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May 16, 2018

Coming together to separate oil and water

After the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, it was clear to Mark, Stephen and Michael Neal that it was time to revive an oil-containment boom system (now called the XBOOM) invented by their parents. The Neals and their company, The Canadian Floating Fence Corporation, approached researchers at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's Applied Research and Innovation Services department for help in refining the boom. “Coming to SAIT was an amalgamation of great minds working together,” said Stephen Neal. “We had the basics and they maximized and improved upon it — and the results were startling.” Environmental... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Power line research shocks and impresses

Shannon Developments Corp. assesses power lines around the world. For more than 20 years its assessments have helped utilities to replace only the power lines that are wearing out, instead of going through scheduled replacement, which may mean lines that are still performing are taken down. Recently, Shannon’s assessment process has evolved toward digitized analysis — and company owner Douglas Shannon needed samples of power lines that had deteriorated in different ways. With them, he could create digital files to be used in an analytical computer model. Rather than using actual corroded power lines for his research, Shannon needed a... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Refining brewing at Refined Fool Brewery

The idea of students getting immersed in beer doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with words like “efficiency” and “productivity,” — but they did when a group from Lambton College worked with Refined Fool Brewing Company, a micro-brewery in the heart of downtown Sarnia. Refined Fool approached Lambton College for help in minimizing the space and labour their brewing process required, while increasing energy savings, efficiency and productivity. The first part of the project allowed the brewers to monitor the brewing process off site using smart devices. The second part automated keg washing, which was previously done by hand. Faculty... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Hands-on work on remote control

Off-the-grid technology can present a problem for operators when it’s also out-of-reach. Toronto’s Clear Blue Technologies Inc. has more than two decades of experience in linking environmentally friendly green energy with the hardware and software necessary to monitor and manage it. The company has worked with Centennial students and faculty several times over the years, most recently on a new piece of technology, the Macaw charge controller, which communicates vital information on off-grid hardware (including solar and wind-driven equipment) to remote operators. Macaw can provide users with a range of information, from functional problems to data on the amount of... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Cool work with hydrogen

A lot of effort has gone into discovering the holy grail of zero-emission fuel — and that’s where the promise of hydrogen comes in. A team from Centennial College, including Professor Md. Ali Tarique, innovation program manager Hassan Haji-Esmaeili and student researcher Harparampreet (“Preet”) Kaur are investigating hydrogen cooling solutions that would allow internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen. Because hydrogen extraction is labourious, their hypothesis is that small modifications to an internal combustion engine would be safer, more convenient and less expensive than producing hydrogen fuel cells. Their specific challenge is to find a way to narrow the... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Take heat, be cool

Take heat, be cool. Sounds like a line from a jazz standard, but it’s also a description of solar absorption cooling — a method of air conditioning that uses the power of the sun, rather than electricity, to operate. Heating buildings through the power of the sun is nothing new, but solar-powered air conditioning seems like a contradiction in terms. In fact, it is merely harnessing the sun’s power another way: it uses water, heated by the sun, to drive the chillers in air conditioners. Not using electricity gives solar absorption cooling a huge advantage, because the electrical grid can... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Helping a physician innovate with smart IV infusion

Every year millions of patients around the world need intravenous (IV) therapy. IV lines are used for delivering everything from medication to blood, saline and nourishment. But this essential medical tool has an inherent risk. Caregivers must diligently monitor the IV fluid level and promptly replace it or switch off the infusion line when it gets low. Failing to do so can result in reverse blood flow and a high risk of developing a blood clot in the needle, which in turn may damage the blood vessel and require using another blood vessel to keep the IV going. But changing... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Aclarus

Easy access to high-quality drinking water can be a challenge for people outside urban areas — and it was to improve that access that Aclarus Ozone Water Systems approached Lambton College in Sarnia for help to test, develop and optimize its ozone water purification system. Aclarus, based in Peterborough, Ontario, specializes in water purification through the use of ozone technology. Ozone, an inorganic molecule, is extremely efficient at removing bacteria, pesticides, odours, chemicals (and more) from water. In June of 2015, Aclarus partnered with the Lambton Water Centre at Lambton College on a research project to validate its system’s effectiveness... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Where is the wearable? Improving mine safety

Knowing where workers are is essential for keeping them safe in high-risk environments, such as mines. It is not an easy task: GPS systems rely on satellites, which don't work underground. It’s an issue that’s central to the work of Vandrico, a Vancouver-based company focused on developing technology to improve information flow in mines — with a particular focus, since 2013, on wearable technology, to help employers keep track of where their workers are. Vandrico approached Langara College’s Computing Science and Information Systems program with a challenge: to adapt an industrial Wi-Fi network and off-the-shelf wearable technology to keep track... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Feeling better about what goes down the drain

Blue Planet Environmental is an Ontario-based company that has developed an advanced wastewater treatment for both residential and commercial use. The company approached the Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment at Fleming College to find ways to improve its new system, so its performance would eventually meet industry certification standards. The centre launched two consecutive applied research projects to optimize and redesign the system. The first assessed two variations of the system – run in parallel – to determine which removed nitrogen more effectively. The second project, building on the results of the first, modified the system to combine a fixed... Read more
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