A team of scientists from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, and Jimma University, Ethiopia, recently analyzed and compared the technology and costs of lithium and lead-acid batteries for energy storage systems. The study found that lithium batteries have a lower price per kWh and a lower net present value cost (NPC).
Through the research and analysis of a 10kW grid-connected photovoltaic system supporting energy storage use, lithium batteries are undoubtedly a more economically viable energy storage solution than lead-acid batteries.
The analysis of both battery energy storage systems was modeled using HOMER software and the equivalent circuit model (ECM), which describes the behavior of the battery in terms of voltage, current, and capacitance.
THE SCIENTISTS EXPLAIN THAT the ECM model is built-in and uses electronic components to respond to the battery’s performance,” the scientists explain. On the other hand, the HOMER software can be used to optimize the ingredients used in grid-connected power systems.”
The team explained that the study considered the impact of charge and discharge rates on the performance of both batteries under typical application conditions, assuming they are used in a PV system application scenario with a tilt angle of 16 degrees and an azimuth of 0 degrees.
The power generation system was constructed from a PV system with an installed capacity of 10 kW, a 5 kW grid-connected converter, an 83 Ah lead-acid battery bank, and a 167 Ah lithium-ion battery bank with a load rating of 4 to 5 kW. and the electricity price for this simulated system was estimated at 0.084 €/kWh.
The scientists found that the charge and discharge performance of the lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries were nearly equivalent through simulation and testing.
Still, they also determined that the Li-ion battery had the same discharge characteristic response as the lead-acid battery but with the advantage of smaller capacity, using fewer cells, and longer service life.
In addition, they found that the net present value cost (NPC) of a photovoltaic storage project built from a photovoltaic system and a lithium battery storage system was 14,399 euros, with a price per kWh of 0.32 euros/kWh.
In comparison, the NPC of a photovoltaic storage project built from a photovoltaic system and a lead-acid battery was about 15,106 euros, with a cost per kWh of 0.34 euros/kWh.
They further explain that reducing the number of cells will affect the cost of electricity. Hence, the price of electricity is lower for photovoltaic storage projects using lithium batteries than lead-acid batteries.
Li-ion batteries have lower life-cycle costs compared to lead-acid batteries deployed with PV systems.
And grid-connected PV systems with lithium batteries require 40% fewer batteries than systems with lead-acid batteries, providing reliable power at a lower cost.
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