Faculty

Cristina AmonProfessor Cristina H. Amon

http://www.mie.utoronto.ca/labs/atoms/

Transport Phenomena in Fuel Cell

Our research lab has acquired an extensive expertise in numerical modelling of fluid flow and heat transfer in complex geometries using both conventional (Navier-Stokes-based CFD methods) and novel (lattice Boltzmann method) numerical techniques.

We are using the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) for flow simulation modelling in various forms of porous materials. The LBM is capable of accurately capturing the physics of fluid flow in complex pore geometries of porous materials, such as those found in fuel cells, with no need for assumptions. Our research group is one of the leading groups in Canada in applying the LBM to industrial problems.

We currently investigate single- and two-phase flow in the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells in collaboration with a leading Canadian company in this field. Computed tomography imaging is used to digitally reconstruct the detailed structure of different GDL samples that are currently used in manufacturing fuel cell stacks at our industrial partner’s facilities. We then rigorously characterize the GDL samples by pore-level modelling of fluid flow through them. The obtained knowledge on the effect of different structural parameters on the hydrodynamic performance of GDL samples will help the company optimize the GDL structure, and increase the reliability of the manufactured fuel cell stacks.

Wind Farm Optimization

In recent years, there has been a growing interest on sustainable energy resources, such as solar, geothermal, wave, and wind energy. The renewable energy sector’s share of the energy supply is expected to grow to 18.6% by 2030. Moreover, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that wind energy will have a 12% share of the global energy supply by 2050. To reach this target, the wind energy production capacity will have to increase at an average rate of 47 GW/year, resulting in massive investments and a dynamic and growing market for wind-related technology and services.

Our group is working on the development of a state-of-the-art methodology for optimal design of wind farms in collaboration with a leading Canadian company in this field. In the proposed design approach, we include simultaneous consideration of power generation, environmental impact with respect to noise, and life-cycle cost of the wind farm, including its decommissioning. During the first stage of this project, our research team will evaluate the limitations of existing methods for the design of the wind farm layout under consideration of energy output and noise generation only, and will tailor existing multi-objective optimization methods with the goal of facilitating compliance with the Renewable Energy Approval process.

Wind Farm Design Process

Aimy BazylakProfessor Aimy Bazylak

http://bazylak.mie.utoronto.ca/

Aimy Bazylak’s group (Microscale Energy Systems Transport Phenomena Laboratory) focuses on the study and utilization of microfluidic and nanofluidic transport phenomena to achieve unique material designs, operation strategies, and water management techniques for improved low temperature fuel cell performance and design. Our capabilities include computational, microfabrication and testing facilities. Dedicated workstations are employed for numerical modelling, such as pore network modelling and computational fluid dynamics. Facilities for rapid prototyping are employed to fabricate microscale fuel cells and experimental platforms for clean energy applications. Also, fuel cell test stations combined with optical microscopy and high speed digital photography are employed to simultaneously monitor the performance of fuel cells and to investigate the associated microscale and nanoscale transport phenomena.

Francis DawsonProfessor Francis Dawson

http://www.ele.utoronto.ca/

Francis Dawson’s research interests encompass all areas associated with the delivery, transmission, distribution, utilization and management of energy at low (wireless, computers) and high power levels (utility, aerospace). Specific interests include: current limiting devices, power semiconductor applications, electrothermal modelling, signal processing and adaptive filtering in power engineering, electromagnetic compatibility, high frequency magnetics, control of power converters, the application and modelling of novel light sources, and computational methods for the steady state analysis and for transients and dynamics in power systems.

He has worked as a process control engineer in the pulp and paper, rubber and textile industries, participated as a Consultant or Project Leader in several industrial projects.  Development areas included high-frequency link power supplies, power supplies for specialized applications and high current protection circuits. Since 1988 he has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto where he is engaged in teaching and research.

Dr. Dawson is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario and is an IEEE Fellow.

Olivera KeslerProfessor Olivera Kesler

http://www.mie.utoronto.ca/labs/sofc/

The research objectives in the Fuel Cell Materials and Manufacturing Laboratory (FCMML) are to enhance environmental sustainability by developing cleaner energy conversion technologies that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions compared to combustion-based power generation methods. Research projects are conceived with the goal of tackling the largest challenges preventing the widespread use of fuel cell technologies – cost, durability, and reliability. The ultimate objective of the work is to facilitate the widest and fastest possible adoption of cleaner energy conversion technologies in order to maximize their environmental benefit. The main focus of the research in FCMML is on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. SOFCs are the most efficient known energy conversion device for the production of electricity from a variety of fuels, including renewable biomass, hydrogen, or natural gas, with no smog-forming emissions. However, their use remains severely limited by high costs, as well as by low durability and reliability. Current projects are aimed at drastically lowering the cost and improving the durability of fuel cells through the use of new materials and processing techniques to produce fuel cells more rapidly using a process that is easily scaleable for mass production. Work is also focused on understanding the electrochemical performance and degradation behaviour of SOFCs, in order to develop strategies to increase their durability.

Peter LehnProfessor Peter Lehn

http://www.ele.utoronto.ca/~lehn/

Research Interests: Applications of converters to wind energy and distributed generation; Modeling, analysis and control of converters; Analytical modeling for calculation of harmonics and stability margins; Experimental validation on scaled laboratory systems.

 

Keryn LianProfessor Keryn K. Lian

http://www.modeldrivenengineering.org/feel/

The research objectives in Flexible Energy and Electronics Lab (F.E.E Lab) are to develop high performance, thin and flexible electrochemical capacitors (EC) and to develop printed organic memories.

The electrochemical capacitor (EC) is an important energy storage technology for high power and fast energy delivery. Our research on EC covers electrode modification, the development of polymer electrolytes, as well as cell assembly and characterization.

In terms of electrodes, we are focusing on the chemical modification of porous and nonporous carbon materials to add pseudocapacitance for enhanced energy density and conductivity. As for electrolytes, we are investigating polymer proton conducting electrolytes for EC which can greatly improve volume energy and power density while enabling very thin form factors. Our proton conducting polymer electrolytes enabled all solid EC devices have achieved the highest charge/discharge rate of 100V/s. Our thin cells will be combined with batteries or solar cells to form hybrid energy devices for prolonged fast energy delivery and for self-powered energy devices.

Warren MabeeProfessor Warren Mabee

http://geog.queensu.ca/faculty/mabee.asp

My research focuses on the interface between renewable energy policy and technologies, with particular emphasis on wood energy and biofuels. This means that my students and I work across a broad spectrum that covers environmental policy, international approaches to renewable energy development, and commercialization of new products and processes. A major research project that we have undertaken at Queen’s is an evaluation of renewable energy opportunities and challenges specific to Eastern Ontario, which we have proposed as Canada’s first Renewable Energy Region. This will allow us to take a case study approach in examining policy for renewable energy options, and will provide a framework for expert advice to both federal and provincial governments on the development of strategies to reduce our reliance upon fossil energy sources. This research approach builds on international examples, in Sweden, Germany, Japan, and elsewhere, of successful regional strategies to develop renewable energy solutions. My research program is strongly connected to the activities of the International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy Task 39 ‘Liquid biofuels’, which offers us an avenue to explore different approaches to new energy systems, and gives my students a window to the world of international technology and policy development. We are also engaged in partnerships with our neighbours in the USA, through mechanisms including the IEA and the Great Lakes Sustainable Energy Consortium. At Queen’s, I am closely associated with the Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre (focused on technology solutions to drive the bioeconomy forward) and Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (focused on a portfolio of environmental and energy-related issues).

Brant PeppleyProfessor Brant Peppley

http://www.fcrc.ca/

Research Interests:  Fuel Processing – methanol, gasoline, diesel reforming; Reliability and Durability of PEMFCs; Mathematical Modeling and Optimization of PEMFC Power.

 

 

Professor L.H. Shu

http://www.mie.utoronto.ca/labs/lcdlab/shu/index.html

My overall research interest lies in studying, improving and applying creativity in conceptual design.  One specific approach involves the systematic identification and application of biological analogies in biomimetic (biologically inspired) design.  In addition, my lab is applying lead-user methods to identify obstacles to personal environmentally significant behavior.  Creativity, including biomimetic and other design methods are applied to develop solutions to overcome such obstacles.

Jim WallaceProfessor Jim Wallace

http://www.mie.utoronto.ca/faculty/wallace/

Professor Wallace has more than 30 years of experience conducting research on the topics of internal combustion engines, combustion, and fuels. The engine lab specializes in the combustion of alternative fuels, including biogas, methanol, natural gas, propane and hydrogen in spark ignition engines and biodiesel in diesel engines.  The focus of the work is on reducing engine exhaust emissions.  Recent projects have also investigated exhaust aftertreatment systems, including diesel particulate filters and SCR systems for NOx control.

His current sustainable energy system interests include Organic Rankine Cycle power systems for waste heat recovery, solar thermal power generation, wave power generation, distributed cogeneration (e.g. microturbine combined heating, cooling and power systems), and fuel cell ancilliary systems and systems integration issues.