Design and optimisation of a universal battery management system in a photovoltaic application.

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Ogunniyi, Emmanuel Oluwafemi
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Vaal University of Technology
Due to the fickle nature of weather upon which renewable energy sources mostly depend, a shift towards a sustainable renewable energy system should be accompanied with a good intermediate energy storage system, such as a battery bank, set up to store the excess supply from renewable sources during their peak periods. The stored energy can later be utilised to supply a regulated and steady power supply for use during the off-peak periods of these renewable energy sources. Battery banks, however, are often faced with the challenge of charge imbalance due to the disparities that occur in the operating characteristics of the batteries that constitute a bank. When a battery bank with charge imbalance is repeatedly used in applications without an effective battery management system (BMS) through active charge equalisation, there could be an early degradation, loss of efficiency and reduction of service life of the entire batteries in the bank. In this research, a universal battery management system (BMS) in stand-alone photovoltaic application was proposed and designed. The BMS consists majorly of a switched capacitor (SC) active charge equaliser, designed with a unique configuration of high capacitance and relatively low switching frequency, which can be applicable to common battery types used in stand-alone photovoltaic application. The circuit was mathematically optimised to minimise losses attributed to impulsive charging and tested with lead acid, silver calcium, lead calcium and lithium ion batteries being commonly used in stand-alone photovoltaic application. The SC design was verified by comparing its simulation results to the digital oscilloscope results, and with both results showing similar values and graphs, the design configuration was validated. The design introduced a simple control strategy and less complicated circuit configuration process, which can allow an easy setup for local usage. The benefit of its multiple usage with different stand-alone photovoltaic battery types saves the cost of purchasing a different charger and balancer for different battery types. More so, the design is solar energy dependent. This could provide an additional benefit for usage in areas where energy dependence is off-grid.
M. Tech. (Department of Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology), Vaal University of Technology.
Renewable energy, Battery bank, Battery management, Capacitor, Photovoltaic application