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4, OCTOBER 2012

Control and Circuit Techniques to Mitigate Partial

Shading Effects in Photovoltaic Arrays
Ali Bidram, Student Member, IEEE, Ali Davoudi, Member, IEEE, and Robert S. Balog, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract—Partial shading in photovoltaic (PV) arrays renders control [19], and dP/dV or dP/dI feedback control [20]). A
conventional maximum power point tracking (MPPT) techniques comparison of MPPT techniques for normal operation of PV
ineffective. The reduced efficiency of shaded PV arrays is a sig- systems under uniform insolation is presented in [21].
nificant obstacle in the rapid growth of the solar power systems.
Thus, addressing the output power mismatch and partial shading However, when multiple power maxima exist [22]–[29], such
effects is of paramount value. Extracting the maximum power of as in a partially shaded array or an array installed on a curved
partially shaded PV arrays has been widely investigated in the lit- surface [30], [31], these conventional MPPT techniques do not
erature. The proposed solutions can be categorized into four main perform well. Multiple maxima occur due to the bypass diodes,
groups. The first group includes modified MPPT techniques that which are used to avoid hot spots formed when some cells in a
properly detect the global MPP. They include power curve slope,
load-line MPPT, dividing rectangles techniques, the power incre- module, or some modules in a string, receive less insulation than
ment technique, instantaneous operating power optimization, Fi- others [32]–[37]. Without remediation by power electronics, the
bonacci search, neural networks, and particle swarm optimization. lost generation due to partial shading can be significant. Thus, it
The second category includes different array configurations for is imperative to utilize MPPT techniques that reliably track the
interconnecting PV modules, namely series–parallel, total-cross- unique global power maximum present in shaded arrays.
tie, and bridge-link configurations. The third category includes
different PV system architectures, namely centralized architec- Partial shading effects can also be alleviated through PV ar-
ture, series-connected microconverters, parallel-connected micro- ray configurations, system architectures, and converter circuit
converters, and microinverters. The fourth category includes dif- topologies. PV array configuration pertains to the intercon-
ferent converter topologies, namely multilevel converters, voltage nections of individual PV modules which are typically either
injection circuits, generation control circuits, module-integrated series–parallel (SP), total-cross-tied (TCT), or bridge-linked
converters, and multiple-input converters. This paper surveys the
proposed approaches in each category and provides a brief discus- (BL) [38]–[41]. The PV system architecture describes how the
sion of their characteristics. power electronics converters are connected to configurations
of PV modules. An architecture that permits the module-level
Index Terms—Impedance matching, maximum power point
tracking (MPPT), partial shading, photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar MPPT can often harvest more energy than a string-level or
arrays. array-level inverter [42], [43]. The circuit topology of the power
electronics converters can be modified to further enhance the
output power of PV systems under the partial shading condition
I. INTRODUCTION and provide module-level MPPT [44], [45].
Given the large body of work published on MPPT techniques
HE installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the U.S. is
T projected to increase up to 24 GW by 2015 [1]. However,
the low-energy conversion efficiency of PV materials remains
and circuit topologies for shaded PV arrays, a comprehensive
survey of existing approaches is of paramount value. This pa-
per summarizes various ways to extract a maximum amount of
a barrier to the prolific growth of solar electricity [2]–[6] and power from shaded arrays and is intended for the researchers
necessitates tracking the maximum power point (MPP) of the and practicing engineers working in PV-based power systems.
PV arrays to ensure harvesting the most energy. Under uniform This paper does not include conventional MPPT techniques or
insolation, the characteristic curve of a PV array presents a circuit topologies that cannot differentiate between global and
single power maximum [7]–[9] which can be tracked using one local maximum and hence are ineffective under shading or mis-
of several well-known maximum power point tracking (MPPT) matching conditions.
techniques (e.g., hill-climbing [10], perturb & observe (P&O) This paper is organized as follows. Section II discusses the
[11]–[16], incremental conductance [17], [18], ripple correlation salient characteristics of partial shading including the PV electri-
cal characteristics and hot-spot phenomena under partial shad-
ing. Section III reviews control algorithms that perform global
Manuscript received March 6, 2012; revised April 24, 2012; accepted May MPPT under partial shading conditions. These algorithms pre-
20, 2012. Date of publication July 5, 2012; date of current version September sented vary in their implementation, complexity, cost, and track-
18, 2012. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under ing speed, as well as their effectiveness to track the global
Grant 1137354.
A. Bidram and A. Davoudi are with the Department of Electrical Engi- maximum under different partial shading conditions. Section
neering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76011 USA (e-mail: IV provides different PV array configurations that alleviate the; negative effects of partial shading. In Section V, different PV
R. S. Balog is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engi-
neering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 USA (e-mail: system architectures are discussed. Section VI provides the PV circuit topologies that are proposed to address the partial shading
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2012.2202879

2156-3381/$31.00 © 2012 IEEE


(0 , Isc) MPP
(Vmpp , Impp)

(Voc , 0) (Voc , 0)
0 V 0 V
(a) (b)

Fig. 1. Characteristic curves of a PV array. (a) Current–voltage curve and

(b) power–voltage curve.

negative effects. Section VII summarizes the potential charac-

teristics of discussed control schemes and circuit topologies and
concludes this paper.
Fig. 2. PV modules under the partial shading condition.

shaded cell in
Fig. 1 illustrates typical current–voltage and power–voltage reverse bias region
curves for a homogeneous PV array under uniform insolation Unshaded cell in the string
of all the PV modules. Conventional MPPT techniques find the
String Current
voltage Vm pp and current Im pp at which the PV array operates
at the MPP. However, these techniques may malfunction for Shaded cell in the string
nonuniform insolation of the PV array [21].
Break down Vbias 0 V
Various factors such as aging, dust, and partial shading result voltage
in mismatching and, hence, nonuniform operation conditions.
Partial shading is a frequent phenomenon that occurs when some Fig. 3. Current–voltage curve of a PV cell operating in a reverse bias region.
cells within a module or array are shaded by buildings, birds,
passing clouds, or some other object, as illustrated in Fig. 2.
Since the short-circuit current of a PV cell is proportional to the
insolation level, the partial shading effect is a reduction of the - V1 + + V2 - - V3 + - Vn +
photocurrent for the shaded PV cells while the unshaded cells
continue to operate at a higher photocurrent. Since the string
current must be equal through all the series-connected cells, the + VD -
result is that the shaded cells operate in the reverse bias region Bypass Diode
to conduct the larger current of the unshaded cells [22]–[28].
Fig. 3 illustrates how the string current flows through all the Fig. 4. Bypass diode across the PV cells when one cell is shaded.
series-connected cells including shaded and unshaded. The bias
voltage Vbias is the reverse voltage at which the shaded cells that is shown in Fig. 4 begins to conduct when
must operate to support the common string current.

The shaded cells consume power due to the reverse voltage V2 − Vi ≥ VD , i = 2 (1)
polarity. Therefore, the maximum extractable power from the i=1
shaded PV array decreases. The high bias voltage may also
is satisfied, where VD is the forward voltage drop of the diode.
lead to an avalanche break down. This, in turn, may cause the
Since the bypass diodes provide an alternate current path,
thermal break down of the cell, creating a so-called hot spot.
cells of a module no longer carry the same current when partially
If untreated, excessive heating can result in cell burn out and
shaded. Therefore, the power–voltage curve develops multiple
create an open circuit in the shaded string. This hot spot can be
maxima, shown in Fig. 5. Conventional MPPT algorithms may
avoided by using the bypass diodes. These diodes are connected
not be capable of distinguishing between the local and global
parallel to the cells to limit the reverse voltage and, hence, the
power loss in the shaded cells. For example, in a module with
36 series cells, one diode may be connected across each set of
If the reverse voltage across the shaded cell increases, the
bypass diode restricts the reverse voltage to less than the break- The different MPPT techniques that address the partial shad-
down voltage of the PV cells. For example, the bypass diode ing condition are presented in an arbitrary order.

P Global MPP of the shaded array I

with bypass diodes
Curve under partial shading Curve without shading

Single MPP of the shaded array
without bypass diodes ing
Operating point shifted Sh
to global maximum

0 V e
Fig. 5. Power–voltage curve of a PV array under the partial shading condition. Intersection of load
line in the vicinity
of global maximum
P P P< 0
>0 V
V 0 V
To left To right

Fig. 7. Load line and the power curve with and without the partial shading.
<0 >0

acceptable accuracy (tracking efficiency) of this technique in

detecting the global MPP of the PV array. The reported error
for the calculated global MPP is less than 0.5% of the actual
0 V global MPP. The tracking speed has been improved to the order
of couple of seconds in [37] by applying a feed-forward control
Fig. 6. Change of ∂P /∂V sign in both sides of a local maximum. scheme for the dc–dc converter. However, this technique is not
fast enough for the portable PV applications due to the rapid
A. Power Curve Slope change of partial shading condition [9]. This technique is effec-
tive under both the uniform and nonuniform insolation of the
In this technique, the sign of ∂P/∂V at different points is PV array.
used to track the global maximum. It utilizes the fact that the
presence of another maximum on the left side of an existing B. Load-Line Maximum Power Point Tracking
maximum is indicated by the change of the ∂P/∂V sign from
positive to negative, shown in Fig. 6. Similarly, the change of Two different load-line MPPT approaches have been identi-
∂P/∂V sign from negative to positive indicates the existence fied in the literature, herein called Type I and Type II. In Type
of another maximum on the right side of the existing one [37]. I, the load line is defined by the ratio of Vm pp to Im pp . This line
This technique performs the search for the global maximum can be computed by measuring the open-circuit voltage Vo c and
on both sides of the last stored maximum. Initially, the search is the short-circuit current Isc of the PV array under the uniform
performed on the vicinity of the MPP, found under the uniform insolation. Vm pp and Im pp are set to the 80% of Vo c and 90%
insolation. If a local maximum is found, as indicated by the of Isc , respectively [46]. Subsequent to the partial shading con-
change of the sign of ∂P/∂V , it is compared with the stored dition, the operating point is moved to the vicinity of the global
maximum. If the detected local maximum is greater than the maximum that is the result of intersection of the load line with
stored maximum, the stored maximum will be updated. Oth- current–voltage curve, shown in Fig. 7. Once in the vicinity
erwise, the search for the global maximum in that direction is of the MPP, a conventional incremental conductance method is
immediately terminated. The search continues until the global used to find the global maximum. It uses the fact that the slope of
maximum is reached, shown in Fig. 6 [37]. Therefore, once a the power–voltage curve is equal to zero at the MPP [21], [47].
local maximum with lower power is encountered, there exists Since
no higher maximum power afterward. This significantly short- dP d(V I) dI ΔI
ens the tracking time. The subroutine keeps searching in one = = V +I ∼
= V +I (2)
dV dV dV ΔV
direction until a smaller local maximum is found or the voltage then
threshold is reached. The voltage threshold is the lowest possi-
ble voltage below which the existence of the global maximum =− (3)
is unlikely. ΔI I
The power curve slope technique works in conjunction with is satisfied at MPP. Thus, the MPP can be found by comparing
Δ I and − I at different time instants. This technique can be
a dc–dc converter and can be simply implemented by an inex-
pensive microcontroller and current and voltage sensors. Often, simply implemented by an inexpensive microcontroller or in-
the functionality is included within the controller for the dc–dc cluded within the controller for another power converter such
converter. This technique has been empirically verified in [37]. as an inverter or dc–dc optimizer. In addition to the voltage and
The test setup consists of three series-connected PV arrays each current sensors, an additional circuit is needed for online mea-
with six series-connected modules. The maximum power rat- surement of Vo c and Isc . As reported in [46], this technique can
ing of each module is 38 W. The experimental results show the track the global MPP in an order of 0.2–0.3 s. For the case study

I Shading occurs P
C. Dividing Rectangles Technique
Isc C A
A The dividing rectangles (DIRECT) technique utilizes a Lip-
Linear D D schitz condition to track the global maximum of the PV array
function C 1 power as a function of the array voltage [50]. For the uniformly
B 2 bounded power function P (v) on the voltage interval [a, b], (7)
is deduced
P (v) ≤ max(P (v)) ≤ P (v1 ) + M (7)
0 V* VD VA V 0 V* VD VA Voc V 2
(a) (b)
where v1 is the center of [a, b], and M is the maximum value of
Fig. 8. Tracking the global maximum using the linear function. (a) Current– ∂P/∂V on [a, b]. DIRECT uses (7) to track the global maximum
voltage curve and (b) power–voltage curve. power of a PV array. In each MPPT iteration, the voltage interval
that is found in the previous iteration [a, b] is divided into three
in [46], the error ratio of the tracked MPP is around 4.8%. The equal subintervals. Among which, the ith interval is chosen as
load-line technique relies on the assumption that the estimated the potentially optimum interval (POI) if a constant k > 0 exist
operating point will land in the vicinity of the global maximum. such that
⎧ bj − aj bi − ai
However, the partial shading may result in more complex multi- ⎪
⎨ P (vj ) + k ≤ P (vi ) + k ∀j
modal power–voltage curves. Therefore, this technique can only 2 2
track the global MPP under certain shading conditions [46], [48]. ⎪
⎩P bi − ai
In the Type-II load-line MPPT, a linear function brings the m ax + ε |Pm ax | ≤ P (ci ) + k
operating point into the vicinity of the global maximum [48]. where Pm ax is the current tracked maximum power, and ε is a
The tracking process starts once partial shading condition is positive constant value. ai , bi , aj , and bj are the end points of
detected. Shading is detected if the ith and jth intervals, respectively. P (ci ) is the power value
sampled at the midpoint of the ith interval. The first condition
ΔV = V [n] − V [n − 1] < ΔVset (4) in (8) ensures that the interval with the highest potential for the
ΔI I[n] − I[n − 1] I[n] maximum power is chosen for further exploration. The second
= < −ΔIset = − (5)
I[n − 1] I[n − 1] Np condition in (8) ensures that this interval results in the further
increment in Pm ax by at least ε |Pm ax |. In the global search
are satisfied, where the indices n and n − 1 correspond to the mode, a relatively large ε is chosen (0.03 is adopted in [50]) to
last two operating points of the PV array, and Np is the number bring the operating point into the vicinity of a global maximum.
of strings that are connected in parallel. ΔVset and ΔIset are the In the local search mode, ε is reduced further to accurately track
prespecified thresholds. the global maximum. This procedure is repeated until the global
When partial shading occurs, the operating point is moved maximum of the function is detected.
from point A to B, shown in Fig. 8. Then, the controller responds The DIRECT technique does not depend on the shape of
by adjusting the converter operation to move to the reference power–voltage characteristics and can track the global maxi-
voltage (point C) as mum under different shading conditions. In this technique, the
requirement to calculate the power–voltage curve gradient has
Ns V o c been obviated [49]. Therefore, this technique can be simply im-
V∗ = I[n] (6)
Np Isc plemented by an inexpensive microcontroller that controls the
dc–dc converter connected to the PV array. Voltage and current
sensors are required to measure the PV array’s voltage and cur-
where Ns is the number of modules in a string. Finally, the
rent. The performance of this technique has been verified by a
incremental conductance method is used to track the global
60-W PV array in [50]. The experimental results show that this
maximum power (point D).
technique is efficient and accurate in tracking the global MPP
Type-II load-line technique can be simply implemented in
under the partial shading condition. The average tracking effi-
a microcontroller using voltage and current sensors. The per-
ciency is more than 95%, and the tracking speed is around ten
formance of this technique has been verified by a 3-kW PV
sampling cycles [50]. However, the initial point in this algorithm
system in [48]. The experimental results show that this tech-
needs to be appropriately chosen to avoid being trapped at the
nique is relatively fast and has an acceptable accuracy (tracking
local maxima power points [51].
efficiency) in detecting the global MPP of the PV array [48].
For the case study in [48], compared with the conventional
incremental conductance method, Type-II load-line technique D. Power Increment Technique
improves the output power of the PV system by 15% of the The power increment technique utilizes the augmented power
output power under uniform solar irradiance. However, the ac- converter as a tunable constant power load [49]. This technique
curacy of the Type-II load-line technique can be declined by the is implemented by an inexpensive microcontroller. As shown
change of the electrical parameters of PV arrays which is caused in Fig. 9, the power converter is controlled to draw a constant
by aging [49]. power in a successive manner, starting from the open-circuit

P shaded 15-W PV array in [49] show that the difference between

P6 the estimated global MPP and its actual value is approximately
P5 less than 0.1% of the actual global MPP. Additionally, for the
P4 B4
PV load lines case study reported in [49], the tracking speed of the power in-
P3 crement technique is approximately three times of the tracking
P2 B2
speed of the particle swarm optimization technique [61].
E. Instantaneous Operating Power Optimization
0 V This technique relies on the fact that the maximum output
power of a PV array is dependent on the irradiance E(t) and
Fig. 9. Constant power lines in a power increment technique. p–n junctions temperature T (t) as [52], [53]

TABLE I MPP(t) = MPP(T (t), E(t)). (9)

Thus, the expression for MPP can be written as
Existing perturbation sign PV array power Next perturbation sign
Negative Increases Negative MPP(t) = a(T (t))b(E(t)) (10)
Negative Decreases Positive
Positive Increases Positive where a(T (t))is the voltage factor. The irradiance factor b(E(t))
Positive Decreases Negative determines IMPP . The p–n junctions temperature T (t) depends
on the ambient temperature, the operating point of the PV
condition: point B1 . At each step, the amount of power is in- module [54], [55], and the environmental conditions includ-
creased, resulting in progressing toward the global MPP (points ing weather, mounting angle, and surrounding objects [56]. The
B1 to B5 ), and the corresponding PV array voltage is stored voltage factor a(T (t)) is computed as follows. If IMPP is less
in the microcontroller memory. The power increment process than a prespecified threshold, a(T (t)) = a0 , where a0 is a con-
is continued until further increasing of the drawn power is not stant value. Otherwise, the P&O method is adopted to assess
feasible because of passing the maximum power of the PV array a(T (t)). Since the P&O method may detect a local maximum,
(reaching B6 in Fig. 9). Once B6 is achieved, the dc–dc con- it needs to be performed around an approximated value of the
approx approx
verter regulates the output voltage of the PV array at the stored global IMPP , IMPP , to assess a(T (t)). IMPP is found as
voltage corresponding to B5 . Therefore, the converter operates approx
in the close vicinity of the global MPPT. Then, the P&O or hill IMPP = Ki Im eas (t) (11)
climbing algorithm is adopted to attain the global MPP. where
In the P&O algorithm, a perturbation is applied to the oper-
Iloi cal
ating voltage of the PV array until the global MPP is reached. Ki = . (12)
In this method, as can be seen in Fig. 1(b), once the operating IMPP
point is on the right of the MPP, the voltage decrement (in-
crement) increases (decreases) the power. On the other hand, A preassessment of the current at local maxima Iloi cal and the
once the operating point is on the left of the MPP, the voltage current at global maximum IMPP is needed to calculate Ki .
decrement (increment) decreases (increases) the power. The per- Once a(T (t)) is found, the proposed algorithm in [52] con-
turbation is chosen which is based on the algorithm summarized tinuously compares the measured PV power Pm eas (t) and the
in Table I. If the power increases by applying a voltage pertur- reference power P (t) = a(T (t))Im eas (t), where Im eas (t) is the
bation, the same perturbation is kept until the global MPP is measured current of the PV array. If Pm eas (t) < P (t), IMPP is
achieved. If the power decreases by applying a voltage pertur- tracked by changing the operating current as
bation, the direction of the perturbation is reversed. Once the I(t) = Im eas (t) − ΔI (13)
global MPP is reached, the perturbation step size is reduced to
diminish the oscillation of operating point around the global where ΔI is kept constant. If Pm eas (t) > P (t), IMPP is tracked
MPP [11]–[16], [21]. by changing the operating current as
The hill climbing method is similar to the P&O method. Pm eas (t)
However, instead of the operating voltage, the perturbation is I(t) = . (14)
a(T (t))
applied to the duty cycle of the power converter which in turn
perturbs the PV array current and t voltage [10], [21]. This procedure is repeated until (15) is satisfied
The power increment technique can track the global MPP in
Pm eas (t) − a(T (t))Im eas (t)
both stand-alone and grid-connected PV systems. In this tech- < ε. (15)
Pm eas (t − 1)
nique, voltage and current sensors are required to measure the
PV array’s voltage and current. This technique does not require The instantaneous power optimization can be used for the
any previous knowledge of the PV modules’ characteristics and power–voltage curves with more than one local maximum. How-
configurations, and can accurately track the global MPP in a ever, a potential drawback of this technique is that a preliminary
relatively short period of time. The experimental results on a investigation is needed to assess the currents at different maxima

P P Hidden
layer out
αs Pmax
0 v3i v1i v2i v4i V 0 v3i+1 v1i+1 v2i+1 v4i+1 V
Estimated output power
ai bi ai (b) ai+1 bi+1 ai+1
Old search range New search range
Fig. 10. Shifting and restricting search strategy to find the maximum value.
(a) Old search range and (b) new search range.
Weight adjustment Error + Actual power
algorithm Σ
to calculate Ki in (12). In this technique, voltage and current sen-
sors are needed. The instantaneous power optimization can be
Fig. 11. ANN configuration to estimate the MPP of the shaded PV array.
implemented by an inexpensive microcontroller. An experimen-
tal PV system has been used in [53] to verify the performance of
this technique. In this PV system, the microcontroller controls a The search interval for the next iteration is shifted either to
dc–dc converter that is connected to a storage device (e.g., ultra- the left or right based on the following rule:
electric double-layer capacitors). The storage device is adopted 
if P (v1i ) < P (v2i ) ⇒ v3i+1 = v1i , v4i+1 = v4i
to store the energy from the PV source under high irradiance (18)
conditions and deliver it to the grid or local loads during the if P (v1i ) > P (v2i ) ⇒ v3i+1 = v3i , v4i+1 = v2i .
low irradiance conditions. The storage device is connected to The search is terminated when (19) is satisfied
the grid (or ac load) through a dc–ac inverter. Experimental re-  i 
v4 − v3i  ≤ δ
sults show that this technique is relatively fast and can track
the global MPP in less than 0.2 s. For the case study reported P (v4i ) − P (v3i ) ≤ ε
in [53], the difference between the estimated global MPP and its
actual value is approximately less than 1% of the actual global where δ and ε are predetermined tolerances.
MPP. The Fibonacci search technique is similar to the P&O and hill
climbing techniques. However, the step size is variable and is
determined by the Fibonacci sequence in (16). It should be noted
F. Fibonacci Search that this technique may mistakenly detect the local maxima
The Fibonacci line search can be employed to find the MPP instead of the global maximum in power–voltage characteristics
under both uniform and nonuniform insolation [57], [58]. This with many local maxima. This technique has been empirically
technique utilizes Fibonacci sequence of numbers tested in [58] using a 300-W PV array that consists of six series-
connected PV modules. The tracking speed of this method is
⎧ acceptable if it is not trapped at the local maxima. This technique

⎨ c0 = 0 can be simply implemented by an inexpensive microcontroller
c1 = 1 (16)

and voltage and current sensors [58].
cn = cn −2 + cn −1 , n ≥ 2.
G. Artificial Neural Networks
The search relies on the shifting and restricting strategy, Artificial neural network (ANN) can predict the MPP of a PV
shown in Fig. 10. The subscript i represents the iteration num- array under both the uniform and nonuniform insolation condi-
ber. In each iteration, the curve is evaluated at two check points tions [59]. The neural network has a three-layer feed-forward
(e.g., v1i andv2i ) within an interval. In Fig. 10, ai denotes the dis- configuration that consists of an input layer, a hidden layer of
tance between the check point and the interval bounds, v3i and neurons, and an output layer, shown in Fig. 11. Ambient tem-
v4i , and bi denotes the distance between two subsequent check perature Temp and short-circuit current Isc of a pilot PV cell
points. ai and bi are determined by the Fibonacci rule (as a measure of the solar insolation level) are taken as input.
⎧ ai The sun’s position αs is used as another input to consider the
cn +1

⎨b = c shading effect.
i n The system is first trained with a known set of input and
⎪ ai+1 = cn .
⎩ output data. During the training process, the weights wij , which
bi+1 cn −1 are shown in Fig. 11, are trained to correctly map input data
to the desired output. The training is based on minimizing the

error between the network output power and the desired output where vjk is the jth array voltage at the kth iteration, and N is
power level. Once trained, this network of artificial neurons is the number of PV modules. The velocity vector is
expected to estimate the maximum output power of a PV array
for any shading condition. velk = [v1k − v1k −1 , v2k − v2k −1 , . . . , vN
k k −1
− vN ]. (23)
In [59], it is assumed that shading due to moving objects such
The function to be optimized is the total array output power.
as clouds has a uniform effect on the PV array, and hence, it uses
The PSO technique has been shown to track the global MPP
only the sun’s position to consider the effect of partial shading.
within 2 s, is based on the experiments that are performed on
It is advantageous as it needs fewer inputs to train the neural
a 200-W PV array, and have a deviation between the estimated
network. However, the assumption of a uniform shading effect
global MPP and the actual global MPP of less than 4% [61]. A
due to mobile objects is not always valid. An additional fuzzy
more accurate algorithm, adaptive perceptive particle swarm op-
logic controller is used with ANN to track the actual MPP in
timization (APPSO), is presented in [62]. In APPSO, each agent
[60]. The fuzzy controller tracks the reference voltage generated
scans the search space within its perception range. The agent
by ANN. Adjacent PV modules are assigned as a group, and the
performs the search in a fixed number of directions by sam-
average irradiance level and the cells temperature are used as
pling finite number of points along each direction. In APPSO,
the inputs to train the neural network. This is applicable under
the agent modifies its perception radius, search directions, and
different shading conditions.
the number of sampling points along each direction depending
For the case study reported in [59], the ANN technique shows
upon whether or not the current iteration improves the agent
an acceptable accuracy and tracking speed in detecting the
performance. This adaptability ensures accurate tracking of the
global MPP under the partial shading condition. The ANN tech-
global maximum. As reported in [62], the error in estimating
nique can be implemented by an inexpensive microcontroller.
the global maximum by APPSO is less than 3%.
The sensors that are required to implement the ANN technique
In a PSO-based MPPT, a structure similar to hill climbing
are current and temperature sensors. Additionally, the irradi-
method can be adopted to utilize the direct duty cycle control.
ance factor needs to be measured as an input to ANN. This
The duty cycle is maintained at a constant value, and the steady-
technique is system specific and may not yield accurate results
state oscillations are reduced [63]. The PSO technique needs
under all shading conditions if periodic tuning is not conducted.
only two sensors for the PV voltage and current. However, the
Since the characteristics of PV arrays change by time, neural
algorithm exhibits a complicated implementation, and a power-
networks need to be trained regularly to preserve the accuracy
ful microcontroller is required for digital implementation. The
of MPPT.
performance of the PSO technique does not depend on the shape
of the power–voltage curve.
H. Particle Swarm Optimization
Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a metaheuristic ap-
proach which is used to optimize a multivariable function. This The partial shading effects can be alleviated by employing dif-
technique consists of so-called cooperating agents that scan ferent array configurations for interconnecting PV modules [40],
through the search space based on the shared information to [41], [64]. SP, TCT, and BL configurations are shown in Fig. 12.
find the optimum value of a function. The velocity velki , with The interconnections between the PV strings enable different
which the ith agent proceeds at the kth iteration, is determined current flowing through the PV strings in TCT and BL con-
by the agent’s previous best solution pib est and the best solution figurations. This may decrease the current that flows through
of the group of agents gb est [61]. The velocity velki and position the shaded cells and keep them in the forward bias region,
ski of each agent are updated as given by thus blocking the operation of bypass diodes. Therefore, com-
pared with the traditional SP array configuration, TCT and BL
configurations can improve the MPP of the PV system under
velki +1 = wvelki + c1 r1 pib est + c2 r2 gb est (20) partial shading. In [65], an artificial static shading is applied on
ski +1 = ski + velki +1 (21) a 2.2-kW PV plant, causing the power–voltage curve to have
two maxima. The comparative study shows that BL and TCT
configurations result in a 2.3% and 3.8% increase in MPP com-
where w is the momentum factor. c1 and c2 are positive con- pared with the SP configuration, respectively. A similar study
stants. 0 < r1 < 1 and 0 < r2 < 1 are random numbers. pib est in [35] and [66] shows that the TCT configuration yields the
is updated only if the current position of the agent gives a better highest MPP. Considering the number of interconnections, the
solution. SP configuration has the minimum wiring, while the TCT con-
PSO can be applied for MPPT of a PV system by dividing figuration requires the maximum number of wires. The higher
the PV array into a number of different modules each controlled number of interconnections slightly increases the loss of the PV
by an individual dc–dc converter. The modules’ voltages are system due to the additional cable loss. However, the simpler
considered to be the position vector of each agent in the PSO pattern of TCT configuration for large PV arrays causes easier
algorithm, which is shown in wiring process [65].
Reconfigurable PV arrays are another viable solution to com-
sk = [v1k , v2k , . . . , vN
] (22) pensate the power loss due to the partial shading condition [39].

dc/dc dc/dc dc/dc

dc/ac dc/ac

Grid Grid
(a) (b)

(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 12. Array configurations for alleviating the power loss under the partial dc/dc dc/dc dc/dc dc/ac dc/ac dc/ac
shading condition. (a) SP, (b) TCT, and (c) BL.

dc/ac Grid

(c) (d)

Switching Fig. 14. PV system architectures. (a) Centralized, (b) series-connected micro-
matrix converter, (c) parallel-connected microconverter, and (d) microinverter.

centralized architecture, shown in Fig. 14(a), in which the global

MPP of individual PV modules cannot be tracked. Therefore,
this architecture is more vulnerable to shading and mismatching
Fixed part of Adaptive loss [42], [43]. In the series-connected microconverter architec-
PV module bank ture, shown in Fig. 14(b), dc–dc converters are employed to
track the MPP of individual modules [67]. The output of the
Fig. 13. Decomposition of a reconfigurable PV array.
series-connected converters is fed to a central inverter. In the
parallel-connected microconverter, shown in Fig. 14(c), mod-
For example, a reconfigurable PV array with TCT configura- ules are connected to the central inverter using individual dc–dc
tion is presented in [39]. The PV system consists of a fixed converters. Alternatively, the microinverter architecture, shown
part and a small adaptive bank of PV modules used for energy in Fig. 14(d), eliminates the central inverter and permits MPPT
compensation, as shown in Fig. 13. Once shading is detected, for individual modules. Except for the central architecture, other
a switching matrix reconfigures the PV modules. The shaded architectures enable module-level MPPT and are suitable for
modules in the fixed part are compensated by the modules in the partial shading conditions.
adaptive bank. Thus, the PV system produces a constant power
even when shaded. As reported in [39], equipping a 3×3 PV VI. CIRCUIT TOPOLOGIES
array with TCT configuration (three PV modules in each row
and three PV modules in each column) with a 3×3 adaptive part In this section, circuit topologies that specifically mitigate the
can increase the MPP by 60%. Therefore, the reconfigurable PV partial shading effects are discussed.
array shows the most improvement of MPP compared with the
TCT and BL configurations. However, the reconfigurable PV A. Multilevel Converters
array is not cost efficient, compared with TCT and BL configu-
Multilevel diode-clamped converters have a slightly modi-
rations, due to the requirement for a complicated control system
fied centralized architecture [45], [68]–[71]. A four-level diode-
and additional PV modules [39].
clamped converter that is connected to three PV arrays is shown
Another potential drawback of the reconfigurable PV array
in Fig. 15. Each PV array is connected parallel to a capaci-
is its performance under severe shading conditions: With a low
tor. This architecture allows array-level MPPT by controlling
number of cells in the adaptive bank, it is not practical to com-
the operating voltage of the corresponding array. As reported
pensate for all shaded cells. A large adaptive bank significantly
in [68], experimental results demonstrate 30% improvement
increases installation cost and requires a complicated control
in the output power when a four-level converter is used in-
algorithm [39].
stead of a conventional inverter. A PV system with a multi-
level diode-clamped converter is not upgradable, i.e., to increase
the number of PV arrays, a multilevel diode-clamped converter
Centralized architecture, series-connected microconverters, with more semiconductor switches is required. The larger num-
parallel-connected microconverters, and microinverters are ber of PV arrays significantly increases the number of semi-
the basic architectures for grid-connected PV systems, as conductor switches, making the control system more complex
shown in Fig. 14. The most conventional architecture is the and the approach cost prohibitive. The switching loss in the

Non-shaded 50% shaded Non-shaded
50% shaded

b Grid
0 s n n
Vmax Vmax V Vmax V
(a) (b)

Fig. 16. Effect of bias voltage on the PV string power–voltage curves.

(a) Without bias voltage injection and (b) with bias voltage injection.

Fig. 15. Four-level diode-clamped converter connected to three PV arrays. Id

I1 I2 In
multilevel converter is relatively high due to the larger number
of semiconductor devices [70].
Alternatively, each PV array can be divided into two identical
and independent subarrays and connected to the grid using a Grid
neutral point-clamped converter with an individual MPPT sys-
tem for each subarray [72]. The individual MPPT system for
each subarray can also be implemented using half-bridge con-
verters. Since the power of both subarrays can be separately
optimized, it is more probable to track the global MPP. There-
fore, these circuit topologies are more energy efficient than the
multilevel diode-clamped converter topology. However, since PV String Selector
Relay Id
there is only one MPP tracker for each subarray, module-level
MPPT is not achieved. Therefore, despite improvement, there Fig. 17. Voltage injection-based circuitry to align the MPP of shaded and
will still be losses due to the partial shading effects. Individual nonshaded PV modules.
MPPT for each subarray would increase the complexity and cost
of the control system [70], [73].
in [74], for a 300-W shaded PV system, the bias-voltage injec-
tion improves the extracted power from the PV panel by 20%
B. Voltage Injection under a certain partial shading condition. The Type-I voltage
In the voltage injection topology, the extracted maximum injection topology can be simply controlled by an inexpensive
powers of the PV systems are improved by injecting a bias microcontroller. This topology can be upgraded as the number
voltage into the shaded PV strings or modules [74]–[76]. of PV strings increases. However, a potential drawback of this
In the first approach, referred to here as Type I, the bias voltage topology is that if two or more PV strings experience differ-
is injected to align the global MPP of the shaded PV strings ent shading levels, each shaded string requires a different bias
with the MPP of the nonshaded PV strings. This procedure is voltage. Therefore, since the proposed circuitry cannot provide
elaborated for two parallel PV strings, when one of them is different bias voltages simultaneously, the maximum power of
50% shaded. The power–voltage curves of these PV strings are the PV panel cannot be extracted, and the energy efficiency of
shown in Fig. 16(a). Vmnax and Vms ax are the operating voltages the PV system decreases [76].
of the MPP in the normal and shaded PV strings, respectively. In the second approach, referred to here as Type II, the
As shown in Fig. 16(b), the global MPP of the shaded PV string bias voltages can deactivate shaded PV modules in a string,
is aligned with the MPP of the nonshaded string by injecting a as shown in Fig. 18. In this circuit, individual dc–dc converters
bias voltage to the shaded PV string. The bias voltage can be are mounted on each PV string. Each dc–dc converter is fed
provided by connecting the shaded PV string to a capacitor in from the output voltage of the PV system Vout and provides the
series. bias voltage Vbias for the ith PV string. The shaded PV modules
The circuitry that is proposed for the aforementioned voltage in each PV string are deactivated by forward biasing the bypass
injection-based approach is shown in Fig. 17. As seen, the ca- diodes. The number of PV modules that needs to be deactivated
pacitors are connected in series with PV strings. The PV string specifies the required bias voltage for each PV string. There-
selector connects the shaded PV string with the capacitor de- fore, the voltage of each PV module needs to be monitored and
pending on PV strings’ current I1 , . . . , In and dc bus current Id . compared with other modules’ voltage to extract the number
The string selector deselects the PV string if the bias voltage, of the shaded modules in each string. A complicated control
that needs to be injected, becomes small enough. As reported system is required to manage the dc–dc converters. As reported

+ I
I1 D2

Vout 1
1 2 + m +
Vbias _ dc/dc Vbias _ dc/dc Vbias _ dc/dc

Fig. 18. Voltage injection-based circuitry to deactivate shaded PV modules. Pmax

2 1 V
Vmax Vmax
+ +
Vout m Fig. 21. Effect of changing the off-duty ratio of switches on the extracted
_ power in the multichopper topology.

Vout Ipv
Vout m
S3 S4
_ _
S1 S2 Istring

Fig. 19. DC–DC converter-based GCC topology.

Fig. 22. MIC-based topology: a typical circuitry used in the series-connected

+ microconverter architecture.



_ Vout


Fig. 23. MIB converter with a modified PV module.

C. Generation Control Circuits

The generation control circuit (GCC) improves the extracted
Fig. 20. Multichopper-based-GCC topology.
power of a PV string by controlling the operating voltage of
PV modules [77]–[79]. Here, two different GCC topologies are
The first topology, which is named dc–dc converter-based
in [75], for a PV array with three strings and eight modules in topology [77], [78], is shown in Fig. 19. In this topology, the
each string (MPP of each module is 24.4 W), Type-II topology operating voltage of all PV modules is controlled at a constant
improves the energy efficiency of the shaded PV system from value of Vout /m. Vout is the output voltage of the PV string,
23% to 95%. As opposed to Type I, Type-II voltage injection and m is the number of PV modules in the string. Once one
topology properly functions when two or more PV strings expe- module is shaded, its parallel capacitor provides extra current
rience different shading levels. One of the potential drawbacks to compensate for the difference between the string current and
of Type-II voltage injection topology is that the full power ca- the current of the shaded PV module. The compensating current
pacity of the PV system cannot be exploited since the shaded PV facilitates the operation of the shaded PV module at the same
modules are deactivated. This circuit topology can be upgraded voltage as the operating voltage of nonshaded modules. As re-
by using more dc–dc converters as the number of PV strings ported in [78], the dc–dc converter-based topology improves the
increases. However, increasing the number of dc–dc converters extracted power from the PV panel. In this topology, the individ-
increases the system cost [75], [76]. ual voltage control of each PV module is not feasible. It should


Periodic Tracking Implementation Sensed Necessary condition for convergence/

Type Tracking accuracy
tuning speed complexity parameters Limitations

Voltage and Increasing local maxima until the global

Power curve slope No Medium Highly accurate Medium
current maximum is reached.
Load line must intersect I-V curve in the
This technique is not
vicinity of the global maximum. The
always accurate Voltage and
Type I Yes Fast Low accuracy of this technique can be
under all partial current
Load line deteriorated by the aging of the electrical
shading conditions.
MPPT components in the PV system.
The change in electrical components,
Voltage and
Type II Yes Fast Accurate Medium caused by aging, can negatively affect the
accuracy of this technique.
A proper initialization is needed to avoid
Voltage and
Dividing rectangles No Fast Accurate Medium being trapped at the local maxima power
Power increment Voltage and
No Fast Highly accurate Medium Convergence is always guaranteed.
technique current

Instantaneous power Voltage and A preliminary investigation is needed to

No Medium Highly accurate Medium
optimization current assess the currents at different maxima.
This technique is not
always accurate Voltage and Uncertain converge to global maximum if
Fibbonaci search No Medium Medium
under all partial current a large set of local maxima exist.
shading conditions.
Artificial neural A system specific approach that requires
Yes Fast Accurate High irradiance,
network retuning.
and current
Particle swarm Voltage and
No Medium Accurate High Convergence is always guaranteed.
optimization current

be noted that exploiting PV modules at a constant operating D. Module-Integrated Converters

voltage can improve the PV string power to some extent; how- The module-integrated converters (MICs) conventionally
ever, module-based MPPT is not feasible, which confines the
use a series-connected microconverter architecture, shown in
energy efficiency of the PV system. This potential drawback has Fig. 14(b). In this circuit topology, a dc–dc converter is inte-
been obviated in multichopper topology [77], shown in Fig. 20. grated to each PV module. The sets of PV modules and their
The dc–dc converter-based topology can be upgraded, and ac-
associated converters are connected in series to form a PV
commodate higher number of PV modules. The control system string. This circuit topology facilitates the operation of series-
can be simply implemented by an inexpensive microcontroller. connected PV modules at different current levels. Each dc–dc
In multichopper topology, the off-duty ratio of the switch
converter is controlled by an autonomous local controller to
associated with the ith PV module Di can be individually con- extract the PV module’s maximum power. Additionally, the de-
trolled to regulate the operating voltage of the ith PV module.
coupled control policy of PV modules significantly increases
This is elaborated for a PV string with two PV modules, where
the PV system robustness and reliability [80]–[85].
the second one is shaded. The current–voltage curves of these The dc–dc converter can be conventional converters (e.g.,
PV modules are shown in Fig. 21. Pm1 ax and Pm2 ax are the MPP
buck, boost, buck–boost, and Cuk) [81], [82]. More recently,
of the first and second PV modules, respectively. The total out-
modified converter topologies have been presented to achieve a
put power of this PV string can be adjusted by adjusting the higher efficiency [83], [85]. For example, the circuitry shown in
off-duty ratio of the shaded PV module D2 . Similarly, for a PV
Fig. 22 can operate in buck, boost, and pass-through modes. In
string with m PV modules, the central controller needs to suc- this circuit, when the PV module is partially shaded, i.e., Ipv <
cessively adjust the off-duty ratio of all switches to ensure that Istring , the converter operates in the buck mode. In this mode, S4
all PV modules are working at their MPPs. This might increase
is ON and S2 is OFF, and the converter is controlled by S3 and
the complexity and cost of the PV system controller and is a S1 . When the other PV modules work at a lower power level, i.e.,
potential disadvantage of this GCC topology [77]. As reported Ipv > Istring , the converter operates in the boost mode. In this
in [77], for a 600-W shaded PV system, the multichopper topol-
mode, S3 is ON and S1 is OFF, and the converter is controlled
ogy improves the extracted power from the PV panel by 20% by S2 and S4 . Under the normal condition Ipv ≈ Istring , the
under a certain partial shading condition. This circuit topology converter operates in the pass-through mode. In this mode, S3
can be upgraded as the number of PV modules increases.
and S4 are always ON, and the input is directly linked to the


Type Key advantages Potential disadvantages

Individual PV modules may not operate at their MPP.
MPPT for individual PV arrays. A large PV array requires numerous semiconductor
Multilevel diode-clamped
PV system has acceptable energy efficiency under switches, increasing the system complex and cost.
partial shading condition. High switching power loss.
PV system is not upgradable.
MPPT for individual PV sub-arrays.
PV system provides better energy efficiency than the
PV system with an auxiliary Individual PV modules may not operate at their MPP.
multilevel diode-clamped converter.
half-bridge converter PV system is not upgradable.
Lower number of switches and, hence, lower switching
loss than the multilevel diode-clamped converter.
MPPT for individual PV sub-arrays. Individual PV modules may not operate at their MPP.
Neutral point clamped converter PV system provides better energy efficiency than the PV system is not upgradable.
multilevel diode-clamped converter. High switching loss.
Maximum possible power cannot be extracted when
Simple circuitry and control system.
Type I two or more PV strings are partially shaded (confined
Voltage Upgradability.
energy efficiency).
injection based
Higher energy efficiency than Type I when two or more More complicated control system than Type I.
Type II PV strings are partially shaded. Full power capacity of PV system cannot be exploited
Upgradability. since the shaded PV modules are deactivated.
Dc-dc Simple control system. Shaded PV modules may not operate precisely at
converter Upgradability. their MPP (Confined energy efficiency).
MPPT for individual PV module.
control circuit
topology Multi- PV system has acceptable energy efficiency under the
Complicated control structure.
chopper partial shading condition.
Module-integrated circuit MPPT for individual PV module. Relatively large number of passive and active
(series-connected micro- High energy efficiency. components per PV module.
converter architecture) Upgradability. Complicated control structure .
Relatively large number of passive and active
MPPT for individual PV modules.
components per PV module.
High energy harvest efficiency.
Module-integrated circuit The ac gird technical issues and electromagnetic
Smaller size and safer installation than series-connected
(micro-inverter architecture) interface issues need to be considered in the design of
micro-converter architecture.
integrated inverters.
System expandability.
Complicated control structure.
Higher output power than single input boost converters. With the higher number of inputs, the number of
Multiple-input boost converter Acceptable energy efficiency under partial shading semiconductor switches and inductors increases
Upgradability. which in turn adds to the system size and cost.
Multiple-input single-output Lower size and cost compare to conventional MISO.
More complex control structure than the multiple-
(MISO) converter with a single Upgradability.
input boost converter.
inductor Acceptable energy efficiency under partial shading.

output. As reported in [83], adopting the proposed converter E. Multiple-Input Converters

for the MIC-based topology improves the efficiency of the PV
A multiple-input single-output (MISO) boost converter can be
system by 95% for most operating ranges. Additionally, for implemented as a first-stage dc–dc converter in micro-converter
a shaded 85-W PV system, the MIC-based topology in [83] architectures [43]. In a modified PV module, which is shown
improves the output power of the PV array by 38%.
in Fig. 23, the electrical contact is separated in point 1, and the
The MIC-based topology can also be implemented as a mi- bypass diodes are removed from point 2. The string outputs are
croinverter architecture, shown in Fig. 14(d). In this circuit
connected to the boost converters. The voltages and currents of
topology, which are known as “ACPV modules,” an inverter
the strings are measured for the purpose of MPPT. Since bypass
is used instead of a dc–dc converter. Using inverters obvi- diodes are removed from the PV module, the power–voltage
ates the requirement of the central dc–ac converter and the
curve has only one MPP. Thus, a simple control algorithm, e.g.,
high-voltage dc bus, thus resulting in lower size and safer in-
P&O, can be implemented for MPPT. As reported in [43], for
stallation of the PV string [86], [87]. However, ACPV intro- a shaded 120-W PV module, a MISO boost converter increases
duces filtering, protection, and the electromagnetic interface
the output power by 9.6%, compared with a single-input
issues [81]. boost converter. This circuit topology can be upgraded for the
The MIC-based topology requires a fast and complicated con- connection of more PV strings. With a higher number of inputs,
trol system to manage the operation of converts that are installed
the number of semiconductor switches and inductors increases,
on the PV modules. This increases the cost and complexity of the which, in turn, adds to the system size and cost. The size and cost
PV system. The MIC-based topology can be simply upgraded issues can be reduced by using single-inductor MISO converters
by adding new PV modules.

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partially shaded insolation conditions,” Energy Convers. Manag., vol. 49, Ali Davoudi (S’04–M’11) received the B.Sc. degree
pp. 2307–2316, Aug. 2008. from the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran,
[77] T. Shimizu, M. Hirakata, T. Kamezawa, and H. Watanabe, “Generation Iran, the M.Sc. degree from The University of
control circuit for photovoltaic modules,” IEEE Trans. Power Electron., British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the
vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 293–300, May 2001. Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-
[78] T. Kamezawa, M. Hirakata, M. Ohsato, T. Shimizu, G. Kimura, N. Ito, Champaign, in 2003, 2005, and 2010, respectively,
S. Fukao, N. Sunaga, M. Tsunoda, and K. Muro, “Photovoltaic system all in electrical and computer engineering.
with generation control circuit,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Ind. Technol., He is currently an Assistant Professor with the
1996, pp. 242–246. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of
[79] Z. Qi, S. Xiangdong, Z. Yanru, and M. Mikihiko, “A novel topology Texas at Arlington. He was with Solar Bridge Tech-
for solving the partial shading problem in photovoltaic power generation nologies, Texas Instruments Incorporated, and Royal
system,” in Proc. Power Electron. Motion Control Conf., 2009, pp. 2130– Philips Electronics. His research interests are all aspects of modeling, simula-
2135. tion, and control of power electronics and energy conversion systems, renewable
[80] J. H. R. Enslin, M. S. Wolf, D. B. Snyman, and W. Swiegers, “Integrated energy sources, and transportation electrification.
photovoltaic maximum power point tracking converter,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Dr. Davoudi is an Associate Editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICU-
Electron., vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 769–773, Dec. 1997. LAR TECHNOLOGY and the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS.
[81] G. R. Walker and P. C. Sernia, “Cascaded DC–DC converter connection He is also the guest associate editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER
of photovoltaic modules,” IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 19, no. 4, ELECTRONICS Special Issue on Transportation Electrification and Vehicle
pp. 1130–1139, Jul. 2004. Systems.
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integrated converter topologies with three different DC link configura-
tions,” IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 1320–1333, May
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proved energy capture in series string photovoltaics via smart distributed
power electronics,” in Proc. Appl. Power Electron. Conf. Expo., 2009,
pp. 904–910. Robert S. Balog (S’92–M’96–SM’07) received the
[84] E. Román, V. Martinez, J. C. Jimeno, R. Alonso, P. Ibañez, and S. Elor- B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers-
duizapatarietxe, “Experimental results of controlled PV module for build- The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick,
ing integrated PV systems,” Solar Energy, vol. 82, pp. 471–480, May NJ, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical en-
2008. gineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-
[85] R. K. Hester, C. Thornton, S. Dhople, Z. Zheng, N. Sridhar, and D. Free- Champaign.
man, “High efficiency wide load range buck/boost/bridge photovoltaic mi- He was an Engineer with Lutron Electronics,
croconverter,” in Proc. Appl. Power Electron. Conf. Expo., 2011, pp. 309– Coopersburg, PA, from 1996 to 1999, a Researcher
313. with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Engineering
[86] R. Carbone and A. Tomaselli, “Recent advances on AC PV-modules for Research and Development Center (ERDEC), Con-
grid-connected photovoltaic plants,” in Proc. Int. Conf. Clean Electr. struction Engineering Research Lab (CERL), Cham-
Power, 2011, pp. 124–129. paign, IL, from 2005 to 2006, a Senior Engineer with SolarBridge Technologies,
[87] C. Prapanavarat, M. Barnes, and N. Jenkins, “Investigation of the per- Champaign, from 2006 to 2009, and he then joined Texas A&M University, Col-
formance of a photovoltaic AC module,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., Gener. lege Station, where he is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department
Transm. Distrib., vol. 149, pp. 472–478, Jul. 2002. of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He holds 11 issued and pending U.S.
[88] S. Poshtkouhi and O. Trescases, “Multi-input single inductor dc–dc con- patents. His current research interests include power converters for solar energy,
verter for MPPT in parallel-connected photovoltaic applications,” in Proc. particularly microinverters for ac photovoltaic modules and highly reliable elec-
Appl. Power Electron. Conf. Expo., 2011, pp. 41–47. trical power and energy systems, including dc microgrids.
Dr. Balog is a Registered Professional Engineer in Illinois. He received the
IEEE Joseph J. Suozzi INTELEC Fellowship in Power Electronics in 2001. He
is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Xi, the National Society of Professional
Engineers, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Solar Electric Power As-
sociation. He received the 2011 Rutgers College of Engineering Distinguished
Engineer Award.
Ali Bidram (S’09) received the B.S. (Hons.) and
M.S. (Hons.) degrees in electrical engineering from
the Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran, in
2008 and 2010, respectively. He is currently working
toward the Ph.D. degree with the University of Texas
at Arlington.
His research interests include the application of
power electronics in power systems, microgrid, and
renewable energy resources.