The partner organisation, Sigma Energy Storage, develops energy storage by gas compression. This technology is based on the storage of electricity from intermittent energy sources, such as wind or solar power. During the gas compression, carbon dioxide can be liquefied and extracted. This project aims to convert carbon dioxide into a valuable fuel, which could be reused to fuel the machines, and thus having a low carbon footprint on the environment.
With the maturity of renewable energy technology in recent years, micro-network has become an ideal power supply solution to the remote villages and islands. Recently, researchers have tried to reduce the cost of the system based on ideal assumptions. However, the factors that actually affect the system life cycle cost are varied. Including the control of the system, the maintenance mode of the system, the geographical factors of the power station and the configuration of the system will greatly affect the cycle cost of the whole system.
Oil and gas in tight formations with low porosity and/or permeability are often accessed using horizontal wells. In certain scenarios multiple horizontals are drilled from a single wellbore to create a multilateral well to increase production potential without the need for larger surface facilities. In drilling multilaterals, a retrievable whipstock assembly is used to kick off each additional horizontal.
This project aims to further develop cost-effective methods for characterizing fluid flow fields in high-energy tidal channels, with a focus on use of low-profile drifters to calibrate and validate numerical models of ocean flows. The project will focus on the Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) used by Acadia and Luna Ocean, primarily for tidal energy site assessment in the Bay of Fundy. The use of measurements gathered by various types of drifters provides a cost effective method for mapping flow fields, resolving spatial and short-term temporal variation in tidal flows.
Geothermal energy extracts heat from the ground which can be used directly, or converted into electricity. In a geothermal power plant hot water is extracted from an underground reservoir with a borehole, and geophysics is used to locate these reservoirs. In the planned research, a geophysical method called magnetotellurics (MT) will be used to image the subsurface of a geothermal prospect at Canoe Reach in British Columbia. This method measures the electrical resistivity of the subsurface and can detect locations where hot water is present.
Fluids used in hydraulic fracturing are designed to open fractures and transport proppant along the fracture to ensure conservation of the fracture. Scientists in the industry use commercially available polymers that are produced at low-cost in high volumes for other industries (e.g. water treatment) without really understanding the reasons why these polymers have the desired performance for fracking. The fluids we are focused on developing are used to reduce the cost of pumping/fracking to make drilling operations economically viable.
The objectives of this research project revolve around the emerging world of municipal climate change policy, planning and implementation in an Ontario context. Specifically, this project will:
1. Assess and compare innovative policies and procedures that are being used by Ontario municipalities to integrate growth planning with climate and energy planning.
2. Assess the factors that support and define net zero community building in Ontario.
There is a strong push toward producing fuel cells on a commercial scale. This means a greater focus on production speed and yields with a need to understand the unintended features that arise from larger-scale manufacturing processes. This project requires the set up of state-of-the-art, camera-vision, defect detection equipment to find and collect observed membrane features. These features will then be catalogued and tested to determine their impact on membrane durability and whether they affect later processing steps.
Hydrogen powered polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a clean energy technology that generates electricity without harmful emissions at the point of use. Current R&D efforts mainly target to commercialize PEMFCs through cost reduction and durability enhancement. The lifetime of PEMFC is limited by the degradation and failure of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM). The proposed research project addresses the mechanical degradation mechanism, a key factor reducing the lifetime of PEMs, by developing in-house ex-situ mechanical durability evaluation tools.
The key objective of this research is to validate the methodology for measurement of off-gassing from storage of wood pellets as well as development of data on heat generation from wood pellets. Canada is one of the main producer and exporter of wood pellets. 90% of this production belongs to British Columbia. Thus development of ISO standards on off-gassing and self-heating of wood pellets are critical. The rate of off-gassing for a particular biomass traded as commercial products is required to be declared in the MSDS for the product.