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Temporal Power claims wind breakthrough: 'This will change energy storage completely'

One of the primary problems facing the world of sustainable energy is storage: since solar and wind power are "intermittent"—that is, they generate electricity at the whims of the sunshine and wind, rather than constantly or on demand—energy needs to be stored until there is demand for it. Batteries capable of doing so have so far been too large and expensive to be a solution.

Ryerson electrical engineering researcher Kamran Masteri Farahani has been conducting research for Toronto-based startup Temporal Power for the past 18 months. And he says the results show a breakthrough.

"This solves the problem of storage for wind power," he says. "This will change energy storage completely."

Temporal Power
has developed a storage technique that involves flywheels spinning to store the energy kinetically. The company, in collaboration with Hydro One and Toronto Hydro, has created flywheels that are cheaper and easier to maintain than batteries. Masteri says his research, conducted at Ryerson's Centre for Urban Energy, shows that it works.

"After 10 hours, the flywheels still maintain 95 per cent efficiency," he says. "They also hold up to twice as much energy as competitor techniques, and 50 times as much energy as most commercially available materials." He says that the technology also regulates voltage and can feed or draw from the grid as needed, making much of the existing (and expensive) regulation technology redundant.

If Hydro One's own tests confirm the Ryerson result, the company will begin implementing the technology in its own system by the end of the summer.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Kamran Masteri Farahani, Electrical Engineering Researcher, Centre for Urban Energy, Ryerson University
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