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Toronto startup offers underwater solution to energy storage woes

Toronto-based startup Hyrdrostor could soon make Ontario's energy infrastructure significantly more efficient thanks to their innovative new energy storage technology—the underwater "accumulator." The accumulators or compressed air energy storage (CAES) units are giant underwater energy storage units that convert unused energy from the grid into compressed air for future usage. After a successful pilot project last summer, Hydrostor has recently partnered with Toronto Hydro to construct a 1MW, 4MWh demonstration facility about seven kilometers from Toronto's shore later this year.
"As Hydrostor president Cam Lewis explains, his company's first-of-its-kind system mechanically converts electricity from the grid to compressed air, which is captured, cooled and can be stored indefinitely in underwater accumulators. These accumulators are large, high-strength polyester bags that inflate with the air like a big balloon—no doubt producing quite an underwater show for salmon and lake inhabitants. When the grid needs the stored energy, the weight of the water pushes the air back to the surface where Hydrostor's expander/generator system sends it back."

"The idea, Lewis says, is to transmit excess electricity at night when demand is less and reverse it when demand is high. The technology offers 70 per cent round-trip efficiency, he says."

read full story here
original source Smart Grid Technology
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