Assessing the Impact of Harmonics on Energy Storage Equipment

However, one factor that can significantly impact the performance and lifespan of energy storage equipment is harmonics.

Understanding Harmonics

Harmonics are a type of electrical distortion that occur when non-linear loads are connected to the electrical grid. Non-linear loads, such as computers, variable speed drives, and power electronics in energy storage systems, draw distorted currents from the grid, resulting in harmonics.

Harmonics are repetitive sinusoidal waveforms that have frequencies that are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency. These harmonics can distort the voltage waveform and cause issues such as increased heat, reduced power quality, and equipment malfunction.

The Impact on Energy Storage Equipment

Harmonics can have several detrimental effects on energy storage equipment. It is crucial to assess and mitigate these effects to ensure the reliable and efficient operation of energy storage systems. Here are some key impacts of harmonics on energy storage equipment:

  • Reduced battery lifespan: Harmonics can cause increased stress on the batteries, leading to faster deterioration and reduced lifespan. This is particularly true for lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in energy storage systems.
  • Increased heat generation: Harmonics can result in increased heat generation in power electronics components, such as inverters and converters. This can lead to overheating and component failure if not adequately addressed.
  • Power quality issues: Harmonics can distort the voltage waveform, leading to poor power quality. This can affect the performance of the energy storage system and other connected equipment, such as sensitive electronics.
  • Equipment malfunction: Excessive harmonics can cause equipment malfunction and even complete system failure. This can result in costly repairs, downtime, and decreased system availability.

Addressing Harmonics in Energy Storage Systems

To mitigate the impact of harmonics on energy storage equipment, several measures can be taken:

  • Harmonic filtering: Installing harmonic filters can help reduce the harmonic content in the system. These filters work by absorbing or canceling out the harmonic currents, ensuring a cleaner and more stable power supply.
  • Isolation transformers: Using isolation transformers can help separate the energy storage system from the main electrical grid, reducing the risk of harmonics affecting the system.
  • Proper grounding and shielding: Ensuring proper grounding and shielding of equipment can minimize the negative effects of harmonics and provide better protection against electromagnetic interference.
  • Regular maintenance and monitoring: Implementing a rigorous maintenance and monitoring program can help detect and address harmonics-related issues at an early stage, preventing major equipment failures.


Harmonics can significantly impact the performance, reliability, and lifespan of energy storage equipment. It is crucial for system designers, operators, and maintenance teams to assess and mitigate the effects of harmonics on energy storage systems. By implementing proper mitigation measures and regular monitoring, industry professionals can ensure the reliable operation of energy storage systems and maximize their benefits for the grid.

For more information on harmonics and energy storage, visit the U.S. Department of Energy.