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A simulation approach to sizing batteries for integration with net-zero energy residential buildings

Heine, Karl, Thatte, Amogh, Tabares-Velasco, Paulo Cesar
Renewable energy 2019 v.139 pp. 176-185
batteries, climatic zones, consumers (people), electricity, energy, models, prices, residential housing, solar collectors, solar energy, tariffs, Arizona
Utilities have greatly increased the use of time-of-use (TOU) rate structures for residential customers to more closely match the cost of delivered electricity as well as demand tariffs to incentivize a temporal shift in residential energy use. However current research tends to focus on a particular climate or location. This study analyzes four residences across four different climate zones in Arizona and explores the value of adding battery storage to a net-zero energy (NZE) photovoltaic (PV) system. Using the National Renewable Energy Lab's Building Optimization (BEopt) and System Advisor Model (SAM) tools, this study performs parametric analysis by varying battery size to determine a capacity that produces a maximum net present value (NPV). A sensitivity analysis on three possible future battery price trends is also performed. This study finds the NZE PV systems are only able to mitigate 37–44% of the peak electricity purchases and 4–12% of demand charges due to mismatch between solar potential and on-peak hours. Adding large batteries, 1.5–1.6 times larger than required to meet the annual peak energy purchase requirements, provides a maximum NPV for PV-battery systems at locations with favorable utility rates. We conclude that the best economics are achieved, at both current and expected future battery prices, when batteries are sized to never require replacement during the PV system lifetime.