Category 3: Two or More Companies
Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of clean, renewable hydroelectric power. Staying at the forefront of hydroelectric technology is critical to meet our country’s growing energy demands with efficient, sustainable hydroelectricity. That means upgrading aging machinery and modernizing the technology behind hydropower generation to improve the performance and reliability of equipment used in hydroelectric plants.
To meet these challenges, public and private sectors came together in 2007 to establish the Consortium on Hydraulic Machines at Laval University. Today, this group has become a leading global centre on turbine research. The Laval group brings together the largest utilities and manufacturers in the hydro energy sector with universities and governments to create a hub of world-class expertise in the study of hydro equipment.
Led by Claire Deschênes, a mechanical engineering professor at Laval, the group uses scale models to understand water flow and improve numerical modeling. This information allows the researchers to find ways to extend the lifespan of hydraulic turbines and improve their performance, so they are more energy efficient and require less maintenance.
Today, the group is recognized as a global centre of excellence in the turbines and pumps that drive hydraulic and mechanical energy. The group’s work is helping Canadian hydro companies stay globally competitive, and keep pace with growing electricity demand, while attracting top talent in engineering to Canada.
The Laval group, which includes collaborations with investigators in Europe and the United States, is now expanding its collaboration with other research groups around the world to help share the benefits of their research.
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