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Strategic Design's Frost Resistant Manhole Covers

Summerside — A World Leader in Innovation

The Challenge
Frost in northern climates causes manholes to shift and the pavement around them to crack, leading to potholes. For governments, potholes mean expensive repairs, road safety issues and citizen complaints about damage to vehicles.  

The Approach
Local invention firm, Strategic Design, approached the City to install and test their innovative new product, the “Frost Resistant Manhole Cover” in its streets. After extensive consultation with various agencies, Summerside gave access to the City’s road infrastructure and provided the services of Municipal Works crews to assist with installation of 3 systems.  

The Results
Systems are currently undergoing a full 12-month test with the goal of establishing how they can save money and reduce lost time in the disruption of traffic.
The patented “Frost Resistant Manhole Cover” expands and contracts with the ground's freezing and thawing cycles. It is basically two interlocking pieces. The bottom piece is attached to the manhole cone structure, while the top piece is embedded into the pavement. When the pavement shifts, the top piece moves with the asphalt but the bottom piece remains stationary, thus preventing damage. In addition to installation in a ready-made field, the City of Summerside also contributed to product refinements and partnered with the University of PEI for empirical data in support of the business case and validation of product claims.  

Heat-for-Less Energy Program
Summerside Electric's

The Challenge
The Summerside wind farm was producing more energy than needed during the night. With no way to store energy, selling on the open market was not cost effective.

The Approach
The Utility developed a unique smart grid system that detects excess energy during off-peak hours and turns on Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) units in homes and businesses to store it for use when needed.    

The Results
The City has reduced electrical energy exports from over 8,500 MWH annually to 2,615 MWH. Because ETS units use electricity produced during the night, customers get a rate discount, which lowers their power bills and offsets the cost of the ETS unit.  
ETS units use high-density ceramic bricks to store heat given off by elements inside the units. Elements come on during off-peak hours to heat up the bricks, with stored heat available for peak daytime use. While ETS has been around since just after WW2, the challenge was how to integrate and communicate with an electric utility in real-time and synchronize directly with the production of wind power. A smart grid system using communications and metering technology was the answer.   

Samsung's Smart Energy
Storage Project

The Challenge
How to integrate, store and dispatch renewable energy for large users while shaving peak demand to save costs – and – how to make such a system exportable in a plug-and-play platform to other jurisdictions. 

The Approach
In partnership with Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., Summerside is building a smart energy storage system, integrating the City’s solar power with other renewable and conventional energy sources. The system consists of over 1,500 solar panels generating 600,000 kWh per annum and a lithium-ion battery that will store 890 kWh of electricity with a 250 kW power transfer capability.  

This is a demonstration project that will also serve as a model for other communities in North America who wish to collaborate for long-term energy cost savings and environmental benefits.     

The Results
This project is expected to shift energy use in Summerside’s Credit Union Place from on-peak to off-peak by a volume of 324,850 kWh per year. It is estimated to save the facility over $100,000 annually and reduce GHG emissions by 500+ metric tons. This project is currently under construction with completion slated for Fall 2017.  
The overall objective of this first-in-Canada demonstration project is to validate technology for the development of renewable energy systems that can be deployed in the most remote or energy challenged regions of the world.  

About the Summerside Living Lab

A Living Lab is a platform for industry to collaborate with government in exploring real-world issues and demonstrating how innovation can provide solutions. The overarching goal of Summerside’s Living Lab is to advance innovation and create export development opportunities in partnership with early start-ups or established enterprises, while assisting the City’s growth. The Lab brings together partners with a shared vision that will produce results for those who wish to build business models for advanced deployment in earlier stages of product life.   With its unique and empowering infrastructure, Summerside is a test bed for firms looking to develop real market solutions, validation, and full-scale deployment of products and services.  

In Summerside we understand… 

The Problem: A Business faces challenges validating its technology through rapid testing, prototyping and commercialization. Providing product credibility presents a major barrier.

The Solution: A municipality devoted to reducing development time and validation in a fail-fast/fail-cheap environment — a unique opportunity for rapid commercialization.

The Bottom Line: Summerside provides a robust and sophisticated environment with a unique range of empowering assets including its own electrical company, renewable energy and fibre optic network. It operates in a completely open and mutually beneficial collaborative manner.

Come and grow with us!

If you are interested in validating your technology for North American markets:

Michael Thususka
Director of Economic Development
City of Summerside
275 Fitzroy Street
Summerside PE C1N 1H9
M: 902.432.0103


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