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Bachelor of Technology in Sustainable Energy Systems (Honours)

Why Energy Systems?

Globally, we are on the cusp of making fundamental changes to how we transform, distribute and use energy. These changes are driven by many factors, including the development of renewable energy technologies, smart technologies, climate change mitigation policies, and the need for sustainable communities. These ongoing changes in energy technologies and systems require workers who can enable those changes; workers who are well-versed in various energy technologies, how they are integrated to form complete systems, and how those systems perform economically and environmentally.

What is an Energy System?

An ‘energy system’ is the set of technologies, infrastructure, regulations and behaviours that transform natural resources into the services society wants.  For example, an energy system would include all of the processes, equipment and decisions that turn sunlight into the ability to use social media on your phone.  Achieving sustainable energy systems requires an interdisciplinary perspective.

Why Ontario Tech’s BTech in Sustainable Energy Systems?

The program covers the technologies associated with energy systems, as well as how to continually assess new energy technologies and changes to energy systems. The curriculum includes courses on individual energy technologies, risks and regulation, as well as business and communication skills. Students will learn the strengths and limitations of various energy supply options, and about the regulatory and political aspects of energy supply. Students may choose between two specializations:

  • Technologies (broadens technical expertise), and
  • Programs and Policies (with more focus on the business, social, and political elements).

This four-year program is structured to integrate experiential learning like laboratory courses, field trips and research projects, with core course material in order to provide the maximum preparation for this exciting, challenging and essential field.  The following are some of the courses you will take:

  • - Low Carbon Technologies

    Carbon-based fuels, conventional energy conversion technologies, and techniques for mitigating harmful environmental impacts on a life cycle basis.  Fuels include traditional fossil fuels, unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas, and biofuels.  Thermodynamic cycles and efficiency.  The link between carbon-based fuels and transportation, and implications of the changing transportation sector.  Simple cycle electricity generating plants, engines, cogeneration and polygeneration plants, combined cycle electricity generating plants, integrated gasification combined cycle.  Carbon capture and storage.

  • - Community and Urban Design

    Discusses urban form and its relationship to energy security and consumption. How can buildings and communities be designed to use less energy and be more resilient; how does geography impact energy supply, use and system design? Topics include: energy use, community design and urban resilience; the role of transportation (and energy use) in urban design; building design and materials; energy technologies and urban design, e.g. decentralized energy supply, energy storage, combined heat and power supply; the special case of remote communities; the nexus of energy, water and food in cities; planning tools and policy interventions for energy savings and increased resilience.

  • - Environmental Protection Systems

    Discusses the environmental effects associated with the Power and Process industries through air, liquid, and solid waste streams and their impacts on the surrounding ecosystem.  Topics include:  waste streams, significant environmental aspects, environmental codes and standards, environmental monitoring systems (detection of pollutants), environmental protection systems (collection systems, dispersion systems, neutralization systems, active remedial process, engineered barriers and institutional controls), optimization, integration and management of remedial processes.  Methods for capture of pollutants in gas streams, liquid streams, and solid streams including impacts of toxicity, particle size, chemical reactions, and radiation.

  • - Introduction to Entrepreneurship

    Introduces entrepreneurship as a discipline and covers all facets of entrepreneurship, including economics, society, intrapreneuring, and issues such as starting and managing a successful new business venture; new venture capital, creation, and management.

  • - Smart Grids

    This course introduces smart grids. Smart grids are defined and applied at a building, neighbourhood, and community (Ontario) level. Focus is mostly on electricity, however, other data systems and energy transference grids are evaluated. The course examines the challenges of modernizing and digitizing the electrical grid in Ontario. The course explores the engineering and technological challenges of smart grids, issues of privacy and security, third party access to data, technologies which allow the customer to manage their consumption of energy, and the innovation and economic opportunities of smart grids.

  • - Solar Energy Technologies

    Solar geometry and the spectral distribution of solar radiation; radiation available at the earth’s surface, including the effects of atmospheric attenuation; available solar insolation data, and methods of estimation; analysis of flat plate solar collectors; solar thermal electricity generation; the design of photovoltaic cells; photovoltaic systems; advances in photovoltaic cells; and, the economic and environmental performances of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems.

  • - Wind Energy Systems

    Availability and characteristics of wind energy; location of individual generators and wind farms, as well as the related socio-economic issues; wind turbine designs for maximum range of wind speeds and electrical outputs; associated mechanical and electrical systems; characteristics of energy storage devices for wind energy systems; operation and maintenance of wind generators; design aspects to minimize environmental impact, as well as construction and operating costs; wind turbine and system designs to meet the needs of the bulk electric system.

  • - Leadership Negotiation and Teamwork

    This course examines the practice and impact of leadership, negotiations and teamwork in organizations and communities. These practices will be examined in a variety of settings as described in both popular and academic writings on the subjects. It is organized around sets of activities critical to managerial success, each involving face-to-face interaction and a high degree of interpersonal skill: developing leadership for exceptional performance, obtaining commitment to goals and standards, negotiating and resolving conflict, cultural awareness, and relating well with one another in team environments. Implications for personal and career development will also be incorporated. Other topics covered include current thinking and research on negotiating, international negotiations and the effect of culture on negotiating styles.

  • - Energy Policy, Standards and Safety

    Discusses energy policy as it relates to local governments (cities), as well as regional and national governments. Discuss, by major type and system, inherent risks associated with energy. Design ways to reduce these risks.  Topics include: the geopolitics of energy – historical and projected; energy supply and urban resilience; energy safety and security – the role of regulations, consideration of public health and safety by fuel type; threats from energy and potential disruption of supply; typical codes and standards associated with energy supply and public safety; the role of long term energy planning; energy intensity; energy poverty; the role of the private sector in energy security; decentralized vs centralized energy systems. The role of energy in today’s economies and anticipated global trends of demand and supply will be defined.