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How Advanced Modelling & Testing Improves Battery Safety and Performance

Testing & Modelling BESS safety

Key to both climate action and grid stability, battery energy storage systems (BESS) are seeing unprecedented growth. As the demand for high-quality BESS rises, utilities and developers are increasingly looking for ways to streamline project development without compromising the ability to verify that systems are safe, efficient, and perform as intended. Advanced modelling and testing not only confirms the safety and performance of BESS, but also helps catch and resolve potential issues earlier on in the development cycle, reducing costs and timelines to accelerate climate action.

By offering a comprehensive understanding of system behavior, predicting performance, improving safety, aiding regulatory compliance, reducing costs, and enhancing product and service resilience, advanced modelling and testing plays a crucial role in optimizing BESS. Advanced modelling and testing techniques empower project developers to meet the demands of utilities and the grid through rigorous simulations and verifications, giving stakeholders a deeper understanding of the project — and increasing trust in BESS.

Advanced modelling and testing holds the key to safer, more efficient, and reliable energy storage solutions that can meet the massive demand of today’s market. Read on for an overview of what advanced modelling and testing entails and how EVLO is leading the way with our innovative and multi-faceted approach.


The Importance of Advanced Modelling and Testing

Advanced modelling and testing helps developers and utilities understand and quantify the performance of BESS components and ensure that they all work together in one seamless system. This is essential for safeguarding BESS, as developers need a robust understanding of their battery’s power system to safely and efficiently execute project deployments, ensure compliance with interconnection standards, and facilitate seamless integration with existing power systems.

Project developers and utilities need to verify the health and performance of BESS, including:

  • Rated capacity relative to actual performance
  • Conversion efficiency of stored energy into usable electrical power
  • Speed of degradation and number of charge-discharge cycles
  • Thermal responsivity
  • Whether there are communication protocols and interfaces that facilitate cross-system integration
  • Energy Management System (EMS) control functions and compatibility with alternative BESS infrastructure

Advanced modelling and testing can answer all of these questions, and more, to provide peace of mind, minimize grid integration risks and optimized BESS deployment and operation. Digitized models offer an innovative, flexible, and cost-effective alternative to traditional laboratory testing and provide a deep understanding of BESS dynamics before commissioning. This shortens deployment timelines and helps ensure smooth project completion. Plus, advanced modelling and testing can address concerns related to system and grid resiliency by proactively configuring protective functions.


What Advanced Modelling and Testing Entails

Throughout the initial project design and engineering phase, EVLO utilizes clients’ preferred modelling software to develop BESS project simulations, offering full support for PS CAD, as well as other platforms such as EMTP. Our simulations entail detailed models of Power Conversion Systems (PCS) and other battery components using advanced techniques like Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and the Thevenin Equivalent. These simulations allow us to test how “DC side” battery components such as battery modules, the BMS and DC-DC converters will behave in Electromagnetic Transient (EMT) environments during a range of potential fault events including a single phase short circuit, two phase fault, three-phase fault, over frequency event, under-frequency and more, and are crucial for understanding the dynamic responses of the BESS under varying conditions.

Recognizing and preparing for fluctuations in load currents, ambient temperature, and state of charge (SoC) performance, among other variables, is critical, and ultimately ensures BESS reliability, efficiency, and operational safety throughout the system lifespan.

During the manufacturing process, EVLO conducts in-house Factory Acceptance Testing on all levels of a BESS, including containers, power conversion equipment, and EMS. These functional tests verify that all subsystem components meet specified performance requirements and have proper functionality and interoperability.

After Factory Acceptance Testing, but prior to delivery — EVLO conducts Factory Integration Testing (FIT) leveraging our state-of-the-art Test Line. This allows our customers, and safety authorities, to test and train with the BESS while connected to the grid, helping determine how the system performs in a true-to-life environment and reducing costly surprises during the installation, commissioning and operation of the project.

Once the BESS has been delivered and installed, EVLO’s team of experts perform pre-commissioning, confirming that all system requirements are met so they can safely move forward with additional verification. First up is cold commissioning, which validates the auxiliary power supply, control systems, temperature regulation, HVAC, internal communication, fire detection, and safety mechanisms to ensure proper configuration to the main power grid.

Next is hot commissioning, where the system is connected to the main power source to run functional tests including emergency shutdowns, reactive power controls, and resilience responses under normal and abnormal conditions. This comprehensive approach to testing maximizes safety and minimizes the likelihood of operational issues, ensuring that BESS functions correctly and safely.


The EVLO Advantage

EVLO’s approach to modelling and testing provides unparalleled support and transparency. We partner with developers, utilities and communities throughout project development to model and test as many different scenarios as they’d like. We also provide guidance regarding scenarios to simulate based on our expertise in grid-scale energy storage systems. This allows us and our partners to catch and resolve potential issues earlier on, which saves time, money and headaches. We also welcome customers and utilities to witness physical tests for themselves if they so choose.

Our robust modelling and testing capabilities enable us to efficiently simulate hundreds of detailed projects, providing unparalleled insight into the performance and safety of BESS. Additionally, EVLO’s advanced modelling and testing can be conducted concurrently, expediting timelines while verifying the safety, performance, and resilience of all aspects of the BESS. Finally, our Test Line provides a rare opportunity to run simulations in a grid-connected environment, enhancing our validation process and reducing project timelines.

Advanced modelling and testing will become increasingly important as the demand for safe and reliable BESS grows. With our rigorous modelling and testing processes, EVLO is leading the way toward the safest BESS possible while streamlining project development and ensuring best-in-class performance for our customers and the grid.