Current Projects

Hydrogen-diesel dual fuel engines for heavy-duty commercial vehicles: modelling and analysis

Industrial sponsor: Hydra Energy Inc.

Collaborators: Erik Kjeang (SFU, MSE); Patrick Kirchen, Steven Rogak and Ryozo Nagamune (UBC, Mechanical Engineering)

Funding: Mitacs Accelerate, NSERC Alliance

Synopsis: The project is supporting Hydra Energy as they develop a near-term approach to reduce GHG emissions from on-road commercial vehicles through the use of hydrogen as an additional fuel in a diesel engine. The project involves developing engine, vehicle, and life-cycle models for a class-8 commercial truck equipped with Hydra's fuelling system. The models will be built using data from Hydra's on-road vehicle testing as well as chassis and engine test-cell data from the partnership with UBC.

Students: Reza Farzam and Zarqoon Mumtaz   

On-board gaseous fuel compression for low greenhouse gas commercial vehicles

Industrial sponsor: Westport Power Inc.

Funding: Mitacs Accelerate 

Duration:  2021-2025

Synopsis: The most promising way to combust gaseous fuels efficiently in an engine is to use a diesel-like, late-cycle injection. This requires the gaseous fuel to be supplied to the engine at pressures of 300 bar or more. This project is developing the fundamental and specialized technical knowledge to support Westport in developing an efficient on-board compression system for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Such a system has never before been developed for heavy-duty on-highway vehicles.  

Students: Mehdi Nikkhah, Talha Usmani  

Optimum high-efficient hybrid electric natural gas powertrain designs towards economically viable low emission trucks

Industrial sponsor: Westport Power Inc.

Collaborators: Mahdi Shahbakhti (UofA, Mechanical Engineering)

Funding: NSERC Alliance

Duration: 2021-2024

Synopsis: The addition of electric motors and batteries to the powertrain of commercial vehicles offers the potential for substantial fuel consumption benefits and reduced greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining vehicle payload, performance, and operational requirements. Low-carbon gaseous fuels, including natural gas, renewable natural gas, and hydrogen, offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions without compromising performance. This study investigates the potential for re-optimizing a commercial vehicle powertrain system with a combination of an advanced hybrid-electric powertrain and a high-efficiency engine.

Students: Navid Balazadeh   

Improving the efficiency of Hydrogen fuelling stations with Ionic liquids 

Industrial sponsor: Hydrogen Technology and Energy Coroporation (HTEC)

Collaborators: Sami Khan (SFU, SEE)

Funding: InnovateBC Ignite, Mitacs Accelerate 

Duration: 2021-2024

Synopsis: Hydrogen fuelling stations need to achieve pressures in excess of 80 MPa to ensure that hydrogen vehicles can leave the station with a full tank of H2. To achieve these high pressures requires significant energy inputs and imposes very high stresses on existing compression technologies. HTEC and SFU are collaborating on the development of a new concept that offers significant potential reduction in energy input and which should reduce peak pressures that compressors need to achieve. The concept also offers opportunites to reduce losses in the preparation and delivery of hydrogen to fuelling stations.      

Students: Yameena Naqvi, Jake Loftus (complete)

Assessing the emissions reductions potential of hybrid-electric powertrains for BC Ferries’ Coastal Class vessels   

Industrial collaborator: BC Ferry Corp.

Co-investigators: Patrick Palmer (MSE), Taco Niet, Vahid Hosseini

Funding: Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) 

Duration: 2023-24

Synopsis: The SEE research team is working with experts from BC Ferry Corp. to assess the potential for greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions from hybridization of large ferries in the Salish Sea.      

Students: Navid Balazadeh, Reza Safavi, Connor McGookin (Post-doc). Annie Watson

Completed Projects

High Efficiency Clean Biomass Heating for Net-Zero Homes

Industrial sponsor: Demizine Inc.

Collaborators: Sami Khan (SFU, SEE, co-PI)

Funding: Mitacs Accelerate

Duration: 2021-2024

Synopsis: Biomass combustion remains an important source of heat in many rural and off-grid locations. Demizine is developing a new concept built around a high-efficiency combustor combined with energy storage to provide electrical energy as well as space heating. The project is designed to support Demizine in various aspects of material development, energy storage, and energy conversion management.  

Students: Ugochukwu Chukwurah, Oz Oren   

Injection and Ignition Characteristics of Gaseous Fuels 

Industrial sponsor: Wesptort Fuel Systems Inc.

Funding: Mitacs Accelerate 

Duration: 2022-2023

Synopsis: The injection and gas jet development of gaseous fuels such as hydrogen and methane have a substantial impact on ignition and subsequent combustion processes. These will have a direct impact on high-efficiency engines using these fuels and their blends. This project is conducting fundamental gas jet studies to better understand the injection process and the subsequent ignition of under-expanded gaseous jets.      

Students: Hengameh Delbari

Integrating the gas and electrical grids for a net-zero future

Industrial sponsor: Enbala Networks (now part of Generac Grid Services)

Collaborators: Taco Niet, Colin Copeland (SFU, SEE)

Funding: Transition Accelerator, Mitacs Accelerate

Duration: 2022

Synopsis: The rapid growth of renewable energy sources is offering substantial opportunities to add low-greenhouse gas intensity energy into the current energy networks. To achieve decarbonization at the rate needed to mitigate the growing impacts of climate change, all pathways for the delivery of low-carbon energy need to be exploited. This project investigates the potential to blend renewably generated hydrogen into the gas distribution network, and then use grid-edge combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) systems to provide reduced carbon intensity energy to meet local electrical and thermal (heating and cooling) demands. This system could help to increase net energy delivery through the electrical grid while reducing losses by offestting peak demand, and can be coupled with bio-derived renewable natural gas to achieve low-carbon energy networks.         

Students: Kimia Haghighi, Seyed Reza Safavi   

Hydrogen Injection Test Rig Development and Characterization 

Industrial sponsor: Hydra Energy Inc.

Funding: Mitacs Accelerate 

Duration: 2021-2022

Synopsis: To be able to design an engine control system, it is critical to know the amount of fuel delivered through the injectors. In this project, SFU developed an injection test bench that allowed new and field-returned injectors to be evaluated for fuel injection quantity as a function of pulse width, pressures, and battery voltage. The output from the work was implemented in Hydra's engine control systems.        

Students: Hengameh Delbari, Harshaun Mann