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Energy Technology & Policy

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ISSN: (Print) 2331-7000 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/uetp20

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Scheme


for Solar Photovoltaic System
Ahteshamul Haque
To cite this article: Ahteshamul Haque (2014) Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
Scheme for Solar Photovoltaic System, Energy Technology & Policy, 1:1, 115-122, DOI:
10.1080/23317000.2014.979379
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23317000.2014.979379

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Date: 21 June 2016, At: 08:26

Energy Technology & Policy (2014) 1, 115122


Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 2331-7000 online
DOI: 10.1080/23317000.2014.979379

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Scheme for Solar


Photovoltaic System
AHTESHAMUL HAQUE*
Electrical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India

Downloaded by [Universidad Autonoma De Bucaramanga] at 08:26 21 June 2016

Received July 2014, Accepted October 2014

Abstract: Global energy demand is increasing exponentially. This increase in demand causes concern pertaining to the global energy
crisis and allied environmental threats. The solution of these issues is seen in renewable energy sources. Solar energy is considered one of
the major sources of renewable energy, available in abundance and also free of cost. Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are used to convert solar
energy into unregulated electrical energy. These solar PV cells exhibit nonlinear characteristics and give very low efficiency. Therefore, it
becomes essential to extract maximum power from solar PV cells using maximum power point tracking (MPPT). Perturb and observe (P&O)
is one of such MPPT schemes. The behavior of MPPT schemes under continually changing atmospheric conditions is critical. It leads to two
conditions, i.e., rapid change in solar irradiation and partial shading due to clouds, etc. Also, the behavior of MPPT schemes under changed
load condition becomes significant to analyze. This article aims to address the issue of the conventional P&O MPPT scheme under increase
solar irradiation condition and its behavior under changed load condition. The modified MPPT scheme is implemented in the control circuit
of a DCDC converter. The simulation study is done using PSIM simulation software. A prototype unit is tested with artificial light setup on
a solar PV panel to simulate the changed solar irradiation condition. The results of the modified MPPT scheme are compared with existing
schemes. The modified MPPT scheme works fast and gives improved results under change of solar irradiation. Furthermore, the steady state
oscillations are also reduced.
Keywords: MPPT, photovoltaic, power electronics, perturb and observe, PSIM

1. Introduction
Global energy crisis and climate change threats are among the
major concerns faced by the present civilized world. The limited
reservoirs of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases are
the major identified reasons for the above concern. Renewable
energy sources (RES) such as solar, wind, and tidal are considered the solution to overcome these concerns. Among these RES,
solar energy is considered one of the potential sources to solve
the crisis as it is available in abundance and free of cost.1
Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are used to convert solar energy
into regulated electrical energy using power electronics converter.2 These solar PV cells exhibit nonlinear characteristics and
very low efficiency.3 The characteristic of solar cells become
more complex under changed atmospheric condition such as
partial shading.4 Due to these issues, it becomes essential to
Ahteshamul Haque
This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution,
and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in
any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have
been asserted.
*Address correspondence to: Ahteshamul Haque, Electrical
Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia University, M. M. Ali Jauhar
Marg, Okhla, New Delhi 110025, India. Email: ahaque@jmi.ac.in

researchers to extract maximum power from solar PV cells under


variable atmospheric conditions. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) scheme is used to extract maximum power from
solar PV cells. Various types of MPPT schemes are proposed by
researchers,514 namely open circuit, short circuit, perturb and
observe (P&O)/hill climbing, incremental conductance, and so
forth.
The P&O method is very popular among all these schemes.
It is further classified into various types of P&O MPPT schemes
and is adopted by the researchers. The nominal value of capacitors connected in parallel with solar PV is taken as a parameter
to monitor in extraction of power.5 However, Xiao and Dunford
have proposed an adaptive scheme to extract the power.6
The P&O method may give false results, i.e., when solar irradiation is increased, the conventional P&O algorithm moves in
the direction of high power. It fixes the operating point, which
is not maximum power point (MPP). Also, the other issue is
steady state oscillations due to the nature of the P&O MPPT
scheme. The limitation of the P&O method has been highlighted
under increased solar irradiation condition.8 However, the MPPT
behavior with resistive load change has not been addressed
properly. These issues are addressed properly for other MPPT
schemes such as incremental conductance.13,15
The P&O method is evaluated and the duty cycle is decided
by the product of slope (dP/dV) with a constant gain.12
The drawback of this method is high steady state oscillations

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A. Haque

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and longer time to reach steady state under changed power


condition.
In this article, the P&O MPPT scheme is modified considering increase in solar irradiation, steady state oscillations, and
load changing condition. The results of the modified scheme
are compared with the existing P&O MPPT scheme, and the
improvements are highlighted. The new MPPT scheme is implemented in the control circuit of a buck DCDC converter.
A prototype hardware model is made and tested in the lab. The
microcontroller is used to implement the proposed MPPT algorithm. The solar simulation and its changing irradiation condition
have been carried out with flooded artificial lighting on solar PV
panel. PSIM simulation software is used for simulation study.

MPP with
increase
in solar
irradiation

2. Modeling and Characteristics of Solar Photovoltaic


(PV) Cell
The basic element of a solar PV system is PV cells. These cells
are connected to form modules. It is further expanded in the form
of arrays as per the power requirement. These PV cells exhibit
nonlinear characteristic. The output of the PV cell varies with
solar irradiation and the ambient temperature. The characteristic
equations of PV cell are given in Equations 1, 2, and 3.3
I = Iph Ios {exp [(q/AKT) (V + IRs )] 1} (V + I Rs )/Rp
(1)
Ios = Ior exp [qEGO /Bk ((1/Tr ) (1/T))] [T/Tr ]3
Iph = S [Isc + KI (T 25)] /100

(2)
(3)

Where I is the PV cell output current; V, the PV cell output voltage; Rp , the parallel resistor; and Rs , the series resistor. Ios , is
the PV module reversal saturation current. A and B are ideality
factors; T, the temperature ( C); k, the boltzmanns constant;
Iph , the light-generated current; q, the electronic charge; and KI ,
the short-circuit current temperature coefficient at ISC . S is solar
irradiation (W/m2 ); ISC , the short-circuit current at 25 C and
1000 W/m2 , EGO , the band gap energy for silicon; Tr , reference temperature and Ior , the saturation current at temperature Tr .
Figure 1 shows that the power varies nonlinearly with the variation in solar irradiation, and maximum power point (MPP) varies,
too. However, the modeling of solar PV under partial shading
condition gives the results differently.4 The MPP point varies
with ambient conditions. It is the task of researchers to make
this moving point as the operating point to extract the maximum
power.

3. Conventional Perturb & Observe/Hill Climbing


MPPT Scheme
The other name of the P&O method is hill climbing method.
In fact, the hill climbing and P&O methods are different ways
to achieve the MPP. Hill climbing MPPT is achieved by perturbing the duty cycle of the power converter. In the P&O method,
the perturbation is applied either in the reference voltage or in the

Fig. 1. Solar PV power characteristics with different solar irradiation


level.

reference current signal of the solar PV. The flow chart of the conventional P&O method is shown in Figure 2. In this flow chart, Y
is shown as the reference signal. It could be either solar PV voltage or current. The main aim is to achieve the MPP. To achieve
it, the system operating point is changed by applying a small
perturbation (Y) in solar PV reference signal. After each perturbation, the power output is measured. If the value of power
measured is more than the previous value, then the perturbation
in reference signal is continued in the same direction. At any
point, if the new value of solar PV power is measured less than
the previous one, then the perturbation is applied in the opposite
direction. This process is continued till MPP is achieved.8

4. Issue Related to the Conventional P&O MPPT


Scheme
The main issue with the conventional P&O MPPT scheme is
its failure to give the correct MPP under fast changing atmospheric conditions as shown in Figure 3 and is also discussed
in Esram and Chapman.8 Figure 3 shows that the operating point
A under one atmospheric condition; a perturbation in reference
signal (which is voltage in the figure) brings the operating point
at B. This algorithm is reversed back to operating point A due to
the decrease in power. However, if the solar irradiation changes,
the power curve shifted from P2 to P1 in one sampling period.
The operating point will move from A to C. It is to be noted
that C is not the MPP of power curve P1. But the power at C
is more than the power at A; however, the perturbation is kept
same. Consequently, this phenomenon of divergence from MPP
is continued, if solar irradiation increases continuously.
The high ripple content in the power at steady state is the other
issue, which may be due to the nature of the P&O method as
evaluated.12

5. Proposed P&O MPPT Scheme


The P&O MPPT technique depends on the change in power supplied by solar PV. This supplied power level depends on solar

Maximum Power Point Tracking Scheme

117
Start

Measure and record P(t)

Yes

No
Compare
P(t) P(t1)>0
V.

Yes

Yes

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Compare
Y(t) Y(t1)>0

Compare
Y(t) Y(t1)>0

No
No
Y(t+1) = Y(t) Y

Y(t+1) = Y(t) + Y

Y(t+1) = Y(t) Y

Y(t+1) = Y(t) + Y

Return

Fig. 2. Flowchart of conventional perturb and observe MPPT method.

Table 1. Summary of the perturb and observe MPPT method.


Perturbation
Positive
Positive
Negative
Negative

Change in power

Next perturbation

Positive
Negative
Positive
Negative

Positive
Negative
Negative
Positive

Table 2. Summary of change in power with the change in solar


irradiation and load resistance.
Cause
Solar irradiation
Load resistance
Fig. 3. Issue in P&O MPPT scheme under changing atmospheric
condition.

irradiation, ambient temperature, and resistive load. The reference signal is either incremented or decremented periodically,
comparing the power obtained in the present cycle. The reference
signal is considered as PV voltage in this work. Table 1 presents
the summary of the P&O MPPT method, and Table 2 describes
the change in power with the change in solar irradiation and load
resistance.
Once the solar irradiation is increased, the PV power is
increased, and if it decreases, the power is decreased. The PV
power varies differently with resistive load.

Change

Power

Voltage

Increase
Decrease
Increase
Decrease

Increase
Decrease
Decrease
Increase

Increase
Decrease
Increase
Decrease

The flowchart of the modified P&O MPPT is shown in


Figure 4. The perturbation in the reference is dependent on the
slope dP/dV. The slope dP/dV is measured, and the threshold
value is shown in Equation 4.
 
 dP 
  = 0.05
(4)
 dV 
During the stage, when the slope is high, the perturbation step is
more, and when the slope is less, the perturbation step is small.
The change in PV current along with PV voltage is also measured. The slope calculation gives the improved and fast MPP,

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A. Haque
dV= V(t) V(t1)
dI = I(t) I(t1)
dP = P(t) P(t1)
= 0.005
= 0.08

Start

Record V(t), I(t)

Record Power P(t)


No

Yes

dP>0

Yes

No
dV > 0

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dV > 0

No

Yes

Yes

No
dI > 0

dI > 0

No

dP
< 0.05
dV
No

Yes

V(t+1) =
V(t) .V(t)
V(t+1) =
V(t) .V(t)

dP
< 0.05
dV

Yes

dP
< 0.05
dV

dP
< 0.05
dV

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

V(t+1) =
V(t) +.V(t)

V(t+1) =
V(t) +.V(t)

V(t+1) =
V(t) +.V(t)

V(t+1) =
V(t) +.V(t)

V(t+1) =
V(t) .V(t)
V(t+1) =
V(t) .V(t)

Update
V(t) = V(t+1)
I(t) = I(t+1)

Return

Fig. 4. Flowchart of the proposed perturb and observe MPPT method.

when operating under increased solar irradiation condition. The


earlier work is done by multiplying slope with constant gain
throughout the operation.12 Also, the load change is another area
where the proposed algorithm gives reliable results.

6. DCDC Converter Topology and MPPT Working


Zone
The MPPT operating zone for solar PV is dependent on DC
DC converter topology and restricts the value of resistive load
for which MPPT become effective. The MPPT scheme is

Rin

DC DC
Converter

Ro

Fig. 5. Block diagram of DCDC converter.

implemented in the control of DCDC converter, i.e., it varies


the duty cycle. The basic principle of adjusting the duty cycle is
to match load impedance with input impedance seen by the DC
DC converter, i.e., impedance of solar PV as shown in Figure 5.
Rin (the input impedance seen by the converter) and Ro (the
output impedance connected with converter) are related with

Maximum Power Point Tracking Scheme

119

characteristic equation. This mathematical equation varies with


DCDC converter topologies, which are summarized in Figure 6.
Figures 6 and 7 show the operating and non-operating zone of
MPPT. The MPPT is working in the entire range of characteristic

curve in the case of Buck-Boost and SEPIC (single-ended primary inductor converter) DCDC converter. Since these converters are complex, they exhibit more cost in comparison to buck or
boost converters.

6.1 Characteristic Equation of Buck Converter

6.2 Characteristic Equation of Boost Converter

Ro

Rin

Rin

Ro

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INPUT OUTPUT RELATIONSHIP

INPUT OUTPUT RELATIONSHIP

Rin = Ro/D2

Rin = Ro(1D)2

D Duty Cycle

Rin vs Duty Cycle

Rin vs Duty Cycle

6.3 Characteristic Equation of Buck-Boost Converter

Rin

D Duty Cycle

6.4 Characteristic Equation of Sepic Converter

Ro

Rin

Ro

INPUT OUTPUT RELATIONSHIP

INPUT OUTPUT RELATIONSHIP

Rin = (1D)2*Ro/D2

Rin = (1D)2*Ro/D2

D Duty Cycle

D Duty Cycle
Rin vs Duty Cycle

Rin vs Duty Cycle

Fig. 6. Characteristic equations of commonly used DCDC converters.

RLoad << RMPP

RLoad = RMPP
B

RLoad >> RMPP

V I Characteristic Curve of Solar PV


DC DC
CONVERTER TYPE
BUCK
BOOST
BUCK-BOOST
SEPIC

MPP ZONE
WORKING ZONE
A-B
B-C
A-B, B-C
A-B, B-C

Fig. 7. MPPT working zone with DCDC converter topology.

NO WORKING ZONE
B-C
A-B
NONE
NONE

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A. Haque
Table 3. Parameters of DCDC buck converter.
+

Lbuck

S. No.

Name of the
Parameter

Values

MOSFET
Vin

DIODE

Cbuck

Vo/p

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Fig. 8. Schematic: DCDC buck converter.

7. Design of Buck DCDC Converter and Solar PV


Parameters

(5)

where Vo is the output voltage, d is the duty cycle and Vin is


the input voltage of buck converter. The parameters of buck
converter are calculated for the design work (Table 3). The
parameters of solar PV model: ELDORA40 poly crystalline is
listed in Table 4.

8. Experimental Setup and Results


The block diagram of experimental setup for testing of the modified MPPT algorithm is shown in Figure 9. The solar PV panel in
the lab is flooded with artificial light (halogen lamp). The intensity of artificial light is controlled to simulate the fast-changing
solar irradiation. The solar PV is connected with the buck DC
DC converter. The DC load is connected at the output of the buck
Flooded
with
Artificial
Lights

Vin

2
3
4
5
6

MOSFET
DIODE
Lbuck
Cbuck
Vo

7
8

Frequency
Power Output

VMPP when MPP is working


Vcell in NO MPP Zone
20A, 600V
20A, 1000V, Fast Recovery
1mH, 15A Saturation
1000 uF
d VMPP
d Vcell
20 kHz
35W

Table 4. Parameters of solar PV.

The DCDC buck converter is used to implement the modified MPPT scheme (Fig. 8). The input voltage of DCDC buck
converter is the output voltage of solar PV. Equation 5 gives the
relationship between input and output voltage of buck converter.2
Vo = d.Vin

S. No.

Name of the Parameter

Name of the Vendor of solar PV

2
3
4
5
6
7
8

PV Type
No. of Cells: Connected in series
Rated Maximum Power: PMPP
Open Circuit Voltage: VOC
Short Circuit Current: ISC
Voltage at MPP: VMPP
Current at MPP: IMPP

Values
Vikram Solar
Model: ELDORA40
PolyCrystalline
36
40W
21.9 V
2.45 A
17.4 V
2.3 A

converter. The PV voltage and current is sensed by using sensors


and given as input to the microcontroller [Model: PIC- 16F887].
The microcontroller processes the proposed MPPT and gives output as pulse width modulated [PWM] signal to the gate of buck
converter. The opto-coupler driver IC [TLP-250] is used to drive
the power Mosfet of the converter. The data logger is connected
to record the solar PV power, current, and voltage. The gate signal is monitored using digital CRO. A voltmeter and an ammeter
are connected at the load end.

DCDC Buck
Converter

LOAD

Voltmeter

Solar PV

Opto-Coupler IC: TLP250


Digital CRO

Voltage Sensor
Current Sensor

Microcontroller
(PIC-16F887)
MPPT Controller

DATA LOGGER

Fig. 9. Block diagram of experimental setup.

PWM

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Maximum Power Point Tracking Scheme

121

Fig. 12. Simulation results: Power vs. time.

Fig. 10. Simulation results: Power (P)-Voltage (V) curve.

Fig. 13. Experimental results: Power vs. time.

Fig. 11. Experimental results with full artificial light.

The rating of solar PV used is 40W @ 1000 w/m2 solar irradiation. The simulated Power-Vcell characteristic is shown in
Figure 10. Since the PV is flooded with artificial lighting, therefore, power generated is not 40Wrather, it is around 67 Watts.
But the purpose to test the effectiveness of MPPT scheme is
achieved. The Power-Vcell curve of solar PV from the experimental setup with artificial light source, i.e., 1000 W/m2 , is
shown in Figure 11.
Figure 12 shows the experimental results under changed solar
irradiation levels. Figure 13 presents the experimental results
obtained under similar conditions to that of simulation. It can be
seen that the time taken to reach MPP is approximately 0.21 sec,
and even if the solar irradiation is changed, the MPP scheme
is not giving false results. Also, the experimental and simulation results are almost similar, except the steady state oscillation

Fig. 14. Experimental results: Solar PV power vs. time at different


load conditions.

is invisible in simulation. It is due to the fact that dP/dV is


much less.
Figure 14 shows the experimental results under different load
conditions. It is evident that if RLoad is less than RMPP , the MPP
works and restores the power to MPP level. The moment RLoad
is greater than RMPP , the proposed MPP fails, which is obviously
expected. Figures 15 and 16 shows the experimental results for
variable duty cycle.
Table 5 presents a comparison of the result between the gain
method and the proposed method. It is evident that time to reach
MPP, peak to peak steady state oscillations, and step load change
response time is improved.

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Appendix: Nomenclature
MPPT Maximum power point tracker
PV Photovoltaic
Rp Parallel resistor
Ios PV module reversal saturation current
T Temperature in degree Celsius
Isc Short circuit current
RES Renewable energy sources
P&O Perturb and observe
Rs Series resistor
A, B Ideality factor
k Boltzmanns constant
S Solar irradiation

Fig. 15. Experimental results: PWM gate signal.

References

Fig. 16. Experimental results: PWM gate signal.

Table 5. Comparative results of gain and proposed method.


S. No.
1
2
3

Name of the parameter


Time to reach MPP from zero
Peak to peak steady state
oscillation
Step load change - response
time

Gain
method

Proposed
method

0.4 sec
2.0 watt

0.192 sec
0.500 watt

2.5 sec

1.800 sec

9. Conclusions
The correct and fast tracking of MPP under change solar irradiation and change load conditions are challenging tasks for
researchers. The proposed MPPT scheme provides a solution
to improve the existing methods. The proposed scheme may
help in achieving accurate and fast response in standalone and
grid-connected solar PV energy conversion systema. It can be
applied in fast-changing solar irradiation areas where solar PV
is used. The limitation of the proposed method is that it is not
evaluated under partial shading conditions.

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