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2011 Fourth International Conference on Intelligent Computation Technology and Automation

Versatile PSIM Simulation Model for Photovoltaic Array with MPPT Function

Yang Jun, Lian Xiaoqin , Zhang XiaolL, Duan Zhengang, Wang Min
College of Computer and Information Engineering
Beijing Technology and Business University
Beijing, 100048, China
AbstractA Versatile simulation model for photovoltaic array
is developed based on the DC physical model of photovoltaic
(PV) module under PSIM environment. The I-V, P-V
characteristics of photovoltaic array with different combinations can be simulated by the model. In addition, the model
includes the function of Maximum Power Point Tracking
(MPPT) and completes the simulation of the perturbation and
observation method. It is concluded from the analysis of
simulation results that high accuracy of the model simulation
can accurately reflect the physical characteristics of the
photovoltaic, and will provide a basis for the simulation of the
power generation systems.

Figure 1. PV cell equivalent circuit

I=Iph-I0{exp[q(V+IRs)/AKT]-1}-(V+IRs) / Rsh

In practical engineering applications, Rsh can be seen as

infinite, so (1) can be simplified as follow.

Keywords-characteristic of photovoltaic array; perturbation

and observation method; MPPT; PSIM simulation


Here, Iph means photocurrent (A); I0 means reverse

saturation current (A); q means electronic charge
(1.61019C ); K means Boltzmann constant (1.381019J/K);
T means absolute temperature (K); A means Diode factor;
Rs means series resistance (); Rsh means parallel resistance
(). (2) is the basic analytical expressions of engineering
based on physical principles, which have been widely used
in theoretical analysis of solar cells. [2]
A single PV cell produces a very small voltage,
Therefore, in practice, many small units need to be in series
or parallel combinations to achieve the desired alternating
DC voltage or current. Here, give a simplified output
characteristic of photovoltaic modules equation.


Solar photovoltaic system is a new electricity generating

system which uses solar photovoltaic effect of
semiconductor materials and converts the solar radiation
directly into energy. As the special nature of photovoltaic
cells, the optimization design of the whole system is very
important in the photovoltaic power generation system. It is
guarantee of reducing the system cost, improving the
reliability and efficiency. Photovoltaic power generation
system is a kind of power electronic application, many of
simulation softwares can be used, such as PSPICE, MALAB,
SABER, SIMPLORER, PSIM, and so on. After comprehensive comparison, PSIM is dedicated software which is
specifically used in the power circuit and electric traction,
whose devices are ideal model and design speed is fast. The
model is great flexible.[1] In this paper, establish the corresponding general simulation model through considering the
actual system with maximum power tracking and basing on
physical PV matrix model by using PSIM simulation
software, which accurately reflect the physical characteristics
of photovoltaic power generation system and lay the
foundation of simulation analysis.

Here, np and ns are respective the numbers of

photovoltaic solar array module parallel and serial. [3]
Based on the above mathematical model, establish
common photovoltaic array simulation mode in the PSIM
environment. First, establish single photovoltaic cells
simulation mode based on the equivalent circuit, shown in



PV cell equivalent circuit is shown in Fig. 1.

This work was supported by China science and technology support

project #2006BAA04B05 and Beijing Municipal Education Commission
surface science and technology projects #KM201110011.
Corresponding author: Lian Xiaoqin

978-0-7695-4353-6/11 $26.00 2011 IEEE

DOI 10.1109/ICICTA.2011.248



Figure 2. Single photovoltaic cells simulation mode

The photovoltaic array module will be composed of

series-parallel array of photovoltaic cells and obtained
through real-time simulation PSIM, I-V and P-V features as

Figure 3. I-V and P-V features of the photovoltaic array module
Figure 4. Program flow chart of perturb and observe method

The simulation results can be seen, the photovoltaic cells

array is with a single maximum power point without shadow.
Due to different illumination and temperature, the peak
point will move. It is particularly important to find the
maximum power point, and maintain photovoltaic cells array
always works at this point.

Determine a threshold in the design of algorithms, which

is shown in the figure as . When finding a value close to the
MPP, the program will be the end of disturbance, and output
the values of maximum power points.


Perturb and observe method is one of the methods which

are used to achieve MPPT. The principle is to increase or
reduce the voltage at regular intervals, and then observe the
subsequent changing direction of the power. If the output
power increases, disturbance is in the right direction. Disturb
to the same direction. Instead, disturb to the opposite
direction. Thus, the actual operating point of PV array
maximum power point can move closer to the MPP, and
finally back and forth in a small range till to reach steady
state.[5] The program flow chart of perturb and observe
method is shown in Fig. 4.



Make the general simulation model of PV array access to

the BOOST circuit, and use the DLL based on perturb and
observe method, which is provided by PSIM software ,to
realize the MPPT module. Use the manner of generation
duty cycle to control the running of system. Simulation
model is shown in Fig. 5.


Figure 5. General simulation Model for Photovoltaic Array with MPPT

out[0] = squareWave;
Simulation result is show in Fig. 6. It is concluded from
the Fig.6, as the circuit is stable, MPPT module starts
looking for the maximum power point. According to the
simulation step and the adjusting amplitude set by simulation
program, during a certain period this system can find a MPP
and output the corresponding voltage of maximum power
point, and then make the circuit continue to work at this
voltage stability. This process takes about 5ms.

In this simulation model, there are two DLL modules.

The MPPT module in the design process needs to be set a
turn-on voltage according to the characteristics of the circuit.
After waiting for the stability of circuit, start the MPPT
method. [6] The inputs are collecting voltage and current, and
the outputs are the max power point and the corresponding
The PWM module has two roles, one is to do operation
between input voltage and triangular wave to generate a
constant duty cycle, so as to control the IGBT switch; The
other role is to temporarily store data, play a role as a cache
and then send the data back to MPPT module to ensure that
MPPT modules can get two P, V values used for comparison
at the same time. Part code is shown as follow.
double triWave; // input triangular wave
double u; // input voltage
double i, j,d;
double squareWave; //out put squarewave
triWave = in[0];
u = in[1];
d = 1 - (u / 19); //set duty cycle .D=1- (Vref/Voc);
Vref : MPP voltage;
Voc: open circuit voltage;
j = fabs(triWave);
for (i = 0; i < 10000; i++)
if (j<d)
squareWave = 1;
squareWave = 0;

Figure 6. General simulation Model for Photovoltaic Array with MPPT




From established photovoltaic array model based on

physical mechanism and the photovoltaic array model with
MPPT function by PSIM, the model has the following
x Based on the physical nature of the PV array and
accurately reflect its physical properties.
x The establishment of general module facilitates the
use of the following in-depth study.
x MPPT method based on the realization of perturb
and observe algorithm, convergence time of which is
short, has strong migration algorithms, to facilitate
future implementation of a dedicated chip.
Meanwhile, Owing to the complexity of the photovoltaic
system structure and their environment, especially under the
partial shadows environment, the output characteristics of
photovoltaic arrays are greatly affected. Under the partial
shadows environment, powervoltage (P-V) characteristics
curve is of multi-peak. [7] This paper proposed the establishment of a general module, to provide a platform for the study
of the algorithm for the peak power point tracking based on
the partial shadows environment in the future.




We thank for the help of Prof. Zhang Yuhe.


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