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First-of-kind pole-top energy storage by Ryerson CUE and partners

November 19, 2015 | By Anthony Capkun

November 18, 2015 – A Ryerson University-led pilot project demonstrating the promise of pole-top energy storage was unveiled earlier today at the university’s Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) and is, apparently, the first application of this kind in the world.

In this project, eCamion’s modular energy storage solution is mounted on a Toronto Hydro electricity pole, then combined with a controller developed by Ryerson researchers and students that communicates with downstream smart meters of connected residences. The energy storage unit employs lithium-ion batteries that charge during off-peak hours and discharge during peak hours.

“Researchers at [CUE] are making huge strides in the area of energy storage,” said Mohamed Lachemi, provost and vice-president with Ryerson, adding that CUE “has been dedicated to projects like this one since its inception: solving real-world problems in collaboration with its utility and industry partners, and giving students vital hands-on practical experience and training.”

CUE explains the potential benefits to Ontario residents and businesses include improved system reliability, further integration of renewable energy sources and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as reduced usage during peak hours.


“Toronto Hydro is happy to support innovative ways of integrating new technologies into our current electrical grid,” said Gary Thompson, generation and capacity planning lead with Toronto Hydro. “It’s important for us to invest in technology like energy storage that can help improve customer reliability and plan for a smart future.”

The project also aims to showcase “Made in Ontario” technologies, adds CUE, as eCamion is a company out of Scarborough. The controller and other prototypes that have contributed to this project were all developed in the Greater Toronto Area, and will be pursued for worldwide collaboration.

“This type of collaboration is what is needed to bring new clean technologies to the marketplace… enabling SMEs to punch above their weight and accelerate novel products locally and globally,” said Hari Subramanian, eCamion CEO.

Today’s announcement is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between Ryerson, eCamion and Toronto Hydro. The province is supporting the project through the Ministry of Energy’s $50-million Smart Grid Fund initiative.

— Photo by Clifton Li, courtesy Ryerson. Rendering courtesy eCamion.

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