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3, OCTOBER 2010


Rule-Based Control of Battery Energy Storage for

Dispatching Intermittent Renewable Sources
Sercan Teleke, Student Member, IEEE, Mesut E. Baran, Senior Member, IEEE,
Subhashish Bhattacharya, Member, IEEE, and Alex Q. Huang, Fellow, IEEE

AbstractIntegrating a battery energy storage system (BESS)

with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system or a wind farm can make
these intermittent renewable energy sources more dispatchable.
This paper focuses on the development of a control strategy for
optimal use of the BESS for this purpose. The paper considers a
rule-based control scheme, which is the solution of the optimal control problem defined, to incorporate the operating constraints of
the BESS, such as state of charge limits, charge/discharge current
limits, and lifetime. The goal of the control is to have the BESS
provide as much smoothing as possible so that the renewable resource can be dispatched on an hourly basis based on the forecasted
solar/wind conditions. The effectiveness of this control strategy has
been tested by using an actual PV system and wind farm data and
it is shown that the BESS can indeed help to cope with variability
in winds and solars generation.
Index TermsBattery energy storage system (BESS), closed loop
optimal control, dispatchability, photovoltaic (PV) system, rulebased control, wind energy.


OLAR, wind, and other renewable energy sources are becoming an increasing part of the energy supply to the power

Grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) continued to be the
fastest growing power generation technology, with a 70% increase in existing capacity to 13 GW in 2008 and the growth of
existing wind power capacity by 29% in 2008 to reach 121 GW,
more than double the 48 GW that existed in 2004 [1], [2]. However, similar to other renewable energy sources, solar and wind
energy tends to be unsteady because they are influenced by natural and meteorological conditions [3]. Moreover, high penetration of intermittent renewable resources can introduce technical
challenges including grid interconnection, power quality, reliability, protection, generation dispatch, and control [4]. Therefore, the industry will need to confront the challenges associated
with higher levels of penetration [5].
Fig. 1(a) and (b) shows the typical power output profile of
a solar PV system (1.5-MW capacity) and a large wind farm
(50-MW capacity), respectively. The figure shows that the
power output can have steep rises, sudden drops during the
day and hence, integrating such highly intermittent energy
Manuscript received September 23, 2009; revised May 13, 2010; accepted
July 19, 2010. Date of publication August 09, 2010; date of current version
September 22, 2010.
The authors are with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
(ECE), North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC 27695 USA (e-mail:;
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TSTE.2010.2061880

resources might adversely impact the electric power system

[6], [7]. Therefore, there is a need for dispatching renewable
resources so that they can be controlled like any other conventional generator, such as a thermal or a hydro power plant.
As the levels of penetration of renewable energy rise, the
technical impact of renewable energy on grid operation led to
the application of energy storage for renewables. Recent papers
proposing this application include a simple scheme to charge
and discharge the battery energy storage system (BESS), such
as storing excess power when the solar/wind power output exceeds a threshold and discharge it back to the grid when the load
demand is high [8][12].
In [7], a sodium sulfur (NaS) battery is used for dispatching a
PV system using forecasted solar radiation. Similarly, in [13], a
washout filter-based scheme is adopted to smooth out short-term
power fluctuations of a wind farm with vanadium redox-flow
batteries (VRBs) as the energy storage. Moreover, in [14], a
washout filter is used for an off-shore wind farm application
with supercapacitors as the energy storage.
As a large-scale BESS is still an expensive option for dispatching renewable resources, a control strategy is necessary for
optimal use of the available BESS. This paper concentrates on
this issue and proposes a novel control method. Section II investigates the basic control design issues, such as BESS operating
constraints; the storage and converter capacity needed to smooth
the intermittent power output of PV systems and wind farms
so that these renewable sources can be dispatched on an hourly
basis. Section III introduces the proposed control scheme for the
BESS. Test results showing the effectiveness of the rule-based
control method are given in Section IV.


Recent advances in electric energy storage technologies provide an opportunity for using battery energy storage to address
the intermittent behavior of renewable energy sources. Combining energy storage with these intermittent energy sources improves availability, enhances reliability, increases throughput of
existing grid infrastructure, and yields various ancillary benefits
such as reduced system losses [15], [2].
Fig. 2 illustrates the use of BESS to compensate for the intermittent power output of the PV system/wind farm. The BESS is
connected to the system at the point of common coupling and
is charged/discharged through a power converter to smooth the
net power injected to the system.
As indicated before, recently emerging BESS technologies
have potential for this application [13], [15] and recent efforts

1949-3029/$26.00 2010 IEEE



Fig. 1. Typical intermittent renewable energy source power output. (a) Solar PV system. (b) Wind farm.

Fig. 2. BESS integration with a renewable energy source.

mainly focus on demonstrating the feasibility of new technologies, as dispatching intermittent energy sources puts quite challenging requirements on the BESS performance. To illustrate
these challenges, consider the actual solar PV and wind farm
profiles in Fig. 1(a) and (b). First a dispatch level needs to be
determined for the next dispatching period, which is assumed to
be 1 hour. Since the average solar and wind power output for the
next hour can be forecasted quite accuratelyabout 10% or less
error ([16], [17]), this forecasted value will be the desired dispatch level as it will require the smallest BESS size [4]. Hence,

the BESS will be controlled to compensate for the difference beand the renewable resource output,
tween this dispatch level
. Fig. 3(a) shows this difference power for
the PV system and (b) shows the histogram of this difference.
Integrating the power profile over time gives us the minimum
required storage size for perfect dispatch which was found to be
0.4 MWh. Moreover, from Fig. 3(a) we also see that the BESS
charge/discharge period varies between 5 and 25 min during the
daytime and we need a converter rating of 1 MVA.
Similarly, Fig. 4(a) shows the difference power for the wind
farm and (b) shows the histogram of this difference. Integrating
this power profile over time gives us the minimum required
storage size for perfect dispatch which was found to be 17 MWh.
Moreover, from Fig. 4(a), we see that the BESS charge/discharge period varies in a similar fashion to solar and this time,
it also needs to charge/discharge during nighttime, and requires
a converter rating of 17 MVA.
Even if these numbers give us an estimate of the required
power and energy rating for the BESS, in practice, we have limitations such as we do not fully utilize the BESS and we have
battery current limits and losses in the converter. Hence, to use
the BESS in this application, we need to consider the limitations
of this proposed structure:


Fig. 3. Power characteristics for ideal BESS. (a) Power variations

(in megawatts). (b) Histogram of power variations (%).


=P 0
Fig. 4. Power characteristics for ideal BESS. (a) Power variations
(in megawatts). (b) Histogram of power variations (%).

1) State of Charge (SOC): The state of charge of a battery
is its available capacity expressed as a percentage of its rated
capacity. Knowing the amount of energy left in a battery compared with the energy it had when it was new gives the user an
indication of how much longer a battery will continue to perform before it needs recharging [18].
As it is not desired to deplete or overcharge the battery, the
SOC of the battery should be kept within proper limits (i.e.,
between 30% and 100%) [7], [13] and needs to be determined
accurately for the controller operation. Furthermore, by limiting
the SOC, the charge/discharge time for the battery will also be
limited according to the energy left in the battery.
In this study, a third-order model developed by Ceraolo [19],
[20], has been considered for accurate representation of battery
charge/discharge characteristics and estimating the SOC of the
battery. Fig. 5 shows this model.
In this model, the main branch (containing the elements
) approximates the battery charge/discharge dynamics, the parasitic branch (containing
approximates the overaccounts for the self-discharge, and
charge resistance. As the figure indicates, most of the resistive
elements are nonlinear, current dependent, and are determined

=P 0

Fig. 5. Third-order battery model [19].

empirically [21]. For this study, the parameters were taken from
[19] which are derived for a flooded lead acid battery with a
capacity of 500 Ah.
2) Deep Discharge: Cycle life of a battery decreases with
increased depth of discharge (DOD) and many cell chemistries



BESS and the constraints of the problem are to limit the SOC
and discharge current of the battery.
According to this problem, we can write our performance
index as a quadratic cost functional of
Fig. 6. Overall control block diagram.

will not tolerate deep discharge and may be permanently damaged if fully discharged. Therefore, to increase the cycle life of a
battery and to protect the battery from death, a limitation needs
to be put on the DOD of the battery which can be achieved by
limiting the SOC to drop below a certain level [22].
As mentioned above, the main challenge for renewable
resources is their intermittent power output and hence, our
problem becomes to develop a controller to charge/discharge
the BESS through converter such that the solar PV/wind farm
power output can be dispatched on an hourly basis while
considering the SOC and deep discharge limitations of the
BESS. For this purpose, a rule-based control will be developed
to determine the current reference for the converter which will
charge/discharge the BESS accordingly. The overall control
block diagram for the BESS and converter is shown in Fig. 6.
The inputs for the controller are the hourly dispatch set point
, and the renewable resource output, i.e.,
Moreover, the SOC of the battery and the voltage of the battery
are also required in order to develop the controller. The focus
will be given on describing the outer control since there are
many papers which explain how to control the ac/dc converter
(i.e., inner control and generation of switching signals) with a
known current reference.
Before determining the rules, let us represent our limitations
and objective first. For our case consisting of BESS with a converter, our limitations are as follows:
where SOC and SOC
represent the minimum and maximum limits of SOC of the BESS, respectively;
is the BESS
current and it is positive when battery discharges; and
represent the maximum allowable charge and discharge current for the BESS, respectively.
Having defined our limitations, our objective is to satisfy
, which is
for solar or
for wind, i.e., minimizing the difference between
so that perfect hourly dispatch will occur.
Using these limitations and the objective given above, we can
define the control problem as an optimal control problem since
the objective function of the optimal control problem is to minimize the deviations between the solar/wind power and hourly
dispatch set points using the BESS, i.e., optimal tracking for

which will penalize the deviations from the battery power reference
. Moreover, if we assume that the
is the
is the input to the system, then
output of the system and
the relation between output and input becomes
where the voltage of the BESS
is used to relate the input
and output. Moreover, the constraints for this problem are given
in (1) and (2) which requires limits on the current and SOC.
This type of optimal tracking problem has attracted considerable attention from control researchers, and in order to solve
it, the system inversion for exact tracking is developed [23]. In
this method, the systems dynamics are inverted in order to get
) from the desired output
the desired input trajectory (i.e.,
). In [23], this method is applied in order
trajectory (i.e.,
to solve the output tracking problem for a general piezo-based
Using the system inversion technique, we can develop our
rules for the solution of the optimal tracking problem as follows:

where it is assumed that the battery initial SOC is between
and SOC , and
is positive when battery
discharges. Having developed the rules that guarantee that SOC
is kept within the limits while performing perfect dispatch, i.e.,
obtained above, we can
exact tracking, now using the
define the rules to incorporate the current limit

where (4) is used to relate the input and output as discussed


Fig. 7. Dispatching of PV system power with BESS. P

: desired set point; P

By looking at (5)(12), we can conclude that our objective

is satisfied as long as we do not reach any
of the limitations, and when we hit these limitations, we limit
our current according to the corresponding rule. Therefore, the
rule-based control provides us the optimal solution and since it
continuously gets feedback from the BESS (i.e., SOC and
it is indeed the closed loop optimal controller for our problem.
It should also be emphasized that this method does not require
the development of a mathematical model for the system and
it uses only the battery voltage to relate the input and output.
And, hence, it can be applied easily to any other battery type.
Moreover, the control scheme can be implemented easily with
logic gates which will have less computation time compared to
other control methods.
Even if the proposed method is given for the BESS constraints, it can be used for any type of energy storage with different constraints. For example, we can easily add another conp.u.
straint of dc voltage limitation (i.e.,
and create rules similar to above and use that in obtaining
. Another example can be given for a system utilizing
flywheel energy storage such that we can create rules for the
angular speed of the flywheel (i.e.,
instead of SOC and use that in determining the necessary reference signal for the flywheel without the flywheel mathematical
Power system computer-aided design (PSCAD)/electromagnetic transients including dc (EMTDC) is used in order to verify
the effectiveness of the proposed control method using two different cases, one with PV system and storage, the other with
wind farm and storage. In the simulations, the actual solar and
[Fig. 1(a) and (b)].
wind power data is used for
For testing,
is selected as the next hour average of the
solar power output for the case with solar and it is selected as
the next hour average of the wind power output for the wind
case and then random error with zero mean and 0.1 standard
deviation is added to these set points in order to represent wind/
solar forecast error.
Since the converter can follow the current reference coming
from the rule-based control, the converter is represented as a

: solar power; P


: net injected power (in megawatts).

gain block of 0.97 (i.e., 3% loss), since it is time constant (i.e.,

ms), is an order of magnitude lower than the average battery
charge/discharge time (i.e., min).
The size of the BESS is determined by an iterative procedure
in which different BESS sizes were tested ([24], [4]), and
a 300-kWh BESS is selected for the case with solar and a
10-MWh BESS is chosen for the wind case.
For the BESS, the battery model in Section II is used.
The converter dc side is selected as 600 V, and to reach that
voltage level, 282 batteries of 2.135 V are connected in series.
These batteries will also provide the required energy rating of
300 kWh. The realization of 10-MWh BESS can be done in a
similar way which can be found in [4]. For the batteries, the
SOC limits are selected as 30% and 100%; the current limits
are selected as 500 A.
To test the performance of the proposed control scheme, oneweek-long simulations were performed on the two test cases
using PSCAD/EMTDC with a time step of 1 s. Fig. 7 shows the
and the net power injected
for one day zoom-in of the weekly long simulation. It is seen
that the net injected power follows the desired hourly dispatch
set points perfectly most of the time.
The 300-kWh BESS performance is seen in Fig. 8. Fig. 8(a)
shows that the SOC of the battery is kept between 30%
and 100% as desired. The current profile of the battery in
Fig. 8(b) indicates the charge/discharge current levels and cycle
frequency. This figure points out that the maximum charge/discharge current is 500 A as set before. The figure also shows
that the charge/discharge cycle is approximately every 20 min,
but most of the time charging/discharging is partial and occurs
during the daytime.
Note that, by limiting the SOC to be between 30% and 100%,
the deep discharge/charge cycles have been minimized in order
to extend the lifetime of the battery at the expense of not fully
utilizing the battery. Hence, the new lead acid batteries with
extended life cycles, or new type of batteries such as flow or
NaS or lithium titanate with high discharge cycling capability
[25], [26], are feasible candidates for this application.
The performance of 10-MWh BESS with wind farms is seen
and the net power
in Figs. 9 and 10. Fig. 9 shows the
for one day zoom-in of the
week-long simulation. It is seen that the optimal tracking is



Fig. 8. A 300-kWh BESS performance. (a) State of charge of one battery. (b) Current profile of one battery (kA).

Fig. 9. Dispatching of wind farm power with BESS. P

: desired set point; P

: wind power; P

: net injected power (in megawatts).

Fig. 10. The 10-MWh BESS performance. (a) State of charge of one battery. (b) Current profile of one battery (kA).

achieved for the wind case, too, and the net injected power follows the desired hourly dispatch set points perfectly most of the
Similar to the solar case, it is seen in Fig. 10 that the SOC and
current of the battery is kept within the desired limits with the
rule-based control method. Moreover, in this case, the battery is
also charged/discharged during the nighttime which necessitates
batteries with high cycling capability as mentioned before.

To quantify and compare the effectiveness of dispatchability

provided by the BESS with the proposed control method, the
difference between the net injected power and the desired
set points is determined. The histogram of this difference
for the solar and wind case are shown
in Fig. 11(a) and (b), respectively. Assuming that the deviations up to 0.09 MW are acceptable for the solar case and
3 MW are acceptable for the wind case, we can see that with



Fig. 11. Histogram of power variations (%). (a) The 300-kWh BESS with solar PV system. (b) The 10-MWh BESS with wind farm.

300-kWh BESS, we can reduce the undesired deviations from

16% [Fig. 3(b)] to 4%, and with 10-MWh BESS, the reduction
is from 24% [Fig. 4(b)] to 4%. Moreover, if we compare the
rule-based method with the method proposed in [4] for the wind
case, it can be seen that the dispatching performance obtained
using the rule-based method with 10-MWh BESS is better than
the dispatching performance obtained with 20-MWh BESS
using the method in [4].
This study proposed a rule-based control method for a BESS
to be integrated with renewable energy sources so that the intermittent renewable resource can be dispatched on an hourly basis
like any other conventional generator.
Simulations performed using actual solar PV and wind farm
data indicate that the performance of this control scheme is quite
good; it tracks the desired dispatch set points quite closely while
keeping the SOC and the current of the BESS within desired
The control method proposed does not require the development of a mathematical model for the system, and therefore, it
can easily be applied to other storage types with the necessary
rules. Furthermore, from the simulation results, it is seen that the
BESS charge/discharge frequency is relatively high in this application, and hence, new types of batteries with high charge/discharge cycling rates would be needed.
Finally, the control strategy considered makes a compromise
in that it utilizes 70% of the BESS capacity in order to extend
the lifetime of the BESS. Hence, as the results show, we need a
large size BESSabout 15%25% of the solar PV/wind farm
capacityto have an effective hourly dispatch.
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Sercan Teleke (S08) was born in Ankara, Turkey,
in 1983. He received the B.S. degree in electrical and
electronics engineering from Middle East Technical
University, Ankara, in 2005, and the M.S. degree in
electric power engineering from Chalmers University
of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden, in 2006. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
His research interests are in the areas of power
electronics applications to power systems and integration of renewable energy sources using energy

Mesut E. Baran (S87M88SM05) received

the Ph.D. degree from the University of California,
Berkeley, in 1988.
He is currently a Professor with North Carolina
State University, Raleigh. His research interests
include distribution and transmission system analysis and control, integration of renewable energy
resources, and utility applications of power electronics-based devices.

Subhashish Bhattacharya (M85) received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2003.
From 1994 to 1996, he was with York International Corporation. From 1996
to 1998, he was a Consultant to Soft Switching Technologies (SST). From 1998
to 2005, he was in the FACTS and Power Quality Division of Siemens Power
Transmission and Distribution. Since August 2005, he has been an Assistant
Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North
Carolina State University, Raleigh. His research interests include FACTS, utility
applications of power electronics such as custom power and power quality issues, active filters, high-power converters, and converter control techniques.

Alex Q. Huang (S91M94SM96F05) received the Ph.D. degree from

Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K., in 1992.
Since 1983, he has been involved in the development of modern power semiconductor devices and power integrated circuits. From 1992 to 1994, he was
a Research Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge. From 1994 to 2004, he
was a Professor at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.
Since 2004, he has been the Alcoa Professor of Electrical Engineering at North
Carolina State University, Raleigh. His current research interests include utility
power electronics, power management microsystems, and power semiconductor