Dr. E. Bibeau

Renewable energy research

Research in alternative energy focuses on developing the tools needed to improve our understanding of innovative technologies currently being developed and to enable environmentally friendly production of affordable alternative energy in the future. The emphasis is on distributed power generation to develop new high velocity kinetic turbines, anaerobic digesters, biopower systems and specific aspects of wind generation. It is expected that the fundamental understanding obtained from this research will provide a foundation for the development of new alternative-energy applications, some of which will have significant commercial value in the near future.
Renewable energy research areas
  1. Kinetic Turbines
    • Kinetic turbines for river applications in cold climates
    • Impact of turbulence and shroud on turbine performance
  2. Biomass
    • Modeling of anaerobic digesters and validation
    • New biomass and waste heat conversion technologies for distributed generation using an indirect fired Brayton cycle
    • CHP conversion using the Entropic power cycle
  3. Wind Turbine Icing
    • Mitigation of icing of wind turbine blades for wind farms operating in cold weather climates
    • Icing measurement using a capacitance probe
  4. Plug-in electric vehicles
    • Duty cycles for electric vehicles and buses
    • Optimization of electric vehicle powertrain
  5. District Energy Systems
    • District heating and cooling from biomass, concentrated solar and geothermal
Research test facilities in renewable energy
Test Facility Description
Icing tunnel
Water tunnel
Hybrid Brayton
Entropic Cycle
Anaerobic digestion
Solar trough (RRC)
Solar systems (Solar Manitoba)
Wind turbines
Kinetic turbines
How to access and rent the icing wind tunnel facility

The icing wind tunnel is available for academic researchers, nonprofit organizations and private companies that perform research and development. The icing tunnel chamber is 3 m in height and 1.5 m in width, having a large heated glass door to enable observations. An inner chamber creates a rectangular test section of 916 mm width and 916 mm height. The velocity within the wind tunnel can reach up to 42 m/s at temperatures down to -35 degree Celsius. Small water droplets from 0.01 mm to 1 mm are sprayed into the cold chamber. Rental rates are normally free for researchers. Commercial rates are up to $750 per day. Email Bruce Ellis for more details and to schedule a time. A technician is either supplied or an hour training course needs to be scheduled to be able to operate the tunnel (see the "safety" menu item).

How to access the kinetic turbine river testing facility

The river kinetic turbine testing site located on the Winnipeg River in Pointe du Bois is a unique test facility that enables to test prototype kinetic turbines in real operating conditions throughout the year. The facility consists of a river channel 8 m deep flowing at velocities of up to 2.5 m/s depending on conditions. A walkway bridge allows to step onto the research platform to access the turbine to lower costs and increase safety. Deployment can potentially be made from shore without personnel on the water. Turbines can connect to the existing grid at 120 v or 600 v using net-metering. The site is internet enabled and various instruments are available. Work safety is a high priority at this site. Kinetic turbines and platform can be anchored to an underwater cable rated at 35,000 lbs. Please contact Dr. Bibeau if you want to know more about how to use this site in collaboration with the University of Manitoba.

How to establish new research collaborations or support renewable energy

Several methods are available to establish new research collaborations in renewable energy and to support renewable energy research at the University of Manitoba. Please contact Dr. Bibeau if you have an interest in collaborative research in renewable energy or wish to support renewable energy research in Canada.

MethodDescription
Establishing new collaborations in renewable energy
  • NSERC Collaborative Research grant: CRD
  • NSERC Engage research grant: Engage
  • Automotive Partnership Canada: APC
  • MITACS: Mitacs
Renewable energy research contracts
  • Students (see "Grad Students" menu) are available to perform research contracts in renewable energy that require simulation expertise and advanced modeling experience.
  • This aspect allows students to gain industrial experience during their graduate degrees.
Private donations towards the advancement of renewable energy in Canada
  • Scholarships to support engineering students in their research towards a masters or PhD degree in renewable energy.
  • Donation towards the purchase of infrastructure in support of renewable energy research at the University of Manitoba.
  • Private contribution to develop distributed energy technologies for communities and remote areas using solar and biomass renewable energy.
Investment in renewable energy technologies that have intellectual property protection
  • Converting solar energy to heat and power at high efficiency for distributed generation.
  • Converting biomass to heat and power at the 30 to 250 kWe scale.
  • Converting biomass to heat and power at the 1 to 5 MWe scale.
  • Enhancing the power from kinetic turbines using boundary layer objects.
  • New kinetic turbine design for river distributed applications.
  • Conversion of gasoline vehicles to hydrid and plug-in electric.

NSERC/Manitoba Hydro Alternative Energy Industrial Chair
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Manitoba