2015 will be remembered as the year that technology revolutionized the way we create and store energy. Much has been

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2015 will be remembered as the year that technology revolutionized the way we create and store energy. Much has been written about the many advancements in renewable energy technology. When it comes to energy storage though, Tesla and battery storage for electricity has dominated the headlines. However, there has been some amazing strides made in other forms of storage that will also change the way we attempt to harness and save electricity. Here we will briefly explore a few of the ingenious attempts to propel forward the energy storage frontier.


A Canadian company named Hydrostor, has developed a creative energy storage solution that costs much less than most of the traditional battery technologies. It is also believed to last twice as long. They achieve their method by storing energy as compressed air that is housed underwater inside giant storage balloons. This idea is extremely efficient in energy storage and is also a zero-emissions solution.

Hydrostor designed and is now partnering with Toronto Hydro to operate what can effectively be considered the first underwater energy storage system in the world. Located off the shore of Toronto Island, a grouping of their underwater balloons are submerged under the water. These balloons are then connected to Hydrostor’s power facility through piping. The facilities purpose is designated to store excess energy from the Canadian power grid when it is off peak time.

They convert excess electrical energy into compressed air and is then pumped into the submerged balloons. It then stays inside the underwater balloons until it is needed by Toronto consumers during peak energy hours. Once it is time to utilize this energy source, there is a conversion of the compressed air back into electricity. By utilizing the natural pressure of the lake to expel the air out of the balloons, it is driven towards a designated turbine. The turbine is then used to generate electricity, which is then pushed back onto the electric grid. This setup can also be utilized for the storage of energy from alternative energy sources such as solar, or even wind power. This again will allow them to store excess energy during peak generation times.


Researchers at Sweden’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics, have developed what is come to be known as “power paper”. This is a new material with an outstanding ability to store energy. This interesting material is made up of nano cellulose and a conductive polymer. This material only takes a few seconds to charge and can be recharged up to hundreds of times before needing replacement.

The material looks and feels like plastic paper and could be a very viable option for the storage of renewable energy sources. Unlike other batteries on the market, this power paper is created from simple materials, is extremely light in weight, it is waterproof and requires no dangerous chemicals or heavy metals to operate.


In other news, researchers at The University of Texas have developed a self-healing gel that appears to be able to repair electronic circuits. Newer technology has been focusing on lighter, flexible, electronics. With that, existing circuits designed to power them are not made to bend freely, or repair cracks or breaks that occur in the circuits. Previously designed materials have always relied on light or heat to repair.

This gel that can repair, as well as connect the circuits has created a unique opportunity to advance the development of batteries as electricity storage devices. The innovative application as an energy storage unit is where it holds tremendous potential. The scientists were able to achieve about 10 times the conductivity of previous materials used for creating our conventional rechargeable batteries.

We have taken a look at 3 distinctly different ways that scientists and researchers are using breakthroughs in modern technology to advance energy storage. As we continue to forward, this will most likely be the start of some even more amazing inventions.



Matt Helland




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