Hydro-Québec launches experimental project on electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid (V2G-V2H)

Hydro-Québec’s research institute (IREQ) is proud to award GRIDbot Canada—whose products are manufactured in Shawinigan, Québec—the contract for the development and supply of an advanced bidirectional charging station for an experimental project on vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home power exchanges (V2G-V2H).

The goal of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems is to use the electricity stored in the batteries of plug-in vehicles as backup energy for electricity grids, such as the Hydro-Québec power system, during peak periods. Vehicle-to-home (V2H) systems, on the other hand, allow plug-in vehicle owners to use the energy stored in the battery as a temporary power source during outages, as they would a generator.

To carry out the project, IREQ will assemble an electric test vehicle that will showcase Québec-designed technologies. TM4, a Hydro-Québec subsidiary, will supply a latest-generation TM4 M?TIVE™ electric powertrain system. B3CG Interconnect, a company from Saint-Eustache, along with its partners, the Centre National du Transport Avancé (national centre for advanced transportation) in Saint-Jérôme and Brioconcept, based in Laval, developed a bidirectional charger that will be integrated to the charging station built by GRIDbot. This company also develops a lithium iron phosphate battery, an advanced material patented by IREQ, and a complex management system.

Exchanging power between vehicles and the home or the grid is a promising development opportunity. “We would like to better define the long-term potential 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 system and become a showcase for Québec know-how.”

The project will 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.

“The Hydro-Québec project is a unique occasion to develop GRIDbot Canada’s V2G and V2H technologies. Our Shawinigan-built bidirectional charging station will be based on the ingenuity developed here in Québec with the support and expertise of the IREQ team,” said Éric Martel, administrator and project manager at GRIDbot Canada.

“This type of project is important for Hydro-Québec since it allows us to work with our partners in Québec to develop promising and interesting long-term technologies for our customers who will purchase plug-in electric vehicles,” added Pierre-Luc Desgagné, Senior Director – Strategic Planning at Hydro-Québec.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, TM4 was created in 1998. 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.

GRIDbot Canada, specialized in the design and installation of charging infrastructure for municipal, commercial and multi-residential electric vehicles, offers a global solution for the networking of VEs. GRIDbot is one of the largest manufacturers of public, commercial and residential charging stations in Canada. Its V2G charging equipment for the whole North American market is built in 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 exclusive technology for smart modules designed for electric vehicle batteries.

The Centre National du Transport Avancé (formerly CEVEQ) is a non-profit organization based in Saint-Jérôme. Since 1996, it has been operating in the advanced transportation sector, with a focus on electric and hybrid vehicles. 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.

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. As part of its Action Plan for Electric Transportation, it launched, with its partners, The Electric Circuit, Canada’s first public charging network. Its research centre, IREQ, carries out research and development in energy-related fields. 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. For more information: www.hydroquebec.com/transportation-electrification/index.html.