Report Number




Batteries; PV Systems


This report presents fundamentals of battery technology and charge control strategies commonly used in stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems. This work is a compilation of information from several sources, including PV system design manuals, research reports and data from component manufacturers.

Details are provided about the common types of flooded lead-acid, valve regulated lead-acid, and nickel cadmium cells used in PV systems, including their design and construction, electrochemistry and operational performance characteristics. Comparisons are given for various battery technologies, and considerations for battery subsystem design, auxiliary systems, maintenance and safety are discussed.

Requirements for battery charge control in stand-alone PV systems are covered, including details about the various switching designs, algorithms, and operational characteristics. Daily operational profiles are presented for different types of battery charge controllers, providing an in-depth look at how these controllers regulate and limit battery overcharge in PV systems.

Most importantly, considerations for properly selecting batteries and matching of the charge controller characteristics are presented. Specific recommendations on voltage regulation set point for different charge control algorithms and battery types are listed to aid system designers.

Date Published



Batteries; PV Systems



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