$342K for four clean-energy science and technology research projects.
This funding will be applied to research and development in post-secondary institutions to help with technological advancements, energy efficiencies and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The Province is providing $342,000 from the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund for four clean-energy science and technology research projects at British Columbia public post-secondary institutions, supporting energy efficiency and conservation.
The funding is distributed to research teams at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria for projects dedicated to coastal wave energy, high-performance batteries and battery chargers, and building insulation.
The funding is awarded through the Post-Secondary Clean Energy Partnerships (PSCEP) Program which leverages federal government funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and requires investment from a private company or industrial research partner.
The projects were selected through a process defined in a Memorandum of Understanding between the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines and NSERC. Provincial funding is contingent on researchers’ successful application for federal funding from NSERC. A call for proposals is currently underway for the next round of funding under the program and is open until Jan. 20, 2017.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines –
“Congratulations to the researchers sharing funding of $342,000 under our Post-Secondary Clean Energy Partnerships Program. Working with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and private industry partners we’re supporting research and development being undertaken in British Columbia’s post-secondary institutions that will result in technological advancements, energy efficiencies and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate technology and innovation in British Columbia.”
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education –
“Our research universities are recognized as global leaders in research and development. The partnership between these three research universities, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and private industry will help to stimulate the clean tech industry, while driving innovation that can be commercialized with real-world applications.”
Dr. B. Mario Pinto, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada –
“NSERC strongly supports research and development in high-priority areas, such as clean energy. These academic-industry collaborations will result in cutting-edge technologies that benefit our environment, create commercial opportunities and improve our quality of life.”
Ali Saket, PhD student in the department of electrical and computer engineering, University of British Columbia –
"Thanks to funding from the provincial government and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada my colleagues and I have been able to explore different methods to cut the power losses and increase the efficiency of battery chargers – an integral part of clean energy systems that processes the electric energy and stores it in batteries.”
Majid Bahrami, professor of mechatronics systems engineering and project lead, Simon Fraser University –
"This new funding will enable us to advance clean tech research that will benefit the battery industry while the fundamental knowledge and engineering design tools we will develop can also be employed for a variety of sustainable and green energy applications, from electronics and automotive to heat-ventilating and air-conditioning and refrigeration sectors.”
Tom Tiedje, dean of engineering, University of Victoria –
"These are two examples of the many innovative research projects and partnerships that exemplify the University of Victoria’s research strength in clean energy and green technologies.”
Jason Goldsworthy, vice-president - projects, AOE Accumulated Ocean Energy Inc. –
“AOE Accumulated Ocean Energy Inc. is pleased to be involved with the University of Victoria in assessing the viability of ocean wave energy on the west coast of British Columbia through the Post-Secondary Clean Energy Partnerships program. AOE is looking forward to continuing our relationship with the talented and diligent researchers at the university to assess the technology being developed by AOE using high-end numerical simulation techniques. This opportunity allows companies like AOE to evaluate the performance of our technology in a simulated environment prior to the deployment of expensive prototypes. We are proud to support the University of Victoria and acknowledge the contributions of the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.”
Ken Fielding, co-founder and CEO of Delta-Q Technologies Corp. –
“Delta-Q Technologies is proud to partner with local universities and support the research conducted by our candidates. These projects will go towards our continuing efforts to improve power conversion efficiencies and power densities and the grant funding will be essential in elevating their resources. This ultimately will help make our chargers smaller and lighter, and meet the global demand for advanced, high-efficiency on-board power electronics for electrified vehicles and equipment. Congratulations to all the grant recipients.”
LuVerne E.W. Hogg, president and CEO of ZMM Canada Minerals Corp. –
“The prospect of working with Dr. Phalguni Mukhopadhyaya, of the University of Victoria, to create vacuum insulation panels in Canada, utilizing clean technology and ZMM’s natural zeolites, represents a unique opportunity to create a new, high performance, thermal insulation that will provide significant benefits to the environment. Thanks to the financial support of the Innovative Clean Energy Fund and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, together we hope to build a new generation of insulation that has the potential to reduce building energy requirements by up to 40%. ZMM believes a successful R&D program for vacuum insulation panels will be classed as breakthrough technology with significant, positive economic implications that go beyond Canada and North America. The impact of the technology would dramatically reduce greenhouse gases in both cold and hot climates.”
Post-Secondary Clean Energy Partnerships Program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/electricity-alternative-energy/innovative-clean-energy-solutions/innovative-clean-energy-ice-fund/post-secondary-clean-energy-partnerships-program
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/index_eng.asp
Innovative Clean Energy Fund: www.gov.bc.ca/innovativecleanenergyfund
#BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder with more information on the projects follows.
Suntanu DalalMedia Relations
Ministry of Energy and Mines
The projects awarded funding under the PSCEP Program are as follows:
- Extreme performance battery charger technologies for transportation ($100,000): A collaboration between the University of British Columbia and Delta-Q Technologies of Vancouver to develop the next generation of high-efficiency power converters for electric vehicle battery chargers. Advances in this area will improve the efficiency of electric vehicle chargers and reduce costs, benefitting both electric vehicle owners and the utilities providing the power (NSERC: $100,000, Delta-Q Technologies: $100,000).
- Vacuum insulation panels with zeolite-fibre composite core ($49,967): A collaboration between the University of Victoria and ZMM Canada Minerals of Peachland, B.C. to develop alternative core materials for use in vacuum insulation panels. The thermal insulating capacity of vacuum insulation panels is five to ten times higher than traditional fibrous or foam insulation, but their mass use in the construction industry is restricted due to the high cost and uncertainty regarding long-term performance. Researchers will explore the use of locally-available zeolite powder in the core materials of vacuum insulation panels to bring the cost of producing the panels down to that comparable with traditional insulation (NSERC: $49,998, ZMM Canada: $31,250).
- Passive cooling solutions for high-power battery chargers ($96,000): A collaboration between Simon Fraser University and Delta-Q Technologies to develop the next generation of cooling systems for high-power battery chargers. In a battery charger, 10 to 15% of the input power is consumed to cool the device, and the trend to smaller-sized, higher-powered chargers can double the cooling requirements. The proposed solutions will employ emerging materials and more efficient technologies to eliminate the use of input power to cool chargers and significantly reduce the battery industry’s carbon footprint (NSERC: $128,000, Delta-Q Technologies: $80,000).
- Creating the pathway for standardized performance assessment of Canadian wave-energy converters ($96,000): A collaboration between the University of Victoria and Accumulated Ocean Energy of Sooke, B.C. to precisely define the energy potential, benefits and challenges of coastal wave power. The west coast of British Columbia has significant wave power with the potential to establish a marine power sector in B.C. that can serve growing global demand for clean-energy technology, however to date there is no consensus on the design or operation of wave-energy converters to turn wave power into electricity that could be fed into the grid, and it is unclear to what extent wave energy can be harnessed. Researchers will refine data assessment techniques and simulation hardware developed at the University of Victoria to provide an accurate assessment of the energy potential of coastal waves (NSERC: $100,000, Accumulated Ocean Energy: $62,500).
NSERC offers grant programs that build research relationships between post-secondary institutions and Canadian companies and help advance research and development in many sectors and disciplines relating to science and technology.
The ICE Fund is designed to support government’s energy and environmental priorities and advance British Columbia’s clean energy sector. It receives funding through a 0.4% levy on the final sale of specified energy products – natural gas, fuel oil and grid-delivered propane. Since 2008, the ICE Fund has provided approximately $77 million to support pre-commercial clean energy technology projects, clean energy vehicles, research and development, and various energy efficiency programs.
The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.