To keep pace with Canada’s ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, the automotive industry aims to provide affordable and reliable electric vehicles as an optimized, sustainable transportation solution for personal and mass transit. Yet, the driving range of an electric vehicle is still curbed by the charge of its battery pack. At best, Lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles currently provide a 300- to 350-kilometre driving range on a single charge, and cost three to four times more than gas-powered vehicles.
Sheldon S. Williamson, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Electric Energy Storage Systems for Transportation Electrification, and Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer and Software Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is leading groundbreaking research to extend the overall lifecycle of Lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles using novel power electronic converter management systems. He is also focused on creating wireless and plugged fast-charging infrastructures for convenient use. Notably, he is spearheading development of the world’s first method for charging electric vehicles using solar power and he aims to establish a first-of-its-kind Advanced Storage Systems and Electric Transportation (ASSET) Laboratory, featuring a solar charging station, at UOIT. Motivated to shift Canada’s transportation system from fossil fuels to renewables, his research also explores electrifying mass transit using ultracapacitators.
Since joining UOIT in July 2014, Dr. Williamson has been the Founder and Director of the Smart Transportation Electrification and Energy Research (STEER) group. Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Concordia University in Montreal. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering with high distinction from the University of Mumbai in India in 1999. In 2002, he earned his Master of Science and his Doctorate in 2006, both in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Automotive Power Electronics and Motor Drives from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Noted author and co-author of over 150 papers, and several books and book chapters on electric transportation and energy storage systems, Dr. Williamson has garnered several Best Paper Awards. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society.
Industry Expertise (10)
Renewables and Environmental
Areas of Expertise (10)
Energy Storage Systems
Renewable Energy Systems
Senior Member, IEEE (professional)
Appointed Senior Member of IEEE for making significant contributions to the field of electric transportation.
Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society (professional)
The IEEE Vehicular Technology Society deals with land, airborne and maritime mobile services; portable commercial and citizen's communications services; vehicular electrotechnology, equipment and systems of the automotive industry; traction power, signals, communications and control systems for mass transit and railroads.
Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions and Journals (professional)
Dr. Williamson is the Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions of Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification, and the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics.
Illinois Institute of Technology: PhD, Electrical Engineering 2006
Illinois Institute of Technology: MS, Automotive Power Electronics and Motor Drives 2002
University of Mumbai: BE, Electrical Engineering 1999
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Professional Engineers Ontario
Event Appearances (4)
Real-World Power Electronic Solutions for Smart (Universal) Plugged and Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructures
IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition Charlotte, North Carolina
Advanced Electric Energy Storage Systems and Smart Fast Charging for Future Electric Mass Transit Applications
IEEE International Electric Vehicle Conference 2014 Florence, Italy
Future Prospects of Power Electronic Converters for Electric Energy Storage, Energy Management, and Peak Power Applications
2014 IEEE Canada Electric Power and Energy Conference Calgary, Alberta
Smart Energy Storage Solutions and Peak Power Management for Electric Mass Transit Transportation
The 40th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society Dallas, Texas
Research Grants (8)
Canada Research Chair in Electric Energy Storage Systems for Transportation Electrification Tier II
With this prestigious five-year research award, Dr. Williamson will explore key interdisciplinary areas related to electric energy storage systems and charging technologies for future electric vehicles and transportation systems. The program focuses on the power electronics based energy management of Li-ion batteries for electric transportation, voltage management of high-power ultracapacitors for all-electric mass transit applications, plugged and wireless fast charging, and integration of renewables for future transportation electrification.
Advanced Storage Systems and Electric Transportation (ASSET) Laboratory
Canada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Program: John R. Evans Leadership Fund $125000
The ASSET laboratory is home to leading-edge electric energy storage systems equipment that supports Dr. Williamson’s CRC program of these systems for transportation electrification. Equipped with an advanced testing and validation facility for electric vehicle (EV) energy storage systems, the ASSET lab’s integrated and innovative electric energy storage infrastructure for transportation electrification makes it one of the most unique facilities within a Canadian university environment.
Powertrain Components and Systems for Next Generation Electric Vehicles
NSERC Collaborative Research and Development Grant $150000
This five-year, collaborative research project involves Ford Motor Co., D&V Electronics, the University of Windsor, the University of British Columbia, and UOIT. Dr. Williamson will receive $30,000 per year for research within the area of motor drives for electric transportation. UOIT’s research team is involved in the design and development of a high-efficiency, permanent-magnet traction motor drive for Ford’s next-generation Ford Focus EV®.
Proximal Lab on Chip (LOC) Based MicroPhotosynthetic Cell for Efficient Energy Harvesting
FQRNT Equipe and FD Microelectronics $315000
This three-year research project explores micro-harvesting human energy from vibrations using lithium-ion battery powered chips. When placed in a shoe or worn on a jacket, these chips are capable of harnessing and storing human energy exerted from walking or other physical movement.
Design and Development of a Novel Photovoltaic-based, High-Efficiency Charging Infrastructure for Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
NSERC Discovery Grant $105000
Under this five-year operating grant, Dr. Williamson receives $21,000 per year within the area of automotive power electronics. The project deals with research aspects of power electronic converter modeling, simulation, and design for electric vehicle charging infrastructures.
NSERC Smart Net-Zero Energy Buildings Research Network
NSERC Strategic Network $4500000
As a collaborator on this five-year national network of researchers in academia, industry, and government, Dr. Williamson led the world’s first development of a method to charge electric vehicles using solar power to promote green energy and reduce overall energy consumption.
Innovations in Motor Drive Technologies to Reduce or Eliminate the Need for Permanent Magnets in Electric/Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Canadian Network of Automotive Excellence, Auto 21 $165000
This research project is a continuation of the NSERC Engage grant with TM4, Inc. It will have a significant impact on the creation of unique expertise in the effective utilization of permanent magnets and the development of non-permanent magnet electric motors for vehicle applications. Dr. Williamson's research will lead to the development of innovative solutions in reducing or eliminating the cost of permanent magnets.
Smart Net-Zero Energy Buildings Research Network
NSERC Strategic Grant $50000
Co-principal investigator on this five-year project, Dr. Williamson is developing efficient charging algorithms for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles powered from solar houses. Sub-tasks of this research include the development of optimal strategies for utilizing electric and plug-in-hybrid electric vehicles as electric storage, attached to a solar house. For example, using a car at home during the daytime to reduce net electricity supply peaks to the grid.
In this paper, SSA models of current-mode-controlled converters are derived and presented for buck, boost, and flyback topologies operating in continuous conduction mode. The new model allows for simpler and more accurate modeling than possible with previous methods, facilitates the modeling of cascaded converters, and allows for the use of state-variable feedback and other modern control methods in applications that use current-mode control.
This paper presents a new trend in the transportation industry to adopt the multilevel inverter-based propulsion systems and gives the design procedure of a new dc/ac 3-phase 6- level inverter for powering the rail metro cars. The proposed inverter is based on the multilevel converter as it possesses much lower component voltage stress compared with the pulse width modulated topologies.
This paper proposes an electrical equivalent model for a microphotosynthetic power cell (μPSC), which is tested and authenticated with experimental verification on a fabricated prototype. The developed model is further used for testing emulation behavior, to efficiently and accurately design an energy harvesting power electronic converter. The principle of the operation of the device is based on “photosynthesis.”
This paper presents the current research trends and future issues for industrial electronics related to transportation electrification. Specific emphasis is placed on electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs/PHEVs) and their critical drivetrain components. The paper deals with industry related EV energy storage system issues, EV charging issues, as well as power electronics and traction motor drives issues.
This paper presents an extensive comparative study between a two- and three-level inverter for electric vehicle traction applications. An advanced control strategy for balancing the two dc-link capacitors is also proposed. In this paper, the main focus is on the total voltage harmonic distortion (%THDv), the analytical derivation of the three-level capacitor currents, and the voltage balancing of two capacitor voltages.
This paper analyzes one specific type of renewable, local energy generation, applied to electric vehicle charging requirements. A PV source is explicitly posited, because solar panels can be placed above the vehicle parking space, and double as a shade provider. In the first part of this paper, the optimal requirements for overall system are derived. These will be used in the second part, in order to compare alternate power conditioning circuits for this task.
In order to meet cost targets for hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), and all-electric vehicles (EV), an improvement in the battery life cycle and safety is essential. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a simplified control scheme, based on open-circuit voltage estimation, for a novel cell equalizer configuration, with the potential to fulfil expectations of the following: 1) low cost; 2) large currents; and 3) high efficiency. Issues, such as the limitations on maximum and minimum cell voltage, noise, and quantization errors, are explored. Finally, a comprehensive comparison between the theoretical test results and practical equalization test results is presented.
Although much effort has been made to improve the life of PHEV energy storage systems (ESSs), including research on energy storage device chemistries, this paper, on the contrary, highlights the fact that the fundamental problem lies within the design of power-electronics-based energy-management converters and the development of smarter control algorithms. This paper initially discusses battery and UC characteristics and then goes on to provide a detailed comparison of various proposed control strategies and proposes the use of precise power electronic converter topologies. Finally, this paper summarizes the benefits of the various techniques and suggests the most viable solutions for on-board power management, more specific to PHEVs with multiple/hybrid ESSs.