A consortium led by eCAMION Inc. (“eCAMION”) with Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (“Toronto Hydro”), the University of Toronto, and Dow Kokam LLC has unveiled the first energy storage system installed directly into an urban community.
Located at the Roding Arena and Community Centre in North York, this community energy storage (CES) system will allow Toronto Hydro to monitor this technology, and help validate its benefits to Toronto’s electrical grid.
The project is funded by the project consortium and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
Toronto’s infrastructure is aging, including the electrical assets that power the city. Much of this infrastructure was installed in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. As the city continues to grow, the electrical grid must also move forward in its technology. It is expected the CES project will offer many benefits in the short term to the grid, and even more in the long term.
So what is CES? Think of a battery in your cell phone or car. Put thousands of them together and you have a system capable of storing electricity and providing power when needed to one or more customers.
CES differs from other energy storage systems installed at a transmission or distribution station. Those at a station level provide system support to the station, whereas CES systems are installed at the customer level, offering more direct benefit in reliable electrical supply.
Just three of the battery cells in the CES unit can power a fridge for one hour. These cells are placed in eCAMION battery modules. The entire CES system at the Roding Arena and Community Centre is comprised of 48 eCAMION battery modules, capable of powering a house for 9 days.
In future, this storage unit can be used to help alleviate stress on the grid during peak times and also provide power to connected homes in the event of a power interruption from the station. As well, this CES system is smarter than others. It comes equipped with ‘brains’ that can independently monitor grid conditions and respond appropriately by taking in electricity during off-peak times, or releasing energy if needed.
1. This unit will provide 250 kWh/500kW of storage and is very compact; it only requires a small pad mount, a bit larger than a normal Toronto Hydro transformer.
2. Fully charged the CES system could provide electricity to a typical community centre, a light industrial complex or small residential street.
3. Each consortium partner plays a key role in this project: Toronto Hydro provides the local distribution system, connection and opportunity to modernize an aging grid. eCAMION is the project lead and has designed and integrated the storage system to include thermal management communications and control. Dow Kokam LLC has developed the Advanced Energy Lithium-Polymer NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) cells and cell chemistry. The University of Toronto is managing the CPPM (control, protection and power management) technology and building algorithms that will integrate the ‘brains’ of the system.
Community energy storage (CES) systems:
1. Improve power quality, energy flow and reliability.
2. Reduce peak demand (like peaksaver PLUS™) and offer temporary relief in neighbourhoods at risk to help prioritize and defer capital work.
3. Remove the need for diesel generators.
4. Facilitate the integration of renewable technologies like solar panels and electric vehicles.
5. Help to keep voltage levels constant for commercial and industrial customers.
6. Actively monitor grid conditions and respond dynamically.
“An opportunity like this comes once every forty years. Toronto Hydro’s distribution grid is facing a number of challenges and community energy storage can address some of these challenges instead of developing one solution per problem.”
- Ivano Labricciosa, vice president of asset management, Toronto Hydro
“A lot has been written about energy storage but a lot hasn’t been demonstrated, so we’re very excited. It’s one thing to write it in a text book, but it’s another thing to actually get into a live environment and provide benefits for a modern smart grid application.”
-Carmine Pizzurro, founder of eCAMION
“This project is at the forefront of research and development in the field. This is one of the most recent R&D topics in electrical energy delivery systems.”
- Dr. Reza Iravani, U of T
“This project is an excellent illustration of how a clean technology can make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of Canadians. Innovations like this one will one day extend the viability of electricity grids around the world.”
- Dr. Vicky Sharpe, president and CEO of SDTC
“Dow Kokam’s participation in this SDTC sponsored program underscores our strategy to be a leader and world class manufacturer of Lithium cells. It is very exciting to have the opportunity to engage with our consortium members in order to build and install a live solution that utilizes our Xalt cell technology at its core.”
- Jeff Kostos, vice president & general manager, Dow Kokam
The principal business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. Toronto Hydro-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 712,000 customers located in the City of Toronto. It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 18% of the electricity consumed in the Province of Ontario.
eCAMION designs, manufactures, integrates and markets modular, flexible and scalable energy storage system solutions for utility and industrial customers. eCAMION’s utility solutions integrate lithium ion technology with smart battery management systems and “grid aware” intelligent controls that operates seamlessly with the utility’s distribution smart grid. Our commercialized solutions are:
1. Community Energy Storage (CES) – a padmount “grid aware” 250kwh/500kw system, that is scalable to over 10 MW, thus alleviating issues with aging infrastructure, grid problems and integration of renewable energy
2. Auxiliary Power Storage system solutions (APU) ranging from 1kwh to 250kwh providing auxiliary power to specialized transportation and supporting electric vehicle infrastructure.
Source: Toronto Hydro
For more information on: Toronto Hydro