Experimental platform for measuring the impacts of different charging strategies on battery degradation
There is increasing interest in the integration of battery energy storage systems alongside rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) generation. While the cost of batteries continues to fall, they still remain expensive, so it is necessary to maximise the value they provide in order to justify the investment. Batteries are sensitive to the operating conditions that they are exposed to, and this significantly affects the batteries' usable lifetime. A charging strategy which aims to maximise the returned value of such a system must therefore take into account the potential impact of operation on battery degradation. In this work, we describe the design and operation of a small-scale experimental platform to test the impacts of several different battery charging algorithms side-by-side. By exposing multiple solar-plus-storage systems to the same operating conditions, it is possible to examine more closely the impacts that different factors have on battery lifetime. This in turn allows for a more accurate evaluation of the return on investment of solar PV-battery systems under different charging strategies and the development of algorithms that optimise their use.