A Model for Evaluating the Configuration and Dispatch of PV Plus Battery Power Plants

Nicholas DiOrio, Paul Denholm, William Hobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus Citations


An open-source model was developed to optimize energy storage operation for photovoltaic- (PV-) plus-battery systems with AC-coupled and DC-coupled configurations. It includes the ability to use forecast energy prices to optimize battery charge and discharge on a rolling time horizon. The model allows for exploration of different configurations, including capital costs, inverter performance, dispatch flexibility, and capturing otherwise clipped energy for the DC-coupled system. The model can run 20 full years of hourly data in approximately two seconds, allowing comparison of a large number of configurations. We applied the model in a test case demonstrating reduced inverter clipping for DC-coupled systems and yielded slightly higher overall value than AC-coupled systems, with an approximately 2 percent increase in internal rate of return or benefit/cost ratio. Our results show that at current estimated prices for lithium-ion battery systems, large-scale PV-plus-battery plants are economically viable under the right conditions, with the configuration playing a role in system flexibility and performance. This model provides the ability for project developers, industry professionals, and researchers to use readily available software to quickly evaluate and design these systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number114465
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-74288


  • ac-coupled
  • Battery
  • dc-coupled
  • Dispatch
  • Energy storage
  • Photovoltaics


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