Principal Investigator: Dr. Roy McCann
The impact of grid-connected battery storage includes the need for rapid charging capability to fully utilize intermittent energy sources. This project focuses on diffusion-limited battery chemistries which include nickel-metal-hydride, lithium-ion and lithium-iron-phosphate, nickel-cadmium and lead-acid cells. There have been many recent advances in rapid charging techniques that also maximize battery life. Targeted for low-power consumer products, these methods do not scale to utility-level systems (6 kW and above for residential, 20 kW for HEV, 30 kW and above for commercial facilities). One primary limitation the pulse charge methods used for low-power applications is induced power quality and harmonics problems in to the utility service if applied at higher power levels. Other issues include the cost, efficiency and fault protection requirements for grid-connected power applications. Objective: This project will develop a pulsed-current rapid battery charger that uses a model-based real-time algorithm that avoids battery degradation and power quality issues while also providing bi-directional power flow functionality (i.e., supports charge and discharge cycles).