Researchers receive NSERC Alliance grants for sustainable energy collaborations

Photo of Howe Sound by Erik Ringsmuth on Unsplash

Two faculty members at the Department of Mechanical Engineering have received NSERC Alliance grants to support their collaborations with local sustainable-energy companies. A relatively new initiative, the NSERC Alliance grants began in 2019, and aim to bring together academic and industry expertise, seeking to more quickly translate research results into wider use.

Dr. Walter Mérida has received an Alliance grant to facilitate his project “Hydrogen production via water electrolysis at high temperature and pressure” done in partnership with Carbon Engineering Ltd., a company based in Squamish, BC that specializes in carbon capture and carbon-neutral fuel technologies. Sustainably produced hydrogen can be used as a fuel itself, or combined with carbon captured from the air to produce carbon-neutral synthetic fuels that can be used in existing infrastructures. Learn more about this partnership in Mérida Labs’ video on carbon neutral fuel research.

Dr. Mauricio Ponga is working with Sea to Sky Energy Solutions Corp. on the project “Enhancing capabilities of Run of River facilities through computational modelling and experimental validation.” Sea to Sky Energy Solutions runs and manages Run-of-River hydro-electric power facilities, as well as creating technology and providing consulting services that support this type of power. Run-of-River facilities are more sustainable with a much smaller impact on salmon migration and water quality than reservoir-based electricity production that relies on large dams, but their power output is more variable due to fluctuating river levels.

The NSERC Alliance grants received by Dr. Mérida and Dr. Ponga facilitate local collaborations addressing problems with global impact, bringing sustainable energy solutions that much closer.

Read more about the over $6 million NSERC Alliance funding awarded to UBC Engineering projects.

Photo of Howe Sound by Erik Ringsmuth on Unsplash