Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, is proud to team up with B3CG Interconnect, based in Saint-Eustache, and its partners to test vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home power exchanges.
The goal of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems is to use electricity stored in the batteries of plug-in vehicles as a backup energy supply for electricity grids, such as the Hydro-Québec power system, during peak periods. Vehicle-to-home (V2H) systems, on the other hand, would allow plug-in vehicle owners to use the energy stored in their batteries as a temporary home power source during outages, as they would a generator.
For purposes of the project, a test vehicle equipped with Québec-designed technologies will be assembled at IREQ. TM4, a Hydro-Québec subsidiary, will supply a latest-generation TM4 MÔTIVE™ electric powertrain system. The battery will be designed with IREQ-patented materials, such as lithium iron phosphate. B3CG Interconnect will partner with the Centre National du Transport Avancé (national centre for advanced transportation) in Saint-Jérôme and Brioconcept, based in Laval, to develop new two technologies: a power battery and associated control system, and a two-way charger designed to both recharge the battery and supply power to the grid.
The project will also receive financial support from the Québec government as part of its 2011-2020 Action Plan for Electric Vehicles. This plan gave Hydro-Québec a mandate to define the implications of these innovative concepts and to carry out all required experiments.
Exchanging power between vehicles and the home or vehicles and the grid is a very interesting concept. "We would like to better define the potential long-term contribution of this technology," said Denis Faubert, General Manager of IREQ. "Through this initiative, Hydro-Québec will continue to spearhead the integration of electric vehicles into the power grid and become a showcase for Québec know-how."
"Thanks to the presence of Hydro-Québec and major Québec buyers of world-class transportation systems, Québec industries can carve out a place on the world market for electric vehicles and related technologies," said Stéfan Baumans, President and CEO of B3CG Interconnect. "Our company will focus on niche markets such as urban public transit and vehicles for outdoor recreation and mining," he added.
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular large hydro, and supports the development of other technologies—such as wind energy, biomass and small hydro—through purchases from independent power producers. Hydro-Québec’s Action Plan for Electric Transportation has four thrusts, one of which deals with public transit and the three others with plug-in vehicles: developing and marketing of advanced technologies, on-road and grid integration testing, and charging infrastructure. With its partners, Hydro-Québec recently launched The Electric Circuit, Canada’s first public charging network. Its research centre, IREQ, carries out research and development in energy-related fields. Hydro-Québec spends $100 million a year on research. It has been conducting research on batteries for over 30 years, including work on advanced materials, particularly molten salts, lithium iron phosphate and nanotitanates. It is helping to develop safe, high-performance lithium-ion batteries that can be charged more quickly and a greater number of times. The future success of plug-in electric vehicles largely depends on the battery.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, TM4 was created in 1998 to market the electric propulsion technology developed by Hydro-Quebec’s research institute, IREQ. Today, it provides customers in a dozen countries with patented technologies and distinctive expertise in electric motors, generators and inverters for the transport and energy markets. Products include customized electric drivetrains for electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle manufacturers, and generators for wind turbine and gen-set manufacturers. TM4 is based in Boucherville, Québec.
B3CG Interconnect is a supplier of original sub-contracting solutions for electric cable, complex harness and electromechanical assemblies for the ground transport, medical equipment, industrial systems and power generation industries. It is based in Saint-Eustache. B3CG’s strategy also involves leveraging its expertise in connectivity and power batteries to develop proprietary technology for smart battery modules designed for electric vehicles.
The Centre National du Transport Avancé (formerly CEVEQ) is a non-profit organization based in Saint-Jérôme that has been operating in the advanced transportation sector, with a focus on electric and hybrid vehicles, since 1996. Supported by a scientific committee with representation from industry, research centre and universities, and boasting leading-edge engineering experience, the CNTA acts as a catalyst for electric mobility innovation.
Brioconcept is an electronics consulting and design company based in Laval that offers services to technology companies looking to prototype their electronic products.