A microgrid is to be installed at a University of Toronto laboratory where it will be used to power research into electric vehicle charging.

The entirely direct current system will couple energy supplied by the grid and rooftop solar power with a lithium-ion battery.

It is being installed by WorleyParsons’ Smart & Distributed Energy in collaboration with Canadian microgrid firm ARDA Power.

“This project is the first of its kind in a university research setting,” said Michael Cantin, vice president of operations at WorleyParsons. Tristan Jackson, Director of Smart & Distributed Energy, added: “DC microgrid technology holds great promise for simplifying microgrid design and the related interconnection process, and for improving efficiency by eliminating redundant AC/DC conversions.

“The Direct Current approach to microgrids can save significant costs on equipment, installation, interconnection to the grid, and operations. We anticipate many more such projects in the near future. Two areas where we see the greatest potential for these systems to bring disruptive value are electric vehicle charging and indoor agriculture.”

The engineering and procurement phases is already underway with construction set to start in July, and completion expected by December.

Microgrids will be explored in detail at DistribuTECH in New Orleans next week. Click here for details.