Alencon, an optimizer manufacturing company based in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, has been awarded its seventh U.S. patent, this time for a Bi-Directional Optimizer for Storage Systems (BOSS).
BOSS is designed to enable the granular control of charge and discharge of individual battery racks through a process called galvanic isolation. Alencon described galvanic isolation as an effective method of breaking ground loops by preventing unwanted current from flowing between two units sharing a ground conductor. This feature is intended to improve battery energy storage system (BESS) safety by allowing batteries to float as intended by their manufacturer while being isolated from the rest of the system.
The company said the device has practical applications in solar projects where electric circuits must communicate, but where their grounds are at different potentials.
According to the company, a galvanically isolated DC-DC converter serves the dual purpose of mapping PV voltage to battery voltage while” isolating the differential grounding schemes that could be present.”
The patent Alencon was awarded (#11,146,079), addresses BOSS’s Silicon Carbide-based, galvanically isolated topology, as well as the differentiated benefits the BOSS brings to BESS, whether those systems are stand-alone or DC-coupled with solar.
Additionally, the patent covers the BOSS’s approach to rack-0level battery charging and how the device can help balance the state of charge of batteries with differing states of health. Such charge balancing is particularly critical as BESS age and their component cells degrade, said the company.
In another project with Duke Energy in North Carolina, researchers at Alencon Systems studied issues that can arise from retrofitting existing solar structures with battery storage systems. The study examined DC-coupled storage systems, which many proponents say offer compelling advantages over AC coupling.
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