Intellectual Property


Halifax Solar City Map




Hilliard T, Swan L; Method and System for Controlling Space Thermal Comfort Using Air Temperature and Solar Radiation Measurements. USA Patent Pending: Application 62/529,593, Filing 7 Jul 2017, Confirmation 1082. Assigned to Green Power Labs Inc.

White C, Swan L; Systems and Methods for Determining State-Of-Charge Using Tafel Slope. World Intellectual Property Organization, PCT Application, PCT/CA2017/050514, Filing 27 Apr 2017. Assigned to Charged Engineering Inc.

Swan L, White C, Deveau J; Methods and Systems for Determining Battery Charge or Formation Completeness. World Intellectual Property Organization, PCT Application, WO 2017/024411 A1, PCT/CA2016/050951, Filing 12 Aug 2016. Assigned to Charged Engineering Inc.

White C, Swan LMethod for Detecting State-of-charge of Lead-acid Batteries. USA Patent Pending: Application 62/328,064, Filing 27 Apr 2016, Confirmation 1082. Assigned to Charged Engineering Inc.

Swan L, White C, Deveau J; Method for Completing Formation of Lead-acid Batteries. USA Patent Pending: Application 62/204,741, Filing 13 Aug 2015, Confirmation 9398. Assigned to Charged Engineering Inc.

News 2012-10 Jason E&B

Oct 2012: Jason recently had his research on residential peak electricity demand shaving using a battery pack accepted for publication by Energy and Buildings.

Opportunities to Join RESL

Are you passionate, innovative, and interested in unique energy systems? Do you have a desire to increase your expertise in new storage technologies and enter the field of renewable energy? Then RESL might be the place for you.

We seek Master's (MASc) and Doctoral (PhD) mechanical engineering graduate students to tackle tough problems.

Several projects are ongoing while several more are scheduled to begin.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining RESL.

Lab Facility and Modeling Center

RESL is a dedicated experimental facility totaling 100 m2 (1000 sq-ft) with adjoined modeling center space. The lab is located on the first floor of the mechanical engineering building at the Dalhousie Sexton Campus heart of downtown Halifax.

Research equipment includes:

  • Advanced power cyclers
  • Data acquisition and logging equipment
  • 4 Channel digital recording oscilloscope
  • Lithium-ion battery management systems
  • Power inverter/rectifier 
  • Low-voltage, high-current dischargers
  • High voltage PPE
  • Range of high-quality handheld measurement tools 

Research batteries include:

  • Large-format prismatic
  • Small high-power cylindrical
  • Lithium-ion (100 V, 100 Ah, 10 kWh)
  • Lead-acid (100 V, 300 Ah, 30 kWh)

Welcome to RESL

Welcome to the Renewable Energy Storage Laboratory (RESL) at Dalhousie University. The RESL team conducts research on energy storage technologies to support the increased integration of renewable energy with the electricity grid. The demands placed on the electricity grid by the principal sectors (residential, commercial, industrial) vary throughout the day. Renewable resources such as the wind, sun, and tides vary independently of demand, and consequently require energy storage to bridge the gap periods.

The principal objective of the team is the development of reliable, efficient, and effective electricity storage systems. Current areas of focus include experimental battery systems, bi-directional charger/inverters, as well as models and simulation of renewable generators and buildings.

The RESL team is composed of post-graduate students with degrees in engineering. Each has independent projects and is providing unique perspectives and results. In addition, a number of research assistants, students, visitors, and associates are often involved in projects. The laboratory is supervised by Dr. Lukas G. Swan, PEng, an energy storage engineer with 10 years experience.

Much of our research is industry focused and applicable in the short term. We greatly enjoy working with our industrial partners and look forward to collaborating with new ones.

If you have an interest in renewable energy or energy storage systems then RESL might be the place for you. Currently there are openings in the laboratory with interesting projects and experimental equipment.

We invite you to explore the RESL website using the navigation menu to the left. It gives details of our research, people, facilities, and more.


Research at RESL

Our research focuses on advanced energy storage solutions to allow for increased penetration of renewable electricity generators beyond the widely-stated value of 20% by nameplate capacity. Each renewable resource is unique with regard to both geographical and time characteristics. Consider the following time-series plot of real data that has been normalized to fit on the same figure:


It is apparent that the cumulative renewable profile (red) does not track the electricity demand (black). Energy storage is a solution that allows excess renewable energy to be stored during period of peak production, and released during periods of peak demand.

Example modeling project

We set out to identify when a provincial electricity grid would require energy storage and what the characteristics (power, energy) of that storage would be. The objective was to minimize ramp-rates and peaks/valleys of the dispatchable generation (the difference between demand and renewable generation.

We found that failures would occur when we crossed several hundred MW/h ramp rate of several GW demand - limitations due to our provincial grid and generating stations. Considering a scenario of shutting down old coal-fired power-plants, we found 500 MWh of energy storage was required to avoid blackouts.

Example experimental project

We presently have two large-format battery packs at RESL. These are a 10 kWh lithium-ion pack and a 30 kWh lead-acid pack. We have been cycling them to track the provincial wind generators. Essentially we charge when the wind generation is high and discharge when it is low.

Recent teardown of failed A123 lithium cells