Smart grid lab coming to Ryerson

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Ryerson University is partnering with Schneider Electric to create Canada’s first university smart grid laboratory, set to open in July 2014. The laboratory will be housed at Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy (CUE), and serve as a research hub for smart grid testing.

Smart grids collect information on a client’s energy consumption behaviours. Unlike traditional electrical grids, which have a centralized source and one-way transmission of energy, Smart grids can power energy flow in both directions. This means that a consumer can also supply excess energy back to one or one of many integrated energy sources.

Ryerson students will have the unique opportunity to work alongside smart grid specialists in the new laboratory. Bala Venkatesh, Academic Director at the CUE, said in a email that the lab will have hardware and management software similar to an Advanced Distribution System (ADS).

“Students who intern through this lab shall be trained to operate ADS,” Venkatesh wrote.

While the project was initially funded though the Smart Grid Fund program by the Province of Ontario, Venkatesh added that it has the potential to put the CUE on the map for private sector interest.

“It establishes Ryerson as a leader in smart grids,” he added. “It places CUE as a key player in Ontario’s energy innovation landscape.”

The CUE will be hosting a seminar series to explore aspects of smart grid technology on October 10 at the Peter Bronfman Learning Centre.

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