Funded Projects

projet-financer-energie-chercheur
projet-financer-transport-electrique
projet-financer-tranport-intelligent
projet-financer-production-electrique
projet-financer-optimisation-electrique
projet-financer-au-quebec

Smart Transportation

  • Improve the performance of the landing door communications system

    The project will enable DOORSpec to develop an autonomous train/gateway communication system. The commercial potential is very high, as there is no such system currently on the market that can be grafted onto most existing public transport infrastructures. The partnership is promising, with each party bringing complementary expertise to the table to reduce risk. Ultimately, the project could lead to the development of a competitive advantage for Quebec in a niche sector of the transportation industry.  
  • ADAS for buses

  • Development of an intelligent streetlight system assisted by Artificial Intelligence

    JNA and C2T3 want to enhance a smart streetlight product with a video sensor platform and a data gateway to the cloud. The enhancement consists of the embedding of artificial intelligence for the enhancement of video data. This embedding is designed as distributed AI in edge computing and cloud computing allowing the activation of a set of controls based on the detection of categories of objects belonging to the users of the road network.

  • Active control of vehicle speed using image recognition algorithms to detect speed limit signs

    The issue that the project addresses is the reduction of speed on the road network. 30% of fatal accidents are speed-related and 72% occur on secondary roads ESMART and DEEPLITE will work together to commercialise a product that will recognise speed limit signs using deep neural networks. For Quebec, this will consolidate over 25 (E-SMART + DEEPLITE) highly specialised jobs in sectors such as artificial intelligence and intelligent transport.

  • Bus Rapid Transit: Autonomous Driving (BRITE Project) (BRITE: Bus RapId Transit systEm)

    The project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a semi-autonomous guided vehicle within a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or Sustainable Bus Transit (SBT) public transport paradigm and to define its architecture in terms of the sensor networks to be used, control and driver-system interfaces. Semi-autonomous driving means that the guidance provided by BRITE is intended to assist the driver and relieve him of low-level tasks. In the general operating mode, the bus is driven autonomously in the reserved lanes. The human driver can take over the driving control when he needs to perform special manoeuvres and then return to the autonomous driving mode smoothly and without impacting on the comfort and safety of the passengers. The main objective of the project is to collect data and to design, implement and test a prototype for the semi-autonomous guidance of city bus vehicles in a realistic operational environment with respect to the road and climatic conditions typically encountered in the Quebec City area. The project has three main lines of investigation: i) perception, ii) plug-in mechanical architecture for vehicle control and iii) system integration for autonomous driving. The first axis concerns the collection and analysis of data for autonomous driving, trajectory planning and collision avoidance. Axis 2 aims to design a mechanical vehicle control interface capable of adapting to different bus models. Finally, axis 3 aims at the implementation of a functional prototype of the BRITE semi-autonomous driving concept. The research will be carried out by the academic team of Université Laval and UMRsu in partnership with Thales Canada and Leddartech, the project's industrial partners.

  • Automation of closed circuit testing for self-driving electric buses

    Commercial bus development incorporates accelerated life testing, commonly referred to in the industry as the 'Altona test'. These tests are necessary for bus manufacturers to sell their vehicles in the United States, in particular to obtain the FTA (Federal Transit Association) grant programme. In 2017, this durability test introduced new, previously non-existent, criteria for passing or failing the test. It is therefore critical to prepare thoroughly for this test in advance to ensure its success given the costs involved in participating. This implies a much higher volume of testing than before, representing at least 3 similar pre-tests on the track before the bus is presented for the official test. The objective of the project is therefore to carry out all or part of the preliminary tests for the official test in autonomous driving mode in order to
    - Increase the chances of success in the Altoona test;
    - Increase our position in the ranking of unscheduled maintenance hours;
    - Reduce the risk of driver accidents during testing;
    - Reduce testing costs.
    In addition to this driving system, the project aims to integrate on-board systems (cameras, sensors, etc.) that will allow real-time supervision of the tests.
    This first step will pave the way for further development of such a system for customer applications. The interest in such systems was clearly demonstrated in the last call for projects for demonstration tests in various large American cities[4]. Novabus has been approached several times to participate in such 'technology showcases' earlier this year and sees future developments from this project.

  • Dynamic road signage supported by 5G traffic analysis and management technologies

    In this project, Kalitec aims to develop an innovative technology product consisting of a dynamic traffic sign specialised in road traffic analysis, which integrates the latest technological advances in 5G telecommunications and smart sensors. This product is designed to collect, monitor and analyse traffic data in real time and support intelligent transport solutions, and aims to generate $19 million in revenues by 2026

  • Using artificial intelligence to detect information on traffic signs in construction zones at the right times and with precision

    E-Smart Control is collaborating with Deeplite to improve image recognition of road signs in construction areas. This project will enable real-time recognition of speed limit signs and reduce accidents in construction areas. This collaboration will allow E-Smart to consolidate its market in active speed control and Deeplite will benefit from a new market which is the active recognition of speed signs in construction zones.

  • Platform for design, planning, analysis and simulation of public and alternative transport networks

    The project consists in pursuing and supervising the development of an integrated platform for the creation, editing, optimisation and simulation of public transport networks and alternative modes called Transition. This platform will support network planning by promoting scenario comparison and automated optimisation through artificial intelligence and the application of innovative evolutionary algorithms. The simplicity of its interface, the robustness and rigour of the methods used, and the computational performance will make it possible to carry out analyses and plan networks more quickly and with greater flexibility. In addition, users and partners will participate in the collaborative development of the platform, which will be fully open source.
    Transition will include a network creation and editing module, an import and export module for existing networks, an analysis and visualisation module (path calculator, animated maps, accessibility maps, among others), a simulation module (demand loading and load profile from survey and smart card data), an optimisation module (evolutionary algorithms and artificial intelligence) and a scenario comparison module. A modal choice model using deep learning will provide better predictions. Finally, the simulations may include areas where fleets of collective taxis with drivers or autonomous taxis (micro-transit and transport on demand) are integrated into public transport networks with the aim of increasing accessibility while reducing operating costs.

  • ARION project phase 1: development of a navigation system for electric vehicles (off-road)

    The project is part of a new 5-year research programme launched by the IVI to develop a new capacity for innovation in autonomous vehicles for off-road applications. Four applications will be studied under the ARION programme, the first of which is a private campus shuttle bus. All applications will benefit from the research carried out in Phase 1 to create an autonomous navigation system.

  • Development of research capacity and implementation of artificial intelligence techniques to optimise the interpretation and understanding of dynamic environments in which autonomous vehicles navigate

    Noting the limitations of conventional navigation algorithms, the ARION R&D team proposes to create autonomous navigation systems that integrate new methods of interpretation and understanding of the environments in which autonomous vehicles travel. These methods are based on the use of new information analysis techniques such as machine learning and more specifically deep learning. One of the approaches targeted in the research proposal to increase the quality of the interpretation of the environment is semantic scene analysis. This is an innovation that is considered particularly promising for making autonomous vehicles capable of driving in changing and highly dynamic environments, for example on snowy roads in winter where an autonomous shuttle will be driving or in agricultural fields where the growth of crops strongly modifies the environment perceived by an autonomous tractor. This approach could also be used for other vehicles of interest to the ARION programme, such as industrial handling and specialised heavy transport vehicles. In addition, the R&D team also intends to use deep learning to improve the understanding of the environment in which autonomous vehicles operate. Prediction algorithms will be implemented and tested to, for example, predict the trajectory of pedestrians in the vicinity of autonomous vehicles or to anticipate the dynamic behaviour of the vehicle in a given environment.

  • Development of tools to assess the robustness and reliability of intelligent and autonomous vehicles for safe road transport

    The purpose of this project is to bring Quebec to a leading position worldwide in the field of testing, certification and homologation of intelligent vehicles, to help saving lives on our roads and to decrease the impact of road traffic on the environment. Much hope arises by the advent of information technologies embedded in modern vehicles. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), connected vehicles and automated driving functions are rapidly being developed and deployed. However, this rapid development has also raised a growing need to cope with the performance evaluation and effectiveness of these highly complex systems. Before we can put these new intelligent vehicles on our roads, we need to test them thoroughly to make sure the safety benefits are not penalized by unpredicted or dangerous system behaviour. Indeed, road safety is directly related to the reliability and the robustness of the embedded sensors and systems. The testing and validation processes must evolve to cope with this increasing complexity and new innovative solutions need to be found. To evaluate the performance of processing and decision-making algorithms in intelligent vehicles, we need to develop and use an extensive suite of simulation and testing tools that can jointly operate in real time or accelerate time and match closely real vehicular and driving scenarios. Hence, this project focuses on the development of simulation and physical test protocols as well as the exploitation of field operational tests (FOT) data. For this purpose, new algorithms, mathematical models and software tools are required for extracting, processing and analyzing the corresponding huge amount of data. The vision of this project is based on the concept of « extended » testing procedures for intelligent vehicles involving a « physical » part with instrumented vehicles on test tracks, open databases gathering the data from field operational tests (FOT) on the roads and a part based on modelling and simulation of virtual multi-vehicular scenarios. It is worth noting that those components are all interrelated and must be conducted in parallel while considering feedback loops to enhance one another method, thus reflecting the data exchanges used to improve the testing method performance. Keywords: Vehicular technologies, Automotive and road safety, Intelligent transportation systems, Sensors and complex systems, ADAS, Crash test protocols, testing intelligent vehicles, autonomous vehicles, automated driving, connected vehicles

Electric Transport

  • Design and emulation of permanent magnet machines for electric vehicles

    This project aims to develop advanced engine models for PHIL emulation for cost-effective propulsion testing, as well as design and prototype new engines for improved performance in EV applications. Opal-RT will commercialise the models. Dana TM4 will use the new engine designs in their propulsion systems. Quebec will benefit from the partners' increased sales and local expertise creating job opportunities in the EV sector.

  • Hybrid semi-trailer truck

    FPInnovations and its partners are collaborating to develop and test a hybrid trailer for forestry operations. The goal is to replace one of the conventional trailer axles with an axle powered by an electric motor. This addition will reduce fuel consumption while increasing traction and braking capacity on steep slopes and in difficult road conditions, resulting in cost savings and reduced GHGs.

  • Optimising the energy and operational performance of low-speed electric vehicles equipped with solar panels

    The project will enable CAPSolar to develop a new type of intelligent charge controller for solar panels mounted on low-speed electric vehicles, as current controllers are not suitable for this market. The expertise of ITMI and CR2ie in artificial intelligence, energy and electronics will reduce the risks of the project. The complete system including the CAPSolar panels will then be sufficiently optimised and safe to be tested with customers before future commercialisation.

     

  • Development of artificial intelligence-based algorithms in a light commercial vehicle for increased reliability of the propulsion system

    The objective of this project is to bring to market a lightweight, intelligent, AI-based utility vehicle. One of the main challenges for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is range. The AI-based advanced motor control invented by FTEX and the battery management system (BMS) of data-driven battery SOH estimation at the pack level developed by Calogy will together lead to an increased and more accurate estimation of vehicle range. In this project,
    Geebee will design and build the Cargo electric vehicle which acts as the main platform for the other two partners' AI-based technologies. FTEX will develop the AI-based motor control unit that acts as the brain
    in the EV. Calogy will design and manufacture an advanced battery module and BMS that also contains artificial intelligence to estimate the SOH of the battery module. This project will allow the partners to enter the market with a clearly distinct and superior product from a user's perspective. This is a unique opportunity to position Quebec as a leader in batteries and electric vehicles, from which an industry can flourish while directly contributing to the broader adoption of electric transportation in Canada. This niche is currently not being addressed and therefore offers an interesting opportunity to be seized.

  • Development of tools and models for the simulation of fatigue damage conditions of high voltage cables in electric drive systems

    The electrification of transport is accelerating worldwide and the demand for higher levels of performance is constantly growing with new sectors being added (e.g. heavy and leisure vehicles). Combined with the challenges of mass production, reliability issues are taking on a new dimension and are of greater concern to the industry where safety is crucial. In this context, electric drive systems are particularly concerned, especially in terms of the reliability of high voltage cables. Due to the vibrations induced during operation, cables are subject to cyclic loading that can, in the long term, damage their internal structure and thus compromise their integrity. It is therefore essential to understand and accurately assess the risk of fatigue failure of these cables. However, this is a poorly documented topic and there are currently no tools to assess cable damage.
    This research project, in partnership with Dana-TM4, aims to develop numerical models that will allow detailed estimation of vibration damage. Ultimately, the work will lead to advanced analysis solutions that will allow a complete characterisation of the stress conditions of cables leading to their damage.
    The knowledge gained from these tools will help manufacturers such as Dana-TM4 to improve their reliability designs, while meeting the new performance requirements of the industry. The results of this project will help maintain the leadership position of Quebec companies in the field of transportation electrification.

     

  • Design and validation of a "hybrid battery" system

    IVI researchers, in collaboration with IREQ, have developed a small prototype to combine a power battery with an energy battery to reduce the magnitude of current draw on the energy battery to improve its life. The project has yielded interesting results that will be applied to a new full-size assembly with performance closer to that which could be found in an all-electric passenger vehicle currently on the market. A large part of the effort will be devoted to the design and validation of control algorithms that would make the most of the "hybrid" battery architecture. These algorithms will concern both charge management and the use of the battery to power an electric machine, as well as the thermal management of the assembly. Although the architecture studied is of the Li-Ion power battery and Li-Ion energy battery type, the algorithms developed should be able to be applied to any type of "hybrid" system where one of the assemblies has a high energy density (Li-Ion battery) and the other a high power density (supercapacity, inertia wheel, power battery). The prototype will be tested and validated in the IVI laboratory using a DC power processing system and a climate chamber.

     

  • Development of two alternator models incorporating Genset-Synchro technology

    A standard generator operates at a fixed speed. This speed invariability, which is essential for the proper operation of generator alternators, results in under-utilisation of the engines and over-consumption of fuel. Genset-Synchro's patented TGS technology counters this phenomenon by allowing the engine to vary its speed according to the energy demand of the electrical network, while maintaining the alternator's power quality. Genset-Synchro and Maritime Innovation aim to develop TGS technology for high power generators. The project will develop this technology for a 1 and 1.8 MW prototype. Finally, Quebec will benefit from a technology designed for large diesel consumers to reduce their consumption and thus reduce their GHG emissions.

  • Development of a prediction tool for electric bus consumption based on artificial intelligence and operational data

    The project aims to develop a model for predicting the electricity consumption of a bus based on operational data. This will allow fleet operators to optimise the construction of schedules and reduce operating costs. The project will also demystify the issues related to the electrification of public transport and facilitate the acceleration of the energy transition.

  • Development of an electric compressor

    The project between IVI and Rheinmetall will develop a mobile aircraft engine starting unit powered by 100% electrical energy. This product will be developed in response to government regulations aimed at reducing GHG emissions. Several airports have also introduced penalties for aircraft that start up with diesel. Revenues of $240 million over the next three years are expected from this product, which is not currently offered by any other company in the world.

  • Towards mastering the electroplating of lithium in all-solid batteries for the increasing electrification of transport

    The ultimate target is a "Made in Quebec" battery for the mass market of electric vehicles. To this end, the performance of Blue Solution's Lithium-Metal-Polymer® battery technology will be improved. The initial step will be the development of techniques to study the chemistry of the battery in operando. The success of the project would bring Quebec and Blue Solution Canada to the forefront of the next generation of electric car battery technology.

  • Design of a bi-directional charging station for electric vehicles as part of a smart grid

    Electric vehicles are an important step in the electrification of transport to reduce pollution and dependence on polluting energy. There are several barriers to the use of electric vehicles, including the cost associated with manufacturing, range and battery charging time. It is therefore necessary to overcome these obstacles in order to establish electric vehicles as a candidate to replace traditional vehicles. The aim of this project is to develop a system for fast charging of electric vehicle batteries that complies with current fast charging standards and minimises the effect of this charging on the life cycle and characteristics of these batteries. It should be noted that the control of this charger will be adaptive, so as to allow a slow charge if the user so desires, while maintaining satisfactory performance over a wide range of charging powers. In addition, the system will be bi-directional. It will therefore allow the batteries to inject energy into the grid for the purpose of providing various services, such as voltage and frequency regulation, contribution to the grid supply during peak hours, and storage of energy from renewable sources. The charging stations including the designed system will be modelled in order to study their impact on the quality of power supplied by a smart grid, in the case of a massive integration of electric vehicles. Keywords: Electric vehicles, DC/DC converter, AC/DC converter, real-time simulation, adaptive control, Smart Grid, power quality, fast charging, CHAdeMO standard, P2030 standard

  • Autonomous and universal solar charging station for electric bicycles

    This project aims to develop a stand-alone solar charging station for all types of electric bicycles for the European and North American market. The solar charging station consists of 5 main subsystems: a photovoltaic system, a battery energy storage system, an electronic locking system, a power conversion system and a universal battery charging system. The charging station does not require any connection to the electrical grid and can be easily relocated for specific user needs or seasonal storage. In addition to offering an advanced security system and a mobile application to users, the charging station will include several types of power supplies to power any type of electric bicycle on the market.

  • Methodology for the design and evaluation of an electric vehicle taxi service

    The main objective of this project is to evaluate a new concept of taxi service using electric vehicles. It will develop and validate some key components of such a service, for example the strategic positioning of charging stations and waiting posts, the possibilities and constraints linked to the different types of vehicle, and the creation of a path calculation algorithm including the energy requirements linked to the routes (according to the segments taken, the level of congestion, the type of road segment).

  • Development of a charging management system for a fleet of electric buses

    The electric school bus is becoming increasingly popular with school transport operators and its penetration in the next few years in Quebec should be exponential. Lion Electric is the only manufacturer of large capacity electric school buses in North America and has become a leader in electrification in two years.
    Autobus Laval, with a fleet of 160 school buses in the Quebec City area, is the largest operator of electric school buses in Quebec. It owns 7 electric buses and aims to acquire 25 by 2020 and ultimately own a 100% electric fleet.
    The school bus is an ideal adaptation for the electric vehicle since it has stopover times to recharge during the day and night. However, Autobus Laval found that the bus exceeded its peak power requirements on several occasions, which resulted in a drastic increase in electricity costs.
    Although Hydro-Quebec's rate is one of the lowest in North America, it is obvious that if this problem persists, the sale of electric buses will be heavily affected, unfortunately becoming an obstacle to their deployment.
    It has become urgent for several industries to find a sustainable, cost-effective, simple and universal solution to optimize the operating costs of a fleet of electric buses. In this project, Hydro-Québec, Cortex, Autobus Laval and Lion Electric Company will collaborate with IVI to develop an optimized charging management system for a fleet of electric school buses.
    This solution will promote the penetration of electric buses in the market and avoid 110,320 tonnes of CO2e emissions by 2029.

  • Qe-FAN

    The conditions for the acceptability of electric vehicles by civil society require an increase in the range and a rapid charge of these vehicles. To increase the range, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of heating and air conditioning, which requires a heat pump and a more powerful ventilation system. Reducing the charging time requires a very high thermal power to be dissipated on the vehicle and the charging station, which again requires more powerful ventilation systems. In both cases, there is a significant increase in noise, especially in the city and at night. The project therefore proposes to design acoustically optimised electric cooling modules that meet current noise standards in an urban environment by combining active and passive methods of controlling the noise of the ventilation system. The methodology will also be innovative and will be based on an original combination of direct aero-acoustic simulations of the complete modules, whose dimensions will be parameterised and adjustable under the computer-aided design software. To efficiently calculate the noise of such complex geometry systems, the Boltzmann method on Cartesian grids will be used. This method will allow rapid iteration on the shape parameters of the module and the fan blades and thus to test various passive noise reduction techniques to arrive at a final prototype module that is significantly quieter than the initial module. Several aeroacoustic experimental methods will be used in parallel to validate the new concepts.

  • Experimental study and manufacture of thermal management systems for Li-Ion batteries based on polymeric heat pipes for electric vehicles

    Interest in electric vehicles (EVs), including hybrid and plug-in vehicles, has increased in recent years. Li-ion batteries are the main type of battery used in these vehicles. The thermal management of Li-ion batteries has a significant impact on their performance, lifetime and safety. While the overall operating temperature of a vehicle is typically -45°C to 55°C, the operating range of a Li-ion battery is limited to 20°C to 40°C. This clearly demonstrates the need for an effective battery thermal management system. In this project, we propose the integration of polymeric heat pipes with phase change materials (PCMs) as a lightweight, low cost and efficient thermal management system for Li-ion batteries in electric vehicles. The main objective of this project is to fabricate and test a polymeric heat pipe and evaluate its performance under real operating conditions in a battery module. This new technology can be potentially 80% cheaper and 90% lighter than the metallic heat exchangers currently used in electric vehicles. This work is being done in collaboration with industrial partners with a view to commercialisation.

  • Scalable high energy efficiency battery pack for recreational vehicles and advanced modelling

    This proposal concerns the research of lithium battery pack architectures for electric recreational vehicles. These battery packs, specific to recreational vehicles, have as a particular constraint the limited space available and above all the power demand claimed for this particular type of vehicle. In addition to compactness, the modularity of the architectures sought will be a criterion to be considered, in order to make it possible to market such vehicles allowing to carry between 5 and 20 kWh of energy. The optimal cooling of such a battery pack at minimal cost and volume, as well as the establishment of its life span will also be investigated in the study. One aspect of the proposal, related to increasing the lifetime of the battery pack, will be the implementation of active cell equalisation systems. Similarly, phase change materials for cooling form one of the main elements of this proposal. This research project is therefore divided into three main scientific components: 1) development of dynamic and electrothermal models of battery packs that can be scaled over a range of 5 - 20 kWh, 2) cooling by phase change materials, 3) active cell equalisation.

  • Battery and energy management system for electric recreational vehicles

    This one-year research project at the CTA is focused on the complete development of a lithium battery, including the various components and functions such as the cooling system, the BMS manager, the safety systems and the connection peripherals. This battery is primarily intended for recreational vehicle applications. This project also foresees the participation of an integrator partner from the pre-industrialisation phase.

  • Design and validation of a Li-ion battery pack for industrial electric vehicles

    The aim of this project is to design and produce a Li-Ion battery pack for small electric vehicle applications. Improving the characteristics of the Li-Ion battery pack will help to better justify the cost difference over lead-acid batteries to its customers and to introduce a new industrial vehicle for outdoor use to the market. The applications of this new module are multiple: industrial vehicles, forklifts or heavy duty idle reduction systems.

  • Circular economy in vehicle electrification: recycling of lithium-ion batteries

    In a global energy context where the demand for energy is constantly increasing, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have become indispensable in our nomadic technologies, as well as in our electric vehicles. Given the limited abundance of metals (such as cobalt) that are used in these batteries, their recycling is now obvious to ensure sustainable access to this technology. In addition to avoiding the exploitation of virgin materials (and the human beings who extract them), the recycling of BLI also allows the supply of strategic metals to be bypassed, offering independence to the company producing the battery materials and to its customers. This research programme aims to develop a sustainable and cost-effective recycling process for the recovery of lithium and metals from used ILBs. The closed loop electrochemical technology envisaged allows the by-product generated to be converted into a precursor essential to the process. Thus, this technology has the following advantages: no by-product obtained, no waste production, no consumption of base or acid, no need to supply high purity battery grade lithium hydroxide. The process developed in this work would result in a vertically integrated process, controlling the value chain from the recycling of lithium battery waste, to the generation of precursors, to the synthesis of a new battery material.

  • Optimisation of manufacturing processes and Soft Magnetic Composite (SMC) materials for a new generation of low cost, high efficiency hybrid electric motors

    Much effort is being made worldwide to reduce the environmental footprint of motor vehicles, particularly through the development and deployment of electric vehicles (EVs). Improved performance, reliability, safety and cost reduction are the main benefits sought. In Canada, NRC has just completed a project supported by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to reduce the cost of electric motors by combining the manufacturing technology expertise of NRC, TM4 and Rio Tinto Metal Powder (RTMP). This project led to TM4 launching 3 new motors in June 2016. By substituting up to 25% of the permanent magnets with soft magnetic composite materials (CMDs), and taking advantage of the reluctance torque of TM4's outer rotor design, motors offering up to 45% increase in torque and speed have been developed. The basis for these new products is the development of an experimental grade of CMD material as part of this project. During the scale-up phase for industrial production, difficulties were encountered that require optimisation of the basic powder properties and the manufacturing process. The objective of this new project is to optimise for this specific application the manufacturing processes and properties required of the CMD materials and to set the specifications of the commercial RTMP product for the mass production of TM4 components. The optimisation paths and recommendations that will be derived from this study will enable RTMP to develop a guide for the optimal use of CMD products for its customers and TM4 to deploy CMD technology across its products.

  • Real-time emulation of drive systems for electric and hybrid vehicles

    This project brings together 3 major industries in Quebec and a research-focused university whose mission is to design new products for these industries. The main purpose of the project is to demonstrate a machine emulator using amplifiers and power electronics that corresponds to real working machines. A real inverter together with an Opal RT controller can be connected to this emulator to test the extent of its functionality before the real machine is built. There is a real need in the industry for this new technology. This means that both power electronics and controllers can be tested before the time-consuming and costly machine prototyping. A new machine will be designed using the uniquely instrumented Infolytica software to enable the implementation of new and improved algorithms. This new machine, along with existing machines and power electronics in Concordia's laboratories, will be used to create new models of electrical machines and power electronics validated for use in Opal RT and Infolytica related products. This will increase sales to consumers who require reliable designs. The new products will be developed by Opal RT using emulated machine and hardware-in-the-loop technology. Once the models have been designed, IREQ will use them for its research needs and is therefore a client for OPAL RT and Infolytica. And while this application is being studied from the perspective of electric and hybrid vehicles, the concept has much wider applications.

  • Optimisation of the efficiency of a permanent magnet electric motor for urban heavy transport

    In an application where the vehicle makes many stops, the engine spends a good portion of the time in an inefficient zone. The energy in the batteries is then dissipated as heat rather than being used to move the vehicle. The project aims to overcome this challenge by focusing on the drive portion, which uses almost all the energy. Several companies could directly benefit from the advantages of this technological advance, notably those involved in public transport, school transport or local goods transport, as well as in specialised mining and industrial applications.

  • New permanent magnet motor topologies using advanced magnetic materials

    The project aims to develop new electric motor topologies using advanced magnetic materials and manufacturing techniques. The project will identify, simulate, build and optimise innovative motor topologies by taking advantage of 3D magnetic flux design. The 3D magnetic flux designs will be made possible by the simultaneous development of soft and hard magnetic materials and their manufacturing process. Firstly, the compaction of soft magnetic composites offers unique isotropic magnetic properties compared to the laminates that are typically used for the manufacture of stators. Secondly, cold spray additive manufacturing of hard magnetic materials allows the manufacture of permanent magnets with complex 3D geometries that cannot be achieved on rotors using traditional manufacturing methods. Both technologies also offer manufacturing advantages such as a reduction in the number of components and assembly steps, thereby reducing the cost of the electric motor. The end result is to achieve, by the end of the project, the manufacture of low cost, high performance electric motors that target the requirements of an automotive application.

  • High power mobile stand-alone electric charger

    The aim of this project is to create a prototype of an autonomous mobile high-power charger, which will allow a full or partial charge of a heavy vehicle, with the lowest possible energy consumption. Thus, this charging station will allow the demonstration and deployment of the electric buses for which it has been designed. It will also serve to demonstrate a new ultra-high power charging protocol.

  • Development of a range extender for industrial electric vehicles

    The project aims to develop a prototype range extender in the laboratory to test the feasibility and viability of such a system for an industrial electric vehicle. In particular, the aim is to develop the control logic required to link the different elements of the system, i.e.: management of the different recharging modes, management of the starting of the combustion engine in different climatic conditions, management of the control of the speed of the combustion engine, management of the different operating modes, management of the state of charge of the battery and of the level of recharging required according to the type of accumulator installed (lead-acid or lithium-ion battery), and management of the communication and scheduling between the different components. The design will be based on a 1D model made with AMESim software and will then be validated in the laboratory. The development of the autonomy extender is a partnership project between Motrec International and Hydraulique EP, in collaboration with the INNO-VÉ consortium and ITAQ (IVI), and with the financial participation of NSERC. Hydraulique EP wishes to become involved in the control of hybrid off-road vehicles, while Motrec wishes to develop a range extender and offer it as an option on its electric vehicles to replace its thermal vehicles and thus simplify this assembly line. Hybrid off-road vehicles are an increasingly interesting market segment for Hydraulique EP, which specialises in hydraulics but is increasingly diversifying its activities, notably by developing a programming and integration department. Hybridization of vehicles makes it possible to considerably reduce consumption and polluting emissions without reducing autonomy. On the other hand, the architecture of this type of vehicle is much more complicated than that of a conventional vehicle and deserves to be studied in detail before being put on the market.

  • Development of a new electric propulsion system for the mining industry

    Within the next 20 years or so, all mines will be in the process of eliminating diesel vehicles, as they represent a significant cost of operation and are responsible for a significant portion of their greenhouse gas emissions. Several manufacturers have already proposed electric versions of on-road vehicles that are not adapted to Canadian open-pit or underground mining conditions. This extremely harsh environment requires appropriate technologies that can perform in very cold climates.

    This applied research project led by the Institut du véhicule innovant (IVI) and supported by InnovÉÉ is part of a larger project led by Propulsion Québec and funded by Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program and the Société du Plan Nord. In total, four industrial partners (Adria Power Systems, Dana-TM4, Nouveau Monde Graphite and Fournier et fils) and three research partners (CanmetMINES, National Research Council Canada and IVI) are collaborating on the development of an electric drive system, a high-voltage battery system and a high-power charger specifically designed to meet the needs of electric vehicles operating in open-pit mines. The electric propulsion system will be integrated into a mining truck platform that will be tested at a representative test site for validation.

  • New concept of agricultural tractor with plug-in hybrid drive (TAMHR)

    The agricultural sector is facing several important productivity challenges that require a rethinking of traditional work methods. The proposed way to address this need for productivity improvement is to innovate and use smaller, lighter, hybrid or electric vehicles for certain tasks, with a sufficient level of automation to reduce the need for labour. An analysis of global trends shows how the agricultural vehicle market is changing, especially in the automation of field tasks. Indeed, a Wintergreen Research1 study on the global market and forecast 2014-2020 predicts that the size of the agricultural robot market will grow from $817 million in 2014 to $16.3 billion by 2020. In light of this rapidly evolving market, the IVI conducted a technology watch on innovative agricultural tractor projects and found that the industry is heavily invested in the creation of autonomous navigation systems, but also in the development of new vehicle architectures with plug-in hybrid electric drive. In this project, the partners will collaborate with IVI in the development of a new concept of a cab-less, drive-by-wire, plug-in hybrid agricultural tractor (TAMHR) aimed at replacing hydraulic systems with fully electric systems. This new innovative tractor will be designed to perform repetitive and difficult agricultural tasks identified by farmers, such as mechanical weeding, soil and plant identification and characterisation.

  • Development of an intelligent and universal integrated bicycle traction machine

    Many companies manufacture electric bicycles around the world, but very few offer an electric and connected wheel suitable for several types of bicycles. The present project consists of developing an innovative technology that will meet a need in the electric bike rental market. As this market is growing and the cyclist is becoming more and more technology and performance hungry, our goal is to develop an integrated, highly innovative, intuitive and safe product. The current research and development work by IVI and McGill University in partnership with Instadesign and Ferndale will be based on the design and development of an integrated wheel motor system. This motor is innovative in that it will have its own integrated battery and no external wire connections. The objective is that it can be adapted to any type of bike available and quickly transformed into an electrically assisted bike. This will make it possible to offer and recharge road bikes, hybrids and fat bikes, which is innovative and unique in terms of offerings. The expected results of this project are to obtain a proof of concept that will be validated in the laboratory. The target markets are the recreational rental markets such as hotels, resorts, parks and bike sharing. Keywords: Electric wheel, self-service, electrically assisted bicycle, motor-wheel

  • New concept in modular, easy-access aluminium electric minibuses

    Urban transport companies in Quebec and elsewhere in the world are showing a tendency to want to offer a more personalised, flexible and less polluting service. To do so, they need smaller, electrically-powered buses that can provide regular, low-density service during off-peak periods, with targeted capacity, for faster feeder service to intermodal stations, and that are accessible to people with reduced mobility. The present project aims to develop a new bus platform with a high Quebec content, medium-sized, 100% electric, designed in aluminium and with the particularity of offering greater accessibility to people in wheelchairs. Letenda is targeting the public transit, paratransit and private shuttle markets. By offering an uncompromising product that responds exactly to current demand, Letenda hopes to quickly distinguish itself from the competition. The concept aims to integrate functionalities for autonomous and semi-autonomous driving, a range of 300 km between recharges, a 100% low floor, 22 seated seats, 25 standing seats and 4 spaces for reduced mobility. Its targeted charging system is level 2 charging, so the vehicle will be recharged at night. The design will be thought out and conceived for industrialization, aiming at a reduced development time, low production and tooling costs and the use of standard structural materials. The expected results of this project are to obtain a functional prototype on a small dedicated circuit in order to validate its feasibility and performance. This research and development stage is crucial as it will allow Letenda to make its product known and to interest private investors and potential buyers in order to aim for the subsequent development stage of a demonstration vehicle. Keywords: Design, chassis, aluminium, bus, electric propulsion, microbus, manoeuvrability

  • Development of advanced materials and manufacturing processes for the production of lighter car bodies and electric motors

    The purpose of this project is to investigate the innovative near-net and net shape casting capabilities of the Horizontal Single Belt Casting (HSBC) technique. Three specific objectives of great interest for Quebec and in particular for the automotive industry are targeted, specifically, the production of : - Very thin sheets (150 µm) that would serve as starting material for soft magnetic laminated composites extremely useful for the armature of electric motors in vehicles. - thin (~1-2mm) aluminium alloy sheets for car bodywork for weight reduction. - high strength, high ductility steel sheets (~1-5mm) for car parts to increase impact resistance and reduce vehicle weight. The achievement of these objectives will resolutely demonstrate that the Horizontal Single Belt Casting (HSBC) process is ideal and the only reasonable Near Net Shape Casting process capable of producing thin and extra thin steel and aluminium sheet. The investment and operational costs of near net shape casting and in particular Horizontal Single Belt Casting (HSBC) for thin metal strips are about one sixth of the costs of conventional slab casting, rolling and heat treatment operations. At the same time, NNSC for thin automotive body tapes is a low-emission process that produces five times less greenhouse gases. In addition, innovative research into the promotion of electric cars in Quebec is an integral part of the present project.

  • High speed thermoforming of AA5083 alloy for the automotive industry

    Over the past 30 years, the production of lightweight structures has been one of the most important priorities for the automotive industry. In recent years, much attention has been given to aluminium alloys as an alternative to steel, especially for bodywork. Currently, the main sheet metal components of vehicle bodies are produced by the cold stamping process. However, aluminium alloy sheet exhibits poor formability and severe springback during cold forming, so new technologies such as superplastic forming (SPF) have been introduced and used by the industry. However, the low speed production cycle inherent in SPF limits its application for mass production of automotive components. Therefore, new technologies with higher production speeds need to be developed. One of the most recent technologies is high speed thermoforming (HSTF). The production rate by HSTF is estimated to be an order of magnitude higher than the SPF method. In this context, Verbom Inc, one of the leaders in the production of SPF aluminium parts for the transportation industry in Canada, intends to integrate HSTF technology into its production line. However, to achieve this goal, a more in-depth study of the process is required to determine the influences of temperature evolution during the HSTF process, material behaviour (constitutive equations), friction conditions at the metal-die interface, forming gas characteristics, etc., prior to a large-scale industrial application of this new technology. The present project has been defined in this context and its objective is to develop a more fundamental understanding of the effects of the above variables. The project will take place over three years and will involve a post-doctoral fellow, a PhD and a master's student.

Electric energy production

  • Energy efficiency and AI-driven automation of 5G networks

    This project will allow Ericsson to develop a new framework for the automatic control and management of 5G/5GB networks based on the O-Cloud/O-RAN architecture, integrating environmental models and metrics to minimize the ecological footprint of the whole ecosystem in real-time. We will demonstrate the results of the project in two use cases: the smart city (in Montreal) and smart transportation (in Toronto). Ericsson will exploit these research results to improve the effectiveness of many strategic 5G products. According to our estimate, the project has the potential to reduce approximately 800k tonnes of CO2e per year, or 8 million round trips by air between Montreal and Toronto.

  • Digital twins of hydroelectric production units: artificial intelligence fusion of sensor data with physical simulation

    Polytechnique Montréal, Hydro-Québec and Maya HTT will work together to develop a digital twin of a hydroelectric unit. Such a digital twin will combine live sensor data with physics-based modelling using artificial intelligence to perform real-time simulation of a hydroelectric unit. It will be able to predict failures, optimise maintenance schedules and simulate scenarios of equipment use and wear.

  • Design and validation of a "hybrid battery" system

    IVI researchers, in collaboration with IREQ, have developed a small prototype to combine a power battery with an energy battery to reduce the magnitude of current draw on the energy battery to improve its life. The project has yielded interesting results that will be applied to a new full-size assembly with performance closer to that which could be found in an all-electric passenger vehicle currently on the market. A large part of the effort will be devoted to the design and validation of control algorithms that would make the most of the "hybrid" battery architecture. These algorithms will concern both charge management and the use of the battery to power an electric machine, as well as the thermal management of the assembly. Although the architecture studied is of the Li-Ion power battery and Li-Ion energy battery type, the algorithms developed should be able to be applied to any type of "hybrid" system where one of the assemblies has a high energy density (Li-Ion battery) and the other a high power density (supercapacity, inertia wheel, power battery). The prototype will be tested and validated in the IVI laboratory using a DC power processing system and a climate chamber.

  • Aeration of water turbines to increase downstream dissolved oxygen concentrations

    The concentration of dissolved oxygen in water plays a vital role in biogeochemical cycling and aquatic ecosystem function. In warm climates, temperatures cause thermal stratification in hydroelectric reservoirs preventing mixing and leading to deoxygenation of waters in the hypolimnion of the reservoir. Hydropower generation with turbines extracting water at depth with low dissolved oxygen content has a negative impact on the downstream river ecosystem. Legislation (Canada, USA and elsewhere) now requires minimum dissolved oxygen concentration limits to be met in rivers. Technological approaches to re-aerate the water in the turbine with the injection of air bubbles is a solution that also reduces vibrations when operating the turbine at part load, which is increasingly used to balance the grid due to intermittent renewable energy loads. Retrofit technologies to re-aerate flows are preferred, as they have less impact on revenue. Andritz Hydro Canada implemented one of the first prototype in-flow aeration systems using angled baffles at the Canyon Ferry Generating Station, demonstrating the viability of this system. Building on an initial collaborative exploratory study, Andritz Hydro aims to optimise the angled baffle technology, understand the physical processes of the two-phase flow of the swarm of bubbles drawn into the aspirator flow and quantify the subsequent dissolution of oxygen in the flow. Similarity laws will be developed and the ultimate goal is to support the development of a computer model to predict prototype operations. Andritz Hydro Canada will position itself as a leader for hydroelectric projects with environmental requirements such as dissolved oxygen levels, capable of ensuring the required regulatory requirements (or better) for dissolved oxygen while optimizing turbine performance.

  • Seismic safety assessment of concrete gravity dams using metamodel generated fragility surfaces

    Concrete gravity dams are essential structures for Quebec, both economically for the supply of electricity and in terms of public safety. Most concrete dams were built in the middle of the 20th century according to standards and analysis methods that have evolved considerably. There is now an urgent need to develop methods of testing structures against earthquakes to secure the province's energy supply. Due to the inherent uncertainties of potential earthquakes and material properties, probabilistic approaches are much more rational than deterministic methods when it comes to prioritising interventions for dam management. This project proposes the implementation of an advanced probabilistic method for assessing the safety of concrete structures, based on the development of multivariate fragility functions. This type of study requires a very high number of non-linear dynamic analyses of complex finite element models. In order to reduce the need for numerical computation, an innovative approach based on the creation of metamodels by deep learning will be used to estimate certain seismic responses and the resulting fragility functions. The project will be developed with the industrial partner Hydro-Québec around the case of the concrete gravity dam at Outardes-3, the highest dam of this type in Quebec. A 3D finite element model of the dam will be developed. It will be recalibrated on experimental modal analysis data, and probabilistic seismic analyses will be performed using seismic excitations compatible with the dam site. The proposed project is of strategic economic and safety importance to Quebec and partner Hydro-Québec. In terms of safety, the project will equip the partner to quantify the level of damage suffered following a seismic event of a given intensity. These tools will also be used by Hydro-Quebec for appropriate economic management of its structures. Keywords: Concrete gravity dam, Earthquake engineering, Seismic safety assessment, Probabilistic analyses, Fragility surfaces, Metamodels, Seismic risk, Parametric analyses, Finite element modelling, Damage limit states.

  • Investigation of coupled fluid-structure dynamics in transient Francis turbines- Tr-FRANCIS

    Hydroelectricity accounts for 60% of Canadian electricity production. Over the past 20 years or so, the way in which hydro turbines operate has evolved to accommodate the opening of markets and the introduction of intermittent energy sources to the grid. Hydro turbines are subject to more start-ups and spend more time in no-load regimes to provide spinning reserve. These changes have amplified structural ageing problems resulting in increased cracking problems on the impeller blades leading to production losses and increased maintenance costs. The Laboratoire de Machines Hydrauliques de l'Université Laval (LAMH) and the members of the Consortium en Machines Hydrauliques (ANDRITZ HYDRO Canada, GE Renewable Energy, VOITH Hydro, EDF and Hydro-Québec) have decided to undertake the Tr-FRANCIS project, the objective of which is to study the fluid-structure interactions during start-up or no-load operation of a Francis turbine. This pre-competitive project should enable the industrial partners to optimise the design and operation of Francis turbines in order to increase their operating flexibility without penalising their service life. Through collaboration between researchers in hydrodynamics and structural dynamics, the specific objectives of Tr-FRANCIS are - To provide a test case for the development of relevant numerical and experimental methods for the study of fluid-structure interactions in Francis turbines; - To develop the knowledge of the participants and the community on fluid-structure interactions during start-up and operation in no-load regimes. The research is centred around a model Francis turbine representing a 140 MW turbine operated by Hydro-Québec. The project is designed to provide model data that can be transposed to the real machine, both for the fluid and structural parts.

  • Optimising the integration of renewable energy in microgrids

    OPAL-RT and Nergica are working together in a research project on the optimisation of the integration of renewable energy in microgrids based on the development of digital twins of the physical systems present in microgrids and its integration under real operating conditions. Indeed, this project combines a real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation platform, a four-quadrant amplifier and the full-scale Nergica microgrid. This approach allows the integration of energy production and storage sources to be validated even before deployment in the field, which is an advantage in terms of reducing technological risk, integrating new technologies and verifying technical and operational constraints.

  • Optimal control of a wind turbine with de-icing system using icing forecasts and observations

    Quebec has a strong wind energy potential, particularly in winter, due to the strong winds characteristic of this season. However, frost accumulation affects the efficiency of wind turbine production, causing annual losses of up to 25% for some wind farms in Quebec.
    Parc Éolien Saint-Philémon (STP) in Quebec and Glen Dhu Wind Energy LP (GDU) in Nova Scotia are two wind farms experiencing significant energy losses due to frost accretion on their turbines. Both wind farms have a fleet of Enercon turbines equipped with blade de-icing systems. The operators of these two wind farms are seeking to limit the impact of icing on their energy production.
    The objective of the proposed project is to optimise the control of the de-icing system of Enercon wind turbines. Nergica has developed over several years a unique expertise in the detection, characterisation and modelling of icing events at different sites. This expertise will be used to predict icing at the STP and GDU sites and to detect icing in situ using appropriate instrumentation. Both methods of ice prediction and detection will be implemented in the de-icing system control. This increased control of the wind turbines should enable the industrial partners to maximise their use of the wind turbine de-icing system. This will limit ice accretion on their wind turbine blades and the energy losses associated with ice. Other optimisation avenues will also be explored during the course of the project.

  • Reducing the cost of solar panel components through the use of innovative materials

    Stace and Umicore are collaborating with the University of Sherbrooke to develop a process to significantly reduce the high cost of substrates for high efficiency solar cells through the use of innovative nanomaterials. This will help maintain the competitiveness of the industrial partners and open up new markets, particularly for space applications.

  • Optimising the integration of wind energy and the energy performance of diesel generators (DGs) in autonomous microgrids in harsh and northern climates

    IREQ is collaborating with Nergica to improve the integration of renewable energy into Hydro-Québec's off-grid systems at high penetration rates. The objective of the project is to optimize the energy efficiency of diesel generators and to maximize the penetration rate of wind energy in off-grid systems. In addition, the project aims to train Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) with the involvement of university and college students.

    More specifically, this project aims to reduce the dependence of off-grid sites in the North through a comprehensive approach. Indeed, the objective of the project is to optimise the energy efficiency of diesel generators as well as to maximise the penetration rate of renewable energies in autonomous microgrids. A compressed air storage system will be used to help reduce diesel consumption.

    The ultimate goal of this project is to substantially reduce the consumption of fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy, particularly in off-grid systems in Quebec and Canada. Ultimately, it will allow the Quebec industry to propose proven technologies to contribute to Quebec's strategy to seriously reduce the dependence of northern regions on fossil fuels and to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.

    The success of this project will also allow the Quebec and Canadian industry working in the energy sector to acquire an undeniable competitive advantage internationally, enabling it to export its technologies in a rapidly growing global microgrid market.

  • Advanced wind turbine damage calculator and remaining life estimator

    Wind turbines are designed to operate under an estimated profile of environmental conditions at a given site. The IEC 64100-1 standard defines classes of wind turbines according to these conditions. At the design stage, manufacturers size their equipment according to each class. The design life of wind turbines is nominally 20 years. Today, the average age of wind turbines in Quebec is about 10 years. The high costs of acquisition, installation and downtime are leading wind farm operators to question the optimal maintenance policy to adopt. Therefore, the development of decision support tools to establish an economically justified choice (e.g. repair or replacement) while minimising the risk associated with operating such equipment. Thus, the accurate estimation of the residual reliability of this type of equipment becomes a strategic issue for fleet operators. This project involves multidisciplinary work in various fields such as fracture mechanics, reliability, prognostics and learning. In addition to the operational data already available, we plan to instrument 3 wind turbines. With the usual sensors (e.g. vibration, temperature...) and the installation of strain gauges at the connection between the blades and the hub (point of maximum stress), we plan to capture the actual profile of the mechanical stresses induced by the wind. This captured profile will be extrapolated to simulate a plausible life profile for a given site. Knowledge of the terrain topography will allow the profile to be extrapolated to similar sites. Fatigue will be investigated as the primary failure mode. The planned work will contribute to a better understanding of the nature and magnitudes of the mechanical stresses on the structure, which will allow a more accurate calculation of the residual life and the establishment of accurate prognoses

  • Impacts of climate change on wind energy

    The wind energy industry in Canada will have to go through a process of upgrading its infrastructures ‘ known as repowering – by the end of the 2020s. The effects of climate change (CC) on the wind and icing regimes must be taken into account for the best possible planning of the repowering process. The main objective of this project is hence to assess the effects of CC on wind energy production and infrastructure in the decades to come, using climate simulations for 1950 to 2070. This study represents the first scientific and economic analysis ever conducted on the impacts of CC on the Canadian wind industry. It is expected to greatly improve the quality and accuracy of energy production forecasting (available wind resource and energy losses due to icing), using the smallest scale ever for Canada. Grid operators, wind farm developers, investors and numerous other stakeholders will benefit from an evaluation of the future wind resources available in Canada. Indeed, this study will allow the aforementioned parties to identify strategies and plan for the repowering of their wind plants while accounting for expected changes due to CC over the decades to come. As a result, they will have a more precise estimate of the wind energy potential and profitability of their assets after repowering. Students of the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and researchers in the areas of climate modelling and long-term wind power forecasting will directly benefit from the knowledge acquired in the context of this project. Keywords: Climate Change, Wind Modelling, Wind Energy Production, Future Wind Resource, Icing Modelling, Wind Farm Repowering, adaptation to climate change, climate modeling

  • Analysis and optimisation of the energy production of a Savonius concentrated flow wind turbine

    Small-scale distributed renewable energy systems such as building-mounted wind turbines are likely to play an important role in electricity generation. Solar energy is already part of this revolution but requires a large area. Wind turbines are complementary to solar and allow for more efficient electricity generation in windy locations. However, small wind turbines have a bad reputation because of inappropriate placement in areas where there is no wind or on roofs for which they were not designed. In this project, a wind turbine, enclosed in a diffuser, specially designed for the roof of a building, is improved. Currently, this turbine has a good energy extraction efficiency but its application range is narrow as only a few parameters have been studied. In this research project, two tasks will be addressed. In the first task, the contribution of the diffuser is analysed and optimised with respect to different wind directions and inlet valve closure. The geometry of the turbine blade is a key parameter of any wind turbine. In the second task, an optimisation approach will be developed to evaluate different blade geometries and identify the blade characteristics that will lead to higher energy extraction.

Transport, distribution, storage, and optimised use of electrical energy

  • Optimising the integration of renewable energy in microgrids

    OPAL-RT and Nergica are working together in a research project on the optimisation of the integration of renewable energy in microgrids based on the development of digital twins of the physical systems present in microgrids and its integration under real operating conditions. Indeed, this project combines a real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation platform, a four-quadrant amplifier and the full-scale Nergica microgrid. This approach allows the integration of energy production and storage sources to be validated even before deployment in the field, which is an advantage in terms of reducing technological risk, integrating new technologies and verifying technical and operational constraints.

  • Development of simulation models and advanced tools for non-intrusive diagnosis of large hydro generators

    Most of Hydro-Québec's generators are nearing the end of their useful life and their ageing is accelerated by phenomena other than those related to their intrinsic mode of operation, such as internal defects. As part of its 2035 vision, which consists of reinventing equipment maintenance to ensure that it is used to its full potential, the company is therefore required to develop non-intrusive diagnostic tools that have no impact on energy production. In addition, the use of alternator fleets at their full potential requires the development of advanced tools allowing the evaluation of their behaviour and the prediction of their performance in the presence of these internal defects. In this context, this research project aims at developing simulation models of large hydroelectric generators that will serve as major inputs for the development of their numerical twins and the evaluation of their behaviour and performance. Non-intrusive diagnostic and prognostic tools will be developed based on the search for fault signatures in the leakage flow and vibro-acoustic measurements using advanced signal processing and artificial intelligence methods. The targeted developments could also be extended to diagnose other electrical equipment such as circuit breakers and transformers. The technology that will be developed can be transferred to other application areas such as transport electrification, marine propulsion, renewable energy and smart grids.

     

  • Integration of hydrogen into a renewable energy power generation chain

    Mining facilities and Aboriginal communities in Northern Quebec and Canada all rely on diesel power plants that cause significant GHG emissions. By combining Audace Technologies' GreenCube technology, which combines wind and solar power, with Logikko's technology, which generates hydrogen and injects it as a non-polluting fuel into a generator, we are hybridizing diesels with renewable energy. With the ITMI and the CR2IE, research centres of the CEGEP of Sept-Iles, the project aims to create a test bench and a demonstration bench for this technology, which will be put into service in a northern isolated worker camp operated by Transport Ferroviaire Tshuietin. This project will be the first demonstration of this technology in a remote and northern environment, and will have numerous spin-offs in terms of knowledge and know-how creation, promotion and dissemination of clean technologies.

  • Large-scale integration of distributed energy resources into distribution networks

    This project develops methods and tools for integrating distributed energy resources into distribution networks. They will allow the operator to exploit local renewable energy sources and storage, facilitate the supply of new loads, and develop a smart, efficient and resilient grid. The partnership between McGill University, OPAL-RT Technologies, a local SME, and Hydro-Quebec, will develop and validate tools to facilitate the evolution of the grid through the exploitation of these resources, a contribution to energy innovation.

  • Efficient electrification of agricultural greenhouses in the Quebec context: dehumidification and heating technologies for green agri-food production

    This collaborative project between the University of Sherbrooke, CETAB+ and four industrial partners (Hydro-Québec, Aerogéothermik, Emerson, Atis Technologies) aims to evaluate the potential of innovative hydroelectricity-based solutions to replace fossil fuel consumption in Quebec's vegetable greenhouses. Dehumidification and heating technologies using heat pumps and (aerothermal) geothermal energy will be developed, optimized and then implemented at partner greenhouse growers (Ferme des Quatre-Temps, Abri Végétal and Serres Royales).

  • Development and prototyping of decentralised and decarbonised electrical systems

    The four partners want to prototype control and simulation technologies that will power the smart power systems needed to decarbonise the economy. The commercial potential is attractive as millions of energy resources are expected to be distributed in power systems over the next few decades. By pooling their expertise and resources, the partners are facilitating the training of a skilled workforce in the key climate change sector, giving Quebec a competitive advantage in grid modernization.

  • Development of free piston organic Rankine cycle systems for data centre waste heat recovery

    This project by Concordia University, Quebec-based NovoPower International Inc. and French company BEST-Énergies s.a.s. will recover waste heat from data centres in Quebec and elsewhere. Based on the organic Rankine cycle (ORC), the device uses a "free piston" and optimises thermodynamic efficiency by employing a customised working fluid, an adapted linear electric generator, and control algorithms that take into account the operating conditions of the heat source.

  • Development of bi-directional converters with parallel, integrated, modular, scalable, multi-level configurations with active neutral point

    Recent technological advances allow inverters to offer an electrical signal quality equivalent to that of the electrical network. This signal quality makes it possible, for example, to increase the efficiency of electric motors controlled by a variable speed drive. However, these inverters are limited in power: to achieve higher power levels, they must be paralleled, which is not possible with the current state of the art. This project will enable the paralleling of pure electrical signal inverters, which will open the door to more efficient motor control for motors over 50kW and result in a GHG reduction of 68 ktonnes in the mining sector alone over the next ten years. Other economic gains, notably in electric transport, and environmental gains, notably through the reduction in filter size, are also made possible by the project.

  • Development of an integrated platform dedicated to a hybrid energy station in an isolated area of Northern Quebec, using optimisation functions from Industry 4.0.

    Located above the 51st parallel in northern Quebec, Uapishka Station is part of the UNESCO Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve. Its objective is to promote the dynamic occupation of the northern territory in order to structure scientific, socio-professional, community and tourism development. The design and construction of the new station in 2018 was carried out by the TDA Consulting Group. In addition to the objective of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and the ecological footprint of the site, a permanent ENR laboratory was inaugurated and will be used to optimise innovations in hybrid energy (HE) in an isolated northern environment. To be sustainable and profitable over time, the station will require a complex multi-level control strategy that aims to meet the requirements of the electrical load while respecting environmental and operational constraints.
    TDA, in partnership with the Cégep de Sept-Îles and its Inergia research centre specializing in energy intelligence, is conducting research and development work on optimizing the management of hybrid multi-source power flows, an intelligent forecasting system for weather conditions and performance indicators used for the predictive maintenance of HE production sites. The results obtained will have a beneficial impact at the economic level (reduction of maintenance costs, fossil energy costs and GHGs produced) and at the scientific level, which will require the development of algorithms and, potentially, artificial intelligence. This new knowledge will benefit the training of many students in the emerging scientific field.

  • Design and development of a platform for sizing, prescribing and implementing distributed energy projects for buildings (called "nanogrid")

    The project will develop vadiMAP, the platform for organisations with multiple commercial, institutional and industrial buildings looking for a solution to implement distributed energy projects. By combining the R&D strength of the academic partners with the energy expertise of the industrial partners, this collaboration will accelerate the energy transition. Distributed energy projects are complementary to the challenge of managing power peaks faced by Hydro-Québec. In addition, this will create jobs in the renewable energy sector and thus enhance Quebec's global reputation.

  • Design and development of a predictive supervision and performance monitoring system for overhead disconnectors based on artificial intelligence

    The project consists of optimizing the motorized cabinets of the overhead electrical disconnect switches (EDS) developed by MindCore, through a solution that will allow real-time monitoring of operation while enabling predictive maintenance analysis, prediction of equipment wear and intelligent management of operating sequences according to various operational and meteorological constraints. The synergy between the researchers at the Cégep de Sept-îles and the company, developed in the context of a previous project, will make it possible to reduce the risks associated with the project and bring it to a successful conclusion in such a way that the company will reap all the benefits that will enable it to strengthen its position as a leader in a niche field for Quebec and Canada.

  • Development of two alternator models incorporating Genset-Synchro technology

    A standard generator operates at a fixed speed. This speed invariability, which is essential for the proper operation of the generator alternators, leads to under-utilisation of the engines and over-consumption of
    fuel. Genset-Synchro's patented TGS technology counters this phenomenon by allowing the engine to vary its speed according to the energy demand of the electrical network, while maintaining the alternator's power quality. Genset-Synchro and Maritime Innovation aim to develop TGS technology for high power generators. The project will develop this technology for a 1 and 1.8 MW prototype. Finally, Quebec will benefit from a technology designed for large diesel consumers to reduce their consumption and thus reduce their GHG emissions.

  • Development of artificial intelligence techniques for automated identification of electrical energy assets

    Traditional electrical engineering still uses work methods based on manual analysis of photos and plans. The engineering consulting firm CIMA+, in collaboration with the University of Sherbrooke and McGill University, wishes to apply artificial intelligence technologies to the field of traditional electrical engineering by enabling image analysis to interpret electrical surveys and plans in order to migrate engineering to the Industry 4.0 era.

  • Development and evaluation of aluminium pylon concepts

    Standard transmission line structures such as steel lattice towers and wooden gantries are now less well suited to many projects. The main objective of the research programme, carried out in partnership with Hydro-Québec and Rio Tinto Alcan, is to develop and evaluate an innovative aluminium tower concept. This new type of tower could reduce the costs and overall environmental impact of these structures.

  • Artificial intelligence for acquisition, remote control and training for renewable and hybrid energy equipment, especially for micro-grids

    The new product breaks new ground by introducing artificial intelligence into a control system with variable energy sources, including wind and solar, and loads. This new intelligent energy efficiency module will be mass-produced and suitable for all medium and small industrial installations. In addition to remote sites and indigenous communities where the aim is to reduce the use of diesel generators, there are many other applications, including ships, SMEs, factories and farms.

  • Precision navigator for transient simulation in power systems with renewable energy

    Existing power systems are undergoing a revolutionary transformation due to high level of installation of renewable energy resources. The ultimate goal of this transformation is to reinforce the energy security and sustainability for the future. This transformation, however, brings computational complexities for the power system operators. Therefore, the development of accurate and flexible simulation tools with very high computational performance is indispensable. An industry chair to deal with simulation of transients for large scale power systems has been granted to Polytechnique Montreal. The Canadian industrial partners in the chair are Hydro-Quebec and Opal-RT and the two European partners are Électricité de France (EDF) and Réseau de Transport d’électricité in France (RTE). The chair proposes cutting-edge adaptive solution techniques for multi time-frame simulations. However, further extensive researches are required for development of a concrete and comprehensive simulation tool which will address a broad scope of modern power system requirements, in particular, accuracy, flexibility and computational performance. The proposed tool must provide a mechanism to automatically adjust model complexity, solution domain, and numerical integration time-step to acquire the desired level of accuracy for the studied phenomenon depending on its frequency content. This feature is referred to as ‘Precision Navigator’ capability. To this end, we propose the following tasks: ‘ Combining the classic numerical integration approach used in the electromagnetic transient (EMT)-type solver, with phasor domain solution and frequency dependent network equivalences. ‘ Interfacing EMT-type solvers with dynamic phasor solvers. ‘ Concatenation of solutions to switch from time-domain to phasor-domain. ‘ Use of integration techniques with variable time-steps. Keywords: Power system, Electromagnetic transient, time-domain, dynamic phasor, Precision navigator, Co-simulation, frequency dependent network equivalence (FDNE), integration technique

  • Advanced analysis methods for the design of transmission line structures

    Built more than 60 years ago, the first power lines in Canada are reaching the end of their useful life as the demand for electricity continues to grow. To meet the many challenges of managing transmission line networks in the coming decades, the field of line structure engineering must implement many innovative solutions. This research partnership aims to develop advanced analysis methods applied to the field of overhead power line structures and to advance the design methods currently used in this field. The proposed research programme includes ten complementary projects that will study various problems experienced by line designers. These projects are divided into three research areas. The first axis concerns the structural analysis and design of line supports using advanced methods of numerical simulations, experimental tests and hybrid simulations (numerical + experimental). The study of the long-term elongation (creep) and life span of conductor cables is the subject of the second line of research. Finally, the response of the lines when subjected to wind loads is studied in the third axis. This work will make it possible to identify innovative solutions to optimise both the design of new lines and interventions on existing lines.

  • Advanced numerical analysis methods for optimising the design and lifetime of overhead power lines

    Overhead power lines are essential infrastructure in our modern societies and are ageing. In addition, transmission networks will be called upon to increase their transit capacity over the coming decades in the context of the electrification of transport. Thus, grid operators face several challenges in fulfilling their mandate to deliver electricity reliably and at the lowest possible cost. It is therefore essential for these companies to make use of advanced analysis tools to better understand the current and future condition of their overhead transmission line structures. The overall objective of this research project is to develop and apply advanced numerical analysis methods to optimise the design and service life of overhead transmission line structures. This research work concerns in particular advanced analysis methods which are separated into five parts: the analysis of lattice towers for the evaluation of their strength and mode of failure; the evaluation of the tensile strength of bolted connections of lattice towers; the evaluation of the effect of corrosion on the residual life of conductors; the evaluation of wind vibration amplitudes of conductors equipped with anti-vibration braces; and the evaluation of wind loads on lattices with a local approach. The methods developed will allow network managers to better evaluate the impacts of their decisions for the design of new lines and for the extension of the life of existing lines. Keywords: Power transmission, power system reliability, steel structure design, lattice structures, wind loads, cable mechanics, finite elements, cable corrosion.

  • Development of procedures for improving the performance of power transformers

    Hydro-Québec has been generating, transmitting and distributing electricity for over half a century. With a total installed capacity of 3,6643 MW (as of 2014), it provides a clean, renewable and reliable supply of electricity throughout Québec. It also sells to large markets in the northeast of the continent. The reliability of its electrical installations contributes directly to the economic vitality and quality of life of its citizens. The gradual deterioration of this infrastructure, built during the 1960s and 1970s, and the growing demand for electricity in recent years, are increasing the risk that older equipment will break down permanently and cause major power cuts. This raises concerns about energy supply, public safety, the environment and investment. In this collaborative project, we plan to help Hydro-Québec identify biodegradable liquids, while contributing to the development of new intelligent tools to improve the diagnosis, monitoring and reliability of power transformers. This equipment, which is the "heart" of the electrical energy networks, represents a huge investment. The application of the proposed research will not only provide significant economic benefits to Hydro Québec, but also result in improved transformer reliability and a sustainable response to users' electricity needs. As experts in this field are scarce, the training of Canadian students and researchers will be another significant asset of the proposed project. Keywords: Transformers, tap changers, diagnostic tools, on-line monitoring, smart applications, biodegradable liquids.

  • Integrated infrastructure for distributed renewable resources and electricity transmission

    This project aims to integrate on a single platform the technologies required for the electrification of transport and the deployment of decentralised renewable energy generation and storage. At the heart of the proposed infrastructure is the joint optimisation of renewable energy generation and conversion, and the integration of storage and customer demand modulation, particularly for electric vehicles. Elements aiming at direct industrial application are power electronics-based grid connection interfaces designed and optimised for distributed generation and fast charging of electric vehicles. In addition, the integrated management and optimization algorithms for sustainable power generation and demand will contribute to increasing the reliability, flexibility, resilience and efficiency of the distribution network. The proposed applications will allow Quebec to facilitate the diversification of electrical energy sources and the management of their production and integration into the grid. This integration will also support the optimized deployment of fast chargers required for the electrification of road transportation.

  • Development of simulation models and advanced tools for non-intrusive diagnosis of large hydro generators

    Most of Hydro-Québec's generators are nearing the end of their useful life and their ageing is accelerated by phenomena other than those related to their intrinsic mode of operation, such as internal defects. As part of its 2035 vision, which consists of reinventing equipment maintenance to ensure that it is used to its full potential, the company is therefore required to develop non-intrusive diagnostic tools that have no impact on energy production. In addition, the use of alternator fleets at their full potential requires the development of advanced tools allowing the evaluation of their behaviour and the prediction of their performance in the presence of these internal defects. In this context, this research project aims at developing simulation models of large hydroelectric generators that will serve as major inputs for the development of their numerical twins and the evaluation of their behaviour and performance. Non-intrusive diagnostic and prognostic tools will be developed based on the search for fault signatures in the leakage flow and vibro-acoustic measurements using advanced signal processing and artificial intelligence methods. The targeted developments could also be extended to diagnose other electrical equipment such as circuit breakers and transformers. The technology that will be developed can be transferred to other application areas such as transport electrification, marine propulsion, renewable energy and smart grids.

  • Development of black box optimisation algorithms for electric power applications

    This project is in collaboration with the companies Rio Tinto (RT) and Hydro-Québec (HQ). The former, a world leader in aluminium production, produces 90% of the energy required for its production via six hydroelectric power stations. The latter produces 98% of the province's electricity through its vast hydroelectric network. Both companies face many optimisation problems. Some of them cannot be addressed by existing operational research algorithms and methodologies. The main objective of this project is to develop new algorithmic approaches targeting some specificities identified in industrial optimisation problems. These approaches will be developed at the École Polytechnique de Montréal (ÉPM) by three students and two research associates, supervised by two professors who, in the past, have demonstrated their ability to train several graduate students, and have published numerous articles in the best optimization journals and in a wide range of engineering journals. The approaches developed in this project will then be integrated into the NOMAD software, an implementation of the MADS algorithm for black-box optimisation. The new algorithms can then be tested on the industrial partners' applications in collaboration with the researchers involved. The algorithmic progress will be published in scientific journals, and only the numerical results approved by the industrial partners RT and HQ will be released to the scientific community. The students involved will participate in all stages of the project and in particular in the exchanges with the industrial partners.

  • Development of an integrated platform dedicated to a hybrid energy station in an isolated area of Northern Quebec, using optimisation functions from Industry 4.0.

    Located above the 51st parallel in northern Quebec, Uapishka Station is part of the UNESCO Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve. Its objective is to promote the dynamic occupation of the northern territory in order to structure scientific, socio-professional, community and tourism development. The design and construction of the new station in 2018 was carried out by the TDA Consulting Group. In addition to the objective of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and the ecological footprint of the site, a permanent ENR laboratory was inaugurated and will be used to optimise innovations in hybrid energy (HE) in an isolated northern environment. To be sustainable and profitable over time, the station will require a complex multi-level control strategy that aims to meet the requirements of the electrical load while respecting environmental and operational constraints.
    TDA, in partnership with the Cégep de Sept-Îles and its Inergia research centre specializing in energy intelligence, is conducting research and development work on optimizing the management of hybrid multi-source power flows, an intelligent forecasting system for weather conditions and performance indicators used for the predictive maintenance of HE production sites. The results obtained will have a beneficial impact at the economic level (reduction of maintenance costs, fossil energy costs and GHGs produced) and at the scientific level, which will require the development of algorithms and, potentially, artificial intelligence. This new knowledge will benefit the training of many students in the emerging scientific field.

  • Design and optimisation of a control system for hybrid mini power plants with renewable energies for isolated sites and extreme climate conditions

    The innovative technology of this R&D project is applied to the management of microgrids, autonomous electricity production installations, and aims to increase the percentage of use of renewable energy. The main drawbacks of renewable energies, especially wind and solar, are their variability and intermittency, which require the addition of storage and regulation systems [1]. These are the reasons, along with unreliability, why diesel generators are used in almost all remote locations, especially in northern climates. For these applications, there is also a large variation in loads depending on the season (heating and/or cooling) or time of day (morning and evening peaks). Increasing the level of penetration of renewable energy in these isolated networks thus requires control systems that allow: the management of several energy sources and storage systems, the independent operation of several production cells to improve reliability, intelligent management of loads through the implementation of smart-grid specific algorithms, the optimisation of conversion and storage penetration between the different resources available, remote monitoring of performance and diagnosis to minimise the costs of troubleshooting interventions In remote locations, the constraints associated with transport costs and the availability of specialised manpower require the use of multiple units that are easily transportable, robust and have maximum reliability [2]. We therefore propose to develop a control system that allows the coupling of multiple sources, performance monitoring and optimisation as a solution to the identified problems. The development is done in partnership with the ITMI (Institute of Technology in Industrial Maintenance).

Scroll to Top