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You are on page 1of 17

1

, Mohamed H. Saied

2

, M. Z. Mostafa

3

, T. M. Abdel- Moneim

3

1

MSc. candidate,

2

PhD, GM, Electrical Engineering Dept., Abu Qir Fertilizers & Chemical Industries Co.,

3

Full-Prof., Electrical Engineering Dept., Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, EGYPT.

Ali.NasrAllah84@gmail.com, Mohammed.Saied@gmail.com

AbstractThis paper introduces a survey of different

maximum peak power tracking (MPPT) techniques used in the

implementation of photovoltaic power systems. It will discuss

different 30 techniques used in tracking maximum power in

photovoltaic arrays. This paper can be considered as a

completion, updating, and declaration of the good efforts made in

[3], that discussed 19 MPPT techniques in PV systems, while

summarizes additional 11 MPPT methods.

Index Terms - Photovoltaic power generation, Maximum

Power Point Tracking techniques, PV array.

I. INTRODUCTION

Tracking of the maximum power point (MPP) of a

photovoltaic (PV) array is usually an essential part of PV

systems. In general, PV generation systems have two major

problems; the conversion efficiency of electric power

generation is low (in general less than 17%, especially under

low irradiation conditions), and the amount of electric power

generated by solar arrays changes continuously with weather

conditions. Moreover, the solar cell (current voltage)

characteristic is nonlinear and varies with irradiation and

temperature. There is a unique point on the I-V or (power

voltage) curve of the solar array called MPP, at which the

entire PV system (array, converter, etc) operates with

maximum efficiency and produces its maximum output power.

The location of the MPP is not known, but can be located,

either through calculation models, or by search algorithms.

Therefore MPPT techniques are needed to maintain the PV

arrays operating point at its MPP [1].

II. PROBLEM OVERVIEW

As the solar radiation varies throughout the day, the power

output also varies. The principle of maximum power tracking

can be explained with the help of Fig. 1, where the line having

slope I/R

o

represents a constant load R

o

. If this load is

connected directly across PV cell, it will operate a power P

a

differs from the maximum P

b

, in spite of the fact that

maximum power is available from the array. Thus, a power

conditioner or DC-DC converter is introduced between the

solar PV module and the load. This converter adapts the load

to the array so that load characteristics are transformed along

locus of maximum points and maximum power is transformed

from the array. The duty cycle, D, of this converter is changed

till the peak power point is obtained [2].

III. MPPT TECHNIQUES

A 30 maximum peak power tracking methods for PV

system will be introduced in the following survey.

Fig. 1. Intersection between the load line and the power voltage and current

voltage curve [2].

1. Hill Climbing/P&O (perturb & observe) method

Hill climbing involves a perturbation in the duty ratio of

the power converter; P&O involves a perturbation in the

operating voltage of the PV array. In the case of a PV array

connected to a power converter, perturbing the duty ratio of

power converter perturbs the PV array current, and

consequently perturbs the PV array voltage; hill climbing and

P&O methods are two different ways to perform the same

fundamental method.

It can be seen From PV power C/C

s

curve; Fig. 2, that the

increment, or decrement of the voltage increases, or decreases

the power when the operating point is on the left of the MPP,

and decreases, or increases the power when being on the right

of the MPP. The process is repeated periodically until the MPP

is reached. The system then oscillates around the MPP. This

oscillation can be minimized by reducing the perturbation step

size. However, a smaller perturbation size slows down the

MPPT. A solution to this conflicting situation is to have a

variable perturbation size that gets smaller towards the MPP.

A two-stage algorithm is proposed that offers faster tracking in

the first stage.

Hill climbing and P&O methods can fail under rapidly

changing atmospheric conditions as illustrated in Fig. 3

starting from an operating point A, i.e. P

1

curve is utilized, if

atmospheric conditions stay approximately constant, a

perturbation V in the PV voltage V will bring the operating

point to point B and consequently the perturbation will be

reversed due to a decrease in power.

Fig. 2. Characteristic PV array power curve.

Fig. 3. Divergence of hill climbing/P&O from MPP.

However, if the irradiance increases and shifts the power

curve from P

1

to P

2

within one sampling period, the operating

point will move from point A to C. This represents an increase

in power due to the new curve P

2

, while the perturbation is

kept the same. Consequently, the operating point diverges

from the MPP and will keep diverging if the irradiance

steadily increases, numerous number of researches apparel in

the literature recently covering not only these two methods,

but also outlining other MPPT techniques. Fig. 4a shows the

block diagram of the PV system using the hill climbing and

P&O methods, while Fig. 4b shows the algorithm flowchart of

the technique [1], [3]-[39].

2. Incremental Conductance

The incremental conductance (IncCond) method is based

on the fact that the slope of the PV array power curve at the

MPP is zero, positive on the left, and negative on the right of

the MPP, Fig. 2. The mathematical relations are shown below;

JP

JI

= u ot HPP

JP

JI

> u lct o HPP (1)

JP

JI

< u rigbt o HPP

Since

JP

JI

=

J(II)

JI

= I +I

JI

JI

I + I

I

I

(2)

So, equation (1) can be written as

I

I

= -

I

I

ot HPP

I

I

> -

I

I

lct o HPP

Fig. 4a. The block diagrams.

Fig. 4b. The flowchart of P&O control technique.

I

I

< -

I

I

rigbt o HPP (S)

The MPP can thus be tracked by comparing the

instantaneous conductance term (I/V) with the incremental

conductance term (I/V) as shown in the flowchart of Fig. 5.

V

ref

is the reference voltage at which the PV array is forced to

operate. At the MPP, V

ref

equals the voltage value at the MPP,

V

mpp

, once the MPP is reached, the operation of the PV array is

maintained at this point unless a change in I is noted or

indicating a change in atmospheric conditions, this MPPT

technique is also commonly used and several researches

explained it in depth details [1], [3], [5]-[12], [40]-[53].

3. Fractional Open-Circuit Voltage

The near linear relationship between V

mpp

and open circuit

voltage of a PV array, under varying irradiance and

temperature levels, has given rise to the fractional V

oc

method;

the relationship between the V

mpp

and V

oc

is almost linear thus

Impp = K1 Ioc

(4)

Where k

1

is proportionality constant, since k

1

is dependent on

the characteristics of the PV array being used, it usually has to

be computed beforehand by empirically determining V

mpp

and

V

oc

for the specific PV array at different irradiance and

temperature levels. The factor k

1

has been reported to be

between 0.71 and 0.78 [3].

Fig. 5. The IncCond flowchart.

Once k

1

is known, V

mpp

can be computed with V

oc

measured

periodically by momentarily shutting down the power

converter. However, this incurs some disadvantages, including

temporary loss of power. To prevent this, it can use pilot cells

from which V

oc

can be obtained. These pilot cells must be

carefully chosen to closely represent the characteristics of the

PV array [3].

Once V

mpp

has been approximated, a closed-loop control on

the array power converter can be used to reach this desired

voltage. Since the relation is only an approximation, the PV

array technically never operates at the MPP [54]-[61].

4. Fractional short-Circuit Current

Fractional short circuit current results from the fact that,

under varying atmospheric conditions, I

mpp

is approximately

linearly related to the I

sc

of a PV array thus

Impp = K2 Isc

(5)

Where K

2

is proportionality constant, just like in the fractional

Voc technique, K

2

has to be determined according to the PV

array in use. The constant K

2

is generally found to be between

0.78 and 0.92. Measuring I

sc

during operation is problematic.

An additional switch usually has to be added to the power

converter to periodically short the PV array so that I

sc

can be

measured using a current sensor. This increases the number of

components and cost.

It is clear that this method and the previous one have major

drawbacks, the power output is not only reduced when finding

I

sc

but also because the MPP is never perfectly matched [3],

[62]-[65].

TABLE . FUZZY RULE BASE TABLE

5. Fuzzy Logic Control

Fuzzy logic controllers have the advantages of working

with imprecise inputs, not needing an accurate mathematical

model, and handling nonlinearity. Fuzzy logic control

generally consists of three stages: fuzzification, rule base

lookup table, and defuzzification. During fuzzification,

numerical input variables are converted into linguistic

variables based on a membership function. In this case, five

fuzzy levels are used: NB (negative big), NS (negative small),

ZE (zero), PS (positive small), and PB (positive big) [3].

The inputs to a MPPT fuzzy logic controller are usually an

error E and a change in error E. The user has the flexibility

of choosing how to compute E and E. Since dP/dV vanishes

at the MPP [3]. By calculate the following

E(n) =

P(n) -P(n - 1)

v(n) -v(n - 1)

(6)

and

E(n) = E(n) - E(n -1) (7)

Once E and E are calculated and converted to the

linguistic variables, the fuzzy logic controller output, which is

typically a change in duty ratio D of the power converter, can

be looked up in a rule base table such as Table . The

linguistic variables assigned to D for the different

combinations of E and E are based on the power converter

being used and also on the knowledge of the user. Table I is

based on a boost converter. If, for example, the operating point

is far to the left of the MPP, that is E is PB, and E is ZE, then

we want to largely increase the duty ratio, that is D should be

PB to reach the MPP [3].

In the defuzzification stage, the fuzzy logic controller

output is converted from a linguistic variable to a numerical

variable still using a membership function. This provides an

analog signal that will control the power converter to the MPP,

MPPT fuzzy logic controllers have been shown to perform

well under varying atmospheric conditions. However, their

effectiveness depends a lot on the knowledge of the user or

control engineer in choosing the right error computation and

coming up with the rule base table [3] and [66]-[76].

Fig. 6. Example of neural network.

6. Neural Network

Neural networks commonly have three layers: input,

hidden, and output layers as shown in Fig. 6. The number of

nodes in each layer varies and is user-dependent. The input

variables can be PV array parameters like V

oc

and I

sc

,

atmospheric data like irradiance and temperature, or any

combination of these. The output is usually one or several

reference signal(s) like a duty cycle signal used to drive the

power converter to operate at, or close to, the MPP [3], how

close the operating point gets to the MPP depends on the

algorithms used by the hidden layer and how well the neural

network has been trained. The links between the nodes are all

weighted [3].

The link between nodes i and j is labeled as having a

weight of wij in Fig. 6. To accurately identify the MPP, the

wijs have to be carefully determined through a training

process, whereby the PV array is tested over months or years

and the patterns between the input(s) and output(s) of the

neural network are recorded. Since most PV arrays have

different characteristics, a neural network has to be

specifically trained for the PV array with which it will be used.

The characteristics of a PV array also change with time,

implying that the neural network has to be periodically trained

to guarantee accurate MPPT [3] and [77]-[81].

7. Ripple Correlation Control

When a PV array is connected to a power converter, the

switching action of the power converter imposes voltage and

current ripple on the PV array. As a consequence, the PV array

power is also subject to ripple. Ripple correlation control

(RCC) makes use of ripple to perform MPPT. RCC correlates

the time derivative of the time-varying PV array power with

the time derivative of the time-varying PV array current or

voltage to drive the power gradient to zero, thus reaching the

MPP. If the voltage or the current is increasing and the power

is increasing, then the operating point is below (to the left of)

the MPP (V <V

mpp

or I < I

mpp

). On the other hand, if v or i is

increasing and p is decreasing, then the operating point is

above (to the right of) the MPP (V >V

mpp

or I > I

mpp

).

When the power converter is a boost converter, increasing

the duty ratio increases the inductor current, which is the same

as the PV array current, but decreases the PV array voltage.

Therefore, the duty ratio control input is:

J(t) = -kS_p:

Jt (8)

Fig. 7. The RCC block diagram.

J(t) = kS]p t Jt (9)

Where k

3

is a positive constant. Controlling the duty ratio in

this fashion assures that the MPP will be continuously tracked,

making RCC a true MPP tracker. The derivatives can also be

approximated by high-pass filters with cutoff frequency higher

than the ripple frequency. A different and easy way of

obtaining the current derivative is to sense the inductor

voltage, which is proportional to the current derivative. The

non idealities in the inductor (core loss, resistance) have a

small effect since the time constant of the inductor is much

larger than the switching period in a practical converter, Fig. 7

shows the RCC method block diagram [3], [5], and [82]-[87].

8. Current Sweep

The current sweep method uses a sweep waveform for the

PV array current such that the IV characteristic of the PV

array is obtained and updated at fixed time intervals. The V

mpp

can then be computed from the characteristic curve at the same

intervals. The function chosen for the sweep waveform is

directly proportional to its derivative as in [3];

(t) = k4

J(t)

Jt

(1u)

Where k4 is proportionality constant. The PV array power is

thus given by

p(t) = :(t)i(t) = :(t)(t) (11)

At the MPP

Jp(t)

Jt

= :(t)

J(t)

Jt

+(t)

J:(t)

Jt

= u (12)

So, from (10) and (12)

Jp(t)

Jt

= _:(t) + k4

J:(t)

Jt

_

J(t)

Jt

= u (1S)

The differential equation in (10) has the following solution

(t) = Cc

t

k4

,

(14)

C is chosen to be equal to the maximum PV array current

Imax and k

4

to be negative, resulting in a decreasing

exponential function with time constant = k

4

. It leads to:

Fig. 8. Topology of DC-link capacitor droop control.

(t) = Imox c

-t

:

,

(1S)

The current in (15) can be easily obtained by using some

current discharging through a capacitor. Since the derivative of

(15) is nonzero, (13) can be divided throughout by df(t)/dt and,

with f(t) = i(t), (13) can be simplified to [3];

Jp(t)

Ji(t)

= :(t) + k4

J:(t)

Jt

= u (16)

Once V

mpp

is computed after the current sweep, (16) can be

used to double check whether the MPP has been reached. In

[88], the current sweep method is implemented through analog

computation. The current sweep takes about 50 ms, implying

some loss of available power. It is pointed out that this MPPT

technique is only feasible if the power consumption of the

tracking unit is lower than the increase in power that it can

bring to the entire PV system.

9. DC-Link Capacitor Droop Control

DC-link capacitor droop control is MPPT technique that is

specifically designed to work with a PV system that is

connected in cascade with an AC system line as shown in Fig.

8 [3].

The duty ratio D, of an ideal boost converter is given by

= 1 -

I

Ilink

(17)

Where V is the voltage across the PV array and V

link

is the

voltage across the DC link. If V

link

is kept constant, increasing

the current going to the inverter increases the power coming

out of the boost converter, and consequently increases the

power coming out from the PV array. While the current is

increasing, the voltage V

link

can be kept constant as long as the

power required by the inverter does not exceed the maximum

power available from the PV array. If that is not the case, V

link

starts drooping. Right before that point, the current control

command I

peak

of the inverter is at its maximum and the PV

array operates at the MPP. The AC system line current is fed

back to prevent V

link

from drooping and D is optimized to

bring I

peak

to its maximum [89]-[90].

10. Load Current or Load Voltage Maximization

The purpose of MPPT techniques is to maximize the power

coming out of a PV array. When the PV array is connected to

a power converter, maximizing the PV array power also

Fig. 9. Different load types; 1) voltage source, 2) resistive, 3) resistive and

voltage source, 4) and current source.

maximizes the output power at the load of the converter.

Conversely, maximizing the output power of the converter

should maximize the PV array power, assuming a lossless

converter.

It is pointed out that most loads can be of voltage source,

current-source, resistive, or a combination of these types

shown in Fig. 9. From this figure, it is clear that for a voltage-

source type load, the load current i

out

should be maximized to

reach the maximum output power PM. For a current-source

type load, the load voltage v

out

should be maximized. For the

other load types, either i

out

or v

out

can be used. This is also true

for nonlinear load types, as long as they do not exhibit

negative impedance characteristics [3].

Therefore, for almost all loads of interest, it is adequate to

maximize either the load current or the load voltage to

maximize the load power. Consequently, only one sensor is

needed. In most PV systems, a battery is used as the main load

or as a backup, and a positive feedback is used to control the

power converter such that the load current is maximized and

the PV array operates close to the MPP. Operation exactly at

the MPP is almost never achieved because this MPPT method

is based on the assumption that the power converter is lossless

[8] and [91]-[95].

11. dP/dV or dP/dI Feedback Control

Thanks to the digital signal processors and microcontroll-

ers being able to handle complex computations, an obvious

way of performing MPPT algorisms is to compute the slope

dP/dV, or dP/dI, of the PV power curve and feed it back to the

power converter with some control to drive it to zero.

The way the slope is computed and its sign is stored for the

past few cycles. Based on these signs, the duty ratio of the

power converter is either incremented or decremented to reach

the MPP. A dynamic step size is used to improve the transient

response of the system [96]-[100].

12. method

The other method, based on tracking, has the advantage

of both fast and accurate tracking. The analysis of the I-V

characteristics of a PV array, leads to an intermediate variable

, is given by:

Fig. 10. The method flowchart.

[ = ln(

Ip:

Ip:

) - c Ip: = ln(Io c) (18)

Where I

o

is reverse saturation current and c is the diode

constant (c (q/ kTNs)) with q, , k, T and N

s

denoting the

electronic charge, ideality factor, Boltzmann constant,

temperature in Kelvin and the number of series connected

cells, respectively. Thus, depends on all of these parameters.

It is observed that the value of remains within a narrow

band as the array operating point approaches the MPP.

Therefore by tracking , the operating point can be quickly

driven to close proximity of the MPP using large iterative

steps [5]. Subsequently, small steps (i.e. conventional MPPT

techniques) can be employed to achieve the exact MPP. In

other words, the method approximates the MPP, while

conventional MPPT technique is used to track the exact MPP.

The flow chart for the method algorithm is shown in Fig. 10

[5], [101], and [102].

13. System Oscillation Method

This is a novel technique for efficiently extracting the

maximum output power from a solar panel under varying

meteorological conditions. The methodology is based on

connecting a pulse-width-modulated (PWM) DC/DC SEPIC

or Cuk converter between a solar panel and a load, or battery

bus. The converter operates in discontinuous capacitor voltage

mode whilst its input current is continuous.

By modulating a small-signal sinusoidal perturbation into

the duty cycle of the main switch and comparing the

maximum variation in the input voltage and voltage stress of

the main switch, the maximum power point (MPP) of the

panel can be located, as in Fig. 11.

Fig. 11. Block diagram of the system oscillation MPP tracking method.

Fig. 12. Equivalent circuit of a solar panel connecting to a converter.

Fig. 13. Circuit diagram of a SEPIC converter.

The nominal duty cycle of the main switch in the converter

is adjusted to a value, so that the input resistance of the

converter is equal to the equivalent output resistance of the

solar panel at the MPP. This approach ensures maximum

power transfer under all conditions without using

microprocessors for calculation [103].

The MPP is tracked by operating the interfacing power

converter in such a manner that the ratio of the peak dynamic

resistance (reflected across the PV terminals) to twice the

internal resistance (r

g

) of the array as in Fig. 12 which equals a

pre-determined constant (k

o

). At MPP, k

o

is equal to

(V

pv

=V

pv

), where V

pv

is the peak ripple of the PV array

voltage [5], Fig. 13 shows the converter circuit details.

14. Constant Voltage Tracker

Fig. 14 shows the control-circuit configuration of the

constant voltage tracker. This is a new constant voltage tracker

uses the physical fact that the temperature characteristic of the

p-n junction diode is very similar to that of the solar array.

A solar-cell surface-temperature change by the

environment is detected in the forward voltage drop of the p-n

junction diode installed at the backside surface of the solar

array, which is used as a reference voltage of the constant

tracker [104].

The input voltage dV

r

of the pulse width modulator is

represented as follows:

JIr = K2(Is -Irc) = K2(Is -K1IJ) (19)

Where V

s

is the output voltage of the solar array, V

ref

is the

reference voltage of V

s

, V

d

is the forward voltage drop of the

p-n junction diodes, and K

1

and K

2

are the gains of the

amplifiers Amp1 and Amp2 respectively [104].

15. Look-up Table Method

In this case, the measured values of the PV generator's

voltage and current are compared with those stored in the

controlling system, which correspond to the operation at the

maximum point, under predetermined climatologically

conditions. In one of the methods I

pv

is defined as a function of

P

pv

* I

MPP

= f(P

max

) [8]. In this method, a PI type controller

adjusts the duty cycle of the DC-DC converter. The zero error

is reached when the current and power of the Photovoltaic

generator are equal to the pre-determined values of IMPP and

P

max

. Any change of the insolation or load, results in a

disturbance of the tuned system, and the PI controller again

brings the system to its optimum operating point.

These algorithms have the disadvantage that a large

capacity of memory is required for storage of the data.

Moreover, the implementation must be adjusted for a panel PV

specific. In addition, it is difficult to record and store all

possible system conditions. But it has also some advantages. It

is simple and the system is able to perform fast tracking, as all

the data regarding maximum point are available [8], [105]-

[107].

16. On-Line MPP Search Algorithm

In this algorithm, the main task is to determine the value of

reference maximum power, and then, the current power is

compared with it. This difference is called maximum power

error. In order to have the PV array be operated at its MPP the

maximum power error should be zero or near to zero [8].

The operating power is the PV array output power to the

load, and is given as; the multiplication of PV array output

voltage by the current. Here, first reference maximum power

(RMP) is to be required. Since RMP is changed with variation

in temperature and solar irradiation level, it is not a constant

Fig. 15. Flow chart of the on line search algorithm.

reference and has a non-linear uncertainty that makes the

tracking of PV array reference maximum power is difficult. To

get the RMP, to find the maximum power error, the flow chart

shown in Fig. 15 [8], [108].

If the reference MPP is changed due to change temperature

or solar irradiation level, the algorithm adjusts the array

voltage and finds the new MPP. This algorithm will not be

able to determine the PV array MPP if the load power or

current is much smaller than the PV array MPP power and

current. In this case, additional loads should be connected to

increase the PV array current so that the PV array can be

operated at the MPP. It is preferred that we can charge the

battery as an additional load [108].

17. Array Reconfiguration Method

In this method the PV arrays are arranged in different

series and parallel combinations such that the resulting MPPs

meet a specific load requirement. This method is time

consuming and tracking of the MPP in real time is not obvious

[109]. According to the technique suggested to optimize the

operation of photovoltaic system; it assumed that the solar

array is going to be divided into two modules. The first one

represents the basic module, and the second will be divided

into sub modules. Three ways of arranging these modules

together can be achieved [3], [109], the parallel, series, and

parallel-series arrangements, Figs. 16a, 16b, and 16c,

respectively.

Fig. 16a. The parallel arrangement.

Fig. 16b. The series arrangement.

Fig. 16c. The parallel - series arrangement

18. Linear Current Control Method

In this method, a MPPT circuit is proposed which not only

can track the maximum power of the array instantaneously but

also can be implemented easily. The main idea is based on the

graphical interpretation of the solution of two algebraic

equations as the intersecting point of two curves on the phase

plane [110].

First, the traditional I-V characteristic of a solar array is

given by:

I = Is = Io ]expj

q

AK1

(I +I Rs)[ -1 (2u)

Where

I

s

: generated current under a given insulation

I

o

: the reverse saturation current

Rs: the intrinsic resistance of the solar array

Fig. 17a. The maximum output power curve at the intersecting point.

Fig. 17b. The maximum power point is located at the intersecting point.

K: the Boltzmans constant

T: absolute temperature

q: charge of an electron

A: an ideality factor for a p-n junction

Thus, for the proposed MPPT controller, the first curve is

represented by f (P, I) = 0 on the (power current) plane as

follows:

(P, I) = P - II =

P -

q

AKI

I ln_

(Is +Io -I)

Io

_ -I

2

Rs

= u (21)

Second, at the maximum output power point, one has the

following necessary condition

JP

JI

= u (22)

It follows from equations (20) and (22) that one has the

following second maximum output power constraint equation.

g(P, I) = P -oI ln

oI

2

(P - I

2

Rs)Io

+I

2

Rs

= u (2S)

o

AKI

q

It is interesting to see that for a practical solar array

equation (23) can be approximated by a linear line to simplify

the hardware implementation, as shown in Figs. 17a and 17b

[3], [110].

I

MPP

and V

MPP

are computed from equations involving

temperature and irradiance levels, which are not usually easy

to measure. Once I

MPP

or V

MPP

is obtained, feedback control is

used to force the PV array to operate at the MPP [3]. The PV

current I and the terminal voltage V, at the insulation Q and

the module temperature T, are described as follows;

I = _Is + Isc _

o

- 1] + o(I - Is)_ Np (24)

I = _Is + [(I -Is) - Rs _

1

Np

-Is] -

KI

Np

(I

-Is)_ Ns (2S)

Where, I and V are the output current and the terminal voltage

of a PV module at the standard test conditions (STC). STC are

defined as follows; the standard solar insulation (Q

o

) is l

kW/m

2

, the standard module temperature (T

s

) is 25 C, and the

solar spectrum is at the air mass (AM) 1.5, respectively.

Moreover, I

sc

is the short circuit current at STC, is the

temperature coefficient of I

sc

, is the temperature coefficient

of the open circuit voltage of the module, R

s

is a series

resistance of the module, and K is the curve correction factor,

respectively.

The output power P of the PV array is calculated by

P = II = I jIs + [(I -Is) + RsIs -

I

Np

{Rs +

KIIsNs (26)

The current IMPP and the voltage VMPP, which maximize the

output power, are calculated by differentiating P with respect

to I [111].

IHPP =

Np

2

Is +[(I - Is) +RsIs

Rs +K(I -Is)

IHPP =

Is +[(I - Is) +RsIs

2

Ns (27)

20. State-based MPPT Method

The PV system is represented by a state space model, and a

nonlinear time varying dynamic feedback controller is used to

track the MPP. Simulations confirm that this technique is

robust and insensitive to changes in system parameters and

that MPPT is achieved even with changing atmospheric

conditions, and in the presence of multiple local maxima

caused by partially shaded PV array or damaged cells.

However, no experimental verification is given [3], [112].

21. One-cycle control (OCC) Method

This control scheme is based on the output current-

adjusting feature of OCC. The output current of the inverter

can be adjusted according to the voltage of the photovoltaic

(PV) array so as to extract the maximum power from it Fig.

18.

Fig. 18. Inverter power stage interfacing the photovoltaic cells to the grids

intersecting point.

Fig. 19. The best fixed voltage algorithm flowchart.

Simple low-cost one-stage inverter, with MPPT accuracy is

proposed. The proposed topology has two functions:

automatically adjusting the output power according to sunlight

level, and outputting a sinusoidal current to the grid. It has the

following features [3], [113].

1) Constant switching frequency.

2) Low output current harmonics and high power factor, i.e.

PF = 1.

3) Simple main circuit with one stage power conversion.

4) A simple controller that only needs some linear

components, i.e., no DSP's or multipliers are necessary.

5) Maximum power point tracking accuracy.

6) Low cost and high efficiency.

22. The Best Fixed Voltage (BFV) Algorithm

Statistical data is collected about irradiance and

temperature levels over a period of one year and the BFV

representative of the MPP is found. The control sets either the

operating point of the PV array to the BFV, or the output

voltage to the nominal load voltage. The advantages of this

algorithm are simplicity and ease of implementation.

However, it has limitations in efficiency and depends on a

good mathematical statistical research to find the BFV to

extract more power from the PV array. But the operation is

therefore never exactly at the MPP and different data has to be

collected for different geographical regions, Fig. 19 [3], [7],

and [114].

23. Linear Reoriented Coordinates Method (LRCM)

This method solves the PV array characteristic equation

iteratively for the MPP, where the equation is manipulated to

find an approximate symbolic for the MPP. It requires the

Fig. 20. The PV Inverter System for utility applications.

Fig. 21. P-V and I-V Curves with LRCM.

measurement of V

oc

and I

sc

and other constants representing the

PV array characteristic curve, to find the solution the

maximum error in using LRCM to approximate the MPP was

found to be 0.3%, but this was based only on simulation

results [3]. Fig. 20 shows the PV power system used in this

method, the main idea for the LRCM is to find the I-V curve

knee point, Fig. 21. The I-V curve knee point is the optimal

current (I

opt

) and the optimal voltage (V

opt

) that produces P

max

[115]. Using the I-V curve, a linear current equation can be

determined from the initial and final values. The slope of the I-

V curve at the knee point is approximated by the slope of the

linear current equation [3], [115].

24. Slide Control Method

The buck-boost converter is used to achieve the MPPT.

The switching function, u of the converter is based on the fact

that dP/dV > 0 on the left of the MPP, and dP/dV < 0 on the

right; u is expressed as

u = u S u

u = 1 S < u

Where u = 0 means that the switch is open and u = 1 means

that the switch close and S is given by

S =

JP

JI

= I +I

JI

JI

(29)

This control is implemented using a microcontroller that

senses the PV array voltage and current. Simulation and

experimental results showed that operation converges to the

MPP in several tens of milliseconds [3], [116].

25. Temperature Methods

The open-circuit voltage V

oc

of the solar cell, that varies

with the cell temperature as reported in Fig. 22 (whereas the

short-circuit current is directly proportional to the irradiance

Fig. 22. P-V under temperature variation.

TABLE . PARAMETERS OF THE OPTIMAL VOLTAGE EQUATION

level and relatively steady over cell temperature changes), can

be described through the following equation [10]

Ioc IocSIC + (I - Istc)

JIoc

JI

(Su)

Where V

ocSTC

= 21.8 V is the open-circuit voltage under

Standard Test Conditions (STC), (dV

ov

/dT) = -0.08 V/K is the

temperature gradient, T is the cell temperature (K), and T

stc

is

the cell temperature under STC. On the other hand, the

optimal voltage is described through the following equation

[10].

Iop (u + S :) -I (w +S y) (S1)

Table shows each of the parameters of the optimal

voltage equation (31) in relation to the irradiance levels. There

are two different temperature methods available in both of

which require at least the same measurements of the

temperature T and of the PV array voltage V

pv

for a PI

regulator [117]; as shown below:

a. The Temperature Gradient (TG) Algorithm:

It uses the temperature T to determine the open-circuit

voltage V

oc

from equation (30). The optimum operating

voltage V

op

is then determined as in the frictional open circuit

voltage technique, avoiding power losses due to the open-

circuit operations [10].

b. The Temperature Parametric (TP) Method:

It determines the operating voltage V

op

instantaneously by

equation (31), therefore it requires also the measurement of

solar irradiance S [10].

(28)

It is a three-point weight comparison method that avoids

the oscillation problem of the perturbation and observation

algorithm which is often employed to track the maximum

power point. Furthermore, a low cost control unit is

developed, based on a single chip to adjust the output voltage

of the solar cell array [118].

The P&O algorithm compares only two points, which are

the current operation point and the subsequent perturbation

point, to observe their changes in power and thus decide

whether increase or decrease the solar array voltage. In

comparison the algorithm of the three-point weight

comparison Fig. 23 is run periodically by perturbing the solar

array terminal voltage and comparing the PV output power on

three points of the P-V curve.

The three points are the current operation point A, a point,

B, perturbed from point A, and a point C, with doubly

perturbed in the opposite direction from point B. Fig. 24

depicts nine possible cases. In these cases, for the points A and

B, if the Wattage of point B is greater than or equal to that of

point A, the status is assigned a positive weighting. Otherwise,

the status is assigned a negative weighting. For the points A

and C, when the Wattage of point C is smaller than that of

point A, the status is assigned a positive weighting.

Otherwise, the status is assigned a negative weighting. Of

the three measured points, if two are positively weighted, the

duty cycle of the converter should be increased. On the

contrary, when two are negatively weighted, the duty cycle of

the converter should be decreased. In cases with one positive

and one negative weighting, the MPP is reached [118].

27. PV Output Senseless (POS) Control method

This is another new method in PV MPPT. The main

advantage of this method is that the current flowing into the

load is the only one considerable factor. In case of a huge PV

generation system, it can be operated much more safely than a

conventional system. The load power is proportional to the

source power of a PV array as illustrated in Fig. 25. A load

power is equal to what multiplied the voltage with the current

of a load terminal. So, if the load current increases when the

load power increases, the load current will be proportional to

the source power that is the output power of the solar cell. So,

the POS MPPT can be applied to all PV generation systems

with this simple algorithm [119]. Fig. 26 shows the algorithm

of the proposed control scheme.

The power conversion system is controlled by PWM (Pulse

Width Modulation) control. An increment of the duty ratio

causes an increase in the output current of the power converter

which is the load current flowing into the load [119].

The load current of PV generation system is the only

significant component of the control method this makes the

structure of the control circuit is simple, and the

manufacturing cost of the control device is decreased.

Especially in the case of a large PV generation system, the

system can be operated effectively and much more safely,

because the voltage and current feedback of PV modules are

not needed [119].

Fig. 23. Algorithm for the three-point weight comparison.

Fig. 24. Possible states of the three perturbation points.

Fig. 25. Power characteristics of a PV array and a load.

Fig. 26. Block diagram of PV output senseless MPPT control method

28. A Biological Swarm Chasing Algorithm

It is a novel photovoltaic PV MPPT, based on biological

swarm chasing behavior, proposed to increase the MPPT

performance for a module-integrated PV power system. Each

PV module is viewed as a particle; as a result, the maximum

power point is viewed as the moving target. Thus, every PV

module can chase the maximum power point (MPP)

automatically. Theoretically experiments have proved that the

MPPT performance in transient state is obviously improved.

Comparing the proposed Bio-MPPT with a typical P&O

MPPT method, the MPPT efficiency is improved about 12.19

% in transient state. Experimental results have shown that the

proposed Bio-MPPT algorithm can adapt well in changing

environments, is flexible, and robust. A microcontroller is

needed to implement this method [120].

29. Variable Inductor MPPT Method

This method presents a new topology of MPPT controller

for solar power applications that incorporated a variable

inductance versus current characteristic. Power transfer in

solar photovoltaic applications is achieved by impedance

matching with a DC-DC converter with MPPT by the

incremental conductance method. Regulation and dynamic

control is achieved by operating with continuous conduction.

It has been shown that under stable operation, the required

output inductor has an inductance versus current characteristic

whereby the inductance falls off with increasing current,

corresponding to increasing incident solar radiation. This

method shows how a variable sloped air-gap inductor,

whereby the inductor core progressively saturates with

increasing current, meets this requirement and has the

advantage of reducing the overall size of the inductor by 60%,

and increases the operating range of the overall tracker to

recover solar energy at low solar levels [121].

The Inductance versus current (L-i) characteristic of the

variable inductor is shown in Fig. 27. The variable inductor is

based on a sloped air-gap (SAG) and the L-i characteristic of

the inductor is controlled by the shape of the air-gap.

Fig. 27. Characteristics of the Variable Inductor

Fig. 28. Comparison of CCM Conditions in a MPPT DC/DC Converter with a

variable inductance.

The role of the variable inductor in the stable operation of

the buck converter is explained by reference to Fig. 28.

Continuous conduction can only be achieved with inductance

values above the dashed line in Fig. 28 (the shaded area is off

limits). The lower limit of load current (corresponding to low

solar insulation) is given by I

o1

as long as the inductance is

greater than L

1

. Evidently, at higher currents (and higher

insulation levels), say I

o2

, a smaller inductor L

2

would suffice,

with the added advantage of a reduced volume occupied by the

inductor. Conversely, setting the inductance at L

2

would limit

the lower load range to values of current (and solar insulation)

greater than I

o2

.

The buck converter should work in the continuous current

mode (CCM) to insure the stable operation of the system

during changing the duty cycle in MPPT. The role of the

variable inductor in the stable operation of the buck converter

is to keep the operation of the converter in the continuous

conduction mode and it can only be achieved with inductance

values above the dashed line in Fig. 28 (the shaded area is off

limits) [121]. This method gives very good results in the low

level of solar intensity.

30. Variable Step-Size Incremental Resistance (INR) Method

The step-size for the incremental conductance MPPT

determines how fast the MPP is tracked. Fast tracking can be

achieved with bigger increments, but the system might not run

exactly at the MPP, instead oscillates around it; thus, there is a

comparatively low efficiency. This situation is inverted when

the MPPT is operating with a smaller increment. So a

to be made for the fixed step-size MPPT. The variable step-

size iteration can solve the tough design problem [122]. Fig.

29 shows the corresponding PV output power, slope of output

power versus output current and the product of the output

power and its slope curves.

An improved variable step-size algorithm is proposed for

the INR MPPT method and is devoted to obtain a simple and

effective way to ameliorate both tracking dynamics and

tracking accuracy. The primary difference between this

algorithm and others is that the step-size modes of the INR

MPPT can be switched by extreme values/points of a threshold

function, which is the product C of exponential of a PV array

output power P

n

and the absolute value of the PV array power

derivative |dP/dI| as

C = P

n

JP

JI

, (S2)

Where n is an index. As shown in Fig. 30, the product of the

first degree exponential (n=1) of the PV array power P and its

derivative |dP/dI| is applied to control the step-size for the INR

MPPT. The product curve has two extreme values/points (M

1

and M

2

) which are corresponding to two current values (I1 and

I2) at two sides of MPP. The INR MPPT is in the variable

step-size mode when the PV array output current is between

I1and I2. Otherwise, it is in the fixed step-size mode. The

above idea is formulized [122] by

C

I

u, FixcJ stcp sizc moJc (lct o HPP)

C

I

< u, :orioblc stcp sizc moJc (lct o HPP)

C

I

> u, :orioblc stcp sizc moJc (rigbt o HPP)

C

I

u, ixcJ stcp sizc moJc (rigbt o HPP)

(33)

Furthermore, similar to equations (1) (3) this proposed

method is also based on the fact that the slope of the PV array

power curve is zero at the peak power point (MPP), positive to

the left of the MPP, and negative to the right, as given by

[122]:

JP

JI

= u ot HPP

JP

JI

> u lct o HPP (S4)

JP

JI

< u rigbt o HPP

Since

JP

JI

=

J(II)

JI

= I +I

JI

JI

I + I

I

I

(SS)

It can be written

I

I

= -

I

I

ot HPP

I

I

> -

I

I

lct o HPP (S6)

I

I

< -

I

I

rigbt o HPP

Fig. 29. Normalized power, slope of power versus current, and the product of

power and its slope (C1= P*(dP/dI), C2= P*(-dP/dI).

Fig. 30. Flowchart of the partially variable step-size INR MPPT algorithm

The MPP can thus be tracked by comparing the

instantaneous resistance (V/I) to the incremental resistance

(V/I) as shown in the flowchart in Fig. 30. I

ref

is the

reference current at which the PV array is forced to operate. At

the MPP, I

ref

equals to I

MPP

. Once the MPP is reached, the

change in V is noted, indicating a change in atmospheric

conditions at the MPP. The algorithm decreases or increases

I

ref

to track the new MPP [122].

IV. DISCUSSION

Starting from 19 MPPT comparison table showed in [3],

table summarizes the major C/Cs of the 30 previous

mentioned MPPT techniques. Both old and updated methods

are investigated carefully to get all required comparison

criterion, the new added techniques are shaded in the table

below.

V. CONCLUSION

There are many different techniques for maximum power

point tracking of photovoltaic PV systems. It is shown that at

least 30 methods have been introduced in the literature, with

several variations on implementation. This paper should serves

as a convenient reference for future work in PV power

generation.

TABLE . MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF DIFFERENT MPPT TECHNIQUES

MPPT technique

PV array

dependent?

True

MPPT?

Analog

or

digital?

Periodic

tuning?

Convergence

speed

Implementation

complexity

Sensed

parameters

Hill Climbing / P&O No Yes Both No Varies Low Voltage, Current

Incremental Conductance No Yes Digital No Varies Medium Voltage, Current

Fractional Voc Yes No Both Yes Medium Low Voltage

Fractional Isc Yes No Both Yes Medium Medium Current

Fuzzy Logic Control Yes Yes Digital Yes Fast High Varies

Neural Network Yes Yes Digital Yes Fast High Varies

RCC No Yes Analog No Fast Low Voltage, Current

Current Sweep Yes Yes Digital Yes Slow High Voltage, Current

DC Link Capacitor Droop Control No No Both No Medium Low Voltage

Load I or V maximization No No Analog No Fast Low Voltage, Current

dP/dV or dP/dI Feedback Control No Yes Digital No Fast Medium Voltage, Current

Method No Yes Digital No Fast High Voltage, Current

System Oscillation Method No Yes Analog No N/A Low Voltage

Constant Voltage Tracker

Yes No Digital Yes Medium Low Voltage

Lookup Table Method Yes Yes Digital Yes Fast Medium

Voltage, Current,

Irradiance,

Temperature

Online MPP Search Algorithm No Yes Digital No Fast High Voltage, Current

Array Reconfiguration Yes No Digital Yes Slow High Voltage, Current

Linear Current Control Yes No Digital Yes Fast Medium Irradiance

IMPP and VMPP Computation Yes Yes Digital Yes N/A Medium

Irradiance,

Temperature

State Based MPPT Yes Yes Both Yes Fast High Voltage, Current

OCC MPPT Yes No Both Yes Fast Medium Current

BFV Yes No Both Yes N/A Low None

LRCM Yes No Digital No N/A High Voltage, Current

Slide Control No Yes Digital No Fast Medium Voltage, Current

Temperature method No Yes Digital Yes Medium High

Voltage,

Irradiance,

Temperature

Three Point Weight Comparison

No Yes Digital No Varies Low Voltage, Current

POS Control No Yes Digital No N/A Low Current

Biological Swarm Chasing MPPT No Yes Digital No Varies High

Voltage, Current,

Irradiance,

Temperature

Variable Inductor MPPT No Yes Digital No Varies Medium Voltage, Current

INR method No Yes Digital No High Medium Voltage, Current

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