Optimal Sizing of a Vanadium Redox Battery System for Microgrid Systems


The vanadium redox battery (VRB) has proven to be a reliable and highly efficient energy storage system (ESS) for microgrid applications. However, one challenge in designing a microgrid system is specifying the size of the ESS. This selection is made more complex due to the independent power and energy ratings inherent in VRB systems. Sizing a VRB for both required power output and energy storage capacity requires an in-depth analysis to produce both optimal scheduling capabilities and minimum capital costs. This paper presents an analytical method to determine the optimal ratings of VRB energy storage based on an optimal scheduling analysis and cost-benefit analysis for microgrid applications. A dynamic programming (DP) algorithm is used to solve the optimal scheduling problem considering the efficiency and operating characteristics of the VRBs. The proposed method has been applied to determine the optimal VRB power and energy ratings for both isolated and grid-connected microgrids, which contain PV arrays and fossil-fuel-based generation. We first consider the case in which a grid-tie is not available and diesel generation is the backup source of power. The method is then extended to consider the case in which a utility grid tie is available.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Energy storage; microgrids; optimal scheduling; optimal sizing; renewable energy; vanadium redox battery (VRB); Cost effectiveness; Dynamic programming; Electric batteries; Electric power distribution; Energy efficiency; Micro grid; Cost benefit analysis

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2015