In the coming articles I will concentrate on the control and optimization of solar energy storage and transportation systems, (understandably giving particular emphasis to my reversible fuel cell (RFC) design) and the role of hydrogen as one of the means of storing and transporting solar energy. I will start the discussion with small units serving individual homes and smaller industrial plants.
The optimization software needed for PV systems with both storage and grid connections has to: 1) Provide total automation, including record keeping, 2) Capability to reconfigure the system to automatically maximize profitability and 3) Provide self-diagnostics.
In developing the software package, the primary goal must be simplicity so that its operation does not require more understanding by the homeowner than what today’s thermostats require. To provide this requires total automation, so that the system will safely operate on its own, without the need for the homeowner to take any action at all. On the other hand, it must allow the homeowner to update or manually modify any data or set point, such as any changes in the price of electricity (during normal, night or peak periods, if they differ), the amount of electricity stored at the time and the minimum amount of electricity needed to remain in storage, if electric car(s) is(are) to be charged during the night.