MacDonald Lab (thermodynamics and fluid mechanics)

Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), Oshawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on Stirling engine performance, development and testing of high efficiency Stirling engines, and addresses the challenge of reliable and affordable carbon-free electricity.

Areas of expertise

The MacDonald Lab is a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to finding innovative ways to produce sustainable energy. Through the application of its research on thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics, the lab aims to develop new technologies capable of efficiently producing power.

Using a combined experimental and modelling approach, the facility uses CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and FEA (finite element analysis) modelling along with other strategies to examine and optimize designs. This process is complemented by the simultaneous design and build of prototypes to test new ideas and validate the modeling work.

The MacDonald lab is focused on research and development of Stirling engines due to their capability to convert heat into power at the highest efficiency, as well as their potential to provide sustainable, affordable, and reliable electricity.

Research services

Customized testing of sustainable energy production strategies.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Clean technology
  • Energy
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Utilities



OpenFOAM CFD Modelling software

We have a setup that can provide CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modelling of complex piston and displacer geometries with moving boundaries.

Phantom high-speed camera with CMOS sensor

CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) 1280 x 800 pixel resolution sensor, 1630 frames/sec at full resolution, 5790 frames/sec at 512 x 512 pixel resolution, 12 GB on-board memory, F-mount flange.


  • Ekstera Inc.