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 20 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. The following are a few recent project examples. Some are models and data-analysis based, while others are experimental projects.

Repurposing EV batteries at a grid storage: mixed battery array

There are millions of electric vehicles (EV) traveling the roads today, with exponential growth in numbers. Each vehicle has a lithium-ion battery pack rated 24 - 100 kWh in size. While the batteries will age and reduce in performance, there will likely be a significant capacity remaining when the vehicle reaches end-of-life (wrecked, worn-out, corroded). Our project takes used EV batteries from Nissan, Tesla, GM, Enerdel and others to characterize their performance in grid storage applications such as frequency regulation and peak shaving. We are presently mapping their performance (kW, kWh, energy efficiency, thermal response) and will create a new stacked-service control strategy for a mixed-battery-array. Such an array is a regionally located conglomerate of used EV batteries from different marques and models. The following is a pilot mixed battery array of Nissan and Enerdel on a multi-channel 100 kW power cycler.

High-voltage grid storage cell balancing

Battery storage for the electricity grid is maturing to higher voltages, now up to 800 VDC. In this project we built an air cooled battery pack composed of 360 lithium-ion cells in 2P180S configuration. The pack is fully instrumented and sits on a blower-deck. Using this battery we are evaluating the imbalance characteristics and necessary currents and duration of balancing to insure safe pack operation in long series strings. In the below screen the pack is disconnected (no HV PPE) and we are taking some IR measurements.

Model predictive control of commercial building systems

Commercial buildings use a high proportion of electricity to be well-lit and functioning. We have developed new Model Predictive Control strategies to influence building HVAC operation and take advantage of the natural thermal mass storage of buildings. These new control strategies enhance occupant comfort while saving both energy and peak electricity demand. This integrated well with new building technologies such as integrated solar and heat-pumps.

Techno-economics of energy storage

Energy arbitrage is an exciting opportunity for storage. While it is presently not as profitable as frequency-regulation service, a competitive and market driven energy arbitrage service will solve problems such as peak-shaving, mid-day PV curtailment (peak generation), and over-night wind turbine curtailment (low load). We have laid out a "recipe" in one of our publications for assessing services technical and economic viability. It progresses through the following table of parameters, and arrives at a comparison of wear cost (effectively depreciation) vs energy efficiency and energy purchase price. The chart can be used to quantitatively assess arbitrage and gauge the important of high-efficiency and low-purchase price.