Features

QSBRI featured in Perspective Kingston Magazine 

​QSBRI has been featured in the 2015 Perspective Kingston Magazine.  The article showcases QSBRI's two innovative technologies, Passive Back Fow (PBF) and Integral Stagnation Control (ISC).  The magazine was inserted into the Globe and Mail national news paper on November 25th, 2015 and will be available online and in hard copy at Kingston City Hall, KEDCO and Tourism Kingston.  A link is provided below.  We hope you enjoy the article and share it with your colleagues.

‘The Recipe for Innovation’

“Call it a recipe for innovation: take one professor with ideas but limited  time and resources to market them, add two entrepreneurs, and the result is QSBR Innovations Inc., a firm on the verge of bringing two exciting new energy-related technologies to market: Passive Back Flow (PBF) and Integral Stagnation Control (ISC).” 


Photo Credit:
Suzy Lamont Photography  

Kingston Economic Development Corporation Interview Feb 18th 2016

​QSBRI Interview with Julie Brown from the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) on the two technologies QSBRI is currently promoting.  The interview showcases the new video and the second generation valve for the PBF technology.  Contact us for more details. 

ISC Life Cycle Testing Surpasses 20,000 cycles 

QSBR Innovations is pleased to announce that it has completed over 20,000 cycles of it's Integral Stagnation Control (ISC) valve in accelerated life cycle testing  at it's facility in Kingston, ON, Canada.  Testing began at the beginning of June 2015 on a custom test rig built specifically to test the longevity and reliability of the ISC valve designed by QSBRI*.  The valve being tested is a simple, inexpensive design using a stamped metal frame with a floating metal flap held in place by two bias springs.  There is a Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) spring  attached to the flap that when heated above a set point temperature actuates and expands causing the flap to open and allow the ventilation of hot air, thus controlling temperatures and preventing stagnation.
The life cycle testing has been a priority for QSBRI since the it began marketing ISC in 2013.  While the worldwide patents protect the concept of passively controlling temperature with an air channel behind the absorber a physical valve was needed to demonstrate the process.  This valve design needed to demonstrate a lifetime of functionality and surpassing the 20,000 mark clearly demonstrates that this valve design will last the life of any solar thermal collector on the market.  20,000 cycles represent one cycle per day for 54 years. 
The existing valve design has also been testing on the Mediterranean coast for the past 3 years with similar performance. 
About ISC:
ISC is a passive temperature control technology to prevent stagnation from occurring in solar thermal collectors.  Other methods of controlling temperatures are costly, wasteful or do not address the high temperatures in the collector directly.  ISC was developed and patented worldwide by Dr. Stephen Harrison and has been used under license by EnerWorks Inc. and installed in 1,000's of systems from the Caribbean to Alaska.  QSBRI is currently seeking additional licensing partners interested in passively controlling temperatures in their flat plate solar collectors. 
Please visit our live stream of the valve opening and closing and see the number of cycles for your self.  (cycle count was reset after the first heating device failed)
*Patent Pending

Sweet Home Chicago for QSBRI

In 2015, the largest AHR show to date was a tremendous success for QSBRI.  Representatives visited the show with a a new PBF valve prototype (seen below).  Combined with the positive results from the trans-critical CO2 fouling test, this meant plenty of interest from a multitude of companies seeking to solve heat exchanger fouling issues and improve system reliability and performance. 

After meeting with over 40 companies and confirming that fouling in heat exchangers and gas coolers is a real concern for the industry, QSBRI is poised to take the market by storm with PBF technology for domestic hot water applications.  

With the interest of several large manufacturers, QSBRI is starting to implement PBF technology into several heat pump, water heater, and boiler designs.  Exploiting the benefits of low flow systems to increase stratification and overall system performance, side arm heat exchangers with PBF technology will have a big impact on future system designs looking to improve performance and reduce costs.  With OEM and after-market products available for both natural convection flow and forced flow configurations, PBF's potential has never been greater.  

QSBRI Heads to Chicago With New Valve Prototype. 

QSBRI is traveling to Chicago on Jan 26-28th to attend American Heating & Ventilation (AHR) Expo to introduce the new PBF valve.  The new and improved design fully integrates the Passive Back Flow (PBF) patented technology and now has threaded ports with an optional pressure tap.  Designed by Craig Elliot of CAElliot Inca, Ottawa, ON, this new design enables simple installation and improved functionality of this breakthrough technology. Made from 304 Stainless Steel, the new PBF valve is robust and tough enough to handle any environment.  

Applications for this design include: 
- Heat pumps 
- Desuperheaters 
- Solar thermal systems 
- Fresh water stations/tap water stations 
- Boilers
and many more... 

For more information about the new PBF valve and how you can see one for yourself and place an order please contact us.
Featured Article on R744.com on Passive Back Flow technology.  
To read the full article click on the R744.com icon.  
​In response to the need to reduce maintenance costs and improve efficiency in conventional domestic hot-water heat pumps, the brain trust at QSBR Innovations (QSBRI) Ontario, Canada, are introducing their patented Passive Back Flow (PBF) technology to the market. In an exclusive interview with QSBRI’s Dr. Steve Harrison and Managing Director Robert Stinson, R744.com finds out more about PBF technology and its potential to transform the trans-critical CO2 heat pump market.

PBF technology

The passive back-flushing system is designed to protect heat exchangers, condensers or gas coolers used in typical water heating applications by preventing fouling. Installed on the water supply to the unit, it allows the unit’s heat transfer device to be routinely back-flushed many times a day as hot water is consumed. The action is a normal operation of the system and does not require user intervention, external power or controls to function. The PBF device has the potential to drastically improve long-term performance and life cycle, while reducing maintenance costs. It also enables the reliable use of compact, high-performance plate-style condensers and gas coolers, potentially reducing overall system dimensions and cost.  

Potential to eradicate scaling

In December, QSBRI completed tests on a trans-critical CO2 heat pump water heater fitted with two different style gas coolers. One was a typical ‘spiral’ unit used in the industry (commonly used in Japanese CO2 hot water heat pumps) and the other was a brazed-plate design operating under natural convection operation. Using accelerated testing, the PBF valve was shown to completely protect the brazed-plate gas cooler, while the spiral gas cooler fouled to the point that water circulation ceased and heat transfer was drastically reduced. Adhering to new European hot-water draw standards, these test conditions presented significant challenges to the PBF technology, but QSBRI found the results to be consistent with earlier tests and field experience on brazed-plate heat exchangers in solar water heating systems, which also showed no instances of fouling.

To read the full article click here.

SME Thermal Success for ISC and PBF

QSBRI attended SME Thermal 2014 in Berlin on February 18th, 2014.  This event featured informative sessions and displays by key industry leaders and prominent academics from around the globe. Dr. Stephen Harrison, Technical Director of QSBRI and Director of the Queen's University Solar Calorimetric Laboratory, spoke during the Exhibitor and Innovation Forum on the topic of reducing solar thermal system costs in his presentation "Cutting the Cost of Performance". In this presentation, Dr. Harrison describes how the solar thermal industry is in a state of decline and the existing model of expensive, overly complicated systems is no longer feasible in today's economy.  Low-cost, high performance systems are needed to entice customers to invest in solar thermal. Thanks to design and development work done in Canada, this is a very achievable goal. 

The basis for these systems are technologies developed by Dr. Harrison. For example, Integral Stagnation Control (ISC) is used to control temperatures in a solar collector, thus reducing material costs, installation time and maintenance issues.  Furthermore, Passive Back Flow (PBF) is used to maintain performance in brazed plate heat exchangers, also reducing system component costs and maintenance issues.  These two technologies, combined with system design techniques, will revolutionize the solar thermal industry by providing consumers with low-cost, high performance systems.  The Energy Pack showcased at the conference, from EnerWorks Inc., incorporates both ISC and PBF technologies.  

QSBRI, working in conjunction with EnerWorks, is looking for European and international companies interested in testing the Energy Pack on their own systems to see the benefits for themselves.  

For more information on how you can increase performance and lower costs in your systems please contact us or visit other sections of this webpage for more information. 

Left: Display of 'Micro-Flow' Energy Pack from EnerWorks Inc., showcasing the use of the Passive Back Flow technology using very simple and inexpensive components.  
Right: Display model of Integral Stagnation Control technology, demonstrating how simple controlling temperature in a collector can be.  Contact us for pricing information on the Energy Pack. 

Dr. Harrison Scheduled to Speak at SME Thermal 2014 in Berlin

Dr. Stephen Harrison, Director of the Queen's University Solar Lab and inventor of Integral Stagnation Control (ISC), has been asked to speak at SME Thermal 2014 in Berlin on the 18th of February.  As part of the Innovation Form, Dr. Harrison will present a brief presentation on ISC technology and it's effectiveness at controlling stagnation temperatures in solar thermal collectors. Using real world results from thousands of installations, Dr. Harrison will explain how ISC works and can be integrated into almost any flat plate solar thermal collector.  

QSBR Innovations Inc. will be exhibiting the ISC demonstration valve along with a new pump station for heating applications with built in Passive Back Flow technology.  Stop by and visit us for a demonstration. 

SME Thermal 2014 is Europe’s leading international industry conference in the solar thermal sector. The one-day event offers unique insights into the sector’s most recent technological developments in process optimization, cost reduction strategies, new materials, or the design of collectors and tanks. Meet the who’s who of the international solar thermal industry at the conference and at the opening dinner on the evening beforehand.

More than 160 companies from all over the world are expected to participate. 
We look forward to seeing you there. 

ISC Launch at InterSolar Europe 2013 with Alanod GmbH

The InterSolar Munich conference in 2013 saw the launch of Integral Stagnation Control (ISC) at the Alanod booth. Two prototypes from Dimas and GreenoneTec along with a display valve using an SMA spring, demonstrate the simplicity and functionality of the technology. Dr. Harrison, Robert Stinson, and Ben Stinson were on hand to explain the technology and answer questions. Appearing at the front and centre of the Alanod booth, the ISC display attracted quite a crowd at times and had a steady stream of interested companies stopping by to check out the prototypes and display. "With inquiries from manufactures, integrators, installers and buyers, the launch exceeded our expectations", says Ben Stinson, of QSBRI. With several months of outdoor testing already complete and on display, ISC technology was able to convince some of the toughest sceptics of its temperature controlling abilities.

The simple concept of passively venting the collector to control stagnation amazed some show goers and the live demonstration of the SMA spring helped to dispel all doubts about the ability of the vents to open at pre-set temperatures. With summer on the way, things are looking very good for ISC to become the standard of stagnation control in flat plate solar thermal collectors.

Please visit our Stagnation Control page. For more details on ISC, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Special thanks to Alanod GmbH for their generous support. Please visit Alanod at the link below.

ISC Integrated Into Two European Collectors for Testing

In February 2013, ISC was successfully integrated into two European solar thermal collectors to undergo outdoor comparative stagnation testing. Dimas and GreenoneTec have both had one of their collector models retrofitted with Integral Stagnation Control technology (ISC) to control stagnation conditions in the collector. These prototypes will undergo outdoor comparison testing to determine the effectiveness of ISC at lowering temperatures in European climates. The performance will be measured and analysed prior to ISC going on display at this years InterSolar in Munich, June 19-21.

'Stagnation' or 'stagnation conditions' occur when the solar collector cannot adequately reject the absorbed solar heat to its primary heat transfer fluid. This results in the collector and heat transfer fluid reaching temperatures that far exceed their designed limits.

The overheating of solar thermal collectors is an issue faced by designers and manufacturers that can lead to enormous problems for installers and owners. The degree to which stagnation impacts collector and system performance varies by system and region, but current methods of dealing with stagnation are costly, labour intensive, and unreliable. Stagnation conditions can occur during sunny period power failures, component failures, system servicing or repair and pump-controller intervention due to energy storage capacity limitations, etc...

"It is our hope that these prototypes will demonstrate the effectiveness of ISC at controlling over-temperature to the European market, thereby allowing for increased system sizes with lower installation and maintenance costs" says Robert Stinson of QSBRI.

For more information on ISC please visit our 'Stagnation Control' page. For more information on Dimas or GreenoneTec please follow the links below.

Dr. Harrison Speaks at SHC 2012 San Francisco

Dr. Harrison addressed the audience at the International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for buildings and industry taking place during InterSolar North America this past July. His talk centred around the solar thermal industry's need to update its thinking on stagnation and the problems it can cause. He also examined current methods of stagnation control and discussed how
they are expensive and unreliable.

Please contact us for more information on Dr. Harrison's lecture at the SHC conference.

Solar PVT Research Applauded

September 4th, 2012 ESI-Africa.com published an article on the ground-breaking research occurring at Queen's University on the combination of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal collectors called PVT. Dr. Harrison and Dr. Pearce are both highlighted in the article for the research on improving PV collector performance and utilizing solar thermal in the process. Read more by clicking the button below.

Established in 1996, ESI Africa has become the leading provider of information relating to the African electricity and energy industry, delivering news to the continent and beyond.

ISC Will Allow High Effeciency Absorbers in All Climates

In a recent interview with Sun & Wind Energy, Mr. Florian Ruesch of the Swiss Institute for Solar Technology (SPF) talked about the trend of absorber and collector manufactures moving towards lower efficiency absorbers to combat stagnation problems. Integral Stagnation Control technology will efficiently control stagnation at the collector, allowing manufacturers and home owners to use and purchase the highest efficiency absorber coatings without fear of overheating and stagnation.

"S&WE: Do you believe the efficiency of the absorber coatings can be increased much further, or would the costs exceed the benefits?"

"Ruesch: The trend is actually in another direction… A higher emissivity value epsilon is accepted or even desired, because it leads to lower stagnation temperatures and therefore lower requirements for the temperature stability of all the components of the collector. This is especially true for the growing markets in Southern Europe." 


Pg. 69 SWE 06/12 Joachim Berner

The Blinding Costs of Stagnation Control

June 2012, Sun & Wind Energy released an article titled "The Way to Class A" which looked at the new products coming out of Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) in Milan. This article featured new products related to the solar thermal industry from all over Europe and was an excellent lead up to the InterSolar Munich conference in June. One of the products showcased was a new blind system for solar thermal collectors from Teknoenergy. This system is designed to prevent stagnation temperatures from occurring in collectors (see picture above) by covering them with an electrically driven blind system when the temperatures in the collector gets too hot. This system has been duplicated by companies like Sunerge, EHT Italia Srl, and Joannes by Finterm spa. While this design does prevent stagnation at the collectors it carries a high price tag of over €1,000 per collector. This method also increases the potential for failure by adding additional motors and moving parts.

Micro-Flow Energy Pack Available from QSBRI

Contact us for pricing information and to arrange for a trial unit.