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About Us

The people behind the scenes include Elena, Colin, John and Lorne. There is also a growing team of interns helping get PowerBarr off the ground. We are passionate about putting renewable energy into mainstream use every day. We have combined experience in sales, marketing, IT, electronics, renewable energy, and entrepreneurial ventures.

Elena Jusenlijska started her career off at Bullfrog Power, where she met John in 2009. Elena's professional portfolio includes start-up experience in the commercial interiors space, orchestrating the delivery of school and sport supplies to an orphanage in Lima in 2010, and furniture and school supplies to an elementary school in the Peruvian Andes in 2011. At Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology, she helped develop partnerships that resulted in achieving the highest scoring LEED Platinum building certification in Canada. Elena founded and co-directs a non-profit behind T.O's Eco Chase - a sustainability-focused annual scavenger hunt in Toronto. She has served on the executive coaching committee for aspiring small business entrepreneurs at the Rotman School of Management and is an active member of the Communications & Marketing committee of the Canadian Green Building Council, Toronto Chapter. Elena is currently the Chief Spark Plug at PowerBarr and works as a Head-hunter with Delta Management, a boutique executive search firm focused on cleantech, sustainability & environmentally-focused roles.

Colin Campbell is a business sustainability consultant, entrepreneur and professional triathlete. As an athlete, his ultimate aspiration would be to compete for Canada at the Olympics. Colin is an ambitious individual and sets the bar high. While studying for his Bachelor of Commerce at Dalhousie University, Colin was involved with several entrepreneurial ventures. In 2009, Colin biked from Toronto to Halifax promoting a non-for-profit he started called Hydro Heroes, which aimed to promote a sustainable way to helping world water issues, by using a lead-by-example approach. He went on to build 'Partnerships in Sustainability' with a small team at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto and initiated a landscape design start-up called Microscapes aiming to take advantage of unused spaces and turn them into small creative landscapes. Colin is currently the Chief Brand Ignitor at PowerBarr and Consultant on the Business Sustainability team at Canadian Tire, a leading Canadian retailer. Colin has been inventing and creating since he was a kid, with a flair for making the connections needed to get innovative ideas working.

John Wilson is an IT professional and entrepreneur with more than thirty years of experience, which all started with the launch of his own company focused on the desktop publishing revolution. Next, John joined Corel before they released their revolutionary Corel Draw! software package that was pivotal to the success of Windows graphical user interface. Later, working for a small financial services software start-up, John went on to lead the eCommerce surge as a product manager during the dot com phase. Most recently, combining his passion for IT and renewable energy, John joined a team of five that would within three months launch Bullfrog Power, to become Canada's leading 100% renewable energy company now eight years later. In parallel, over the past twenty years, John has experimented, innovated with and implemented renewable energy at home (3 solar systems and 1 wind turbine), an off-grid solar system in the Dominican Republic, a gasoline to electric boat conversion and finally a "solar desk" invention that he has been evolving over the past five years. Needless to say, John is PowerBarr's Chief Tech & Solar Geek.

Lorne Spence is an electronics professional with a diverse entrepreneurial and technological background. His belief in renewable energy combined with his passion for creation and design has led to his involvement in many innovative projects including off-the-grid marine applications, intelligent battery management programs, and solar/battery integration, which was required to reliably power essential electronics equipment in some of the most demanding environments in Canada. He was the lead designer and technician in converting several sailing vessels from internal combustion to clean, electric propulsion, as well as the lead system designer for navigational and communication electronics used by several Marine law enforcement agencies. He is an ABYC and NMEA certified marine technician, and is currently the Lead Product Designer & Electrical Systems Tech at PowerBarr.


How does PowerBarr work?

Why PowerBarr

1. Humanity's future success depends on our ability to utilize renewable energy and make it widely accessible

Achieving a sustainable future requires a solution to the challenges of storage and distribution of renewable power such as solar. PowerBarr is solving the problem of storing intermittent sunlight and providing access to this energy in an easy and efficient way. PowerBarr converts energy from the sun by using solar photovoltaic panels, then stores it in sturdy electrochemical batteries that root the system safely to the ground.

2. Less electricity loss: Higher efficiency

PowerBarr takes direct current power (DC) from its batteries and sends it to your natively DC powered electronics. Without any conversions, and at native low voltages common to all phones and tablets, you make use of stored solar energy in the most efficient way possible. Technically, it just makes more sense and is more efficient to use energy as close to the source as possible, and taking it through as few conversions as possible. The electrical grid, for instance, typically loses 10% of the energy generated in transmission through the wires. In addition, conversion losses from alternating current (AC) to DC electricity required by your electronic devices also sustains losses from 5-20%, according to Scientific American (see the article here).

3. Built to last, designed to be recycled & reused

PowerBarr is designed for the long haul. Making it modular means being able to change parts to service a variety of different needs and environments with the same product. Consideration of the entire life cycle is important, how it will impact your children and grandchildren? Have you ever considered what will happen to your product when you are done with it?  We strive to design each and every part to be 100% recyclable. A great deal of energy can be saved with efficient recycling of aluminum, a major component of the panels and casings of the units. The batteries are made out of pure lead and are designed to be recycled at the end of their life cycle. Other components from the copper wiring, through to the USB ports, are designed to be easily disassembled for sorting and separation for nearly complete recycling.

4. Climate change mitigation and adaption

By using more sources of renewable energy like what PowerBarr offers, you can make an incredible impact! You can reduce the need for fossil burning energy and help reduce the effects of climate change. The atmospheric carbon levels are currently above 397ppm (July 2013, Scripps Institute of Oceanography) and our world will continue to sustain a higher frequency of unusual weather events caused by climate change. Inevitably, the frequency and extent of power outages is likely to increase. PowerBarr aims to be broadly available to keep communications by mobile phone, and other potentially important emergency services including LED lighting working when the grid fails. At work or at home, PowerBarr will be able to keep a few essential electronic devices operating for days or even weeks.

5. Connecting people

Last but not least, there is something even more powerful about solar power stations than using renewable energy that results from the simple act of bringing people together. It may be less obvious, however the sense of connection with others that people experience when using a PowerBarr in public spaces is worth mentioning and making more common place. We live in a world of complexity and competition. PowerBarr aspires to be an act of compassion and connection, and re-establish society's foundation for success and be a part of creating more connected and caring communities.



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