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A Survey of Maximum PPT techniques of PV Systems

Ali Nasr Allah Ali


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.

Fig. 14. Control-circuit configuration of the constant voltage tracker.



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].

19. IMPP and VMPP Computation Method


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)

26. Three Point Weight Comparison Method


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

satisfying tradeoff between the dynamics and oscillations has


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

operation of the PV array is maintained at this point unless a


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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