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A management strategy for solar panel battery super capacitor hybrid energy system in solar car

Bin Wu1, Fang Zhuo1, Fei Long1, Weiwei Gu1, Yang Qing1, YanQin Liu2

School of Electrical Engineering

Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, China


Maintenance and Testing Company

Electric Power Bureau of Chendu, China Abstract--This paper presents an application of solar energy - battery super-capacitor hybrid energy storage system in solar electric vehicles. The key point is the proposed energy management control algorithm. The entire system consists of a solar panel, a boost converter, a battery, a super capacitor, a bi-directional DC/DC converter, and a brushless DC motor. This paper gives the details of the control strategy to cooperate the three energy sources or storage devices: solar panel, battery and super capacitor. A hysteretic control algorithm for battery charging by solar panel is given. A novel control method for bi-directional DC/DC is proposed to keep the battery discharging current within a certain limit and make full use of super capacitor. The switching transient between super-capacitor charging mode and discharging mode is also presented. Both simulation and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed strategy. Keywords-- solar energy, battery, super-capacitor, hybrid, hysteretic control, energy management

I. INTRODUCTION In resent years, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) has aroused increasing attentions and many automobile companies have put large investment in this area. The reason is not only the coming energy crisis, but also the global effort of cutting down the carbon dioxide emission to prevent the global warming. Newly posed promotional policies from worldwide governments also indicate this trend. [1] introduces a system composed of a Engine Generator, a Super-capacitor and a Battery as its energy sources. But it is not zero emission and the efficiency is limited for the complicated power electronic devices. [2] presents a pure electric vehicle energy system with the only super-capacitor as its unique energy source. Super capacitor has the features of high specific power, low internal resistance, capable of quick charge with high current and perfect characteristic in wide temperature range. Moreover, it has long cycle life (more than 100 thousand times) and capable of deep discharge. But the problem is its low energy density, which constrains it driving distance[3]~[6]. Some researchers are doing research to improve the energy density of super capacitor to make it work like a battery. But a more practical way is to corporate the battery with a supper capacitor in a vehicle, where each device performs their own duty based on their own characteristics.

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Thus, this paper develops an energy system for pure electric car which includes the solar panel, battery, super capacitor as its energy sources and the power electronic devices as connecting and transforming part. The solar panel would absorb the solar energy under MPPT control strategy during the day to supplement the energy cost of battery. The battery would feed the power demand of the brushless motor directly which requires 48V DC source. As the energy demand is not large when the car is cruising, the voltage drop of the battery is negligible. When the car is climbing slope or accelerating, the motor would cause a big current impulse. This current impulse may lead to big voltage drop on battery which would affect the power quality of the DC source. Besides, large current discharge would also shorten the life-span of battery[7]. Thus, we employ the supper capacitor and its bi-directional DC-DC converter in parallel with the battery. When the car is cruising, the super capacitor is charging until to its rated voltage. When there is a current pulse, the bi-directional DC-DC would be controlled as a current source[8] to supply the extra load current in order to prevent the battery current from exceeding certain value, thus the voltage drop is avoided and longer life-span of battery is acquired. The II part of this paper would introduce the configuration of the established system and its fundamental function. The III part would introduce the novel energy management control mode and their exchange logics. The IV and V par t would give the simulation and experimental results of the system based on the control strategy. The VI par t would give the conclusion. II SYSTEM CONFIGURATION The configuration of the solar car energy system is present in Figure 1. The boost converter is responsible for the MPPT control to charge the battery. The voltage of battery is considered constant in the time scale of MPPT control. The duty cycle of the boost converter is adjusted only based on the output current and voltage of solar panel. Meanwhile, the battery is supplying the brushless DC motor directly. The supper capacitor and the bi-directional Buck-Boost converter is used to store certain amount of energy under cruising mode and discharge to supply impulse current in accelerating and climbing slope mode, shown as Figure 2(a), (b).
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Figure 1 Solar car energy system

a) Cruising

Figure 3 Battery charge control flow

Thus a simple charging hysteretic control method is developed as the flow chart shown in Figure 3. During MPPT mode, the popular hill-climbing method is employed to track the maximum power output of solar panel. As the voltage of battery is almost constant, the input voltage of the boost converter is regulated by the following equation based on boost continues conduction mode:
b) Climbing slope/accelerating Figure 2 Power flow in different working conditions


Vout 1 D


According to the configuration of this energy system, many advantages can be achieved as following First, the battery could power the motor directly without being afraid of voltage drop, which would improve the efficiency. Second, the large current discharging of battery is avoided thus the life-span is extended. Third, this system is also able to collect large feedback energy through buck-boost converter to the supper capacitor if there is a need. Fourth, the introduction of solar panel could absorb energy from outside, which would enhance the cruising capability of electric vehicle.



A. Battery charge control As the solar car is consuming energy as well as collecting the solar energy when running during sunny day, solar charger should be able to charge the battery dynamically. First, it has to collect as much solar energy as possible. Secondly, it has to prevent the overcharge of the battery which may lead to unnecessary damage. Third, charging mode switching must be stable and dynamically.

Where Vin is also the output voltage of solar panel. This voltage is adjusted dynamically to the right value by D to realize MPPT. To guarantee a quick jump to the continuous mode, some technique of starting the MPPT mode should be employed. The electrical power from solar panel is directly delivered to the load when there is a demand and merely charging the battery when the car stops. The 54V constant charge mode is cooperated with the MPPT mode. If the battery is charged by MPPT mode and the voltage has reached 54V, the controller would switch to this mode and try to limit the battery voltage to 54V. This mode would continue until the voltage drops bellow 48V, then the MPPT mode starts. This control strategy would effectively avoid the over charging of battery, which may guarantee a safe working condition. B Bi-directional DC-DC control The main task of the super capacitor is to share load current with battery during a short time when there is a large current demand from the motor, such as accelerating or climbing slope. The reason is that the super capacitor is fit for large current discharging and long cycle life. When the load demand decreases to

below the battery limited current, the battery would provide extra current to charge the super capacitor to its nominal value for the next discharging demand. The super capacitor could be also used for motor feed back energy collection in further research. The control strategy is shown as Figure 4.

(1) Battery Current Discharging Mode(BCDM)



Vsc Iref
+ PI G1 G2

Figure 6 BCDM control

Figure 4 Bi-directional DC-DC control strategy

There are three modes for bi-directional DC-DC control: Battery Current Discharging Mode (BCDM), Super Capacitor Current Charging Mode (SCCCM) and Super Capacitor Voltage Charging Mode (SCVCM). They are switched according to the discharging current of battery and the voltage of super capacitor. It he case exploited in this paper, the switching logic is described as Figure In Figure 5, I ba represents for the output current of battery, Vsc represents for the voltage of supper capacitor. According to this diagram, the output current of battery would be controlled within the limit of 15A even if the load demand exceeds this limitation. According to this power management strategy, the super capacitor and battery would work compatibly in the same system. Details of each mode are discussed as followed:

In order to limit the battery output current in the circuit topology as Figure 6, we employed the BCDM mode. Basing on the theory of circuit, The bidirectional buck-boost converter is flexible enough to adjust its output current during a big fluctuation of load current to keep the battery current constant. So the direct control of the output current was being employed. The control goal of this mode is when the load current exceeds a certain value the reference of the control loop would switch to the value that the battery output current should be limited to. Meanwhile, the feed back would be replaced by the actual battery current sensed. The control loop is magnificently different with some other control goals in traditional DC-DC converters. The exploitation of models and stability issues is not the focus of this paper and would be discussed in others. (2) Super Capacitor Current Charging Mode (SCCCM) When the load current demand is smaller than the battery rated current, the battery is charging the supper capacitor. There a two ways to charging a super capacitor: constant current charging or constant voltage charging. Although super capacitor could endure big current, constant voltage charging mode is also not advisable when the voltage of super capacitor is fairly lower than the reference voltage. Under this condition, constant current charging should be considered first. In this mode, the bi-directional DC-DC is controlled as a Buck current source to charge the super capacitor. The low voltage side is connected with a single but large capacitor, which is 120F in the experiment. Figure7 shows the simple control loop in this mode. According to the buck circuit operation principles, the small signal mode of buck converter is employed for the PI parameters selection. The stability could be easily achieved.

Figure 5 mode switching of bi-directional DC-DC control

Figure 7 SCCCM control l

(3) Super Capacitor Voltage Charging Mode (SCVCM) If the voltage of super capacitor has reached near the target value, the control strategy of bi-directional DC-DC has to switch to the SCVCM mode. The converter is controlled as a buck converter whose control goal is to keep the output voltage constant, shown as Figure 8. This would control the super capacitor voltage at a suitable value when the vehicle is under cruising condition to prepare for a sudden discharging. Moreover, it could make sure the voltage of super capacitor not exceed its maximum bearable value.

Figure 8 SCVCM control



The proposed control strategy for the hybrid energy system of electric vehicles is simulated by PSCAD. The system is built as Figure 1 shows. The circuit parameters are selected as table 1.

the super capacitor is charged. The second case is to verify the control strategy of BCDM discussed in section III. Details are as followed: Case 1 SCCCM to SCVCM The load current is small and the battery is charging the super-capacitor. The constant current charging controlled value is 10A. The results are shown as Figure 9. As L2 is the inductance connected directly with the super capacitor, from Figure 9 we can clearly find that the Bi-directional DC-DC converter is charging the super capacitor with constant current 10A for a period of time. During that time, the voltage of super capacitor increases linearly. When it reached near the target value 20V, the converter starts to control the voltage stay at 20V. Therefore, the charging current drops correspondingly until to zero. This result demonstrates the smooth switch between SCCCM and SCVCM. Case 2 BCDM The load current is stepping form 5A to 20 A. According to the control algorism, assuming the battery output current should be limited within 15A. Thus, the super capacitor starts to discharge when the load current is bigger than 15A through bi-directional DC-DC converter. The battery current is limited within 15A no matter what the load changes. The simulation is shown in Figure 10 and Figure 11. In Figure 10, when the current demand rises from 5A to 20A, the load starts to consume a constant power exceeding the max power that battery is designed to supply. Thus the bi-directional DC-DC begin to discharge energy stored in super capacitor to supply the extra power demand. As the voltage of super capacitor would drop during the process of discharging, in order to keep a constant discharging power, the capacitor current is f increasing. When the load step back to 5 A, the current of L2 change to become negative 10A, which means the battery is starting to charge the super capacitor again. Figure 11 shows that when the load becomes 20A, the output current of battery is controlled around 15A as expected. It clearly verified the effectiveness of BCDM control strategy.

Components Super Capacitor Battery(12V) Pm Ps L1 L2 C1 C2

Values 120 60*4(serial) 3.8 150 0.28 0.2 470 2000

Unit F AH kW W mH mH uF uF
Figure 9 Super capacitor charging mode change

The simulation results are show for two cases. The fist case is focused on the charging mode switching when

Figure 10 Bi direction DC-DC current change Figure13 Bi-direction DC-DC current change

Figure 11 Battery current change


Figure 12 Super capacitor charging mode change

The control algorithm is also verified based on an experimental prototype shown in Figure 15 and Figure 16. Corresponding to waveforms of the simulation results in Figure 9, Figure 10, Figure 11, the experimental results are derived in Figure 11, Figure 12 and Figure 13. They are much similar to the simulation results because the control algorisms are the same. The experimental parameters are exactly selected as TABLE 1 shows. Compared with the simulation results, the load is no longer an idea current source with a perfect step change, but a brushless motor as Figure 16 shows. It means the experiment would be more close to the actual situation in electric vehicles. According to the experimental results, the proposed control strategy in hybrid energy system is solid verified. The super capacitor is charged to 20 V which requires the bi-directional DC-DC to work from SCCCM to SCVCM as Figure 12 shows. The super capacitor is switching from discharging mode to charging when the motor load is turning low from a heavy load as the Figure 13 shows. The battery output current is limited within 15A when the motor load is heavy as Figure 14 shows. As the experimental results shows, control modes of BCDM, SCCCM, SCVCM are changed smoothly. The transients demonstrate the effectiveness of the control loop of each control modes.

Figure14 Battery current change

In this paper, the experimental results are focused on the bi-directional DC-DC converter control, which it the key device in this hybrid energy system. The boost circuit is not emphasized. However, as a whole system, the energy form solar panel and its delivery to battery or load is also important in this paper. The experimental results of this part of circuit not shown, which is simple to understand and realize.

Figure 15 Main circuit

[3] T. Smith, J. Mars, and G. Turner, Using supercapacitors to improvebattery performance, in Proc. IEEE Conf. PESC02, Jun., vol. 1, pp. 124128. [4] R. Schupbach, J. C. Balda, The role of Ultracapcitors in an Energy Storage Unit for Vehicle Power Management, IEEE Proceedings of the 58th Vehicular Technology Conferrence, VTC 2003-Fall, Vol.3, 6-9October 2003, Orlando,Florida. [5] Farkas, R. Bonert, Ultracapacitors as Sole Energy Storage Device in Hybrid Electric Cars, Power Electronics in Transportation, October 20-21,1994, Dearbom, Michigan, pp.97-101. [6] Attaianese, C.; Nardi, V.; Parillo, F.; Tomasso, G., "High performances supercapacitor recovery system including PowerFactor Correction (PFC) for elevators", European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications EPE07, pp. 1-10, 2-5 Sep2007 [7] Yamanaka, M.; Ikuta, K.; Matsui, T.; Nakashima, H.; Tomokuni, Y.; , "A life indicator of stationary type sealed lead-acid battery," Telecommunications Energy Conference, 1991. INTELEC '91., 13th International , vol., no., pp.202-208, 5-8 Nov 1991 [8] A. Pfaelzer, M. Weiner and A. Parker, "Bi-Directional Automotive 42/14 Volt Bus DC/DC Converter," SAE Transitioning to 42-Volt Electrical Systems, 2000.

Figure 16 The brushless motor load

VI CONCLUSION In the paper, a hybrid energy system for pure electric vehicle is presented. A topology for cooperating the energy sources-solar panel battery super capacitor is proposed and the control strategy is analyzed. The topology employs the minimal power electronic converters, which would reduce the loss, improve the performance of electric vehicles and extend the battery life-span. The simulation and experimental results verify the proposed control strategy. Battery big current discharging has been prevented. The super capacitor charging and discharging conditions modes could be switched smoothly based on the control algorithm.
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