heart monitors, which have embedded software and sensors capable of collecting data and sharing it. WeTraq is a credit-card-sized device that works by connecting wirelessly to smart phones via its mobile... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Flying out of college to a job with kiteboarding innovation

Ocean Rodeo came to Camosun College with a problem. The company, a kiteboard manufacturer, wanted to build a new kind of composite control bar for kiteboards — but could a "plastic" bar hold up to the rigours of kiteboarding? After meeting with the Camosun Innovates team, Ocean Rodeo agreed to partner with the college on an NSERC Engage Grant, and first year mechanical engineering technology student Ben Costin was hired to work part time with Camosun Innovates on the project. Ben conducted a series of destructive tests that mimicked and exceeded the stresses and forces that kite-boarders would put on... Read more
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