Typically, solar inverters curtail or “clip” the available power from the PV system when it exceeds the maximum ac capacity. This paper discusses a battery system connected to the dc-link of an inverter to recuperate this PV energy. Contrary to conventional approaches, which employ two dc-dc converters, one each for the battery and solar PV system, the proposed configuration utilizes a single dc-dc converter capable of simultaneously operating as a charge controller and a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) tracking device. In addition to improving the overall system capacity factor, increasing the conversion efficiencies and ensuring MPPT stability, the proposed configuration offers a simple solution for adding energy storage to existing PV installations. With this configuration, the excess power that will otherwise be curtailed due to inverter rating limitations is stored in the battery and supplied to the grid during periods of reduced irradiance. Moreover, a systematic methodology for sizing a dc-bus connected battery to minimize total PV energy curtailed was developed using an annual PV generation profile at the Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU) E.W. Brown solar facility at Kentucky. The detailed behavior of the proposed system and its power electronics controls and operations were validated with case studies developed in PSCADTM/EMTDCTM for variable power generation and PV output power smoothing.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in IEEE Transactions on Industry Application, v. 6, issue 3.

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The document available for download is the authors’ manuscript version that is accepted for publication. The final published version is copyrighted by IEEE and available as: O. M. Akeyo, V. Rallabandi, N. Jewell and D. M. Ionel, “The Design and Analysis of Large Solar PV Farm Configurations with DC Connected Battery Systems,” in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, doi: 10.1109/TIA.2020.2969102

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Funding Information

The support of University of Kentucky, the L. Stanley Pigman endowment, of the SPARK Laboratory, Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK), and of LG&E and KU is gratefully acknowledged.