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Evaluation of a Distributed Photovoltaic System in Grid-Connected and Standalone Applications by Different MPPT Algorithms

Ru-Min Chao (), Shih-Hung Ko (), Hung-Ku Lin () and I-Kai Wang ()
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Ru-Min Chao: Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronics Engineering, NCKU, Tainan 701, Taiwan
Shih-Hung Ko: Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronics Engineering, NCKU, Tainan 701, Taiwan
Hung-Ku Lin: Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronics Engineering, NCKU, Tainan 701, Taiwan
I-Kai Wang: Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronics Engineering, NCKU, Tainan 701, Taiwan

Energies, 2018, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-15

Abstract: Due to the shortage of fossil fuel and the environmental pollution problem, solar energy applications have drawn a lot of attention worldwide. This paper reports the use of the latest patented distributed photovoltaic (PV) power system design, including the two possible maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms, a power optimizer, and a PV power controller, in grid-connected and standalone applications. A distributed PV system with four amorphous silicon thin-film solar panels is used to evaluate both the quadratic maximization (QM) and the Steepest descent (SD) MPPT algorithms. The system’s design is different for the QM or the SD MPPT algorithm being used. The test result for the grid-connected silicon-based PV panels will also be reported. Considering the settling time for the power optimizer to be 20 ms, the test result shows that the tracking time for the QM method is close to 200 ms, which is faster when compared with the SD method whose tracking time is 500 ms. Besides this, the use of the QM method provides a more stable power output since the tracking is restricted by a local power optimizer rather than the global tracking the SD method uses. For a standalone PV application, a solar-powered boat design with 18 PV panels using a cascaded MPPT controller is introduced, and it provides flexibility in system design and the effective use of photovoltaic energy.

Keywords: photovoltaic; distributed system; maximum power point tracker; photovoltaic (PV) controller; electric boat; power optimizer; quadratic maximization; steepest descent (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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