My research activities at UPEI divide into two categories: design and modelling of wind and marine renewable energy devices, and analysis towards realizing a more sustainable energy system (more details on the research page). This work gets done in collaboration with graduate and undergraduate students and other researchers here and abroad. For physical testing, we have a wave tank and various actuation and measurement equipment in the SSDE sustainable energy centre of excellence.
Research activities and capabilities include: ~ design and analysis of floating structures ~ aero-servo-elastic modelling of wind turbines ~ parametric design optimization ~ hardware-in-the-loop testing ~ wave tank testing ~ energy systems modelling
The group is beginning to form and new additions are in the works. We also work with collaborating researchers at UPEI and around the world.
Kellen is a second year engineering student in the SSDE and works for Dr. Matt Hall as an undergraduate researcher. His primary research focus is the numerical modeling of friction between the seabed and the mooring chains of floating offshore wind turbines.
Patrick is an undergraduate physics student at UPEI. He works as a student research assistant, studying the usefulness of shared mooring lines in floating offshore wind turbine farms and how they could affect farm cost and stability. Through numerical simulations, he investigates the dynamic effects of connecting multiple floating offshore wind turbines in different arrangements using different mooring systems.
(Co-supervised with Adam Fenech)
Crystal is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Island Studies. Her research focus is on climate change mitigation through renewable energy and the impact that climate, economics, legislation, and islandness have on the adoption of renewable energy solutions on small islands, particularly PEI. Crystal is also the Chief Financial Officer of the PEI Energy Corporation, a provincial Crown corporation tasked with developing and promoting energy systems in PEI.
Emily studied the suitability of areas around PEI for siting offshore wind farms, considering water depth, fishing activity, transmission distance, etc. for her course project in Public Scholars on Environmental Issues (ENV 401).
Prospective graduate students with interests in offshore wind or energy systems analysis are encouraged to get in touch. More information.
A foundation of our approach is using simulations to check understanding of a problem and efficiently analyze possible solutions. Simulations are usually developed with in-house or open-source tools, avoiding the "black box" limitations of proprietary software. We use established tools such as FAST and MoorDyn, along with the Python environment for custom analysis.
Physical testing comes into play for checking prototypes, assessing performance of designs, and validing new simulation tools. Emphasis is on dynamic testing, which involve the measurement and control of forces and motions, such as is applicable for wind and marine renewable energy structures. We have equipment for high-speed measurement, cable-based actuation, and real-time control including hardware-in-the-loop simulation applications.
When it comes to testing offshore structures, our main test facility is a 12 m by 2 m by 1 m wave tank currently under construction at the UPEI SSDE. This is a large project with contributions from many personnel at the SSDE. The tank will enable testing of fixed and floating structures in polychromatic sea states, with the option of wind loads emulated by force-controlled cable actuation.
I’m always happy to hear from interested prospective graduate students (preferably with a cover letter and CV). A recent call for candidates with experience in modelling wind turbines and offshore structures has been filled. However, more opportunities will be announced in the near future.
Canadian candidates interested in beginning MSc studies next summer or fall should contact me as soon as possible to discuss applying for the NSERC CGS scholarship (Dec. 1st deadline).
General note: prospective students should reach out to faculty they are interested in working with, and should be proactive about applying for scholarships such as the NSERC CGS. Having your own funding provides more options and a greater level of flexibility in graduate studies. As is the case with most professors, if you are interested in working with me I’ll be happy to offer advice on research scholarship applications.
Student research assistant opportunities for summer 2018 will be posted in early spring. Interested students are welcome to inquire about additional opportunities to get involved in a more limited capacity during the school year.
External collaboration: Collaborations with companies and research institutions on topics of mutual interest play a big role in my work. These may be on an in-kind, contract, or externally-funded basis.
Industry partnership with the SSDE: The School of Sustainable Design Engineering partners with companies that become clients for student design projects. This is coordinated by the SSDE Industry Partnership Group.
Other: When interests strongly align, there is almost always some way to work together.