Research


The research I am currently working on is a solar furnace heating for buildings. I have discussed this concept with Professor Alfred Brunger the manager at the Solar Test Facility in Mississauga and we concluded that I would need help from the field of optical physics in order to propagate solar light beam towards solid thermal storage located in the lower part of the building. I was successful in securing funds for the research from OCE Photonics for an optical stage of research. I am currently working with Dr. Ralph Chou, the scientist at the School of Optometry - University of Waterloo and UW graduate student, research assistant Monika Michalek. With the help of a solar ray tracing and modeling software we came up with a few concentrators that could be used for solar furnace system. Most promising is probably dual axis tracking cassegrain type system that is double Compound Parabolic Concentrator with secondary, angle adjusting mirror to keep the beam vertical. We are getting to the final report stage where we would demonstrate theoretically how the collecting module will be designed and perform as well as indicate the logistical consequences to the building design and installation. Now we are gearing up towards the thermal and engineering phase that would be required to design absorber, solid thermal storage with necessary insulation, distribution system etc. The thermal design phase will determine the number of required solar collectors and the sufficient storage capacity in order to maintain proper temperatures during the heating season. The proposed system could be used for any type of building. It would be relatively easy to design a heating system with several vertical light shafts that would not reduce functionality of interior layouts on all floors from roof to the basement. The system lends itself to both new and retrofit installations. Additional adjustments after initial installation are also possible; e.g. renovations that include changing existing floor layouts. More challenging type of building to install this system would be most likely a House since interior layouts varies largely from floor to floor. Office buildings, multi-residential and industrial buildings have often regular column grid or repeated floor to floor layouts. To illustrate the system design flexibility we will use a house designed by High Park Architects (Industry Partner) and build in 2009 in Toronto.


Solar Heating. Simplicity is the key - January 2010
The concept of a solar heating system that is environmentally neutral with stand alone capacity that is practical is not implemented in our contemporary buildings yet. In order for the system to be practical it has to be cheaper then all existing heating systems, simpler and with limited maintenance and spacial requirements. The existing solar heating systems are too big, too expensive and complicated to operate.The proposed by High Park Architects Bubble Pump solar heating system will try to overcome above limitations.

Solar Furnace Heating. Thermal Storage and Collector Prototype Construction - October 2009
Currently I am completing the paperwork for the reaserch and design of a compact seasonal thermal storage research with Dr. Alan Fung from Ryerson University which should start in October. The optical collector prototype construction starting date that would be conducted by Prof. Paul Henshaw from University of Windsor was moved for January. Senior engineering students will work on the prototype as a part of their Thesis. The thermal storage analysis will take about a year to complete therefore there would be a substantial overlap between thermal storage analysis and the optical collector construction. This overlap will be beneficial for both teams and both way feedbacks would be possible. Coordination would be required to fine-tune the reflective surfaces curvatures and sun rays propagation. Temperatures and heat analysis at the point of delivery would also be required.

Solar Furnace Heating, Optical Phase Report Completed - June 2009
The first phase of optical analysis was completed by Marek Rozkowski from High Park Architects and University of Waterloo in June 2009. The report was sent to OCE Photonics. The next phase will be thermal analysis; probably with scientists at the University of Waterloo: Dr. Ralph Chou from School of Optometry and Monika Michalek from Department of Mechanical Engineering. The next critical issue will be to design the heat storage that can receive, retain and distribute thermal energy in an annual cycle. That would require some major configuration and material design including high performance insulation and critical path differential analysis between heat expenditure and gain in an annualized cycle.There was a bit similar system invented by the Gilbert Ludlow from Bracebridge, Ontario. He uses a dish to focus light in front of it on a secondary small dish which reflects the light through aperture of the first mirror. From there he also shoots the light down with mirrors and lenses, little different that solar furnace system though. I am not sure how far did he get with his research.

High Temperature Solar Heating System - September 2008

At the present time an autonomous, stand-alone, environmentally neutral solar space heating system that is practical to install in an average house do not exist. I have proposed a new solar heating system suitable for an existing or a new house, that could provide a reliable, zero emission heating for the whole length of the heating season almost anywhere in the temperate climatic zone. This is a high temperature system that operates on annualized cycle. The solar energy is harvested by a single axis passive tracking CPC collectors and send as light beams through insulated chases to the absorber located inside a solid thermal storage located under the basement slab. Unlike existing solar heating systems there are no pumps, pressure valves, storage water tanks, overflow tanks or any movable parts whatsoever. The system is inexpensive, simple and very low maintenance. Preliminary findings of the research will be published by the end of March 2009