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The 6th International Conference on Renewable Power Generation (RPG)

19–20 October 2017

Research on optimal storage capacity of DC micro-grid system in PV station

Ming Wu1, Li Jing Sun1, Hai Zhang1, Wei Wang2, Guo Min Luo2
China Electric Power Research Institute, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
E-mail: 14125996@bjtu.edu.cn

Published in The Journal of Engineering; Received on 6th October 2017; Accepted on 2nd November 2017

Abstract: Existing methods to determine the battery bank capacity of micro-grid composed of photovoltaic (PV) generation and energy
storage device are classified and summarised. In the viewpoint of peak load filling and implementing continuous power supply by independent
and grid-connected micro-grid composed of PV generation and energy storage device, the method for optimal configuration of battery bank
capacity is researched. A method of optimising the storage capacity of DC micro-grids considering the randomness of PV and load is proposed
to maximise the local absorption of renewable energy. Based on the K-means algorithm, the engineering selection basis of PV and storage
capacity in DC micro-grid system is given, and its economic benefit is evaluated. Finally, the efficiency and economy of the energy
storage capacity selection method are verified by practical application of 31.5 MW PV power station in Badaling, Beijing.

1 Introduction independent micro-grid with controllable load. The influence of re-

ducing the investment cost and maximising the utilisation of
With the increasing demand for energy crisis and environmental
resources in the micro-grid power supply scheme is analysed.
protection, distributed power generation technology has gained
Considering the factors such as charge and discharge balance and
more and more attention and application. However, distributed
cycle life of energy storage system, the control strategy of energy
PV power is subject to natural conditions, the lack of flexible and
storage technology for power load shedding and valley filling is
controllable features, the main network is an uncontrollable
studied, and a mathematical model is established to evaluate the in-
source. Grid-connected PV-and-storage micro-grid system has a
vestment economy of energy storage system [6].
direct impact on the structure, planning, scheduling and monitoring
According to the micro-network system operation mode and the
of the grid [1]. In order to solve the above problems, the distributed
function of the energy storage equipment, the optimisation of the
power supply can be integrated into the main network through the
micro-net storage capacity in recent years mainly focuses on four
form of energy storage micro-grid. The micro-grid includes two
aspects: (i) independent micro-network to ensure continuous
kinds of forms: DC micro-grid and AC micro-grid. At present,
power supply angle configuration of energy storage, (ii) to stabilise
micro-grids have been developed in the world, and the research
the distributed power supply active power fluctuations in the config-
on the technology of DC micro-grid is still in progress [2].
uration of energy storage, (iii) power type + energy type integrated
For the distributed power supply as the centre of the DC micro-
configuration of energy storage, (iv) other purposes configuration
network, problems of power generation and electricity synchronised
energy storage. Such as maintaining system stability, cutting peak
are more serious, especially in the photovoltaic (PV) as a distributed
padding, maintaining a constant line power, and seamless conver-
power supply DC micro-network. Daytime PV power supply load,
sion of isolated networks [7].
energy storage battery will be stored in excess of PV power gener-
This paper is mainly for a 100 kW PV station with a DC micro-
ation. When the amount of PV power generation is not sufficient to
network system, including distributed PV power, energy storage
meet the needs of the load (night or cloudy), energy storage battery
and station load. Firstly, the distributed PV power capacity is deter-
is supplied for the load power. It is a good solution for the problems
mined, and then the method of optimal configuration of energy
of synchronised wok and energy waste. Making the energy storage
storage equipment is studied from the perspective of continuous
system really plays a ‘peak load filling valley’ role and ensuring that
power supply and peak load. Finally, the energy selection method
the micro-grid PV power supply in place to maximise the local ab-
of energy storage device with engineering significance is given.
sorption of renewable energy not only needs to make the DC micro-
network power and load the power balance but also needs to ensure
that micro-internal power balance.
The existing literature focuses on the analysis of the economy. In 2 Model of DC micro-grid in PV station
[3], the micro-grid composed of PV generation and energy storage
device is used as the system model, and the storage capacity of the 2.1 PV energy storage micro-grid system
micro-grid is configured with the investment cost and the power The typical structure of the DC micro-grid established in this paper
generation cost as the objective function. In [4], the environment is shown in Fig. 1. The DC micro-grid is mainly composed of grid-
and economy are taken into account in the distributed power opti- connected converter (GCC), PV unit, PV unidirectional DC/DC
misation configuration. However, the authors in [3, 4] did not con- converter, battery energy storage (BES) unit, bidirectional DC/DC
sider the reliability of the factors. Considering the energy storage converter and AC load. The public AC power grid and the AC
and discharge efficiency, charge state and other constraints. In load are connected to the DC micro-grid system, which is available
[5], a power capacity optimisation model considering the reliability of either grid-connected operation or islanding operation via a
and economy of the system power supply is established for the converter.

J. Eng., 2017, Vol. 2017, Iss. 13, pp. 859–864 This is an open access article published by the IET under the Creative Commons
doi: 10.1049/joe.2017.0452 Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
When the battery is discharged, PSB (t ) ≥ 0, the remaining cap-
acity at time t is

S (t ) = S (t − 1)(1 − s) − PSB (t)/hD (2)

When the battery is charged, PSB (t ) ≤ 0, the remaining capacity at

time t is

S (t ) = S (t − 1)(1 − s) − PSB (t )hC (3)

where S(t) is the remaining capacity of the battery at time t, PSB (t ) is

battery charge and discharge power at time t, hC and hD are charge
Fig. 1 Typical structure of DC micro-grid and discharge efficiency, respectively, s is the battery per hour self-
discharge ratio.

Fig. 2 shows the topology of the DC micro-grid used a radial

double-layer bus structure of the network, including 100 kW PV 3 Characteristic analysis of DC micro-grid in PV station
power generation unit and its 100 kW one-way DC–DC converter 3.1 Micro-grid power allocation strategy
group, BES unit and its 100 kW bi-directional DC–DC converter
group, 20 kW AC load and its DC–AC converter group. The operation mode of the DC micro-grid includes the grid-
connected operation and the islanding operation. The islanding
mode means that DC micro-grid operates as an independent
2.2 PV power generation model
system, and there is no power exchange with the AC power
In this paper, the simulation model based on battery characteristics grid [11].
is used to modify the performance parameters of PV cells according For the actual micro-network in terms of this project, although
to the environmental variables, which makes the simulation model the GCC is bidirectional AC–DC, actually, it operates according
more accurate. For the engineering application, the steady-state to the grid-connected mode without reverse current, in order to
power output of the PV module can be simplified using the follow- reduce the impact of micro-network system on the power quality
ing model [8]. The output of the PV cell is considered to be related of the public grid. The energy flows from the AC grid one way
only to the solar radiation value and the ambient temperature into the micro-grid, through the GCC. Since the GCC is turned
   on, only if the energy in the micro-grid is insufficient to maintain
1 + k TC − Tr the normal operation of the load, the islanding state is the normal
GSTC state of the stable operation of the micro-grid.
The energy is directly exchanged between the DC bus in DC
micro-grid and the energy storage device, the DC bus of PV con-
verter. PV solar panels and energy storage devices provide energy
2.3 Battery energy storage model
to load in station under normal conditions. It means that the PV
The lithium ion battery simulation model established in this paper is power is stored in the energy storage device, when the daytime
based on a large number of battery charge and discharge measured lighting is sufficient. When the power of the PV is less than the
data fitting. The model is a good description of the lithium battery in system load demand, the energy storage device is preferentially
a variety of state of charge (SOC) under the non-linear external used to provide energy. Only when the energy consumption of
characteristics, in the study has been widely used [9, 10]. The energy storage device is consumed to warning value, power
remaining capacity of the battery at time t is related to the remaining supply is provided by power grid for the station. As the energy
capacity of the battery at time t − 1, the amount of charge and dis- storage device is not charged by AC power grid, only by PV
charge of the battery during the [t − 1, t] period, and the amount of extra power, it can achieve the maximum use of energy within
power per hour. station.

Fig. 2 Topology of DC micro-grid in PV station

This is an open access article published by the IET under the Creative Commons J. Eng., 2017, Vol. 2017, Iss. 13, pp. 859–864
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) doi: 10.1049/joe.2017.0452
3.2 Operating mode of PV and energy storage (i) Light intensity and temperature values change with the seasons,
that is, the PV output power characteristics are significantly dif-
The PV unit has two modes of operation: maximum power point
ferent. Therefore, considering the effect of the season on the
tracking (MPPT) mode and constant voltage mode. MPPT is a tech-
output characteristics of PV power supply, this paper takes k
nology to adjust the equivalent input impedance to obtain the
as 4.
maximum output power through a series of control device and
(ii) The selection of the initial clustering centre has a great influ-
control strategy [12]. The efficiency of a PV system is equal to
ence on the clustering results. Once the initial value selection
the product of the photoelectric conversion efficiency and the
is not appropriate, effective clustering results may not be avail-
maximum power point tracking efficiency of the panel. The
able. Therefore, this paper randomly selected 1 day as the initial
energy storage unit bi-directional DC–DC converter operates in
clustering centre in each quarter, taking into account the influ-
constant voltage mode and stop operating mode. In order to
ence of the season and reducing the effect of the initial value on
protect the battery operating life and improve economic efficiency.
the effectiveness of the clustering results.
The SOC is set in the controller to the upper and lower limits to
prevent the battery overcharge and over discharge.
4.2 Method of capacity allocation for energy storage devices
4.2.1 Model simplification and assumptions
4 Capacity allocation of energy storage device (i) This paper studies the allocation method of energy storage
capacity from the perspective of engineering practice, in which
4.1 Data processing method of load power and output power of PV output power and load demand power are given.
PV power based on K-means algorithm (ii) The DC micro-grid does not deliver energy to utility grid, but
Considering the actual situation, the PV power and load power only absorbs energy from AC grid in grid-connected mode.
are uncertain and real time. If the PV output power data and the (iii) Energy storage batteries cannot produce energy, only as the
load power data are selected by random sampling method, energy buffer of the intermediary. There is no over-imbalance
although convenient and simple, but with a certain sampling of power supply in the micro-grid system.
error. In order to obtain statistical and practical significance of
the storage capacity configuration results, dimension models of
daily load capacity data and daily PV power generation capacity 4.2.2 Objective functionThe objective function is to minimise inter-
data are established firstly. The K-means algorithm is used to active power between the micro-grid and the AC grid and the costs
cluster the above data within 1 year to obtain representative of energy storage device, as follows:
k group data.
K-means algorithm is one of the most classical clustering algo- (i) The lower limit of energy storage capacity based on battery op-
rithms. Owing to its simplicity and fast computation, K-means algo- erating limits is studied from the perspective of continuous
rithm is widely used to cluster and analysis large-scale data [13]. At power supply. Micro-grid consumes local renewable energy
present, the new clustering algorithm is based on the K-means as much as possible and operate with maximum renewable
method to expand and improve. The K-means algorithm divides n energy consumption to reduce the amount of abandoned light
objects into k clusters with k as the parameters, which makes the
data in the cluster have high similarity degree and the inter-cluster ELOAD + ESB
data has low similarity. max RPV = ∗100% (5)
Assuming that the original data set is D (x1 , x2 , . . . , xn ), each xi
is a d-dimensional vector, the purpose of K-means clustering is to
 the original  data into K class given in advance, In the formula, RPV is the self-absorption rate of PV, EPV is
S = S1 , S2 , . . . , Sk . The following formula is used to calculate the total daily PV power generation, ELOAD is the daily con-
the minimum in the numerical model: sumption of PV power by the load, ESB is the energy storage
battery consumption of PV power.
(ii) At the same time, it is necessary to control investment costs and

arg min xj − mi (4) operating maintenance costs of energy storage equipment in the
S i=1 xj [Si economic point of view

minC SB = CIN + CMA (6)

where mi represents the average of class Si .
The K-means algorithm is used to analyse the load power and where CSB is the total annual cost of energy storage, CIN is the
output power of PV power in station as follows: annual cost of initial investment, CMA is the annual mainten-
ance cost of energy storage device.
(i) Select k = 4 days randomly from 365 days 1 year as the centre
of the four clusters.
(ii) Calculate the distance between the remaining 361 days of data
and the centre of four clusters, each data is classified to the 4.2.3 Model constraints
cluster with lowest degree of dissimilarity. (i) Power balance constraintAt any one time, the output power of
(iii) Recalculate the respective centres of four clusters based on the PV energy storage micro-grid system is limited as
clustering results. The value is the arithmetic mean of the re-
spective dimensions of all the elements in the cluster. PPV (t ) + PSB (t ) ≥ PLOAD (t ) (7)
(iv) Re-cluster the remaining 361 days of data according to the new
centre. where the load power PLOAD (t )
(v) Repeat step (iv) until the clustering result no longer changes. (ii) The SOC constraint
(vi) Output the final cluster centre results of the four clusters. The charging state S(t) of the lithium battery must satisfy
the restriction condition of the following equation
The value of k in the algorithm is very difficult to estimate. In this
paper, the value of k is chosen as 4 for two factors: Smin ≤ S (t ) ≤ Smax (8)

J. Eng., 2017, Vol. 2017, Iss. 13, pp. 859–864 This is an open access article published by the IET under the Creative Commons
doi: 10.1049/joe.2017.0452 Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
where Smin is the minimum lithium battery capacity, Smax is the than the load power
maximum capacity of lithium battery capacity.
(iii) Charge and discharge power constraints 
288   5
S= PPVi − Ploadi × (13)
The charge and discharge power of battery is limited to i[p1
prolong the service life of lithium battery, generally related
to the total capacity of lithium batteries. The battery charge
and discharge power PSB (t) at any time must satisfy the limi- (iv) Calculate the amount of electricity difference S ′ that PV output
tation of the following equation: power less than load power. The set p2 is used to represent all
sets of sampling points where the PV output power is less than
the load power
PSBmin ≤ PSB (t) ≤ PSBmax (9)
288   5
S′ = Ploadi − PPVi × (14)
where PSBmin is the lithium battery charging power lower i[p2
bound, PSBmax is the lithium battery discharge power limit
(iv) Maximum charge rate constraint [10]: (v) Determine the value of S and S ′ ,when S ≥ S ′ , the storage cap-
acity is calculated as S, that is, energy needs to be fully stored
  at the peak of the PV power generation. The capacity of
− PSB (t ) ≤ Smax − S (t ) aC (10) storage battery is calculated as follows:

where aC is the maximum charge rate of the lithium battery. S×T ×g

C1 = (15)

4.2.4 Calculation processFirst, the interactive power optimisation when S , S ′ , the storage capacity is calculated as S ′ , that is, it
target is transformed into the balance between storage capacity is necessary to provide sufficient energy to the load without
and PV load capacity. Secondly, the energy storage cost optimisa- the maximum number of sunny days. The capacity of
tion target is transformed into K-means clustering algorithm to storage battery is calculated as follows:
obtain the statistic minimum capacity cost.
S′ × D × T × g
The basic calculation steps for the optimal capacity are as follows C2 = (16)
(Fig. 3): h×a×U
In (13) and (14), D is the maximum number of days without
(i) Process PV daily output power PPV data, assuming that there sunshine, T represents the temperature correction factor
are 288 sampling points a day (every 5 min a sampling point) (when the temperature 0°C ≤ t, T = 1; when the temperature
t ≤ 0°C, T = 1.1), g is a reliable coefficient, h represents the

288 depth of discharge, a represents the decay rate, U represents
SPV = PPVi × (11) the discharge termination voltage.
60 (vi) Obtained storage battery capacity through the introduction of
reliable coefficient K
where i is the sampling point, PPVi is the ith sampling point PV
power. C′ = K · C (17)
(ii) Process daily load power Pload data, assuming that there are
288 sampling points a day (every 5 min a sampling point)

5 Case study

Sload = Ploadi × (12) 5.1 Raw data description
In this paper, the distributed PV power and load in DC micro-grid
are calculated according to the output power of a PV power plant in
where i is the sampling point, Ploadi is the ith sampling point the table and the electricity consumption curve of the station.
load power. K-means algorithm is used to calculate the historical data of four
(iii) Calculate the amount of electricity difference S that PV output seasons in PV power station within 1 year. First, randomly selected
power more than load power. The set p1 is used to represent all 1 day at each season as an initial value. After three iterations, the
sets of sampling points where the PV output power is greater four centre data are obtained, that is, as a representative 4 days
PV output power and load power curve shown in Fig. 4. It can be
seen from Fig. 4, installed capacity of PV station is 100 kW.
Features include PV centralised output power between 6:00 and
18:00; summer sunshine time is long, winter sunshine time is
short; the maximum output power appears in 12:00–14:00, up to
98 kW in summer, up to 57 kW in winter.

5.2 Calculation results and analysis

The PV output power and load power are clustered to obtain a 4-day
PV output curve and load curve. The 4-day S and S ′ are shown in
the following Table 1.
The design of the energy storage system needs to meet the full
storage of electricity in lighting time and PV power generation
Fig. 3 Peak shaving peak time, according to the summer maximum S. Then the

This is an open access article published by the IET under the Creative Commons J. Eng., 2017, Vol. 2017, Iss. 13, pp. 859–864
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) doi: 10.1049/joe.2017.0452
value that power consumption is lower than electricity consump-
tion. If the monthly electricity is surplus, there will be no need to
configure the battery capacity, the algorithm cannot match the
load changes fluctuations at each time. The minimum capacity
method based on battery model is 14 935 kWh, which is greater
than the value determined by the first two methods. The
minimum capacity method simply studies the lower limit of the
storage capacity based on the battery operation limit from the per-
spective of continuous power supply, with the storage capacity
minimisation as the objective function. However, this method
requires a very large battery capacity at the expense of cost. The
estimated cost of the battery accounts for about 80% of the total
cost of micro-grid system.
In summary, different algorithms will give different energy
storage battery configuration recommendations, the specific appli-
cation need to combine micro-grid system size, capital data, eco-
nomic and technical requirements to determine. For the purposes
of this study, it is finally recommended to use the battery capacity
based on the K-means algorithm of the minimum capacity method.

5.3 Energy storage battery combination and selection

The number of parallel strings is determined by the capacity of the
battery and the battery terminal voltage. DC micro-grid energy
storage battery voltage is 380 V. BYD lithium iron phosphate
monolithic battery is selected. The monomer parameters are as
follows: 3.2 V/200 Ah, four single series as a module parameter:
12.8 V/200 Ah.
The number of series is calculated as follows:

30 single module in series, the battery parameters are 384 V/

200 Ah.
The number of parallel is calculated as follows:

Seven groups of modules in parallel, the battery parameters are

384/1400 Ah.
At this time, the battery capacity is calculated to meet the cap-
Fig. 4 The curve of PV daily output power acity requirements as follows:
a Spring2015/04/26
b Summer2015/07/18
c Autumn2015/10/12 C = 384∗1400 = 537.6 kWh, (20)
d Winter2015/12/04

Table 1 PV output and load power clustering results 6 Conclusion

Electricity, kWh Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 This paper proposes a storage capacity allocation method, taking
into account the randomness of PV power generation and load
PV power S1 = 228.6 S2 = 469.9 S3 = 259.5 S4 = 159.8 demand. The objective function is to minimise interactive power
load power S1′ = 207.1 S2′ = 235.6 S3′ = 211.5 S4′ = 211.2 between the micro-grid and the AC grid and the costs of energy
storage device. Based on the K-means algorithm, the engineering
selection basis of the storage capacity in DC micro-grid system is
storage capacity of the battery multiplied by the corresponding re- The proposed capacity allocation model has been applied to the
liable coefficient should be set to 510 kWh. project of Beijing Jingenng Badaling solar energy comprehensive
For the case data of this paper, the annual energy balance method pilot engineering, which has played the role of continuous power
and the minimum capacity method are used to determine the energy supply and peak load filling, and verified the effectiveness and
storage capacity, respectively (based on lingo programming). feasibility of the energy storage capacity selection method. The con-
The result of annual energy balance method is 343 kWh. It com- figuration method can provide the theoretical and engineering prac-
pares the difference between the electricity generation and the elec- tice guidance for the planning and construction of the PV power
tricity consumption in the whole year, and finds out the maximum plant in remote areas and the selection of building storage capacity.

J. Eng., 2017, Vol. 2017, Iss. 13, pp. 859–864 This is an open access article published by the IET under the Creative Commons
doi: 10.1049/joe.2017.0452 Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
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This is an open access article published by the IET under the Creative Commons J. Eng., 2017, Vol. 2017, Iss. 13, pp. 859–864
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) doi: 10.1049/joe.2017.0452