Behind the Meter Storage for Electric Vehicle Charging, Electrochemical and Thermal Energy Storage, and Solar Photovoltaic

Madeline Gilleran, Margaret Mann

Research output: NRELPresentation


In response to the potentially large and irregular demand from EVs, along with changing load profiles from buildings with on-site generation, utilities are evaluating multiple options for managing dynamic loads, including time-of-use pricing, demand charges, battery storage, and curtailment of variable generation. Buildings, as well as commercial, public, and workplace EV charging operations, can use a combination of electrochemical battery storage and thermal energy storage coupled with on-site generation to manage energy costs as well as provide resiliency and reliability for EV charging and building energy loads. We are completing a behind the meter storage analysis that focuses on determining the optimal system designs and energy flows for thermal and electrochemical behind the meter storage with on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) generation enabling electric vehicle charging in various climates, building types, and utility rate structures. In completing this analysis, we have developed a tool that combines existing battery models via the System Advisor Model (SAM) and building modeling software via EnergyPlus into a single interface. This tool allows us to simulate a building with a detailed battery model to properly size the battery, thermal energy storage, and solar PV systems to maximize profit for the system owner. This also allows us to assess how the battery degrades under various supervisory control dispatch algorithms to control charging/discharging; we can also see how thermal energy storage is created and used to complement the battery to reduce thermal loads in the building. With this project, we can analyze new batteries that are designed specifically for energy storage, rather than designed to be extremely energy dense for electric vehicle applications, using battery lifetime models from other national labs and the existing SAM battery model, which has detailed lifetime and degradation parameters. We can also assess novel thermal storage technologies by integrating them into the whole building energy simulation program EnergyPlus. Because the model calls both SAM and EnergyPlus, required inputs need to be compatible for both models. These inputs include, on a high-level, the following: weather files, building and electric vehicle load profiles, electricity rate tariff information, and system cost information for the stationary battery, solar PV, and thermal storage system. The various buildings we are studying for this analysis are retail big-box grocery store, commercial office building, fleet vehicle depot and operations facility, multi-family residential, and electric vehicle charging station. For these different applications, the battery and thermal storage will be dispatched differently, and the various technologies are sized differently to optimize cost.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePresented at the ASME 14th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, 17-18 June 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-76948


  • battery
  • BTMS
  • storage


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