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If the storage devices win widespread adoption, there will be better availability of power for recharging electric vehicles. (istockphoto)
If the storage devices win widespread adoption, there will be better availability of power for recharging electric vehicles. (istockphoto)

Innovative energy storage project to be unveiled by Ryerson, eCamion Add to ...

Ryerson University in Toronto and a high-tech startup company called eCamion Inc. will unveil a pilot project Wednesday that allows energy to be stored in a unit that sits on hydro poles.

An eCamion storage unit combined with a smart controller developed by Ryerson researchers and students will enable utilities such as Toronto Hydro to store power, integrate more renewable power and improve the reliability of the system, the company and Ryerson say.

The unit uses lithium-ion batteries that charge during off-peak hours of hydro usage and discharge during peak hours.

One of the benefits if the storage devices win widespread adoption is better availability of power for recharging electric vehicles, said Hari Subramanian, eCamion’s chief executive officer.

“These are the enabling technologies you need for electric vehicles to really have an uptake,” Mr. Subramanian said.

In many areas, the current hydro infrastructure could not handle the demand if several electric vehicles in a small section of a city were being recharged at the same time, he said.

The storage device allows utilities to “flex their grid” to meet varying demands at various times, he said.

“Customers are pushing the electricity system where it was not designed to go and the utilities are trying to grapple with how they let customers do what they want without being overbearing,” he said.

Among the issues affecting electric vehicle sales are the cost of recharging the vehicles and accessibility of charging stations.

Mr. Subramanian and Ryerson officials are billing the pilot project as the first of its kind in the world.

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