Battery Energy Storage Systems

Battery energy storage systems (BESSs) have become prevalent parts of our communities from vehicles to grid storage. This guide aims to give the reader an overview of the technology available and some basic information on how best to operate and maintain a BESS. Topic areas include available chemistries, stressors on the battery, vehicle-to-anything (V2X) technology, metrics for performance, safety measures, and how to evaluate battery end of life (EOL). The guide includes helpful resources for each of these areas.  

As we go through this guide, we cover ways to plan for your BESS, how to start operating and using your BESS, and what to do once you have your BESS. The Plan section introduces the technologies that are available to you. Next, we discuss the use cases to provide detail on potential applications regularly used by other BESSs. Then we cover the stressors that play the largest impact on BESSs so that you can begin to narrow which applications are practical for you. We then describe V2X technology to help you better understand some sustainable options for your BESS before finally covering available software to help you diagnose your need. 

The Do section covers important factors for sizing and costing your BESS system while considering safety issues. Metrics to monitor during operation as well as tests for checking the health of your BESS will be identified. We describe protocol and standards for operation including shipping standards so you know what to expect upon the arrival of your BESS and can stay up to code during operation. 

Finally, the Follow Through section addresses maintenance questions to provide ideas and resources for when maintenance is needed. There will also be a list of organizations available to support you in the event of any issues or questions. We conclude with how to know when your BESS has reached EOL and what to do with it then. 

Acronyms and Glossary

  • Ah - amp-hour
  • BOL - beginning of life
  • BESS - battery energy storage system
  • C-rate - charge rate
  • Capacity - maximum amp-hour throughput
  • DOD - depth of discharge
  • EOL - end of life
  • IEC - International Electrotechnical Commission
  • kW - kilowatt
  • kWh - kilowatt-hour
  • LCOE - levelized cost of energy
  • LCOS - levelized cost of storage
  • LFP - lithium iron phosphate
  • ML - machine learning
  • NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • MSDS - material safety data sheet
  • MW - megawatt
  • NMC - nickel manganese cobalt
  • NNL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • PV - photovoltaics
  • RUL - remaining useful life
  • SOH - state of health
  • SOC - state of charge
  • UL - Underwriters Laboratories
  • USAID - United States Agency for International Development
  • V2X - vehicle to anything
  • Wh - watt-hour
Not Enrolled

Content Includes

  • 16 Lessons