Carleton to Build Solar Research Facility

Published on: The Charlatan, September 15th, 2011

With help from local construction firm Urbandale Construction and Panasonic Canada, Carleton is set to build a new and innovative facility for solar energy research on campus.

The project, dubbed the Carleton Research and Innovation in Sustainable Energy House (C-RISE), will be for highly qualified graduate students to explore the possibilities of solar energy and its potential to help reduce heating and cooling costs, according to the Ottawa Business Journal.

The project will draw from a $582,242 grant obtained by Carleton engineering professor Ian Beausoleil-Morrison through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, according to Carleton’s website.

The initiative first took shape when students from Beausoleil-Morrison’s fourth-year class played around with a design from Urbandale, according to the Ottawa Business Journal.

The class made a new design that met the voluntary energy efficiency standards from National Resources Canada, called the R-2000 standard of 2012. Further ideas are still being developed, such as incorporating solar water heaters and heat pumps, according to the Ottawa Business Journal.

The program will “recruit top students graduating from its sustainable and renewable energy engineering and conservation and sustainability [bachelor of engineering] and [bachelor of architectural studies] programs into graduate studies,” said Briana Paige Kemery, a member of Beausoleil’s team. These students will able to explore new designs that could potentially become available on the market.

Panasonic Canada has even offered to provide vacuum insulation for the facility.

Urbandale’s general manager Matthew Sachs is the “industry liaison” for the project.  Sachs, who worked with Beausoleil-Morrison, has helped students balance their ideas with practical and financial considerations. The initiative is estimated to cost Urbandale $200,000.

Those doing research at C-RISE will be examining the issue of single-family detached housing producing excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

In Canada, approximately 10 per cent of emissions come from such types of housing, according to Carleton’s website.

“The Carleton Research and Innovation in Sustainable Energy House (C-RISE) will bridge an important gap that currently exists between the modeling and reality to tackle these issues,” according to Carleton’s website.


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