Using Modelling to Make Energy Use More Efficient

Spring, 2024

2024-04 Kush Bubbar photoKush Bubbar came to academia from industry. Leveraging his extensive background in technology development, including semiconductors, biomedical engineering, telecommunications, manufacturing, and renewable energy, Bubbar leads the Sys-MoDEL lab within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, where he focuses on delivering value to societal projects by applying methods at the forefront of innovation into his academic practice.

The lab’s mission is to understand complex systems and present their clients with feasible, yet optimal solutions to address their challenges.

The lab's diverse project portfolio includes advanced vehicle dynamics, marine renewable energy, and renewable energy system optimization. As Bubbar explains, “Our work on integrating renewable energy sources into existing power systems and optimizing wave energy conversion processes requires substantial computational power, often at a scale that would be unmanageable without the resources ACENET provides.”

Currently, Sys-MoDEL is engaged in three pivotal projects – power system planning with NB Power, oceanic wave energy conversion with Sapphire Energy, and off-road vehicle design with Potential Motors.

For the NB Power project, “We’re trying to understand how to improve the planning process for power systems in the future with the knowledge that we are integrating more renewables in there,” he says. “We are looking into how we can incorporate energy storage as a means to supplement our transmission network.”

Bubbar says this project is very novel, but also very computationally heavy.

“Under normal operating conditions, it's easy to understand, but it's at those times and under the conditions where you have faults, reliability issues, when things break, that you want to ensure the system is as reliable as it can be,” he says, referring, for example, to a wind storm across the province. “We’re looking at these cases where there is huge opportunity to reduce cost, and to be more efficient, through implementing energy storage mechanisms into the transmission system.”

“These are computationally intensive tasks that require robust simulation capabilities. ACENET’s supercomputing systems enable us to perform these large-scale simulations efficiently, reducing both time and cost,” Bubbar states.

ACENET not only provides the necessary computational infrastructure but also offers a supportive ecosystem for research development. This includes training modules, expert support, and a network of resources that are instrumental in troubleshooting and refining research methodologies. “The value of ACENET extends beyond just hardware. Their training and support have been crucial in helping us set up and optimize our computational experiments,” Bubbar says. “If my students have trouble for any reason, they can connect with a local resource on the UNB campus.”

By collaborating with ACENET, Sys-MoDEL gains a strategic advantage, ensuring that Bubbar and his team can continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in researching complex systems. This partnership exemplifies the synergy between advanced computing resources and innovative research, highlighting ACENET's role in accelerating scientific discovery and technological development across the Atlantic region.