Pedal power: the push to boost battery-assisted cycling in Windsor
Bike Windsor-Essex is part of a research project at the University of Windsor, studying how to repurpose batteries from electric vehicles.
“We’re pretty excited about looking at refurbishing batteries,” says Lori Newton, executive director of Bike Windsor-Essex. “It’s not something that’s not being done widely and broadly and its really cool that we’re doing that work here at the University of Windsor.”
The Battery Management Systems (BMS) Lab will be getting $244,000 to study two specific things.
“One part is battery thermal management. The other one is battery reuse,” says Balakumar Balasingam, an assistant professor of electrical engineering.
Thermal management is about keeping a battery cool when it starts to overheat, and heating them up, when it’s cold outside, according to Balasingam.
Battery reuse, on the other hand, will explore ways to repurpose the batteries when they are no longer good enough to power a car.
The first step, according to Balasingam, is understanding how the cells work in lithium ion batteries.
“All the cells don’t age at the same pace. Some age fast. Some age slow,” says Balasingam. “If you’re going to really reuse the battery you need to be able to know, okay, how to select good cells out of bad ones.”
Along with a funding grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the project is supported by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), Gates Corporation, Nikola Labs and Bike Windsor-Essex.