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Solar PV fed Standalone DC Microgrid with Hybrid Energy Storage System

Smita Sinha, Student Member, IEEE, Avinash Kumar Sinha, Member, IEEE, Prabodh Bajpai, Senior Member, IEEE

School of Energy Science and Engineering Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India 721302 Email:,,

Abstract—With the increased utilization of renewable energy (RE) in the power sector, microgrid technology is developing rapidly. In this paper an isolated DC microgrid is simulated with solar photovoltaic (PV) as the RE source to provide power to resistive DC loads along with a hybrid energy storage system (HESS) of Battery and Supercapacitor bank. Various cases of load and solar insolation variation are simulated to validate the proposed power management strategy for DC bus voltage regulation. System performance is compared with and

without the SC bank and desirable reduction in transient voltage magnitude is observed when the HESS is used. A case using


insolation data from a solar PV plant at IIT Kharagpur is


simulated to analyse the system performance considering a

constant load demand. It is observed that HESS helps to reduce

DC bus voltage transients very effectively in all the situations.

Very large transients arising due to sudden changes in load

demand or PV generation is also compensated by the HESS.

Index Terms—Battery, Hybrid Energy Storage System, Super- capacitor.


A microgrid may be defined as “an automated, widely

distributed energy delivery network characterized by a two-


flow of electricity and information, capable of monitoring


responding to changes in everything from power plants

to customer preferences to individual appliances”[1]. Most of

the electronic loads connected to the existing power grid are

DC loads. To connect them to the AC grid, AC-DC power

conditioning units are required which creates additional losses

in the system. Using a DC microgrid effectively reduces the

losses. Also during unavailability of power from the main grid

due to fault isolation, islanded DC microgrids provide power

to the critical loads. Research on DC microgrids has been carried out by various researchers[2]-[6]. Among the available RE sources, wind and solar energy

are the most commonly harnessed sources[7]. However due

to intermittancy of the power available from these sources, storage devices are required in microgrids. Such devices include battery banks, supercapacitors (SC), flywheels and

other thermal storage technologies. Batteries have high energy density and are able to provide power for long durations. SCs have high power density and provide faster rate of charging

and discharging current. These RE sources are connected to

the DC bus either by unidirectional or bidirectional power conditioning units. Many microgrids with various generation and storage combinations, like PV, Fuel Cell and SC[8], PV, wind and Fuel Cell [9], PV and Battery [10] has been studied for power grid as well as electric vehicle applications. Large number of intelligent control techniques have laso been ex- plored to control hybrid energy devices [11]-[14]. The concept of hybrid storage has been studied extensively, however bus voltage regulation during storage charging and discharging modes has not been considered as a constrain. In [8], [15] hybrid energy storage systems(HESS) is used but SC bank is used to provide power to transient as well as base load along with battery bank. In this paper the benefit of using hybrid energy storage in a standalone DC microgrid has been highlighted. The battery banks provide the base load backup power while the SC banks provides only the transient power backup during sudden changes in load power consumption or PV power supply. This economises the SC usage by discharging it only during transient. Use of hybrid energy storage helps in faster stabilisation of the DC bus voltage and reduction in peak transient voltage as compared to the use of a single storage device (battery).


The schematic of microgrid architecture simulated in this paper is shown in Fig.1. It consists of PV arrays as the

paper is shown in Fig.1. It consists of PV arrays as the Fig. 1. Schematic of

Fig. 1. Schematic of Standalone DC Microgrid

978-1-5090-4874-8/17/$31.00 c

2017 IEEE renewable source of power, Battery and SC banks as a hybrid


power storage device, DC-DC power converters as the power conditioning units and resistive DC loads. All the devices are connected to a common DC bus which is regulated at 380V.

A. PV cells

The PV cell is modelled as a current source in parallel with a diode along with series resistance (R s ) and parallel

resistance (R p ) to account for the internal power drops [16]. The expression for PV output current is given by equation (1)


I pv = N p I ph N p I 0 [exp q (V pv + I pv R s )




V pv +


(I p vR s )

R sh



N p and N s is the number of parallel and series PV cells respectively in the array

V pv is output voltage of the PV array

I pv is current of the PV array

q is the electronic charge

I ph is the light-generated current

I 0 is the reverse saturation current

k is the Boltzman constant

A is a dimensionless number

T is the temperature in Kelvin Twenty numbers of 250W polycrystalline solar panels with specifications as shown in Table 1 are simulated [17]. Five of







V mpp (V)


I mpp (A)


V oc (V)


I sc (A)


these panels are connected in series to form a string. Four such strings are connected in parallel to form the complete array. The maximum power output from the array at Standard Test Conditions or STC, (1000 W/m 2 ,25 o C ) is 4.8 kW.

B. Battery Bank

Battery banks provide long term power back up to mi- crogrids. Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries are highly preferred for this application since they are maintanance free. For the purpose of this study, a HBL 100V, 400Ah, C10 (1.75ECV) VRLA battery bank[18] is considered, having 50 series connected cells with a nominal voltage of 2V each. The bank is expected to provide power back up for 8 hours if a constant current of 50A is drawn from it at 100V. The MATLAB model of Lead Acid battery is used for simulation [19]. The details of the bidirectional converter designed for charge and discharge control, are discussed in following subsection. The State of Charge (%SOC) of the battery is determined using the current integration method as


shown in equation (2) where Q(t 0 ) is the initial charge in the battery at time t 0 , α is the charge/discharge efficiency and i is the current drawn from the battery.

SOC(t) = Q(t 0 ) +


t 0 α.i.dt




C. Supercapacitor Bank

The transients arising in the system due to sudden load or PV power change cannot be provided by the battery since it has slow discharge characteristics. This problem is addressed by SC banks since they have high power density [20]. The

%SOC of the SC bank is defined as the ratio of the total energy (Q c ) to the rated energy (Q 0 ) and is determined using equation (3),

2 C.V c 2 SOC = Q c = Q C.V 2 max 0 2
SOC = Q c


where, C is the equivalent capacitance of the SC bank, V c is its voltage and V max is the maximum value of SC bank voltage at full charge. The charge and discharge operations of the SC is performed through bidirectional DC-DC converters similar to that of the battery bank. It discharges only till 20% of its %SOC. The SC bank is considered to have 10 numbers of 56V, 130F MAXWELL modules. These are arranged in 5 parallel strings, each having two series connected modules. This bank is able to provide 13 mins of continuous power support to a 5kW load.

D. DC-DC Converters

1) Unidirectional Boost Converter for PV: The PV panel should provide maximum power output at any given insolation. This is ensured by the MPPT controller which provides gate pulses to a unidirectional boost conveter [21] using the Purturb and Observe algorithm [22]. The converter boost the PV output voltage of 175V to the bus voltage of 380V. The I-V and P-V curves corresponding to MPPT operation at STC are shown in Fig.2 and Fig.3 respectively.

to MPPT operation at STC are shown in Fig.2 and Fig.3 respectively. Fig. 2. I-V Curves

Fig. 2. I-V Curves of solar PV System at STC

Fig. 3. P-V Curve of solar PV System at STC 2) Bidirectional DC-DC Converter for

Fig. 3. P-V Curve of solar PV System at STC

2) Bidirectional DC-DC Converter for HESS: Bidirectional

DC-DC converters [23],[24] are designed to control the charg- ing and discharging modes of the storage devices. This is important because at low %SOC, the devices tend to draw

a very high current which will cross the current carrying

capacity of the system. Similar control is required during

discharge at high load conditions. Thus the inner control loop

of the bidirectional converter ensures that the current is never

allowed to cross a limiting threshold. The outer voltage loop ensures that the DC bus voltage is maintained at 380V. The reference current signal( (I ref ) for the inner current control

loop of the converter is the the ouput of the voltage control loop. However, since only the low frequency power is to be provided by the battery bank, a low pass filter is used to separate the low frequency component (I LF ref ) from I ref . This is provided as the reference to the current control loop of the battery converter. The high frequency component (I HF ref )

of the reference current (I ref ) is easily obtained using equation



I HF ref = I ref I LF ref

This I HF ref is provided as the reference signal to the current control loop of the SC bank. Fig.4 shows th MATLAB implementation of this algorithm which makes the SC current reference zero during steady state.

makes the SC current reference zero during steady state. Fig. 4. MATLAB model for current reference

Fig. 4. MATLAB model for current reference generation of Battery and SC


The problem of DC bus voltage regulation arise since the bus voltage tends to adjust itself according to the change in load power demand or PV power output. With increase in


load power demand or decrease in solar PV output, the bus voltage falls. Similarly, with decrease in load power demand or increase in solar PV output, the bus voltage rises. The voltage control loop of the bidirectional DC-DC converter ensures that during such sudden changes the voltage is restored by controlling the battery output power so that it compensates the voltage changes. This is done by varying the duty ratio of the converter as per the deviation of the DC bus voltage from the reference value of 380V. However the converter fails to compensate the transient peak voltage surges or dips. This is due to the slow discharge characteristics of the battery bank which is unable to meet the fast changing transient power demand. Fast response characteristics of SC helps to maintain constant DC bus voltage even in the event of sudden power supply or load demand changes due to its fast discharge characteristics. If the PV power output is in surplus, the battery starts to charge while it discharges when the load demand is in excess of the PV supply. Switching transients arising due to the change in battery operation mode is also compensated by the SC bank. However the SC bank provides transient power support till its 20% SOC. After this, it must start charging whenever surplus power is available.


The operation of the proposed standalone DC Microgrid with hybrid storage device is studied under various cases. These cases model real world scenarios that may occur during practical implementation of such a microgrid. In all the results, positive power values indicate discharge mode while negative power values indicate the charge mode of operation of the storage device. Initial %SOC of battery is assumed to be 50% while that of SC is assumed to be 96% for all the cases. The following cases are simulated for this study:

Case 1: The system is subjected to varying load condi- tions while the solar PV output is fixed at MPPT under STC. Simulation is performed with and without the SC connected to compare and validate the advantage of using HESS. DC bus voltage variation is also illustrated to validate the power management strategy.

Case 2: The solar insolation as well as the load power demand are varied to ensure the desired DC bus voltage regulation with HESS.

Case 3: The solar insolation data recorded at IIT Kharag- pur on 1 st June, 2016 is used to simulate the real PV output variation. Load is kept constant at 2880 W.

A. Case 1.

To understand the significance of a hybrid storage device in a microgrid, the system is simulated with and without SC connected under load variation and constant PV power output at STC. The load power demand is increased from 2000 to 7000 W at 2s and then decreased to 2000 W at 4s. Fig.5(a) shows this load and PV power variation. The battery power output is compared with and without SC bank connected in Fig.5(b). Battery response is found to

Fig. 5. Case 1:(a) Power variations of load and PV (b) Comparison of battery power

Fig. 5. Case 1:(a) Power variations of load and PV (b) Comparison of battery power with and without SC (c) SC power variations

be faster with HESS since battery delivers the low frequency component of power only. The battery charges with the available surplus power of 2000 W for the first 2s. After 2s, the load power is more than the PV output and the battery discharges to meet the residual load demand. After 4s battery goes into charging mode of operation till 6s. Fig.5(c) shows the high frequency power output of SC. Without the SC bank, maximum transient bus voltage vari- ation reaches -100V at 2s as shown in Fig.6. This violates the standard voltage regulation requirements of ±20V [25]. How- ever, using the SC bank to compensate the transient power, a maximum transient voltage variation of -6V is observed in the zoomed vision of Fig.6 at 2s. This is within the regulation limits.

B. Case 2

Previously, only load variation is studied considering fixed solar insolation. In this case, solar output variation along with changing load demand is studied. Fig.7(a) shows the load and PV power variation for this case. Initially at low solar insolation no solar power output is obtained. Increase in insolation occurs till 4s and remains


Increase in insolation occurs till 4s and remains 34 Fig. 6. connected Case 1: Comparison of

Fig. 6.


Case 1: Comparison of bus voltage variation with and without SC

constant till 8s. After this a sudden drop in insolation occurs. This may practically happen due to sudden cloud cover. Abrupt insolation rise is observed at 10s which remains constant till 14s. After this, the PV output becomes zero. The battery response corresponding to these changes is observed in Fig.7(b). Initially battery supplies the entire load power. At 2s, PV power supply exceeds the load requirement and battery goes into charging mode till peak load demand starts at 6s. Henceforth battery discharges. Due to sudden drop in insolation at 8s, battery power supply abruptly increases. It again drops at 10s when PV output is restored. After 12s, load demand falls and due to excess PV power availability the battery starts to charge. However after 14s, the PV power is insufficient to supply even the low load demand and thus battery starts to discharge power. All transients power components are supplied by the SC as illustrated in Fig.7(c). Maximum transient voltage when only battery is connected, is -120V, as illustrated in Fig.8. In the zoomed vision of Fig.8, maximum transient voltage of -8V is observed at 14s with HESS connected.

C. Case 3

The above case studies have been performed assuming PV and load demand data. However to completely understand the response of the system actual solar insolation data is taken from the solar PV plant installed at Indian Institute of Technol- ogy Kharagpur on 1 st June, 2016. Fig.9 shows the insolation variation from 0500 hrs to 2100 hrs on this particular day. Load demand is kept fixed at 2880 W throughout the day. The load and PV power variations are shown in Fig.10(a). The battery response is shown in Fig.10(b) where the battery goes into charging during the afternoon , when the solar insolation is at its maximum. Again SC provides the transient power requirements as shown in Fig.10(c). Maximum DC bus voltage variation when only battery is connected, is observed to be 40V at 1350 hrs in Fig.11. With HESS, at the same instant,

Fig. 7. Case 2: (a) Load and PV power variation (b) Comparison of battery power

Fig. 7. Case 2: (a) Load and PV power variation (b) Comparison of battery power variation with and without SC (c) SC power variation

power variation with and without SC (c) SC power variation Fig. 8. connected for changing solar

Fig. 8.

connected for changing solar insolation and load demand

Case 2: Comparison of bus voltage variation with and without SC


Comparison of bus voltage variation with and without SC 35 Fig. 9. 1 s t June,

Fig. 9.

1 st June, 2016

Case 3: Real solar insolation profile recorded at IIT Kharagpur on

Real solar insolation profile recorded at IIT Kharagpur on Fig. 10. Case 3: (a) Load and

Fig. 10. Case 3: (a) Load and PV power variation (b) Comparison of battery power variation with and without SC connected (c) SC power variation with actual solar insolation change

maximum bus voltage variation of 1.2V is observed and it is illustrated in the zoomed vision of Fig.11.

Fig. 11. real solar insolation change Case 3: Comparisos of voltage variation with and without

Fig. 11.

real solar insolation change

Case 3: Comparisos of voltage variation with and without SC for


In this paper a power management strategy for a standalone

DC microgrid with renewable solar energy source and hybrid

storage devices is proposed and tested for maintaining regu- lated bus voltage through various simulation case stusies. The economical use of SC power to counter the transient power

fluctuations is studied and bus voltage fluctuations due to sudden power changes is effectively regulated using HESS. Real solar insolation data is used to validate the proposed strategy under such variations. In continuation to the above work, integration of the stan- dalone DC microgrid with the main AC grid may be studied to develope its power control strategy.


The authors would like to thank Indian Institute of Technol-

ogy Kharagpur, for providing the opportunity to conduct this

research work.


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