Energy: ÉTS Reseachers Contribute to Technological Advance in the Efficiency and Quality of Energy

There are many ways to contribute to technological advances in the efficiency and quality of energy. For ÉTS researchers who devote themselves to the field of energy, it can be the design of intelligent networks or energy storage systems, developing innovative alternative solutions to fossil energies, or using renewable energy to produce electricity.

Directions in Energy Research

More than 15 ÉTS researchers and a large number of masters and PhD students devote themselves to the energy sector. Their work focuses on three main themes: 

  • Power electronics and energy efficiency and quality; 
  • Renewable energy and the storage and management of energy;
  • Production, transport and distribution of electrical energy.

Laboratories and Research Chairs in the Energy Sector 

Research Chairs 

All the research chairs 

Research Unit

All the research units 

Major Challenges, Innovative Solutions

How do we ensure the stable, high-quality production and distribution of electricity? How do we store surplus energy and ensure its optimal management? How do we relieve network stress in periods of high demand? How do we transport energy to areas far from the major centres? What solutions can we propose to reduce the use of fossil fuels? How do we maximize the energy efficiency of buildings? 

The solutions proposed by ÉTS researchers make use of various promising new technologies and strategies, such as:

  • Using microbial cells to generate electricity; 
  • Using hydrogen fuel cells to store the energy; 
  • The energy internet or "Enernet"; 
  • Intelligent energy management; 
  • Producing electricity from green energy sources;  
  • Energy efficiency of buildings;
  • The decentralization of electricity production;
  • Intelligent mini-networks;  
  • Wind energy and thermal bioenergy; 
  • Etc.

An intelligent mini-network on the ÉTS campus

The Québec government supports development projects in the renewable energy, intelligent networks and storage systems sector. In partnership with the City of Montréal, ÉTS intends to put in place an intelligent mini-electrical network integrated within its downtown campus. Its objective: to demonstrate concretely that an intelligent mini-network can produce, store, distribute and use electrical energy efficiently, reliably and flexibly. 

This planned mini-network integrated into the ÉTS campus could become a laboratory offering researchers and their graduate students a huge potential for research on photovoltaic applications and thermal solar energy, converter design for power electronics, building energy efficiency, measurement instrumentation, controllable loads and demand management as well as the control, forecasting and optimization of energy systems.

The Canadian Energy Sector

Canada is the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world and two-thirds of its electricity supply comes today from renewable sources such as hydraulics and wind. Quebec generates approximately half of the total hydroelectricity production.

Despite Canada’s enormous hydroelectric power production capacity, electrical networks, so essential to our quality of life, have never been more at risk. The integration of renewable energies – intermittent, therefore difficult to control – and climate change, which induces increasing consumption peaks, have rendered network operations more complex than ever. Strategies must therefore change, both in terms of production and of distribution and transport, to adapt to this new reality.

In the energy sector, the technological solutions proposed by ÉTS researchers in response to current issues focus in particular on the conversion of electrical energy, power electronics, decentralized intelligent mini-networks and the creation of hybrid systems.

The Canadian Energy Sector
Canada is the world’s second largest producer of hydroelectricity
Two-thirds of Canada’s electricity supply comes today from renewable energies
More than 97% of Québec’s electricity production is of renewable origin More than 97% of Québec’s electricity production is of renewable origin
The objects and infrastructures around us can combine different forms of energy. In order for everything to work properly and remain stable, these sources of energy often have to be converted.
Handy Fortin Blanchette: Converting Energy in an Era When Worldwide Energy Needs Are Increasing

Over the past few decades, our energy needs have multiplied. The objects and infrastructures around us can combine different forms of energy. In order for everything to work properly and remain stable, these sources of energy often have to be converted.

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In the field of construction, we often pay more attention to a building’s energy efficiency when it’s designed than while it’s in operation.
Danielle Monfet: Continuous Evaluation of Energy Performance

However, 65% of the energy consumption and 80% of the environmental footprint occur during a building’s operation phase. Professor Monfet is developing new techniques for continuously evaluating and improving buildings’ energy efficiency.

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