Canadian Startup Hydrostor Pioneering Submerged Air Energy Storage

This August, Toronto-based Hydrostor plans to sink several large balloon-like bags into Lake Ontario to demonstrate its energy storage technology.

Here’s how it works: using electricity from Toronto Hydro’s grid to run a compressor, it will fill the bags with air. Later, when the utility needs electricity, the air will be emptied from the bags and run through a turboexpander, which uses the expanding air to drive a turbine. The result will be the world’s first commercial facility for underwater compressed-air energy storage.

Hydrostar CEO Curtis VanWalleghem and his company began exploring the technology four years ago as it was looking into developing a wind project.

The company was founded in 2010 and received funding in May, 2013 from the MaRS Cleantech Fund, a Canadian venture capital firm. Previously, Hydrostar relied mostly on government and research grants for funding.

 

Read more in IEEE Spectrum.

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