Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation research initiative will focus on solar prototype
August 25, 2010
Oshawa, Ont. – Durham College announced today a research agreement with GreenWorks Solar Power (GreenWorks), a solar tracking system manufacturer based in Brighton, Ont., as part of the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII) initiative.
The research project will be led by Brent Brooks, an award-winning professor with the college’s School of Science & Engineering Technology, who will be assisted by a third-year student in the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program.
Durham College’s collaboration with GreenWorks will concentrate on the development of a new ground-mounted solar tracking system. Brooks will direct the design and development of this innovative technology and the research assistant will aid with research testing once the prototype has been established.
When complete, the unique solar tracking system will enable GreenWorks to become competitive in the fast growing renewable energy industry by offering a safe and effective product to consumers.
“We are very pleased to be working with an emerging company like GreenWorks Solar Power,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, director of the Office of Research Services and Innovation at Durham College. “This collaboration will provide invaluable opportunities to our faculty and students, enabling them to work directly with industry on a product that is original and will ultimately provide new job opportunities for our graduates.”
The relationship also reinforces the college’s commitment to developing green technology provincially, nationally and globally including the three-phase expansion currently underway at its Whitby campus that includes a strong focus on the green energy industry.
Phase 1, already completed, offers a living laboratory learning environment that includes solar water heating; solar cell systems; geothermal technology; wind turbines; and electrical and energy auditing. Through programs like Renewable Energy Technician and Energy Audit Techniques, students are researching and learning about the importance of products and prototypes such as this one.
“GreenWorks is very excited to be working with the professionals at Durham College,” said Steven Kayser, chief executive officer, GreenWorks Solar Power. “We have chosen to focus on building our company through product research and development and we are very pleased at the quality of work being done by Brent Brooks and the team from Durham. It is also nice to see that some of Durham’s best students will get a chance to participate in a real-world project and see what a company does when designing and launching a product into a very competitive marketplace. We hope our relationship with Durham continues as we proceed with more research and development.”
In addition to the fields of alternative and renewable energy, Durham College also explores research and testing in the construction, digital media, environmental technology, health and life sciences and manufacturing and materials industries.
Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, CONII is a consortium of 20 Ontario colleges dedicated to helping business and industry stay competitive in the global economy. In addition to providing support to businesses, it also offers financial support to colleges, enabling them to provide quicker access to the expertise of Ontario’s top researchers and the most state-of-the-art equipment and research tools available.
About Durham College
At Durham College, the student experience comes first, an approach it has taken for more than 40 years. Through a vast range of market-driven programs that are taught by exceptional professors with real-world experience, students develop the skills required to meet the ever-changing needs of employers and the job market. Moving forward, Durham College’s expansion plans will see its Whitby campus grow by 40,000 square feet. Phase 1 of the construction features an energy-neutral living laboratory for new technologies and education that will serve the growing needs of the emerging energy sector. Phase 2 is increasing the size of the Skills Training Centre to create classroom and laboratory space to support new program development, and Phase 3 will be a Food and Hospitality Centre designed to house culinary arts programs; a food and agricultural component; a food processing centre and agriculture and science laboratories. Durham College has more than 7,000 full-time students, thousands of part-time students and more than 1,400 apprentices. For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.
About GreenWorks Solar Power
In response to the Ontario government’s launch of the MicroFIT program, GreenWorks Solar Power is focused exclusively on designing and manufacturing the world’s best two-axis solar trackers designed for the climate experienced in Ontario. As the only company in Ontario to focus exclusively on this one segment of the market, GreenWorks has naturally emerged as one of the leading manufacturers under Ontario’s new renewable energy economy. To contact GreenWorks, call 613.293.2431 or write email@example.com.
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