Guelph Microhydro Testing Laboratory
- continuous flow flume
- two pico-hydro testing units capable of reproducing flows up to 15 L/s at heads up to 3.5 m
- laboratory scale Archimedes screw research facility capable of accurate performance measurements of Archimedes screws used for power generation
- 16 unique laboratory Archimedes screws with a range of geometric parameters (pitch, flights, length, diameters)
- dataloggers and sensors, including depth gauges, flow meters, load cells and power meters, for field measurement campaigns
- CFD capabilities using OpenFOAM
Guelph Wind Engineering Laboratory
- Open return boundary layer wind tunnel (4 ft by 4 ft cross-section, 24 feet of fetch plus spires) with turntable
- Hotwire anemometry (single and triple wires), 3D traverser
- Pitot tube and pressure transducer
- Helium bubble flow visualization
- Sonic anemometers (including Campbell CSAT3's), plus cups/vanes/other met sensors
- Towers up to 60 m
- CFD: Fluent and OpenFOAM
This Guelph Microhydro Testing Laboratory allows controlled environment tests of a wide range of microhydro technologies, including Archimedes screws, cross flow and axial flow turbines. Dr. Lubitz and his group also have access to several small hydro sites for field measurements and model validation studies. Current work includes a strong research collaboration with GreenBug Energy, a leading North American designer and provider of Archimedes screw generating systems.
The Guelph Wind Engineering Laboratory has facilities for a wide range of research in environmental aerodynamics, wind energy and wind engineering. Current and past work has included wind resource assessment studies, design of small wind turbines, characertization of flow fields near buildings and trees, and flow visualization studies ranging in scale from small walls to the Niagara Falls region. The laboratory infrastructure allows full scale measurements in the field, as well as wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Dr. Lubitz and his group can also access world-leading facilities in the local region, including the WindEEE Dome at Western University.
Education and Employment Background
Dr. William David Lubitz received his PhD from the University of California, Davis in 2005. Between 2005 and 2006, he worked as a consulting meteorologist for CH2M-Hill, Sacramento, California and held a position as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Davis with the California Wind Energy Collaborative. Lubitz joined the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in 2006, where he is now an Associate Professor.
Lubitz’ research is focused on renewable energy technologies—in particular, hydro, solar and wind, and environmental fluid mechanics. He has a background in wind engineering and experimental fluid mechanics and has worked on a range of energy systems. Key areas of focus include:
- Archimedes screw microhydro system modeling, design and testing. This long-term project builds on past research, models and collaborations. Field and laboratory studies are used to investigate the dynamics of Archimedes screws used for power generation, with a particular focus on developing models that can be incorporated into practical design tools. This project involves investigation of specific aspects of the Archimedes screw, understanding of overall hydropower systems incorporating Archimedes screws, and incorporation of findings into systems level models and analysis.
- Improving the energy efficiency of Ontario greenhouses. Energy is one of the largest costs associated with greenhouse vegetable production. This work seeks to understand and model the factors that impact the internal climate of large-scale greenhouses and develop complete-system models that can be used to identify energy savings through modified greenhouse design and operating protocols. Recent work also investigates greenhouse lighting.
- Efficient low temperature grain drying. Corn, soy and cereal grains must be dried after harvest in many regions, including Ontario, before long-term storage. Conventional grain dryers operate at high temperatures using large amounts of propane or natural gas, which is expensive and produces high CO2 emissions. This project seeks to make grain drying less expensive and reduce associated environmental impacts including carbon emissions, noise and dust. Research is being conducted on using heat pumps powered by electricity from low-carbon grids (like Ontario's), studying noise emissions from dryers, and developing practical models of the drying process allowing producers to use weather forecasts and site-specific information to plan efficient dryer operation.
- Ontario Centres of Excellence grant, 2017
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs grants, 2014, 2020
- NSERC Engage grant, 2015, 2016, 2019
- NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grant, 2012, 2015, 2018
- Editor, Guelph Engineering Journal