Off-grid Solar Power Design and Battery Storage Optimisation

Hooper, Jason (2019) Off-grid Solar Power Design and Battery Storage Optimisation. [USQ Project]

Text (Project)

Download (13MB) | Preview


Battery storage for solar applications have reduced in price over the years as more manufacturers begin to enter the market and manufacture batteries for residential use. This is undoubtedly a result of increased costs related to staying on grid as well as demand for solar panels have brought a decrease to their cost with an increase to the quality of the panels. This project sets out to analyse five locations across Queensland across three different load sizes, whilst comparing existing components, with the new battery technology from Enphase Energy, for either grid connected or off grid systems, which is dependent on the size of the system, location and components used. In this paper, detailed research was conducted for existing technology, as well as past projects involving renewable energy, focusing on off-grid solar power design and battery storage optimisation. Across the extensive literature reviewed, which was utilised for their relevance as well as being peer reviewed and cross referenced, the idea to model systems using HOMER Pro® and NREL SAM® was constructed in order to analyse techniques involved for each system to meet the load profiles. This was done to not only undergo an extensive analysis that focused on LCOE, ROI, system output, initial capital and NPC but also compare and contrast between the two programs to fully optimise the system using shade analysis and manual battery dispatch strategies. The result of this analysis and additional optimisation, resulted in the following optimised systems for each location. Brisbane had a 13.0 kW system with a single Tesla Powerwall 2 AC battery (13.5 kWh), Toowoomba had a 6.6 kW system with two Trojan SIND 041245 batteries (17.8 kWh), Hervey Bay had a 13.0 kW system with a single Tesla Powerwall 2 AC battery (13.5 kWh), Barcaldine had a 6.6 kW system with 8 Trojan SIND 041245 batteries (71.0 kWh) and is completely off grid, lastly Cairns had a 13.0 kW system with 6 Trojan SIND 041245 batteries (53.3 kWh) and utilises feed-in tariffs.

These results were filtered through the HOMER Pro® program and then subsequently the NREL SAM® program to apply realistic impacts on the efficiency of the system and to perform a full optimisation. All were performed using the Jinko Solar Eagle 60P (JMK260PP-60) panels, in which was optimised from the available solar panels throughout the process based on cost per kWh. The components analysed were 8 solar panels, 3 inverters and 10 batteries. The results suggest that even with modifications to the battery throughput and extending the lifetime, the best systems are those still connected to the grid. Additionally, taking advantage of solar credits available for the solar panels, can greatly reduce / offset the costs associated with buying a system with a battery system. Future work related to this topic can range from an analysis on the environmental impacts of replacing the components on a large scale, implementing alternative techniques like water cleaning the solar panels in which increases efficiency, obtaining an optimised system and testing for an extended period, obtaining actual load data to properly reflect realistic loads instead of a simulated load and as well additional analysis into azimuth angle and tilt angle for the solar panel arrays to determine if any further optimisation could be found. Finally, performing an additional optimisation after the RECs expire in 2030 would be vital as there wouldn’t be any solar credits available to offset the initial capital of the system.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 43127
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Wen, Paul
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic)
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 00:05
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 22:36

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only