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NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network

Challenge

Energy is without a doubt, one of the biggest and more intriguing challenges that Canada and the world will be facing in the short, medium and long term. Energy Storage (ES) plays a key role in that future and is seen as an essential component of future electrical systems, and a key element to develop sustainable energy systems.  The global ES market is expected to grow exponentially in the next 10 years, in particular, as a solution to face the mounting costs of renewing energy transmission and distribution assets that in Canada could mean the need of investment of $350 billion by the year 2030.

This network aims at developing the next generation of Energy Storage technologies and products, and could become the focus of ES in Canada, enabling the country to compete in a globally-important market. To date, Canadian researchers have maintained world leadership in the power systems area in the last twenty years; this leadership can be used to Canada’s competitive advantage in the understanding of the effects of the development of ES technology in the operation and planning of the power grid.

The NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network (NEST) is taking the lead in bringing together leading academic, industry, utility and government partners to develop, test and demonstrate and ultimately commercialize innovative ES technologies through multidisciplinary and collaborative R&D.

Network Structure

The NEST Network is a strategic partnership between 27 professors from 15 universities representing 8 provinces, who will bring experience from diverse and multidisciplinary backgrounds in mathematics, electrical, mechanical and civil engineering. The network includes 25 partners representing technology suppliers/service providers, utilities, industry associations/not-for-profits, and government organizations.

The Network is led by Dr. Bala Venkatesh, Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Academic Director of the Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) at Ryerson University.

Research Objectives

Through collaborative work between all the stakeholders involved in the network, NEST will drive progress in ES in Canada with the creation of more reliable, environmentally friendly and efficient electric power systems. The Network will work to increase the market penetration of Canadian made ES technologies worldwide.

This mission and vision is directed at transformational change, and will be achieved by meeting goals critical to academic, public and private sector stakeholders over five years, such as:

  • Generate fundamental ES knowledge;
  • Facilitate ES technology commercialization;
  • Train Canadian ES highly qualified personnel (HQP), and
  • Strengthen and deepen existing research partnerships between Canadian organizations and academic researchers.

NEST Network researchers will work on 24 ES projects on battery, flywheel, compressed air and thermal energy storage solutions to create ES products for Canadian companies and train 240 students in a five-year span.

Outcomes

Key priorities of the Network include:

  • Generate fundamental ES knowledge;
  • Facilitate ES technology commercialization and increase the market penetration of Canadian made ES technologies worldwide;
  • Train Canadian ES highly qualified personnel (HQP), a total of 240 student years will be trained (197 PhD and Master’s, 12 undergraduates, and 31 PDFs);
  • Strengthen and deepen existing research partnerships between Canadian organizations and academic researchers.

The NEST Network is designed and poised to take Canadian research on potential ES technologies to markets, working with companies, utilities and governmental agencies, while training HQP and benefitting the Canadian energy sector and broader Canadian economy. NEST Network will develop a suite of ES technologies and systems to be commercialized by Canadian companies with trained HQP, leading to employment and a robust economy.

Contact

Dr. Bala Venkatesh
Tel: 416-979-5000 x2232
Email: bala@ryerson.ca


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