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A Simple but Comprehensive Lead-Acid Battery Model for Hybrid System Simulation

Michael M.D. Ross
GPCo Inc.

Full Text Article
Link to GPCo Inc.
Link to CETC-Varennes

Note on Authorship:

This technical report was authored by the principal of RER Renewable Energy Research when he was an employee GPCo Inc.


Research conducted on behalf of the Photovoltaics and Hybrid Systems Program at the CETC-Varennes (Natural Resources Canada) with partial funding from the Panel on Energy Research and Development (PERD).


Ross, Michael M. D."A Simple but Comprehensive Lead-Acid Battery Model for Hybrid System Simulation". Proceedings of PV Horizon: Workshop on Photovoltaic Hybrid Systems, Montreal, Qc, September 10, 2001.


The lead-acid battery typically used in a photovoltaic/genset hybrid system is a complex, non-linear device exhibiting memory. A mathematical model of this device has been developed for the purposes of hybrid system modelling. It is a semi-empirical model of the current-voltage characteristics, partly taken from the literature and partly founded on basic electrochemistry. The model has been fit to measured data from two lead-acid batteries, a tubular flooded-vented cell with low antimony grids and an absorbed glass mat cell. It accounts for many aspects of the battery’s behaviour, including temperature dependence, self-discharge, gassing, water loss, ageing, and heat generation. While relatively simple, the model should suffice for modelling the energy flows within a hybrid system and provide insight into questions relating to thermal management, maintenance requirements, and battery replacement intervals. The model should also be useful for modelling PV/battery systems and cycle-charging systems.

Note: Following publication of this paper, many changes were made to the PVToolbox battery model in response to deficiencies in the model described in this paper.