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Published by: vinay kumar on Feb 21, 2013
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05/28/2014

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High Gain DC/DC Converter for the GridIntegration of Large-Scale PV Systems
Hyuntae Choi Mihai Ciobotaru Vassilios G. AgelidisAustralian Energy Research Institute &School of Electrical Engineering and TelecommunicationsThe University of New South WalesSydney, NSW 2052, Australiahyuntae.choi@student.unsw.edu.au,mihai.ciobotaru@unsw.edu.au,vassilios.agelidis@unsw.edu.au 
 Abstract 
 – The global trend towards larger size ground mountedphotovoltaic (PV) power plants seems set to continue, with thedevelopment of several projects in the 100MW range and higher.This installation trend will challenge the existent PV plantarchitectures by requiring power converters with a higher powerrating and a higher voltage level at the point of common coupling(PCC), which can lead to higher ratio transformers or moretransformation stages to be used for the connection with theelectricity grid. This paper proposes a solution to minimize thenumber of transformation stages or the transformer turns ratioof a grid-connected PV plant without changing the standardconfiguration of the system. The paper introduces a multistringPV system architecture based on a high voltage gain DC/DCconverter. A 1MW section of a PV plant has been modeled andsimulated using MATLAB/Simulink and PLECS Block-set. Thesimulation results of three different case studies are presented toevaluate the performance of the proposed PV systemconfiguration.
I.
 
I
 NTRODUCTION
 In the recent years, the interest for renewable energy has been increasing as a result of the growing energy demand,mounting power prices and the increasing need for moreenvironmentally friendly energy sources [1, 2]. Solar energyhas been one of the leading renewable energy sources and thedemand has grown by an average of 30% per annum over last20 years [2]. In the last decade, the installation growth of solar  photovoltaic (PV) system was mostly sustained by small andmedium scale installations. However, due to mass production,technology advancement, higher efficiency and lower cost of solar cells, the installation of large-scale PV systems has beenrising significantly since 2007 [3], as shown in Fig. 1. In theupcoming years, the PV farms will continue to grow in sizereaching the range of hundreds of MWs. This installation trendwill challenge the existent PV system architectures byrequiring converters with a higher power rating and a higher voltage level at the point of common coupling (PCC), whichcan lead to higher ratio transformers or more transformationstages to be used for the connection with the electricity grid.Up to now, four major PV system architectures have beenused, such as: centralized PV inverter, string PV inverter,multistring PV inverter, and AC module [5-7]. Among thesePV inverters, the centralized PV inverter, the string PVinverter and the multistring PV inverter are used for large-scale PV systems [6]. The centralized PV inverter, shown inFig. 2 (a), is the simplest PV system architecture and has thelowest installation cost. However, this architecture presentsseveral drawbacks such as: mismatch power losses under the
 
(a)Centralized inverter (c)Multi-string inverter with low-voltage transformer (d)Multi-string inverter without low-voltagetransformer,6.6kV20kV20kVStation 1(b)String inverter 400VStationn20kV6.6kV20kV6.6kV2kV2kV400V
 Fig. 2. Large-scale PV system architectures.Fig. 1. Trend in MW–scale PV system installations [4].
978-1-4673-0158-9/12/$31.00 ©2012 IEEE 1011
 
 limitations of a single maximum power point tracking(MPPT), poor upgradeability, higher power loss on reversecurrent blocking diodes, and very low continuity of service atlow solar irradiation level [5]. The string PV inverter, shownin Fig. 2 (b), uses one inverter per string. In this way, thestring inverters prevent the mismatch power losses and alloweach string to operate at its MPP, thus increasing the overallefficiency of the PV system. Nevertheless the high number of inverters might increase the power conversion losses andelevate the cost of installation [7]. The multistring PV inverter,illustrated in Fig.2 (c), combines the benefits of the centralizedand string inverters by introducing DC/DC converters withMPPT control strategies for each string. This inverter allowshigher upgradeability, more degrees of control, and moreflexibility [5]. Although higher cost and more power electronics stages are involved in this architecture, higher MPPT efficiency proves to be an advantage in long termoperation [8].Regarding multistring PV inverter, a number of papers have been published [9-13]. Multistring PV inverter for single- phase grid integration of small scale PV system was discussedin [9, 10]. The multistring PV inverter for large-scale PVsystem was considered in [11]. However the paper wasfocused only on the low voltage grid connection. A high gainDC/DC converter concept for multistring architecture wasintroduced in [12, 13]. However these papers discuss aboutsmall-scale PV system and low power rating converters. Mostrecently, a multistring PV inverter without using a low-voltagetransformer has been commercialized, as shown in Fig. 2 (d)[14]. By removing the need for low-voltage transformer, theefficiency is increased and the inverter costs are lowered.However this system still needs a medium-voltage transformer with a high turns ratio.The objective of this paper is to introduce a multistring PVinverter architecture using a high gain DC/DC converter for alarge-scale solar PV system. By introducing a high gainDC/DC converter, the medium voltage transformer (shown inFig. 2 (d)) can be replaced by one with a lower turns ratio,thus reducing the costs and increasing the efficiency of the PVsystem even further.The paper is organized as follows: Section II describes the proposed PV system and Section III presents the controlmethod of the DC/DC converter and the two-level voltage-source converter (VSC). The dynamic and steady statesimulation results are given in Section IV. Finally, theconclusions are drawn in Section V.II.
 
P
ROPOSED
PV
SYSTEM CONFIGURATION
 
 A.
 
 Description of the PV System
A schematic view of the proposed grid connected large-scalePV system is shown in Fig. 3. The system consists of two power conversion stages: the high gain DC/DC converters andthe VSC. Each PV array is connected to a high gain DC/DCconverter which further connects to the common DC bus of the VSC. The high gain DC/DC converter tracks the maximum power point of the PV array and the VSC controls the DC busvoltage.A standard two level VSC with sinusoidal pulse widthmodulation (PWM) was considered as inverter in this paper.The configuration of the two-level VSC is shown in Fig. 4.The VSC is connected to the grid through an inductor filter and a step-up transformer.
 B.
 
 High gain DC/DC converter 
Considering the 1kV limit [14] for the DC output voltage of a PV array and voltage gain of conventional boost converter,grid connection of large-scale PV system requires transformer stages when connect to a medium voltage grid. Consequently,most of PV system architectures have two transformer stages,as shown in Fig. 2 (a)-(c). Even though the PV systemarchitecture presented in Fig. 2 (d) has only one transformer stage, the transformer turns ratio is still high. Due to theincreasing size of the PV farms, the connection with the
Fig. 3. Proposed system configuration of large-scale PV system using highgain DC/DC converters.Fig. 4. Configuration of a two-level voltage-source converter.
1012
 
 electricity grid will require a higher voltage level at the PCCthus increasing the turns ratio of the transformers even further.In order to reduce the transformer turns ratio without changingthe commonly used PV configuration, this paper proposes amultistring PV system architecture based on a high voltagegain DC/DC converter.The major concerns when choosing the high voltage gainDC/DC converter for large-scale grid connected PV systemare the cost and efficiency issues. The interleaved structuregreatly reduces components’ voltage and currents rating.Moreover, it makes the power level requirement in large-scalePV system be satisfied [15]. Regarding the efficiency, voltagestress on switching devices should be decreased to reduce theconduction losses. Additionally, soft-switching operationshould be achieved to decrease the switching losses [16].The high gain DC/DC converter implemented in this paper was introduced in [17] and its possible configurations aredepicted in Fig. 5 (a). The converter has several advantagessuch as reduced voltage stresses of switches and diodes, soft-switching operation of power switches, and low input currentripple due to interleaved structure. When compared to thestandard boost converter, the main advantage of this converter is a higher voltage gain. The extra boost can be achieved byreplacing the diode of the conventional boost converter with aswitch (S
2
) and introducing an auxiliary circuit which consistsof a capacitor 
1
, an inductor 
 L
2
, two diodes
 D
1
and
 D
2
, and anadditional capacitor 
2
connected in series with the outputcapacitor 
3
. The basic configuration, shown in Fig. 5 (a), can be extended to multiphase DC/DC converter. Fig. 5 (b) and (c)show examples of multiphase DC/DC converters.
 N 
is thenumber of output series-connected converters and
 P 
is thenumber of output parallel-connected converters.
 N 
could beincreased to get higher gain while
 P 
could be increased toincrease the power rating of the converter.When designing the high gain DC/DC converter, there aresome key equations to be considered. According to thedetailed circuit analysis in [17], the voltage gain of the highstep-up converter under continuous conduction mode is given by (1)
i
 D N 
+=
11
0
(1)The relationship between voltage gain and duty cycle of theconverter is illustrated in Fig. 6.Capacitor voltage
C1
 
can be derived from the volt-sec balance on
 L
2
as,
321
)1(
 DV  D D
+Δ=
(2)where
 D
is the duty loss.
C2
and
C3
can be expressed as
i
 D
=
11
3
(3)
 N  D
i
Δ=
11
2
(4)Meanwhile, since the output current equals the averagecurrent of 
 D
1
and
 D
2
.
The following equation can be derived:
 pk  Lav D
 I  D D I 
+
Δ=
,2,
)1(21
1
(5)
 pk  Lav D
 I  D D I 
Δ+=
,2,
)(21
2
(6)where
 I 
 L2
 ,+pk 
and
 I 
 L2
 ,-pk 
are positive and negative peak values of inductor current
 I 
 L2
, and given by
21,2
)(
321
 L P  D  I 
 s  pk  L
=
+
(7)
Fig. 5. High gain DC/DC converter; basic cell and examples of extension.Fig. 6. Voltage gain of the DC/DC converter (
 P 
=1, different
 N 
)
1013

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