Energy Storage System
ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM
The Energy Storage research group focuses on research, development and transfer to the business fabric of solutions within the field of energy storage. At present the technologies in which we are focusing our research are electrochemical storage systems, mainly batteries (lithium-ion, sodium-ion and lead-acid batteries), supercapacitors and storage systems based on hydrogen. At present, we are also starting to study new technologies such as solid-state batteries.
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The group is focusing on 4 lines of research, the first three aimed at batteries and supercapacitors. A line dedicated to modelling and simulation of these systems, another to the electronics associated with the storage system and a third one dedicated to the algorithms involved in storage technologies and the applications in which they are present. Finally, we have a fourth line of research dedicated to the technology of hydrogen.
Modelling and simulation
In this line, so far we have worked with li-ion technology. We create models with Lumped parameters and physical models to model the electrical, electrochemical, thermal and degradation performance of storage systems. We are also studying the way to reduce the order of these models so that they are executed more quickly in microprocessors of a BMS system. Meanwhile, in any of these models, their parameterisation is a key aspect and this is why we are working on techniques for characterisation of storage systems, developing our own methodologies to achieve our objective. The software that we use on this line is Comsol Multiphysics and/or Matlab-Simulink.
Electronics associated with the Storage System
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In this line, we are studying the electronics necessary in an application with storage systems. Starting with the battery management system, the hardware necessary in these cards, the measurements to be taken, the balancing system (active or passive), the communications and the elements that guarantee the system security.
We are also working on the power electronics necessary in these applications. We are studying interesting converter topologies for battery chargers, serialisable and parallelisable converters for constructing robust and modular battery packs, in this case analysing the main benefits of implementing a modular battery pack. All this work is always compared through real prototypes of our converters and battery packs.
In this line of research the team is focusing on providing solutions at storage system and application level. At storage system level we are working on the implementation of models in BMS systems (whether reduced or higher order models), developing algorithms for estimating variables such as SOC, SOH and SOF for lithium-ion batteries, and wroking on MPC (Model Predictive Control) algorithms for hybrid storage systems for power distribution (hybrids of supercapacitor with battery, or power with energy battery). Finally, through advanced physical battery models we are studying algorithms to prevent or minimise their degradation.
At application level, environments are being studied in which the storage systems are present together with other energy sources (of renewable origin or directly from the main grid) to try to optimise the energy management of the entire system. To do this, machine learning techniques are used to make estimates of renewable generation or the consumption of the application.
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In this new line of research the aim is complement the knowledge acquired in storage systems based on batteries and supercapacitors. One of the themes being investigated is electrolysis for obtaining hydrogen as a clean fuel. Furthermore, we are working on the theme of fuel cells as an alternative to current batteries for heavy electrical mobility applications and industrial applications.
Finally, we are working on sensorisation, monitoring and the actuators necessary in a hydrogen system and in the risk and safety assessment of this area, because the storage and operating conditions of hydrogen require a robust and secure system for its future operation on a massive scale.
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The applications of interest for the research group are electrical mobility, applications for electrical grids and microgrids, applications in the field of healthcare, industrial applications and storage in residential applications.
In addition to working with different companies in the field and from other countries, the research group is also participating in several collaborative research projects in the CAPV, Spain and Europe.
The research group has a very close collaboration with Ikerlan Technology Centre and Somorrostro Vocational Training Centre, as well as collaborations with CIC Energigune, the University of Zaragoza and the University of Colorado Springs, among others, all of which are reference centres in these areas.
SEABAT: Solutions for large batteries for waterborne transport. Funded by the European Commision.