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Two-phase Flow Through Complex Geometries

Complexity arise when the two-phase passes through multiple piping components located close to each other. The aggressive nature of two-phase flow in such combined geometries causes failures in many energy and oil and gas transportation systems due to variety of degradation mechanisms such as flow accelerated corrosion, cavitation erosion, erosion corrosion, thermal fatigue, and liquid impact erosion. This severely affects both safety and reliability of these systems and sometime leads to fatalities and huge economic loss.
This research aims at understanding the fundamental behavior of two-phase flow through complex geometries. This includes two-phase flow through multiple piping components with close proximity to one another and flow across tube bundles. The outcomes of this proposed research will result in developing reliable models and/or strategies to predict, monitor or mitigate pertinent industrial problems. This will significantly enhance the sustainability of multi-phase systems and will directly benefit the Canadian economy.


Thermal and Fluid Performance of Innovative Cleanalytic™ Converters

With increasingly more stringent emission standards as well as higher fuel economy requirements for modern vehicles, the need for improved or new catalytic converter technologies continues to grow.

A new generation of catalytic converters, designed and patented by Vida Fresh Air Corp., offers improved thermal management of the converter over traditional catalytic converters resulting in improved emissions and fuel economy as well as reduced cost. In this project, we are working with Vida to conduct an experimental analysis to evaluate the thermal and fluid flow characteristics of their Cleanalytic™ catalytic converter design.


Airlift Pumps for Sustainable Aquaculture Systems

The use of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) continues to grow with the increased challenge involved with the global shortage of fresh water, the higher cost of energy, contamination of water sources, higher environmental awareness and rising land prices. The new technology developed in our lab for airlift pumps can be used in RAS to supply both oxygen and water, while also removing carbon dioxide at low energy cost.
It can be also used to improve oxygen levels and feed distribution in fish hatcheries and aquaculture cages both in Ontario and abroad. This will not only improve the quality of the culture products, but it will significantly reduce the total operating cost because it offers a substantial reduction in energy usage for water and air circulation.


Investigating the Performance Degradation of Centrifugal Pumps

The main objectives of this project are to experimentally investigate the performance of centrifugal pumps subjected to different degradation mechanisms and to develop operational guidelines for adjusted operation that can be provided to customers to achieve efficient operation. While the amount of energy used for pumping varies depending on a number of factors, the energy consumption in pumping systems accounts for approximately 10% of the world’s electrical energy demand. Also, the life-cycle cost of running a pump is often far outweighs their capital cost and the pump inefficiencies usually account for up to approximately 25 per cent of potential energy savings in pumping systems. Therefore, Ontario Power Authority (OPA) recently establish a testing program to specifically target pumps efficiency. This is mainly because evaluating performance degradation of pumps is critical to the operation of variety of systems including but not limited to power production, water distribution, agriculture, mining, oil production, cooling, heating, food production, etc.


Bioreactor Design for Clean Aquaculture Systems

The removal of nitrogen, phosphate and excess CO2 from recirculating aquaculture water (fresh and saltwater) using traditional approaches is expensive, time-consuming and only viable for a few years before partial or total water replacement is required. In addition, these processes do nothing to recover the nitrogen or carbon dioxide, instead emitting them, while phosphate is precipitated and removed along with other waste products. We have been successful in selecting specific algal strains to remove these compounds from waste water. This process has been tested and the removal of target compounds is validated in bench-top trials. We have also built the first prototype of an energy efficient multi-phase bioreactor that can be used for nutrient removal in re-circulation aquaculture production systems. The new design of this bioreactor offers a unique feature of a continuous removal of alleges with minimal energy consumption. In this project, a series of bioreactor prototypes will be tested in a small (Hagen Aqualab, University of Guelph), medium (Alma Research Station) and large scale (Planet Shrimp Production Facility) setting. Dr. Wael Ahmed (School of Engineering, University of Guelph) and Dr. Heyland (Integrative Biology) have assembled an expert team from the aquaculture field to accomplish the building and commercialization of the reactor.


Multiphase Flow Sensor for Liquid Metal-gas Mixture

For liquid metal-vapor two-phase flow, the most available techniques for measuring the void fraction (in this case the phase fraction) is the radiation attenuation method.  These techniques can be expensive and from a safety aspect difficult to implement. New techniques that offer non-intrusive measurement utilizing the high electrical conductivity of metallic melts just recently being introduced by limited research groups.

In these techniques, an externally generated magnetic field is applied to the fluid channel and detects the perturbations of that magnetic field caused either by the change of the electrical conductivity in the volume or by the movement of liquid metal. This principle was used to detect the gas phase by evaluating the conductivity distribution in the pipe cross section. Other impedance techniques aims at resolving the spatial distribution of the flow and bubble sizes are still under investigation. These impedance measurement technique is practical and cost-effective method for void fraction measurement however, no well-established design methodology is currently exists especially involving Galinstan liquid metal.


Airlift Pump for Aquaponics

Aquaponics is the integration of aquaculture and hydroponics to reduce waste, water usage and in turn overfishing. Overfishing is one of the biggest problems facing the world currently and can lead to a total collapse of the world’s fisheries by the year 2048. The aquaponics industry is fairly new and started to grow in the early 1990s.

However, this industry has slow growth rate due to the limited economic gain mainly due to the lack of research in the field. Our goal in Gryph Energy is to optimize aquaponics systems by integrating airlift pumps. We believe our work with our airlift pumps can reduce operating costs in commercial aquaponics systems making it a viable option for commercialization. Our team works closely with Waterfarmers Aquaponics, a Toronto based professional aquaponics consulting group in developing a system that is running at the Hagen Aqualab at the University of Guelph.