Battery contribution to the reliability of power systems
Batteries are probably the least understood of all the components in power systems. Most of the people assume that all we have to do is just to install them and leave them there and that they will do an excellent job for the next several years.
What we expect from a battery is simple and clear: The ability to be charged and discharged quickly and according to its specifications for capacity (amp-hour) and service-life.
In the real world, things may be different. There are many threats lurking to harm the battery and degrade its performance to some or all of our requirements. But inability to respond properly to any of the requirements, even partial, has a direct impact to the reliability of our power system.
So, since batteries are the only wearable and the most expensive and delicate components in power systems, affecting directly their reliability, they deserve proper care and protection.
Products under the name “Battery Management Systems” for stationary batteries are assumed to provide the necessary care and protection.
Competitive products provide various levels of protection, starting from simple monitoring and range usually up to cell equalization for backup batteries (see next sections).