Arctic: ecology and economy
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Home Archive of journals Issue 2(38) 2020 Portable photovoltaic power supply for low temperature applications


JOURNAL: 2020, 2(38), p. 134-143

HEADING: New technologies for the Arctic

ORGANIZATIONS: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences, LLC YAROSTANMASH

DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-2-134-143

UDC: 620.98:621.311.61

The article was received on: 13.03.2020

Keywords: environmental test, portable power supply, photoelectric converter, lithium-ion battery, charge controller, extreme regulation

Bibliographic description: Portable photovoltaic power supply for low temperature applications. Arctic: ecology and economy, 2020, no. 2(38), pp. 134-143. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-2-134-143. (In Russian).


The paper describes autonomous power supply for small and mobile consumers such as reindeer farmers, tourists, geological groups, emergency teams and others, operating for a long time outside the centralized power supply networks and in tough environment conditions. The authors consider the development and operation issues of portable power supplies based on renewable energy power sources in extreme climatic conditions. The authors present the developed autonomous portable photovoltaic power supply, its operation algorithm and technical parameters. The power supply contains high-performance silicon photoelectric modules based on heterojunctions, a high-capacity lithium-ion battery with a built-in heater, and a charge controller with the function of extreme power control and balancing of the battery cells.
The controller’s operating algorithm ensures that the battery is heated before charging at a temperature below zero to prevent the formation of dendrites on the anode electrodes of lithium-ion cells.
To provide power source operation in Arctic conditions several Li-ion batteries were tested using climate chamber and including charge-discharge cycling at temperatures from the room one down to minus 40°C. Based on the obtained experimental data the energy balance for different Russian regions was calculated and optimal type of batteries as part of a portable power supply was selected.
Using the NASA POWER climate database on daily amounts of total solar radiation and average air temperature (2017-2018), the authors created local hourly data arrays with a time step of 1 hour. Based on these data, the authors calculated the energy balance of a portable power supply for various places of its potential use, such as Yakutia, Arkhangelsk, Blagoveshchensk, Nakhodka, Elista and some others. Using the balance calculations the authors determined the influence of photovoltaic battery power and the capacity of the installed Li-ion batteries on the autonomous life of the portable power supply at the rated power of the consumer. The energy spent by battery heater proved to have no significant influence on the energy balance. The power of the photovoltaic battery, which is maximum in the warm season, exerts the most influence on the operation of the power supply and the degree of load coverage.
High-capacity Li-ion batteries are supposed to be optimal for portable application, despite a sharp decrease in energy consumption at battery temperatures below zero, due to their much lower mass than lithium-nanotitanate-based batteries that are more resistant to freezing. They provide battery life close to those for lithium-nanotitanate batteries (in the case of using solar radiation for heating) with a significantly lower total mass of the power source.

Finance info: The portable power supply using solar energy was developed with the financial support of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE), Agreement No.28721/45454 (27.03.2019).


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DOI 10.25283/2223-4594