Power and Energy for the Sustainable Development Goals

Written by Vladimir Grebenyuk, Systems Architect, Ascent Systems Technologies – BCCIC Affiliate Member

Ascent Systems Technologies is a private company specializing in research and development of integrated clean energy solutions, as well as consulting and education services. We work with a number of First Nations and remote communities in British Columbia helping them with their energy efficiency and environmental sustainability planning. We are familiar first hand with the challenges many communities, especially those in remote and Northern locations are facing in providing energy for heating, hot water as well as lights and other everyday needs. Most of the
BC territory is not covered by the grid or the natural gas network, therefore people in those communities must rely for power on diesel generators which require constant supply of expensive fuel, which also pollutes air, water and soil. Many of them also have to rely on firewood for heating and cooking.

If these communities had access to clean energy generated on-site, they would eliminate their dependency on dirty fossil fuels and simultaneously provide for economical sustainability of the community. Even those who are connected to the grid, often experience blackouts caused by either natural or technical reasons. The recent blackouts in Atlantic Canada caused by a winter storm is an obvious example. Having their own source of energy would mitigate problems related with prolonged periods without power as well as significantly reduce or even eliminate the need for an external source of energy thus reducing financial burden on the community. Furthermore, large centralized grids experience increasing load volatility which poses huge challenges to the grid stability. Distributed on-site energy generation would reduce load on the grid and improve grid stability.

Affordable and Clean Energy is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Drawing on experience in aerospace and defense our company creates innovative technology solutions in renewable energy and resource management, adaptive control, intelligent networks and performance optimization. Our aim is to minimize and eventually avoid the need for fossil fuel consumption, thus reducing the negative environmental impact, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal for Climate Action. We achieve that by utilizing modern systems architecture and optimization tools for analysis and decision making in an uncertain socio-economical and technological environment. We design and implement software and hardware products for remote monitoring, collecting, storing and processing energy data using in-house analytical methodology in implementing projects of various scales and levels of complexity.

We developed an integrated thermal hydronic system providing an uninterrupted supply of clean and renewable energy for heating, cooling and domestic hot water needs in a residential home, a building complex or a commercial facility. In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this technology is developed in partnership with the University of British Columbia and Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, with support from the National Research Council of Canada and the Natural Sciences & Engineering Council of Canada.

Thanks to the optimized configuration and real-time adaptive control it is three to four times more efficient than any conventional system, thus resulting in significant monetary savings for our clients. Because of its compact size, adaptability to a wide range of applications and ease of operation, it is envisioned as a core for an autonomous integrated renewable energy module. In transport configuration, the system is packaged inside a standard shipping container which can be delivered and rapidly deployed at any geographical location of the world to provide clean
energy for remote communities, exploration camps, and disaster relief operations.

In many cases bringing permanent power or gas pipeline to some places does not make economic sense. This is particularly true for temporary operations such as exploration camps but especially for disaster relief operations. Every year earthquakes, tsunami, floods, tornado and other disasters affect many hundreds thousands of people. Even if their homes are spared, very often they are left without heat and electricity. If people are evacuated into temporary accommodation they need heat, hot water and electricity. Our technology would be a potentially life savings solution in these instances. It would be indispensable for critical situations such as refugee camps, field hospitals, rescue operations and many other applications.

The technology we developed at AST fits perfectly well into the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. It can directly contribute to tackling the dual challenge – reducing the carbon intensity of energy while making it available to everyone.
Our solution is universal – it can bring affordable clean energy to Northern Canada, sun abundant regions of Mexico and to mountain villages in India.

01_tgg_primary_colorWritten by Vladimir Grebenyuk, Systems Architect, Ascent Systems Technologies – BCCIC Affiliate Member

The Wave is an online blog run by the BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) to showcase the work of our members and bring to life working being undertaken toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of BCCIC or its members.