Assessing and enhancing energy-production performance of wind-power sites in operation

Energy-production performance is one of the most frequently analyzed parameters by wind-power site operators. Carrying out performance assessments is not usually a technical challenge for so-called conventional sites. However, the complex nature of winds and their interaction with turbines does make it difficult to assess wind-power performance. To date, only standard CEI 61400-12-1, which assesses performance for a single turbine at a time, is accepted industry-wide. In addition, it is a relatively onerous method.

Rehabilitation of Landfills to Produce Biomass Energy Crops

This project is targeted at rehabilitating closed landfill sites to produce biomass energy crops as an alternative to traditional agricultural crops. The establishment of agricultural crops on brownfield lands like these present unknown risks of contamination from legacy materials in the landfill. Growing biomass energy crops on these sites eliminates that risk and provides a significant technical, economic and system related unknowns associated with producing biomass energy crops under this type of site condition.

Large-scale Solar Farm Optimization for Ontario

Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. As the technology has evolved it has become increasingly attractive to companies to invest in large solar farms. Solar energy is an inherently intermittent resource. For companies to invest millions (each 10MW solar PV farm represents an investment somewhere between $40 ‐ $45 million) in developing solar farms they must possess extremely reliable predictions of the energy output of the system.

Design and synthesis of co-polymers for novel photo/electrochromic hybrid materials

SWITCH Materials is developing a revolutionary new type of film for application in SMART window technology. The proposed SWITCH film will allow windows to automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, blocking harmful Ultra Violet and Infrared Radiation and improving occupancy comfort while also providing the user the ability to, at the flick of a switch, “clear” or “bleach” the windows on lowlight days to allow natural day light through the window.

Low Platinum Loading Anode Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells have great potential for mobile and stationary power applications. For such applications, this type of fuel cell must be capable of operating at a high power density with an ultra-low content of electrocatalyst to reduce its weight, volume and cost. Presently, the cost of this fuel cell is too high and this remains a major hindrance for commercialization. Thus, this proposed research addresses this issue with a novel Pt-sputtering based on mono or multi-layers of carbon material as anode.

Potential Climate Change Impact On Surface Winds in Southern British Columbia: Analyses Using A High-Resolution Regional Climate Model

Results from a state-of-the-art regional climate model will be used to analyze properties of near-surface winds (speed, direction, power, and variability in time) in selected regions of southern British Columbia. Station observations taken over recent decades will be used to develop a relation between model output fields and wind characteristics that can be used to deduce wind properties at station locations in any future period.

Application of Composite Materials to Tidal Turbine Blades

Tidal currents can provide a significant and predictable source of renewable energy. This project will research the use of composite materials for the blades of a tidal turbine to harness this energy. The rotor blades are currently made of steel, which leads to several problems in the marine environment, expensive manufacturing processes and difficulties in handling (due to weight). Composites are potentially able to solve these problems.

LED Driver Circuit with Temperature Compensation

In another project directed by Carmanah, the engineering intern devised a strategy that would maximize the operating efficiency of the LEDs over the life of the product they were integrated into. The net effect would be to maintain a brightness that complies to the end user's expectations while broadening the number of sites the product can be deployed into. With better operating efficiencies, it would be possible to install solar powered marine lanterns at higher and lower latitudes than was previously possible.

Merritt Green Energy Feasibility

The focus of this project with NyFound Energy Services Inc., a developer of mid-sized clean heat, power, and energy utilities in western North America, revolves around the use of wood waste produced by the local sawmills in Merritt to produce electricity and the potential to also capture waste heat to supply dryers used at the sawmills, community buildings, greenhouses, and/or a wood pellet manufacturing plant. The use of wood waste would displace some or all of the natural gas currently used for drying purposes in the dry kilns and for provision of space heating.

Liability to Electricity - BC Foothills Geothermal Energy

CanGEA - the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association - is a non-profit association encouraging research, exploration and development of high temperature geothermal energy resources in Canada. Geothermal energy is a renewable, reliable source of electricity and heat. Geothermal power sources produce long term revenues with no fuel costs and no emissions. Thus, the purpose of this project is to investigate the possibility of generating environmentally-friendly electricity from abandoned gas and oil wells in the Canadian Foothills in eastern BC.

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