A multi-modular second life hybrid battery energy storage system for utility grid applications

  • Nilanjan Mukherjee

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The modern grid system or the smart grid is likely to be populated with multiple distributed energy sources, e.g. wind power, PV power, Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV). It will also include a variety of linear and nonlinear loads. The intermittent nature of renewable energies like PV, wind turbine and increased penetration of Electric Vehicle (EV) makes the stable operation of utility grid system challenging. In order to ensure a stable operation of the utility grid system and to support smart grid functionalities such as, fault ride-through, frequency response, reactive power support, and mitigation of power quality issues, an energy storage system (ESS) could play an important role. A fast acting bidirectional energy storage system which can rapidly provide and absorb power and/or VARs for a sufficient time is a potentially valuable tool to support this functionality.
    Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are one of a range suitable energy storage system because it can provide and absorb power for sufficient time as well as able to respond reasonably fast. Conventional BESS already exist on the grid system are made up primarily of new batteries. The cost of these batteries can be high which makes most BESS an expensive solution. In order to assist moving towards a low carbon economy and to reduce battery cost this work aims to research the opportunities for the re-use of batteries after their primary use in low and ultra-low carbon vehicles (EV/HEV) on the electricity grid system. This research aims to develop a new generation of second life battery energy storage systems (SLBESS) which could interface to the low/medium voltage network to provide necessary grid support in a reliable and in cost-effective manner.
    The reliability/performance of these batteries is not clear, but is almost certainly worse than a new battery. Manufacturers indicate that a mixture of gradual degradation and sudden failure are both possible and failure mechanisms are likely to be related to how hard the batteries were driven inside the vehicle. There are several figures from a number of sources including the DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Control) and Arup and Cenex reports indicate anything from 70,000 to 2.6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2020. Once the vehicle battery has degraded to around 70-80% of its capacity it is considered to be at the end of its first life application. This leaves capacity available for a second life at a much cheaper cost than a new BESS Assuming a battery capability of around 5-18kWhr (MHEV 5kWh - BEV 18kWh battery) and approximate 10 year life span, this equates to a projection of battery storage capability available for second life of >1GWhrs by 2025. Moreover, each vehicle manufacturer has different specifications for battery chemistry, number and arrangement of battery cells, capacity, voltage, size etc. To enable research and investment in this area and to maximize the remaining life of these batteries, one of the design challenges is to combine these hybrid batteries into a grid-tie converter where their different performance characteristics, and parameter variation can be catered for and a hot swapping mechanism is available so that as a battery ends it second life, it can be replaced without affecting the overall system operation. This integration of either single types of batteries with vastly different performance capability or a hybrid battery system to a grid-tie 3 energy storage system is different to currently existing work on battery energy storage systems (BESS) which deals with a single type of battery with common characteristics. This thesis addresses and solves the power electronic design challenges in integrating second life hybrid batteries into a grid-tie energy storage unit for the first time.
    This study details a suitable multi-modular power electronic converter and its various switching strategies which can integrate widely different batteries to a grid-tie inverter irrespective of their characteristics, voltage levels and reliability. The proposed converter provides a high efficiency, enhanced control flexibility and has the capability to operate in different operational modes from the input to output. Designing an appropriate control system for this kind of hybrid battery storage system is also important because of the variation of battery types, differences in characteristics and different levels of degradations. This thesis proposes a generalised distributed power sharing strategy based on weighting function aims to optimally use a set of hybrid batteries according to their relative characteristics while providing the necessary grid support by distributing the power between the batteries. The strategy is adaptive in nature and varies as the individual battery characteristics change in real time as a result of degradation for example. A suitable bidirectional distributed control strategy or a module independent control technique has been developed corresponding to each mode of operation of the proposed modular converter.
    Stability is an important consideration in control of all power converters and as such this thesis investigates the control stability of the multi-modular converter in detailed. Many controllers use PI/PID based techniques with fixed control parameters. However, this is not found to be suitable from a stability point-of-view. Issues of control stability using this controller type under one of the operating modes has led to the development of an alternative adaptive and nonlinear Lyapunov based control for the modular power converter.
    Finally, a detailed simulation and experimental validation of the proposed power converter operation, power sharing strategy, proposed control structures and control stability issue have been undertaken using a grid connected laboratory based multi-modular hybrid battery energy storage system prototype. The experimental validation has demonstrated the feasibility of this new energy storage system operation for use in future grid applications.
    Date of Award24 Sept 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Aston University
    SupervisorDanielle R Strickland (Supervisor) & Andrew M Cross (Supervisor)

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