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March 14, 2016

Sustainable Energy Technology and Energy Efficiency

Since its foundation, the Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Sustainable Energy Technology and Energy Efficiency (TERRE) at the Cégep de Jonquière has carried out applied research in sustainable supply to help isolated areas free themselves of their dependency on fossil fuels. A wide-reaching hydro-electric power grid has been developed to meet Québec’s energy needs. However, areas far from urban centres go unserved. In these isolated locations, electricity is generated by fossil fuels, which are expensive and cause high levels of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Martin Bourbonnais, TERRE Chairholder, and Québec Outfitters (QO) are currently implementing a three-pronged program to... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Advanced Material Development for Generation, Storage and Integration of Renewable Energy

As modern societies become more populous and a variety of new technologies, the need for advanced and novel materials has been widely recognized. This need for engineered materials is nowhere greater and more urgent than in the electric power sector where cost-effective, reliable and long-term energy generation and storage technologies are essential for keeping pace with the ever-growing need for electricity in Canada and elsewhere. Renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar offer alternatives to conventional technologies. However, their intermittent production and relatively high cost have slowed widespread penetration into the electricity market. Affordable energy storage technologies have great... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Smart Grid Technology

The main challenges facing utilities today include aging infrastructure and equipment, continuing increases in renewable energy generation and coordination of this “distributed” form of power generation. The adoption of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles and increased use of modern electronic devices are also expected to increase demand and degrade power quality in local distribution systems. Mohawk College’s Industrial Research Chair in smart grid technologies, Dr. Nafia Al-Mutawaly, is investigating the impacts of harmonics (distortions of current or voltage in power distribution systems) generated by electric vehicles and residential loads. Harmonics can create unwanted heat and inefficiencies in power supply. Data collected through... Read more
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March 14, 2016

A Hub for Smart Energy Use

A small Nova Scotia company has gained a reputation for developing innovative, custom designed energy analysis software to improve energy efficiency. Launched in 2013, The Efficiency Store offers a range of energy analysis services for homeowners and local businesses. The company founder, Megan McCarthy, came to Nova Scotia to complete her post-secondary education. While studying, she recognized an opportunity to become an entrepreneur in the energy efficiency sector. A researcher encouraged her to contact the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Applied Energy Research Lab. The result was a collaboration, with NSCC and The Efficiency Store working together to develop new... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Nano-engineering for Better Smartphone Batteries

Nano-engineered materials are a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly alternative for many Canadian manufacturers. They make it possible to tailor the structure and morphology of materials at a nano-scale and expand their applications for technology we use every day, such as smart phones. Lambton College has used an Applied Research Tools and Innovation grant to purchase highly-specialized, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment that forms the core of an ‘electrochemical test station’. This equipment is being used with existing college apparatus for advanced nanoengineered material synthesis, characterization and optimization. Dr. Shahram Karimi, Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Material Development for Renewable Energy, and his research team... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Assessing Heat Stress in Solar Panels

Heat trapped under solar energy panels is reported to reduce the energy production of rooftop installations of photovoltaic panels. Georgian College researchers are analyzing existing systems to determine how to resolve this issue. PowerStream is the second largest municipally-owned electricity distribution company in Ontario, supplying electricity to 335,000 residential and business customers. The company has created a business unit, PowerStream Solar, which leases industrial, commercial and institutional rooftops for installation of photovoltaic panels. Nine photovoltaic arrays from multiple manufacturers have been mounted on a number of different panel mount styles on the rooftop of the Barrie office of PowerStream, where... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Remote Monitoring for Microhydro Sites

BlueStreak Equipment Inc. designs and manufactures micro-hydro turbines and develops micro-hydro sites. These small hydro producing sites are scattered across Ontario and daily visits to monitor them is not practical. In an effort to develop a more efficient and cost effective approach to monitor operations at micro hydro sites, Bluestreak approached Durham College for assistance in developing a remote system that could detect when there is a system fault, so that crew members could be dispatched quickly to fix it. Monitoring systems currently on the market are designed for large installations that can afford larger capital costs and monthly fees.... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Optimizing Commercial Potential of Green Energy

The Lambton College Renewable Energy Conversion and Storage (RECSR) project is focused on the development of an integrated, modular hybrid renewable energy system with the capability of optimizing captured energy at varying production levels and operating conditions. A scalable fuel production, storage and dispensing system is being designed to manage wind, photovoltaic solar-derived energy, drive electrolysis, compress and store electricity as gaseous hydrogen, and regenerate power via proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Housed in Lambton College’s Sustainable Smart Home facility, the project showcases several areas of applied research in green technology, including hybrid energy system management, dynamic optimization and control,... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Electric Vehicle Research

As more electric cars are purchased by energy-conscious consumers, there is a need for information about who is buying them and how often they need to re-charge them. Georgian College is delivering a range of education and applied research services related to electricity use, energy distribution, and grid performance. With a new four bay solar-assisted charging station and a sophisticated monitoring and control system, the college is collaborating with industry to accelerate the delivery of new products and services. It is also researching ways to optimize energy use and distribution. One of the initiatives undertaken by faculty and students at... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Power Conservation for Traffic Detection Sensors

You see them along every highway - traffic counting monitors collecting data essential for city and highway planning. Many of them are powered by solar energy or batteries with limited energy supplies. An Ontario company providing advanced highway detection technologies approached Durham College for help to find ways to extend the operating life of existing traffic detection sensors through energy harvesting components and intelligent energy management strategies. North Line Canada collaborated with Durham College to test hardware and develop a prototype to test the possibility of obtaining sufficient voltage/current from a miniature hybrid power harvesting generator to power temporary and... Read more
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