Accurate charge-control and state-of-charge monitoring of lead-acid batteries is an ever-increasing necessity in an industry that demands low-maintenance costs and highly available systems. If the batteries are charged by photovoltaic panels and are installed in remote sites (e.g. Oil sea-platforms, highway emergency bays, autonomous communications systems) and exposed to aggressive environmental conditions (e.g. Extreme temperature, high humidity), the problem of extending the batteries’ useful life becomes a challenge. Most charging algorithms do not perform well when photovoltaic panels are the sole source of energy because energy availability is not guaranteed. A charge algorithm that maximizes the use of energy generated by the panel during daylight hours is needed. This paper presents a microcontroller-based charge-controller suitable for photovoltaic applications. The controller performs temperature compensation on the charge algorithm. It also stores those parameters that provide an indication on batteries’ state-of-charge and state-of-health: Panel voltage, battery’s voltage and current, current demanded by a load and room temperature. The controller has serial communication capabilities that make possible the connection to a personal computer or central station. By using a local industrial network or radio links, multiple controllers can be monitored by a central station running a battery management program. The information collected by all the controllers in the system is analyzed to determine the state-of-charge of individual batteries and, if required, command the appropriate controller to perform special procedures like, for example, thorough diagnostics or equalization. Preliminary field-test results of a controller installed in a high-way emergency bay are presented in this paper. It is shown that protection against deep discharges is achieved, which contributes to extend the battery useful life.
Monitoring and Charge-Control of Lead-Acid Batteries in Photovoltaic Applications
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Ortega-Sanchez, C, Orozco-Valera, J, Pacheco-Arteaga, J, & Rivera-Garci´a, A. "Monitoring and Charge-Control of Lead-Acid Batteries in Photovoltaic Applications." Proceedings of the ASME 2004 International Solar Energy Conference. Solar Energy. Portland, Oregon, USA. July 11–14, 2004. pp. 457-461. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ISEC2004-65134
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