BCIT’s Energy OASIS Demonstration Project

B.C. Institute of Technology (BCIT) has a new research project underway that could make it easier to use alternative energy sources including solar and wind. These alternative energy sources are known as “sustainable intermittent sources” because they’re not consistent (i.e. the sun must be shining or the wind blowing in order to produce power) and are therefore not as widespread.

BCIT’s Energy OASIS (Open Access to Sustainable Intermittent Sources) Demonstration Project is a research project designed to help solve the challenge of harnessing these sustainable intermittent sources by inventing a storage system. This project focuses specifically on solar power.

Since May 2013, a system of solar panels has been under construction in parking lot No. 7 at the Burnaby campus. When complete, the panels will span the width of the parking lot. The project will include two charging stations for electric cars and the store solar power will turn them into “quick-charge” stations. This means that they will be capable of delivering a full charge in approximately 20 min compared to the several hours that regular charging stations require. The power from the solar panels means that this will happen without any impact to the main electrical grid system.

Following this experiment, the hope is that the public will be able to gain access to the stations for their electric vehicles in late 2014.

This project is a partnership between BCIT, BC Hydro, universities and senior governments.

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