The Solar Calorimetry Laboratory (SCL) within the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering carries out leading-edge research on renewable and alternative energy systems in collaboration with industry and government. Researchers from the SCL have participated in national and international collaborations to study new high-performance building energy systems. For example, SCL-developed technology formed an integral part of the internationally-acclaimed Drake Landing Solar Community in Alberta, Canada. Recent research has focused on the optimization of combined photovoltaic and solar thermal panels (PVT Panels) to improve energy and cost performance. The SCL also played a significant role in Team Ontario’s award-winning 2013 entry to the US DOE Solar Decathlon for the development of advanced solar-powered homes. A unique feature of the “ECHO” competition home (see Figure 1) was a solar-boosted heat-pump system that efficiently supplied the building’s heating and cooling requirements. ECHO is permanently located at Queen’s and will be available as a test bed laboratory for new energy technologies.

The Ecological Home (aka ECHO), team Ontario’s award-winning
Figure 1: The Ecological Home (aka ECHO), team Ontario’s award-winning entry to the 2013 United States Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.

Researchers in this group: