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Ontario funding data communication, energy storage and smart distribution systems research


May 16, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

May 15, 2012 – Ontario Centres of Excellence, jointly with industry and academia partners, are collaborating to advance technology in data communication, energy storage and smart distribution systems. With funding from the province, the projects involve partners: Energent and Wilfred Laurier University; Hydrostor and the University of Windsor; and Hydro One Networks and the University of Waterloo. And they are receiving funding from the provincial government to make it happen.

“At Ontario Centres of Excellence, we are pleased to be responsible for delivering the Special Energy Fund. OCE’s experience in working with industry and academia in identifying ground-breaking, clean energy innovations puts OCE in a unique position to see the potential and enormous impact that these projects will have in job creation and providing for a sustainable future,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence.

About the projects
Energent and Wilfrid Laurier University
Communication Middleware System for Smart Grid

Energent is collaborating with a team from Wilfrid Laurier University on a communications software system that can potentially be installed on all smart grid devices to allow them to communicate with each other to facilitate smarter, more effective, efficient energy use. The platform is now under development with a prototype, and further R&D will be conducted in collaboration with the team from Wilfrid Laurier.

Hydrostor and the University of Windsor
Innovative Underwater Energy Storage Accumulator Pilot (SG02)

Hydrostor is working with the University of Windsor to pilot a patent-pending, underwater storage system that stores electrical energy in the form of compressed air. The air is then sent to large balloon-like storage accumulators below the surface of large bodies of water where it can be kept until needed. Hydrostor and the University of Windsor will work with utility host Toronto Hydro to test the technology on grid and at scale next year, with plans to market the solution globally in the near future.

Hydro One Networks and the University of Waterloo
Smart Micro Grids: A Building Block toward Smart Distribution Systems

Research on smart micro grids (which are small, scalable versions of centralized power systems) is still in its very early stages. Hydro One Networks and the University of Waterloo are working to develop new step-by-step procedures or algorithms that will help smart micro grids realize their full potential. It will also assist in the transformation of Hydro One Network’s distribution system into an intelligent, smart distribution system by providing a better understanding of its needs and upgrades as well as assessment tools, operational procedures and control design methods.