Energy Talks

A Public Lecture Series

Energy Talks is a speaker series featuring groundbreaking research presented by experts from the University of Alberta's Future Energy Systems research initiative and Energy Systems Signature Area. Energy Talks lectures can be delivered in numerous venues across Canada, in partnership with local host organizations.

If you are interested in hosting an Energy Talks lecture, please contact indicating your organization, preferred topic(s), proposed date, and audience. Please note that due to research and teaching obligations, our research group may not be able to accommodate all requests.

Upcoming Dates

Energy Talks: The Stirling Engine - Powering Space Exploration and Your Home with Geothermal Energy (May 17, 2023)

Energy is crucial for survival in space. A prime concern for building a base on the Moon or on Mars is how to supply abundant amounts of energy; reliably, efficiently and continuously with basically no maintenance requirements. Since the 1980’s NASA has been exploring the potential use of an old technology, the Stirling engine to replacement current technology in the harsh environment of space. Being a type of heat engine, any heat source can be used. NASA are planning to use a nuclear source and have demonstrated over 15 years of continuous operation.

The talk will discuss the extreme design challenges of generating energy in space. It will then look at the potential use of Stirling engine technology to generate electricity from Alberta’s abundant source of geothermal energy. We will explore if an old technology takes us to the stars and help in the green revolution.

David S. Nobes is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He teaches in the areas of engineering drafting, design and thermo-fluids. His research areas consider flow phenomena from a macro/micro, experimental-fluid-mechanical point of view that include combustion, turbulent jets, oil sands separation processes, two-phase flows, active control of fluid flows, blood flow in the heart and energy conversion using Stirling engines. To undertake this research, his group has custom developed unique optical measurement systems that have been deployed over a wide range of scales. These advanced laser/image/optical techniques have been funded by a CFI, NESRC and through industrial collaboration. He has supervised more than 70 MSc and PhD students and published more than 300 peer-reviewed publications.

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