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Photovoltaics based energy sources and energy storage

systems for small and residential buildings
Paula ANGHELIŢĂ, Viorel STANCIU ∗
Abstract
Climat changes and environment degradation are nowadays important problems that trigger important efforts of
the worldwide research to to be focused on finding suitable solutions to solve these issues. Energy generation
using renewable sources, represent modern and ecofriendly solutions that can contribute to overcome the
pollution problem, with a wide range of practical applications. In this paper will be presented the main results
obtained in the frame of the European Research Project RO0054/2009 (EEA Grant) entitled: “ Integrated micro
CCHP-Stirling Engine based on renewable energy sources, for the isolated residential consumers from SouthEast region of Romania”.
Keywords: energy storage, renewables, clean energy

1. Introducere
This paper presents the main results
obtained by the Icpe team involved in the
European Project Ro0054/2009, entitled:
“Integrated
microCCHP-Stirling
Engine
based on renewable energy sources, for the
isolated residential consumers from SouthEast region of Romania”.
The purpose of this Project was to
develop and design a methodology
dedicated to a trigeneration mCCHP-SE
system (micro Combined Cooling, Heating
and Power generation) for residential
buildings, not connected to the grid, with the
overall
objective
of
protecting
the
environment through reducing the harmful
emission of pollutants into the atmosphere.
Dimensioning of an mCCHP electric
system is an iterative complex process, with
many parameters that have to be considered
and assessed.
An installation type mCCHP is an unitary
system, the design approach is not only for
the whole assembly, but also for each
module components.
For the design of the mCCHP system it is
very important to take into account both the
technical criteria and other criteria, such as
costs.
As
a
consequence,
the
system

Paula ANGHELIŢĂ, PhD, p.anghelita@icpe.ro; Viorel
STANCIU, PhD, viorel.stanciu@icpe.ro =Icpe,Bd. Unirii
313, RO-030138 Bucureşti.

components design can be regarded as an
iterative operation, the optimal solution being
obtained after multiple simulations of the
whole system.
The main Icpe team contributions in the
Project, refers mainly to [1]:
− Studies, modeling and simulations for
each element of the mCCHP-SE
electric part (electric generator,
rectifier, inverter, battery energy
storage, network);
− Developing a database to generate
electricity
subsystems,
inverters,
electric energy storage;
− Design and simulating – a conceptual
model of the electric part of mCCHPSE;
− Design and manufacturing of the
mCCHP-SE system for experimental
model (including electric installation in
the experimental residential house);
− Elaboration of the design criteria (also
optimization criteria) for the electric
system and the whole assembly;
− Publicity - including elaboration of
scientific papers in order to promote
the innovative solutions developed by
Icpe.
In figure 1 and figure 2, the building and
the functional storage system, developed in
the frame of RO0054 Project are presented.

ELECTROTEHNICĂ, ELECTRONICĂ, AUTOMATICĂ, 60 (2012), nr. 2

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research and demonstrations in energy
storage technologies is needed to meet the
needs of increasing intermittent renewable in
systems and to balance the supply with
demand.
2. Photovoltaic based energy source

Figure 1. The building developed in the frame of
RO0054 Project [2]

Figure 2. The electric energy storage system [2]

It is well known that the traditional energy
resources are limited and the global oil, gas
and coal production will come beyond their
peak in the next decades and the price will
continue to increase. In such situation,
renewable energies will have more important
contribution because they have no harmful
impact on the environment because of
absence of greenhouse emission. Replacing
and supplementing the fossil based energy
sources with the renewable derived energy
one is a real challenge because of the
problems involved. The main problems
refers both to to the inadequate
infrastructure and to the the complex
interactions between technical and financial
aspects.
The energy obtained from renewable
sources is partly already competitive in price
and partly supported by state legislative to
promote their share in the market.
The greatest problem associated with
renewable form of energy is the variability of
supply. Electricity derived from these
sources cannot be matched to consumption
at peak daily times, so they must be
“balanced” by some other forms of power
energy generation sources, in order to
maintain a stable electric network. Of equal
concern aspect is if that the energy output
from the renewable sources is higher then
predicted and there is no availability of a
balancing output. To overcome these
problems, a safe and efficient solution
consist on storing renewable energy. Major

The major source of renewable energy is
obvious the sun. This is about ten thousand
times more than the annual global primary
energy demand and much more than all all
available energy reserves on the earth.
Solar energy is applied both by direct
conversion in photovoltaic generator and by
means of thermal collectors and steam
production.
Photovoltaic is a technology that converts
radiant energy (photo) to electricity (voltage).
Photovoltaic cells are the basic units for this
technology that use semiconductors for
electricity
generation.
The
use
of
photovoltaic systems have many advantages
such us: portability, reliability, low operation
costs, low environment impact, modularity,
safety and versatility.
In order to design a photovoltaic system it
is necessary to keep into account many
conditions. Electrical energy is produced in
the case of avalablity of the rewnewable
source, in our case the sun. Durind the night
and when the day is clodly, there is no
availability of primar source.
The optimisation procedure for such
systems requires modelling and simulations
of all involved devices that are parts of the
system.
3. Energy storage system
An
electricity
production
system
photovoltaics based is composed mainly by:
− the photovoltaic array that convert
sunlight falling on the cell into
electricity,
− the charge controll unit that controls
ther flow of the current to the storage
system in order to protect it from
overvoltages and overdischarges,
− the storage system and the inverter
that deliver the requested a.c. energy
to the load.
The energy storage system (figure 3)
provides an advantageous disconnect
between resource availability and utilisation
of the energy provided by rewnewable
source.

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ELECTROTEHNICĂ, ELECTRONICĂ, AUTOMATICĂ, 60 (2012), nr. 2

discharge the lead-acid batteries, it will imply
the necessity to install a larger battery bank.
Related to the lifetime of a photovoltaic
system, it can be mention, that the most
expensive component of the renewable
energy system is the batteries system,
because
of
the
maintenance
and
replacement costs.
Figure 3 Energy storage available technologies

Key factors of batteries for energy storage
application are: high energy density, high
energy capability, round trip efficiency,
cycling capability, life span and initial cost
[3]. They have the advantage that being
modular (figure 4) are suitable for distributed
storage.

4. The conceptual model of the electric
system
The considered input data are the power
provided both by the electric generator and
the photovoltaic system and the output is the
power requested by building consumers.
The approach of the electrical system
design in the case of our application is based
on a conceptual model, that is based on the
following structure:
− electric generators;
− photovoltaic panels;
− charge regulators;
− network of direct current;
− accumulators;
− inverters.
The electric system can be approached
as a black box model type, with specific input
and outpud data, such as presented in
figure 5.

Figure 4. Energy storage system based on battery
network [4]

Lead/acid
batteries
are
classical
secondary batteries for applications both
electrical vehicles and stationary equipment.
They represent a established and mature
technology.
There is also another battery technology
promising
solution
for
low
power
applications. We can mention the nickelcadmium and lithium-ion batteries that have
very high energy density comparing with the
lead-acid batteries one.
The best batteries to be used for
residential buildings applications are deepdischarge lead-acid batteries, that are
specially designed for solar electric systems.
An disadvantage of such kind of batteries
refers to the low specific energy (W-h/kg)
and specific power (W/kg), short life cycle,
relatively high maintenance requirement and
environmental hazards.
Because it is not recommended to fully

Figure 5. Block diagram of mCCHP electric system
[5]

The Stirling engine has a variable speed
that depends on quantity of the generated
heat, so, the electric generator that is
coupled with the Stirling engine will have
variable voltage according to that speed. The
frequency will be also variable because of
the speed variation [6].
According to the conceptual model, the
energy storage will be made by means of
accumulators system. In selecting of these
accumulators must be taken into account
certain parameters. They are both technical
and economic. It should also be keep into
account that secondary battery system are
the least sustainable element of an electrical
system and they must be replaced before
the other elements of the system [7].

ELECTROTEHNICĂ, ELECTRONICĂ, AUTOMATICĂ, 60 (2012), nr. 2

Dimensioning
the
electric
network
interconnections consists also in choosing
the diameter of the electrical cables that
depends on the rated currents they have to
bear without significant heating, and also the
choice of suitable switching and protection
devices required in the system. The cabling
diagram is determined based on the
functional scheme and electrical equipment
chosen before.
The electric energy has to be transferred
from the supply to the consumers by means
of electric cables of defined lengths and
electric resistance, that is not neglected for
high value of currents. This is why,
correlation of the currents values to the
cross-section of the conductors must be
chosen in such way as the power losses are
acceptable.
5. Conclusions
The use of renewable energy sources
have many advantages because of their
main qualities, they are clean, green, reliable
and contribute to greenhouse gases issue
reduction especially of carbon dioxide.
With an appropriate combination between
active and passive use of solar energy, can
be obtained a so/called zero/energy houses,
where almost entire energy demand of the
building can be covered by by use of solar
energy.
For residential and small buildings
applications, such the application of RO0054
Project, where there are specific conditions,
energy production systems based on solar
energy use holds the highest potential.
Concerns about the climatic changes and
the growing demand for energy represent a
trend and important reasons to trigger
worldwide intensified searches for suitable
green energy sources. For residential and
small buildings applications, solar and wind
power energy hold a high potential and they
may become, in our opinion, the main
renewable clean energy resources in the
future. For each application renewable
based there are different kind of energy
storage systems able to accomplish specific
characteristics. The development of such
kind of energy systems represents
nowadays a technical challenge market

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oriented.
The results obtained by the authors are
going to be used in several projects and
represent a new solution for the research in
Romania.
Acknowledgements
This work was supported by EEA grant no.
RO 0054/2009, for the project entitled:
“Integrated microCCHP-Stirling Engine based
on renewable energy sources for the isolated
residential consumers from South-East region
of Romania”.

References
[1] Angheliţă P., „Energy production systems for
residential buildings from south-east region of
Romania”, in Proc. of International workshop:
Global and regional environmental protection
– GLOREP 2010, pp. 58-61, Timişoara,
Romania.
[2] http://www.mcchp.ugal.ro/index. php?option=
com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=13&l
ang=en
[3] Technical reports, Project no. RO0054/2009
[4] Chefneux M, Scorţescu M, „Design Criteria
for Micro Combined Cooling-Heating-Power
(mCCHP) Electric System”, in Proc. of the
XVI-th
International
Conference
and
Exhibition
on
Ecological
Vehicles&
Renewable Energies- EVER 2011, 31 March01 April 2011, Monaco.
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[6] Angheliţă P, Chefneux M, Scorţescu M,
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in EEA - Electrotehnica, Electronica,
Automatica, vol. 58, no. 2, April-June 2010.
[7] Angheliţă P, Chefneux M, Balaban R, Trocan
L, „Energy Storage Systems for Buildings
Equipped with Photovoltaic Cells”, in proc. of
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