Researchers eye intelligent battery management system for better cycle life

EAI conducts battery testing into parameters such as cycle life for energy storage applications. (Image courtesy of Electric Applications).

Arizona-based Electric Applications just launched a research project designed to balance electrical current across banks of advanced lead batteries supporting wind and solar systems.

Grid energy storage stores energy in time periods where electricity is abundant and inexpensive or when demand is low. It is then supplied back to the electrical grid when demand is high or electricity prices are higher

The 18-month study is backed by the Consortium for Battery Innovation. The plan is to take an in-depth look into how balancing the electrical current across large strings of batteries can improve cycle life, which is the ability of a battery to continue working through numerous cycles when it is not fully charged. 

In the view of the researchers, improving cycle life will also help reduce the overall cost of the energy storage system, lowering the need for replacement batteries, something utility and renewable energy providers should take into consideration.

“This kind of research is taking advanced lead battery technology to a new level by marrying intelligent battery management systems with banks of battery storage units,” the Consortium’s director, Alistair Davidson, said in a media statement.

“Lead batteries are particularly useful in microgrids and in managing peaks and troughs in demand, such as those experienced in renewable energy systems.”

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