Dynamic Boost Based DMPPT Emulator
The Distributed Maximum Power Point Tracking (DMPPT) approach is a promising solution to improve the energetic performance of mismatched PhotoVoltaic (PV) systems. However, there are still several factors that can reduce DMPPT energy efficiency, including atmospheric conditions, the efficiency of the power stage, constraints imposed by the topology, the finite rating of silicon devices, and the nonoptimal value of string voltage. In order to fully explore the advantages offered by the above
... ed by the above solution, the implementation of a Boost based DMPPT emulator is of primary concern, especially if it behaves as a controlled voltage or current source. The repeatability of experimental tests, the tighter control of climatic conditions, the closing of the gap between the physical dimensions of a PV array and the space available in a university lab, the simplicity with which new algorithms can be tested, and the low maintenance costs are just some of the benefits offered by an emulator. This paper describes the realization and use of a Boost based Distributed Maximum Power Point Tracking (DMPPT) emulator and shows its high flexibility and potential. The device is able to emulate the output current vs. voltage (I–V) characteristics of many commercial PhotoVoltaic (PV) modules with a dedicated Boost DC/DC converter. The flexibility is guaranteed by the ability to reproduce both I = f ( V ) and V = g ( I ) characteristics at different values of not only the irradiance levels but also the maximum allowed voltage across the switching devices. The system design is based on a commercial power supply controlled by a low-cost Arduino board by Arduino (Strambino, Torino, Italy). Data acquisition is performed through a low-cost current and voltage sensor by using a multichannel board by National Instruments. Experimental results confirm the capability of the proposed device to accurately emulate the output I–V characteristic of Boost based DMPPT systems obtained by varying the atmospheric conditions, the rating of silicon devices, and the electrical topology.