Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Power/Alternative Energy
Power/Alternative Energy??

Research shows new battery reduces PV costs

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lithium battery? lead acid? PV system? solar energy?

The University of Southampton and REAPsystems Ltd has jointly developed a new type of battery that according to them has the potential to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar power. The research focused on the use of lithium batteries as energy storage device in photovoltaic (PV) systems.

"Lead acid batteries are traditionally the energy storage device used for most PV systems. However, as an energy storage device, lithium batteries, especially the LiFePO4 batteries we used, have more favorable characteristics," stated Yue Wu, lead researcher, University of Southampton. The team also included Carlos Ponce de Leon, Tom Markvart and John Low, supervisors for the project.

Data was collected by connecting a lithium iron phosphate battery to a PV system attached to one of the university's buildings, using a specifically designed battery management system supplied by REAPsystems.

Yue noted that the lithium battery registered an energy efficiency of 95 percent while the lead acid type only has about 80 percent. "The weight of the lithium batteries is lower and they have a longer life span than the lead acid batteries reaching up to 1,600 charge/discharge cycles, meaning they would need to be replaced less frequently."

Although the battery will require further testing before being put into commercial PV systems, the research has shown that the LiFePO4 battery has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar power systems and help to reduce the costs of both their installation and upkeep.

"For all kinds of energy source (renewable or non-renewable), the energy storage devicesuch as a batteryplays an important role in determining the energy utilization. Compared with traditional lead acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are more efficient, have a longer lifetime, are lighter and cost less per unit. We can see the potential of this battery being used widely in PV application and other renewable energy systems, concluded Dennis Doerffel, founder of REAPsystems and former researcher at the University of Southampton.

Article Comments - Research shows new battery reduces P...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top