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System Design and Maintenance Issues for Batteries in Renewable Energy Hybrid Systems

Garth Corey

Hybrid electrical energy systems, consisting of a renewable energy source (photovoltaics or wind turbine), a battery string, an inverter/battery charger, and an engine-generator (genset) present special problems to the system designer which, if improperly solved or ignored, can guarantee the early failure or performance degradation of battery strings used in these applications. Anyone of several potential problems ranging from variations in system operational energy requirements to the selection of a battery charging strategy can lead to ultimate system failure if a multitude of interrelated issues are not considered and resolved during the design and integration phase. This paper will enumerate the more common battery management problems associated with the design and integration of hybrid systems and present approaches to help recognize and eliminate or minimize the impact of system design problems in hybrid energy systems.

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