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JSU & Hinds BattChallenge team to receive donated powerwall

By Lancelot Nelson

The Battery Workforce Challenge aims at readying a skilled and qualified workforce capable of handling  the difficulties and obstacles faced in the growing demands of the battery industry. There are several contributing factors to this challenge, including the increasing demand for batteries in various sectors – from EVs, renewable energy storage and portable electronics – all have led to rapid growth in the battery industry.

To meet these challenges and/or to develop a battery to meet these growing needs, battery characterization is very important as it involves the comprehensive analysis and assessment of the performance, behavior and properties of a battery. This process aims to understand and quantify various aspects of a battery’s operation, helping researchers, engineers and manufacturers optimize design, improve efficiency and ensure reliability.

In order to fulfil these tests accurately and precisely, a reliable power source is needed to ensure servers and software are protected and is constant during these tests. For a long time, Jackson State University has been engaged with the community and to demonstrate its continuous commitment, JSU received two powerwall – a rechargeable battery system designed to maximize energy independence – donations from Mississippi Power/Southern Co.

The donor is committed to also covering the cost of installation as well. The donation was facilitated by Halle Coleman, a JSU alumna who is now a communications specialist at Mississippi Power.

A powerwall is a seamless backup and has a smaller carbon footprint with the potential to save electricity bills for EV users. It is an intelligent system that can be customized for all energy needs. With the ability to charge from solar energy, it is always available on-demand.

The powerwall will be beneficial to the JSU & Hinds Community College BattChallenge team by  providing seamless backup to our power supply to our servers and other mechanical test units,  so in the event of any power disruptions, solar energy will continue to power and charge the powerwall. This is crucial to our team as Jackson, Miss. is prone to severe weather conditions, and this system is also equipped with a storm watch that communicates with the National Weather Service and can prioritize charging in anticipation of severe weather.

The BattChallenge is important to the development and the future of EVs. As we continue to develop and improve our lives, monitoring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions so that climate change is controlled, we must be precise and intentional in our research. This donation will provide a very important extra layer of protection in meeting our goals.

This will not only be in the form of system protection but will also ensure that in any weather event, we are more likely to have continuity in our work throughout the project. This will provide continuity when students are working on the EV provided to us for hands-on experience activities. More importantly, this will provide another layer of safety during test and characterization procedures.

Fluctuating unreliable power is damaging to EV battery cells. Power outages could lead to repeat procedures and loss of time. This unit will reduce this loss immensely and will provide a safer environment for students to operate generally.

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