Three types of research activities will be carried out. One is the characterization of both conventional (Pb-acid, Ni-Cd, and Ni-Fe) and advanced types (Ni-MH and Zn-Br2). Other potential battery types like fuel cells and flywheels will be included as paper studies. The second category of work is to investigate several test methods (impedance and electrolyte conductivity) for their diagnostic value. The third research investigation deals with the potential extension of battery life via control/operational methods, and "smart" monitoring in real-time to facilitate adaptative control by the operators and new devices such as "cell equalizer".
The above concerted actions of this European Network will result in new electronic devices, battery monitoring and control strategies, and consolidated guidelines for battery design and operation and quality control, all focusing on extending battery life.
The collaborators are EUREC, CIEMAT, WIP, AGSM, CRES, CNRS, GENEC, FI, Jydsk Telefon and ZSW which have existing battery test facilities and battery hardware available at several pilot plants and institutes. This is to achieve the best return on investment by avoiding the enormous cost of any experimental battery testing.
During the recent years PV technology has made remarkable progress in the field of PV modules and power conditioning, whereas the battery storage systems, mostly the lead-acid, have remained one of the costly and unreliable components of the plant. The perceived unreliability of batteries is the result of both users, designers and manufacturers not understanding how to operate and care for the batteries.
The project represents a new initiative to consolidate what has been learned from the Pilot I and II, JOULE I, and on-going JOULE II programmes. The work to be done is intended to be the logical and necessary follow-on. The basic approach is to solve system-level, user-oriented issues via a network of suitable and experienced laboratories and operational pilots plants.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts