The use of supercapacitors in conjunction with batteries in industrial auxiliary DC power systems
MetadataShow full item record
Control and monitoring networks often operate on AC/DC power systems. DC batteries and chargers are commonly used on industrial plants as auxiliary DC power systems for these control and monitoring networks. The energy demand and load profiles for these control networks differ from application to application. Proper design, sizing, and maintenance of the components that forms part of the DC control power system are therefore required. Throughout the load profile of a control and monitoring system there are various peak currents. The peak currents are classified as inrush and momentary loads. These inrush and momentary loads play a large role when calculating the required battery size for an application. This study investigates the feasibility of using supercapacitors in conjunction with batteries, in order to reduce the size of the required battery capacity. A reduction in the size of the required battery capacity not only influences the cost of the battery itself, but also influences the hydrogen emissions, the physical space requirements, and the required rectifiers and chargers. When calculating the required size batteries for an auxiliary power system, a defined load profile is required. Control and monitoring systems are used to control dynamic processes, which entails a continuous starting and stopping of equipment as the process demands. This starting and stopping of devices will cause fluctuations in the load profile. Ideally, data should be obtained from a live plant for the purpose of defining load profiles. Unfortunately, due to the economic risks involved, installing data logging equipment on a live industrial plant for the purpose of research, is not allowed. There are also no historical data available from which load profiles could be generated. In order to evaluate the influence of supercapacitors, complex load profiles are required. In this study, an alternative method of defining the load profile for a dynamic process is investigated. Load profiles for various applications are approximated using a probabilistic approach. The approximation methodology make use of plant operating philosophies as input to the Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation theory. The required battery sizes for the approximated profiles are calculated using the IEEE recommended practice for sizing batteries. The approximated load profile, as well the calculated battery size are used for simulating the auxiliary power system. A supercapacitor is introduced into the circuit and the simulations are repeated. The introduction of the supercapacitor relieves the battery of the inrush and momentary loads of the load profile. The battery sizing calculations are repeated so as to test the influence of the supercapacitor on the required battery capacity. In order to investigate the full influence of adding a supercapacitor to the design, the impact on various factors are considered. In this study, these factors include the battery size, charger size, H2 extraction system, as well as maintenance requirements and the life of the battery. No major cost savings where evident from the results obtained. Primary reasons for this low cost saving are the fixed ranges in which battery sizes are available, as well as conservative battery data obtained from battery suppliers. It is believed that applications other than control and monitoring systems will show larger savings.
- Engineering