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Renewable Energy Terminology - B

Posted by: Chloe Jordan

The renewables industry is a sector of the working world that has, buried within its core, a rich centre of initialisms, complex words, and phrases that are often unknown outside of the industry – to help you understand we’ve compiled a list of terms starting with the letter B.

Battery: Consists of two or more electrochemical cells enclosed in a container, electrically interconnected in an appropriate series to provide the required operating voltage and current levels. Under common usage, the term battery also applies to a single cell if it constitutes the entire electrochemical storage system.

Battery Bank: an array of batteries that stores renewable energy in a solar power system.

Battery available capacity: The total maximum charge, expressed in ampere-hours, that can be withdrawn from a cell or battery under a specific set of operating conditions including discharge rate, temperature, initial state of charge, age, and cut-off voltage.

Battery capacity: The maximum total electrical charge, expressed in ampere-hours, which a battery can deliver to a load under a specific set of conditions.

Battery cell: The simplest operating unit in a storage battery. It consists of one or more positive electrodes or plates, an electrolyte that permits ionic conduction, one or more negative electrodes or plates, separators between plates of opposite polarity, and a container for all the above.

Battery cycle life: The number of cycles, to a specified depth of discharge, that a cell or battery can undergo before failing to meet its specified capacity or efficiency performance criteria.

Battery energy capacity: The total energy available, expressed in watt-hours (kilowatt-hours), which can be withdrawn from a fully charged cell or battery. The energy capacity of a given cell varies with temperature, rate, age, and cut-off voltage. This term is more common to system designers than it is to the battery industry where capacity usually refers to ampere-hours.

Battery energy storage: Energy storage using electrochemical batteries. The three main applications for battery energy storage systems include spinning reserve at generating stations, load levelling at substations, and peak shaving on the customer side of the meter.

Battery life: The period during which a cell or battery is capable of operating above a specified capacity or efficiency performance level. Life may be measured in cycles and/or years, depending on the type of service for which the cell or battery is intended.

Biomass: biomass is any organic matter that can be used to generate energy. Biomass can be produced from different sources including agricultural or forestry residues, dedicated energy crops or waste products such as uneaten food.

Biomass is converted to energy through various processes, including:

  • Direct combustion (burning) to produce heat
  • Thermochemical conversion to produce solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels
  • Chemical conversion to produce liquid fuels
  • Biological conversion to produce liquid and gaseous fuels
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