Multiple Photovoltaic Battery Integrated Modules

How interconnecting PBIMs to form a grid can improve performance

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Abstract

Residential PV energy is already evolving to a major factor in the energy transition. However, conventional solar home systems pose various disadvantages concerning modularity, flexibility and ease of installation. The Photovoltaic Battery Integrated Module (PBIM) is an alternative approach towards integrating all the components of a solar home system into one device, in an attempt to tackle such challenges. Together with the possibility to interconnect several PBIMs to constitute a small grid, new challenges appear particularly related to the way in which the general power flow is decided. This project evaluates how forming a PBIMG grid can help mitigate the effect of mismatches between the various PBIMs during operation. It is expected that due to differences in PV generation and battery state of charge levels, the individual PBIMs should coordinate with other PBIMs to operate optimally. Although research has been made in the context of individual PBIM modules, forming a grid of multiple modules could provide feasible and scalable solutions for both on- and off- grid applications. All the advantages of the PBIM (scalability, modularity, ease of installation etc.) could potentially be scaled up to a microgrid level as to form an independent power source. The scope of this project is to evaluate how the formation of such a grid can improve system performance by performing a comparative energy and economic analysis between interconnected and non-interconnected PBIMs. The case studies simulated include: a) independent vs interconnected PBIMs powering an offgrid household in Costa Rica b) multiple grid-connected household powered by PBIM grids versus an interconnected neighborhood, powered by a bigger PBIM grid in Costa Rica and the Netherlands The results indicate that PBIM grid shows superior performance than multiple non-interconnected PBIMs, as smaller systems can achieve comparable performances when interconnected by reducing both battery degradation and the need to exchange power with the main grid, leading to considerable financial gains.