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Résumé of Michael M. D. Ross, Principal of RER Renewable Energy Research


RER Renewable Energy Research, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Principal (2003 -)

Photovoltaics/Simulation: Simulated PV hybrid systems in order to compare AC and DC bus configurations and to investigate proper sizing and control. Added new components and made improvements to the PVToolbox simulation tool (a Matlab Simulink toolbox). (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Photovoltaics: Designed test protocols for and operated a PV hybrid test bench for over 1000 hours of tests. Diagnosed and rectified faults and flaws in the testbench. Improved control systems for the test bench. Analysed test bench output, and made comparisons with simulation. (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Wind/Training: Installed meteorological tower in Senegal. Trained local company in the proper utilisation of the equipment. (Client: GPCo Inc.)

Training: Wrote and recorded audio presentation for internet-distributed training course for RETScreen solar water heating, solar air heating, wind energy, biomass heating, combined heat and power, passive solar heating, small hydro, and ground-source heat pump modules. (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada, subcontracted by GPCo Inc.)

Technical Writing: Wrote introductory chapter for RETScreen e-textbook and introductory sections of the biomass heating, combined heat and power, and ground-source heat pump chapters of the RETScreen e-textbook. (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada, subcontracted by GPCo Inc.)

Training: Provided seven RETScreen training seminars in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Québec. Presented course on solar and wind energy to instructors at the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick - Bathurst. (Clients: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada and CCNB-Bathurst, subcontracted by GPCo Inc.)

GPCo Inc., Varennes, Québec, Canada
Project Consultant (2000 - 2002)

Photovoltaics/Simulation/Batteries: Developed and implemented mathematical models for the battery, charge controller, genset controller, and rectifier for simulations of PV hybrid power systems in the Matlab Simulink environment. Validated models for synthetic weather generators, photovoltaic devices, and inverters. (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Wind: Conducted wind resource assessments, including site selection, installation of monitoring equipment, application for permits, analysis of data and reporting of results. Procured and installed 30, 40, and 50 m tall meteorological masts in Québec and Newfoundland. Developped and installed autonomous power supplies, using small wind turbines, for powering heated instruments at remote locations. (Clients: CHI Energy, Eolectric, CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Icing/Wind: Researched atmospheric icing of wind turbines. Identified icing mitigation technologies. Determined the probable down time and power losses due to icing and advised on equipment selection for proposed wind farms in Newfoundland and British Columbia. (Clients: CHI Energy, BC Hydro)

Green Buildings: Analysed the application of multiple renewable energy technologies to two major green building projects in Montréal area, the John Grierson Federal Building renovation and the new Mountain Equipment Co-op store.(Client: Pageau Morel and Associates)

Training: Responsible for training and expert customer support in the use of the RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Tool. Validated the use of RETScreen in over 40 in-depth case studies involving eight different renewable energy technologies. (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Training: Conducted two dozen day-long RETScreen training seminars for over 400 people at locations across Canada.(Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Training: Developed presentations for in-depth training of eight of the clean energy technologies in RETScreen (Wind Energy, Photovoltaics, Small Hydro, Passive Solar Heating, Solar Water Heating, Solar Air Heating, Ground-source Heat Pumps, and Biomass Heating). (Client: CETC-Varennes/Natural Resources Canada)

Batteries: Sat on expert panel addressing storage for photovoltaic hybrid systems.

Helsinki University of Technology, Otaniemi, Finland
Researcher, Department of Technical Physics (1999 - 2000)
Supervisor: Prof. Peter Lund

Photovoltaics/Green Buildings: Conducted a European Union study on optimal utilisation of photovoltaic-generated electricity in commercial buildings. Identified novel methods for eliminating power conditioning equipment from typical building-integrated PV systems. Developed a model for matching commercial building heating, cooling, and electricity requirements with photovoltaic generation. Clarified the conditions under which buffering of photovoltaic-generated electricity was economically attractive in grid-connected systems.

Fuel Cell Systems: Surveyed applications for small fuel-cell/metal-hydride systems and compared such systems to advanced rechargeable batteries. Investigated opportunities to integrate fuel cells into photovoltaic systems. Expanded the capabilities of a fuel cell/metal-hydride store/electrolyser test bench. Investigated the operation of a PEM fuel cell through hundreds of hours of test bench operation. Modelled the heat and mass transfer at a PEM fuel cell cathode.

Photovoltaics/Green Buildings: Analysed a long time-series of monitored data from a building-integrated PV system. Identified and rectified problems in the monitoring system.

Technical Writing: Assisted in the preparation of the final report for a 5 year, $5,000,000 research project involving multiple foreign partners.

Training: Assisted graduate students in the planning, execution, and writing of their theses.

CETC-Varennes (Natural Resources Canada), Varennes, Québec, Canada
Project Officer (1995 - 1998)

Photovoltaics: Co-edited a book, Photovoltaics in Cold Climates, coordinating the contributions of over a dozen experts from the International Energy Agency. Planned the contents of the book. Reviewed and revised contributions from chapter authors. Authored introductory chapter and co-authored chapter on economics of PV in cold climates.

Batteries/Photovoltaics/Simulation: Developed insulated battery enclosures using phase change materials. Developed simple thermal models and simulation software for these enclosures. Monitored three photovoltaic installations employing these enclosures and demonstrated the accuracy of the model.

Photovoltaics/Monitoring: Performed an in-depth analysis of 500 photovoltaic systems used to power PanCanadian gas well-head equipment in Alberta. Monitored several systems, conducted simulations, and tested components in the laboratory. Identified weaknesses in one component and recommended changes. Showed that the photovoltaic system was over-sized and could be reduced by about 30% in the future.

Icing/Photovoltaics: Surveyed the problem of ice and snow accumulation on photovoltaic arrays. Assessed the efficacy of a proposed snow and ice melting system for photovoltaic modules through monitoring and a model of the module thermal and electrical characteristics.

Batteries: Planned, executed, and analysed thousands of hours of tests on lead-acid batteries for photovoltaic systems, particularly at cold temperatures and low discharge and charge rates.

Moli Energy Limited, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
(1988, 1989)
Supervisor: Prof. Jeff Dahn

Batteries: Characterised pyrolytic carbon and commercial carbon black using a mass spectrometer and x-ray diffraction, to assess utilisability in lithium rechargeable batteries. Benchmarked the performance of existing primary lithium coin cells.


B.A.Sc., Systems Design Engineering
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (1989-1994)


Citizenship: Canadian and Finnish
Languages: English and French; rudimentary Finnish, Spanish and Indonesian


Author and co-author of over 40 technical articles, reports, and book chapters on photovoltaic power systems, wind energy, batteries, atmospheric icing, and mathematical modelling of renewable energy systems.