Micro-scale energy harvesting technology in remote communities of Alberta
This research initiative aims at revolutionizing our approach to energy harvesting, extraction and consumption. Energy security and climate change are the essence of politics, economy and engineering of tomorrow. Recent developments in the global stage, showcased by international consensus in G7 and UN Climate Summits, are clear indicators that engineering of new and efficient technologies are important for our future prosperity. The conventional world energy supply lacks the sustainability for a stable Canadian economy and society in the future solely based on fossil fuels. This highlights the need for more innovative and efficient energy extraction technologies related to hydro, wind and solar. This research initiative uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as a tool to study and develop innovative hydropower and wind power technologies that are best suited for Canada. Currently, the Computational Fluid Engineering Laboratory is working towards the development of micro-scale energy extractors using bio-inspired design and modified small turbines with efficiencies over 90%. Moreover, introducing more accurate wind assessment tools and building wake models forms the basis of our wind power research interests in active collaboration with industry partners. Using a combination of Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS), Large Eddy Simulations (LES), and Non-linear Eddy Viscosity URANS Models, our research group investigates aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of innovative energy harvesting technologies.