MASc position available:
Project Title: Light and Heat Management in Greenhouses Using Luminescent Solar Concentrators
Exports from the Canadian greenhouse sector amounted to ~$1.4 Billion in 2020 and 71% of production in Canadian greenhouses occurs in Ontario. The greenhouse sector in Ontario is experiencing rapid growth. From 2016 to 2020 the harvested area of greenhouse vegetables grew by almost 20% and the amount of greenhouse vegetables produced increased from 4.2×105 to 4.8×105 metric tons in Ontario. Research in the greenhouse sector is also advancing and includes a diverse range of topics such as sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics, and advanced optical materials for controlling sunlight and overheating in greenhouses. Growth and technological advancements in the Canadian greenhouse sector have also led to increased demands for electric power for lighting and natural gas for heating. Presently, these increasing demands are limiting the rate of growth of the greenhouse sector in Ontario.
A promising technology for energy efficient lighting in greenhouses is luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs). Crops use only a small portion of the green light available in sunlight for photosynthesis. Crops prefer red light, which efficiently drives photosynthesis. In greenhouse applications LSCs absorb green light from sunlight and emit red light. Furthermore, it has recently been shown in the literature that the concentrated light energy at the edge of LSCs can be used to power photovoltaic cells, or to heat water. The objective of the proposed research project is to build and test a lab-scale prototype of a greenhouse façade comprising LSCs that is capable of harnessing sunlight and using this energy to reduce energy consumption in greenhouses. This will be accomplished by converting sunlight energy into light that has a spectrum that is more favorable for crop production and by managing the heat generated when sunlight is absorbed by the façade. The façade should be capable of transferring this heat to the external environment if the temperature of the greenhouse is high. The façade should also be able to store heat if needed in the greenhouse at a later time, such as when sunlight is not available.
Starting date: May 2023.
Financial Support: All students will receive a competitive funding package to support their graduate studies. Students are also invited and supported to apply for scholarships and awards.
Eligibility: Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, materials science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, or equivalent and must be fluent in English (orally as well as written). Successful applicants must be critical thinkers and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. For this project the successful applicant must be elegible to be a domestic student (Canadian citizen/permanent resident). All qualified individuals meeting this criteria are welcome to apply, especially members of visible and ethnic minorities, women, indigenous people, and people with disabilities.
How to apply: Interested candidates should send an application package consisting of a detailed CV, academic records, statement of interest, and the contact details for two references to email@example.com. Any inquiries can also be sent to this email. Applications may also be submitted through ApplyChance: https://applychance.com/position/270