News and Events
Volume 1 - Edition 10
March 2005

Thompson Melts Away the Competition

Matt Thompson, a fourth-year Western Engineering electrical student, has been selected as one of twenty NRC Energy Ambassadors for his paper titled Energy Conservation Competition Dual Source Heating.

In his paper, Matt proposed a system that would enable large energy users to switch between energy sources, saving them money, reducing the strain on energy producers and helping the environment.  

Matt’s project is aimed at new construction or renovation projects, such as large offices or apartment buildings. In this project, he identifies a system operation based on a service provider and a controller. The system provider would obtain electricity prices from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), formally the Independent Market Operator (IMO), and natural gas prices from Union Gas Limited. That information would then go the controller via the Internet.  The controller would select the most appropriate energy source for the building based on the price information and any distribution charges.

Although a number of similar switching techniques already exist in the residential market, ranging from a simple manual system to a complex wireless transmission system, Matt explains that his system is different because the controller makes the energy source decision based on information received from a service provider.

"This allows for a wider range of equipment compatibility, greater customization and a guarantee that the information will be transmitted when it is required," says Matt.

The Energy Ambassador competition launched in the fall of 2002 and gives students national recognition for their energy efficiency ideas.  The competition is managed by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency

Maggie Johnston, Program Manager, Energy Ambassadors, told Matt that his project was an excellent example of Canadian innovation and achievement in the field of engineering efficiency, commending him on his contributions to Canada's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

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Last Updated: 11/03/05