Forecast-based charging strategy to prolong the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries in standalone PV battery systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
Jonathan Schulte, Jan Figgener, Hendrik Boering, Dirk Uwe Sauer, Solar Energy, Vol. 258, 8 May 2023.
Standalone PV battery systems have great potential to power the one billion people worldwide who lack access to electricity. Due to remoteness and poverty, durable and cheap systems are required for a broad range of applications. However, today’s PV battery systems do not yet fully meet this requirement. Especially batteries still prove to be a hindrance, as they represent the most expensive and fastest-aging component in a PV battery system. This work aims to address this by prolonging battery life. For this purpose, a forecast-based charging strategy was developed. As lithium-ion batteries age slower in a low state-of-charge, the goal of the operation strategy is to only charge the battery as much as needed. The impact of the proposed charging strategy is examined in a case study using one year of historical data of 14 standalone systems in Nigeria. It was found that the proposed operation strategy could reduce the average battery state-of-charge by around 20% without causing power outages for the mini-grids. This would significantly extend the life of the battery and ultimately lead to a more durable and cheaper operation of standalone PV battery systems.