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L Zhang, A AI-Amoudi', Yunfei Bai University of Leeds, UK 'King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Arabia

ABSTRACT The paper presents a model-based method for photovoltaic array maximum power point prediction. The method was tested successfully on a small gridconnected PV system. A three-phase IGBT-voltagesource inverter is used as the power conditioner and a DSP-controller is employed to perform real-time control and prediction functions. The system and experimental results obtained are presented in the paper. LIST OF SYMBOLS

Io leakage current or reverse saturation current in A q: electron charge = 1.602 x lo-'' (Coulomb) V,. junction voltage (Volt). k: Boltzmann constant =1.380658 x 10 -23 Jk" T: cell temperature (K) A: ideality factor E (1 5 3 ) T, ambient temperature in C O S: global solar radiation (in mW/cm2) w, wind speed (&sec) I& : reverse saturation current at reference temperature (T,) =19.9693 x I O - ~ A. T, : reference temperature = 30 1.18 K. EG energy of the band gap for silicon = (1 - 3) eV I,,, cell short-circuit current at the reference temperature(z 3.3 A) k, short circuit current temperature coefficient at I,,, = 0.0017 N"C.

efficiency, it requires continuous adjustment of the PV system terminal voltage corresponding to the changing atmospheric conditions so that power transfer is always kept to the maximum level. Such a technique, called the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) has been wide applied in practice, but the method commonly used for voltage regulation is based on a simple approach called Perturb and Observe (P&O)[l]. This operates by periodically changing the array terminal voltage and comparing the PV power with that of the previous perturbation cycle. If it is increasing the pattem of change will continue in the same direction, otherwise the pattem will be reversed. The procedure continues until the output power reaches the maximum level. This method is generally slow in locating the optimum operating point. In addition it will not work well when the measured data are noisy and the weather conditions are changing rapidly. This paper presents a model-based MPPT technique. The method employs a mathematical model developed from an equivalent circuit representation of a PV cell to predict the terminal voltage value which will give the maximum output power. The method is applied to control the power output of a lOOW PV-panel made of silicon single crystals. The PV panel uses a three-phase IGBT-based voltage source inverter as the power conditioner and supplies power to the grid. . The modelbased control scheme was implemented using a DSPcontroller(TMS320C30). The method will be explained and experimental results obtained will be presented in the paper.
2. THE EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT MODEL A PV array is a non-linear device having a currentvoltage (I-V) characteristic which depends on solar radiation and ambient temperature. The basic structure of a PV cell consists of two layers of semiconductor, the negative-carrier or donor (N-layer) and the positivecarrier or acceptor (P-layer). The N-layer usually faces the sun, and under the action of light it produces electrons which the lower P-layer accepts [2,3].

It is well known that photovoltaic systems can produce electric power without causing the environmental harzard and solar energy is free, abundant and distributed throughout the earth. However the wide acceptance and utilisation of PV generation of electrical power are limited by the cost of the power generated. Although such a cost is dependent on the type of the PV systems used, it is also directly linked with the running efficiency of the system. In a grid-connected PV system, the highest overall efficiency one can achieve results in the highest AC energy output.
A PV system is a nonlinear power source, i.e. its output current/power depends on the terminal operating voltage. On the other hand, the maximum power generated by the system changes with the changing radiation and temperature. Thus to obtain high running

The most common semiconductor used in photovoltaic cells is silicon (Si). Silicon has four electrons in the outer shell of its atomic structure. The N-layer is usually formed by introducing to the pure silicon crystal an impurity, such as phosphorus (P), that has five electrons in its outer shell. This results in a 'doped' material with

Power Electronics and Variable Speed Drives, 18-19 September 2000, Conference Publication NO. 475 0 IEE 2000

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one free electron in each atom. Adding an impurity that has three electrons in its outer shell, like boron (B), can form a corresponding P-layer. The resulting 'doped' material has free holes [3]. When light photons strike the PV cell they may be absorbed; reflected or pass straight through. The energy of the absorbed light photons creates electrodhole pairs which are swept apart if created in the depletion region associated with the jaction. If both sides are connected by an external wire the electrons flow round the external circuit. This results in a DC voltage and current. Figure' 1 shows the simple PV cell equivalent circuit. The main eurrents in the PV cell are [3,4]: 0 Photbvoltaic current, Iph , which is proportional to the radiation from the sun incident on the solar cell, 0 Diode Current, I d , which is related to the working voltage and leakage current Io and can be represented as Id = Io[exp(qF /ART) - I ] (1) 0 Shunt current, Ish , is the current caused by the effect of the junction voltage on the shunt resistance and is expressed as: Ish = V/Rsh (2) where &h is the shunt resistance, which indicates the current loss due to electrons crossing through the N and P junction [2]. The output current from the cell is I = Iph -Id * [yh (31 The presence of a series resistance, &, due to the semiconductor resistance, the opaque electrode resistance and the wiring loss causes the output voltage to be represented by the following value: V = V,-IR, (4) Substituting Equs. (l), (2) and (4)into Equ. (3) results in: I = Iph - Io[ap{q(V+IRJ/AkT} - I ] - (V + IRJ/RAh( 5 ) which is a general mathematical model for a single cell. For a PV array having ns solar cells connected in series and np solar cells in parallel, the equivalent circuit model is given as IT (I+RsdR.,hT) = ]phi- - n ~ o ( ~ P ( K o ( V ~~TR.AT))) -+ 4 -1 - (V/d/RAhT (6) As the output power of a PV array is the product of IT and terminal voltage V, we have

PV-cell. The cell temperature in K can be obtained from the empirical equation [5]:
T = 3.12 + 0.25s + 0.899T0 - 1 . 3 + 273 (8) ~ ~

The reverse saturation current varies with temperature according to the following relation [5].

The photo current is a function of the incident solar radiation and the cell temperature and is given by [6]:

The above described model is used to simulate the characteristics of a real PV module(Js70), manufactured at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Table 2.1 lists the physical specifications of this module, the selected PV parameters which have significant effects on the I-V characteristics are as listed in Table 2.2. Figures 2 and 3 show the I-V and P-V characteristics of the simulated and real module after tuning the solar model parameters.



. _*._


No. of cell connected in series (n"L....... )... No. of cell connected

40 cells



Cell area Cell type


1" -1

100 cm


1. .

.._.._ ._

Silicon, single crystal


Module size

".l ..


100 C X 50 C m m

Table 1: Js70 PV module specifications


Cell series resistance (R ) s.-.& .. Cell shunt resistance (Red Short circuit current at reference temperature ... Ideality factor ......... .



5x105 R 3.3 A

"1 ,

", .i

I -_

1.72 .......... 1 eV

Band gap energy


= nJph V - ndo[exp{Ko(V/n, +ITR,T))


+ ITRsT)v/ RshT

-1 V 1


The maximum power point for a specific weather condition can be calculated using a simple and fast algorithm (shown in Flowchart 1). The following steps summarise the method used: 0 choose an initial terminal voltage value, 0 calculate the initial output current ,I,, and power, Pi,, 0 set the maximum power equal to the calculated power, i.e.P,, = P,,,, 0 increment the voltage by a small value hence getting

It is worth noting that the temperature, the reverse saturation current and the photocurrent are all affected ges in the radiation level. cell temperature is affected by ditions such as the solar radiation intensity, ambient temperature and wind speed. These rm factors affect the heat transfer process to and f o the


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Vn+l= V, + AV, e calculate the corresponding current and

power,I,+, and

P"+h compare the new obtained power with P and , substitute P with P,+, when the latter is greater, or , retain P otherwise, , 0 repeat the above procedure until output current, I, becoming negligibly small.

supplies to the grid. The measurement system includes thermal q d light radiation sensors and current, voltage transducers.
4.2 Control Principle

Plant Information

The control scheme for maximum-power point tracking employs a DC voltage regulator and two AC current controllers as shown in Fig. 5. For a specific set of radiation and temperature measurements the PV model presented in section 2 predicts a DC voltage value which will lead to the output power delivered by the PV array to be maximum. This is applied as the reference signal for a PI type voltage controller. Subsequently, the command values for the DC current flowing between the DC-bus and the AC power grid is given as
l i e =Kpv(vic-vdc)+Kiv J ~ i c - v d c ) d t (11) where K,, and K,, are the voltage proportional and integral factors respectively.

Pmax = 0

Calculate I & P

V = V +AV


For accurate current regulation, all AC three phase variables are represented in their d-q vector forms using a reference frame synchronously rotating with the supply voltage. Two PI regulators one for d component the other q component of the current vector are required. The advantage of employing a synchronously rotating reference frame ( S W ) current regulator is well known. The input and output values are DC rather than sinusoidal quantities, hence, enabling the controller to obtain a complete elimination of phase error between the reference and controlled currents at any operating point. Furthermore, for achieving unity power factor fundamental current flow, the q component of the command current vecto: is set to zero, while d is defined to be equal to Zde calculated from equation (1 1). With two PI regulators, the d and q components of the reference voltage vector for the inverter are, thus, derived as V L = Kpc ( I : - Z&)+ Kic

Flowchart 1: MPPT searching scheme


J(Zk- I & ) dr


4.1 System Configuration

(13) v : = KpC (Iie - Iqe ) + Kic J(Iie - I q e ) dt q where KF and K,c are the current proportional and integration gains, and required to be tuned adequately for good performance current regulation. To generate the above calculated voltage vector at the AC side of the inverter, a PWM scheme must be applied for controlling the switches of the inverter drive.
4.3 Results and Discussions

Figd presents a block diagram of the prototype system used in the lab to demonstrate a real PV grid-connected system for domestic use. The system consists of the following main parts: a dSPACE DS1102 microcontroller (TMS-320C30), a personal computer (PC) for user-system interface, a PV module, an IGBT three-phase voltage source inverter (VSI), the measurement system, and utility grid. The ratings and characteristics of the PV module are as given in Section 2. The IGBT- based VSI converts the PV module generated DC power to 50Hz AC and

The above discussed control scheme was applied successfully to the prototype PV-grid power generation system shown in Fig. 4. The aim is to tune the PI controllers of the current and voltage loops properly for tracking the maximum power point and to feed current to the grid with unity power factor. A phase locking scheme has been used to ensure that the VSI output


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voltages are synchronised with the utility grid and have the same phase sequence. This uses a zero-crossing detector. The synchronisation is made by initialising the PWM system modulating angle (a#) at the rising-up zero-crossing edge of phase A utility grid signals which is also called the wave template signal. In the current control loops, the measured three phase currents in SRF are firstly filtered by using a simple first-order digital moving average filter. Such a procedure is necessary to eliminate ripples and noises caused mainly by inverter switching. The smoothed three-phase currents are, then, converted to their two-phase equivalents in SRRF. As explained in Section 3.2, to obtain a unity power factor current supplx the reference current value for q component, Zqe , is set to zer?. The reference value for d-axis current component, Ide , is the output of the DC voltage PI regulator calculated by equation (12). The reference voltages were calculated from the MPPT searching algorithm. Table 3 illustrates the MPP operating point at four different weather conditions. The controller in this case should enable the voltage/current to 'follow these reference values and establish unity power factor operation. The control system shown in Fig. 5 was implemented using the DSI 102 controller board programmed in ANSI C. Flowchart 2 illustrates the program structure. The sampling time for the voltage controller is 1.2 ms whilst that for the current loop is 200 p.The switching fiequency of the inverter was fixed at 6.25 kHz.

Variations of the currents are shown in Fig. 7. The transient responses of the d-q current vector components are as desired. At steady state, I& settles to a constant value determined by the outer voltage control loop quickly while Iqe is kept around zero, hence giving a unity power factor control to the fundamental current. This is further verified by observing the steady-state waveforms of the grid-side phase voltage and PV supplied current shown in Fig. 8. As can be seen the two waveforms are in phase at steady state.

84.483 67.120 45.403



18.206 17.789

37.168 37.045

1 18.680 1

2,553 2.082 1.349

! 46.480

1 22.745

37.029 25.192

I 22.883 1

2.820 2.236


Flowchart 2: Power control scheme The control parameters were carefully tuned to achieve satisfactory results. The voltage proportional and integral factors are 2 and 15 respectively, while the current proportional and integral gains are 2 and 25 respectively. Fig. 6 presents the changing optimal voltage levels predicted by the PV model for four different weather conditions. The responses of the DC-bus voltage corresponding to each variation of the command value are also shown in this graph. It can be seen that the performances of the voltage tracking the reference values are satisfactory in both transient and steady states. Thus, the designed control scheme can achieve maximum power point tracking.

The paper presented a model-based control scheme for a small, practical PV-grid connected power generation system. The experimental result obtained has shown that the proposed scheme is plausible. The transient and steady-state responses of the AC current track well to the reference values which are determined by MPPT searching scheme. The zero phase angle between the grid voltage and supply current has been kept at all tested operating conditions.


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1. K.h. Hussein, I. Muta, T. Hoshino, and M. Osakada, 1995, Maximum photovoltaic power tracking: an algorithm for rapidly change atmospheric conditions, IEE Proc.-Gener. Transm. Distrib., =,59-64
2. David L. and Pulfi-ey 1978, Photovoltaic Power Generation, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc., New York,.

e0 r

-Real module P-Vcurve



Solar cell model P-V curve


3. Solar Energy Institute, Basic Photovoltaic Principles and Methods, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc., New York, 1984.
4. K. Tanaka and E. Sakoguchi, Simulated Power





Voltage (V) Fig. 3 P-V curves for a real PV module and solar cell model at (STC) (25 O and 100 mW/cm2) C
PC &
wpponing roRwues

Source Based on Output Characteristics of Solar Cell, Electrical Engineering in Japan, Vol. 114, No. 1, 1994, pp. 753-759.
5 . G. Vanhtesevanos and K. Kalaitzakis, 1987 A Hybrid Photovoltaic Simulator For Utility Interactive Studies , IEEE Trans. on Energy Conversion, 2,227231.

6.K.H. Hussein, I. Muta and T. Hoshino, M. Osakada, Maximum Photovoltaic Power Tracking: an Algorithm for Rapidly Change Atmospheric Conditions, IEE Proc.-Gener. Transm. Distrib., Vol. 142, No. 1, January 1995, pp. 59-64
I.dSPACE, DS 1 102 Floating Point Controller Board, ver.2.0, DSPACE Digital Signal Processor Engineering, Germany


Fig. 4 Configuration of a prototype PV grid-connected system


0 0



1 .I

,.I .. .O


Fig. 5 Block Diagram of the control scheme





Voltage (V

Fig. 2 I-V curves for a real PV module and solar cell model


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I I I I I_ . I

---- -

Reference Voltage (V) Measured Voltage (V)

_ -

-, -

- -

- -

- I - - - - - - - ?

rad=91.27 mw/cm2

rad=67.12 I mw/cm2 7 mw/cm2 T. = 37.05 "C

- - -

rad=92.46 T. = 29.67 "C



rad= 84.48


T,,=36.58 { "C
-0.02 34

Time (min.)











Time (min.)

Fig. 7 Ide, I,, and Iqe*at Transient and Steady State







17.5 2 1


21 .o



Time (min.)

Fig. 6 Measured and reference DC voltages at different solar radiations and temperatures


40'05 Time (min.)



Fig. 8 Grid voltage and Inverter output current


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