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LabVIEW Based Simulation System for the Output Characteristics of PV Cells and the Influence of Internal Resistance on It

YANG Gang

Ecole Supérieur d’Electricité Supélec Metz, France e-mail: yjsyanggang@ieee.org

Abstract—By using LabVIEW as software, a model of solar cells based on its output characteristic is built. The output characteristics of silicon solar cells and the maximum power point tracking system are simulated under different solar radiations. The influence of the internal resistance to the maximum power point and the fill factor of silicon solar cells are also simulated. The simulation results verify the nonlinear output characteristic of silicon solar cell and the system is proved to be very effective in determining the most appropriate load to stabilize the maximum power point of the cell. It is also proved by the results that the internal resistance is a key factor to the maximum power point and the fill factor of solar cells. Keywords-LabVIEW; PV cell; internal charracteristics; simulation; MPPT tracking

**CHEN Ming (correspondence author)
**

Institute of Solar Energy System Sun Yat-sen University Guangzhou, China e-mail: chenming@mail.sysu.edu.cn programming style and a friendly user interface can also be derived. This paper first proposes equivalent circuit model for solar cell, then propose the new type of LabVIEW method for the purpose of modeling and software design. The block diagram is provided to illustrate the design method by using LabVIEW software. Influence of solar irradiations to the performance of solar cells is simulated and analyzed and the maximum power point tracking system is also presented. Finally, the system simulates the influence of internal resistance Rsh to the performance of solar cells. II. MODEL OF SOLAR CELLS The most frequently used equivalent circuit [4, 5] for solar cells is shown in Figure 1.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Along with the crisis of the exhaustion of the traditional energy resources, the photovoltaic system has been put into emphasis on in recent years. Solar cells, as the key part and the most expensive part of a photovoltaic system, are suggested to be simulated before further research and development [1]. The solar cells can be simply considered to be a DC voltage source in some simple cases [2]; however, it can not represent the real performance of solar cells, such as the change of temperature and solar radiation. As to the simulation of Solar cells, the most frequently used method is to use the basic equivalent circuits for modeling of solar cells. Researchers have used different ways to simulate the output characteristics of silicon solar cells, typically using the MATLAB software. In the reference [3], the author uses MATLAB as software to build the models for solar cells and the transcendental equation is solved by the Newton iteration algorithm. MATLAB is a very effective way for modeling and simulation; however, seldom researchers try to use LabVIEW software to simulate the characteristic of solar cells. LabVIEW software, which is ordinarily taken as a tool of virtual instrumentation and automation, can also be used in the fields of simulation and LabVIEW software has provide a unique way of modeling and simulating the output characteristics of solar cells. In the LabVIEW environment, the graphic programming has replaced the traditional

Figure 1. The Equivalent Circuit of a Silicon solar cell.

The solar cell can be taken as a current source that can steadily generate the photocurrent Iph. The electronic element which is parallel to the current source is a diode under positive bias and a resistance Rsh. It is obvious that the forward current Id and the bypass current Ish is provided by the current Iph. The residual current I flows towards the load through a series resistance RS. From Figure 1, the output current of solar cell is shown in Eq. (1).

⎧ ⎡ U + IRS ⎤ ⎫ ⎛ U + IRS I = I ph − I 0 ⎨exp ⎢q( ) − 1⎥ ⎬ − ⎜ ⎜ AKT ⎦ ⎭ ⎝ Rsh ⎩ ⎣

⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠

(1)

where I0 is the dark current of solar cell, A; U is the output voltage of solar cell, V; q is the electronic charge, which is 1.6×10-19C; K is the Boltzmann constant, which is 1.38× 10-23 J/K; T is the thermodynamic temperature, K; A is the ideal factor of the PN junction, which is normally taken as 2.8 when T=298K [6]. When I=0, then the output voltage is termed as the open circuit voltage UOC, shown as in Eq. (2).

978-0-7695-3679-8/09 $25.00 © 2009 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ICIE.2009.72

391

Authorized licensed use limited to: Guru Anandan Saminathan. Downloaded on December 11, 2009 at 15:04 from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.

and rms do not have to be defined. The software compares with a lot of power point to determine which the maximum power point of a solar cell is and the best matched load can also be determined. Downloaded on December 11. the photocurrent Iph. The stronger the solar radiation.⎧ ⎡ U ⎤⎫ ⎛ U I ph − I 0 ⎨exp ⎢q( OC ) − 1⎥ ⎬ − ⎜ OC ⎦ ⎭ ⎜ Rsh ⎩ ⎣ AKT ⎝ ⎞ ⎟ = 0 (2) ⎟ ⎠ The fill factor of solar cell is the termed as the ratio between the maximum power and the open circuit voltage multiplying the short circuit current. Block Diagram of the System Design based on LabVIEW Three graphs of the system are the I-U curve. Firstly. dc. The results are packed to a cluster to show in a graphic control. The front panel is shown in Figure 4. the model for simulating the solar cells by using LabVIEW software is provided. Then the UOC is divided to 100 parts and the output current I under different voltages are derived from the Eq. ULATION RESULTS A. Influence of Solar Radiation on Solar cells Define abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used in the text. the fill factor of solar cell is also calculated by using Eq. Do not use abbreviations in the title or heads unless they are unavoidable. maximum power Pm. Restrictions apply. Front panel of the simulation system According to the equivalent circuit and equations provided. After IV. III. Abbreviations such as IEEE. The flow chart of the software design Figure 4. the current of the maximum power point Im. SI. (1). MKS. the more energy 392 Authorized licensed use limited to: Guru Anandan Saminathan. SOFTWARE DESIGN The flow chart of the main program of the solar cell simulation based on LabVIEW is shown in Figure 2. Solar radiation influences the output power of solar cells directly. which include the thermodynamic temperature T. the voltage of the maximum power point Um. (3). Figure 3. the ideal factor A. The MPPT function is implemented by changing the matched load. thus the I-V characteristic of solar cell can be obtained. It is an important factor for evaluating the quality of solar cells and a high fill factor means the output curve of a solar cell is similar to a rectangular. the matched load R′ and the fill factor FF. shown as in Eq. The output parameters include the open circuit voltage UOC. even after they have been defined in the abstract. the system accepts the data input from users. The open circuit voltage is calculated by using the Eq. Im is the current of the maximum power point. (3): multiplying the current and the voltage. sc. (2). Figure 2. 2009 at 15:04 from IEEE Xplore. the dark current I0 and the load resistance R. The block diagram of the system is shown in Figure 3 FF = I mU m KT U KT = 1− ln(1 + q m ) − I LU OC qU OC KT qU OC (3) where Um is the voltage of the maximum power point. the output power can be calculated and the P-V curve is obtained. P-U curve and the MPPT curve. . Simultaneously. CGS.

501 V.5A under T=298K and Sun=1 (which means the solar radiation is 1000W/m2). the open circuit voltage and the short circuit current also tend to increase.407 0. Downloaded on December 11. the increasing rate of Um is less than that of Im. When the voltage reaches a certain value. TABLE 1 SEVERAL PARAMETERS OF PV CELLS AT THE MAXIMUM POWER POINT UNDER DIFFRERNT SOLAR RADIATIONS Sun Im（A） Pm（W） Um（V） 0.441 0.6 0. shown as the point A. and the value of Pm increases with the rise of solar radiation. which is the maximum power point. thus different photocurrents can be used to simulate different solar radiations. The efficiency of solar cells will be greatly improved and the economic benefits of solar cells will reach also reach its maximum value.will the solar cell generate.197 393 Authorized licensed use limited to: Guru Anandan Saminathan.1Ω.1Ω.241 0. TABLE 2 SEVERAL MACTHED EQUIVALENT LOAD RESISTANCE UNDER DIFFERENT SOLAR RADIATIONS Sun 0.313 0. Now.307 0. Meanwhile.835 0. The maximum power point of solar cells is the intersection point between the I-U characteristic and the load characteristic curve.618. The photocurrent Iph is fully determined by the solar radiation and there is a direct proportion of solar radiation and the photocurrent. I-U Characteristic curves under different solar intensities. Along with the increment of solar radiation.6 0. such as: UOC=0.410 1.395 1.001Ω. As shown in the simulation results.4 0. While in this system. RS=0. If the voltage continues to increase. However.422 2. If the photocurrent of a solar cell is 2. P-U Characteristic curves under different solar intensities . the simulation results are shown in TABLE 2. When the out voltage of the solar cell increases from 0. The relevant useful parameters can be derived from the front panel. . The simulation results are shown in Figure 7.260 0. Rsh=5000Ω.497 0. MPPT Simulation The maximum power point tracking system is a way of keeping the solar cells working at its maximum power point by changing the equivalent load resistance.2 0.4 0. 2009 at 15:04 from IEEE Xplore.001A ， T=298 K ， R=0.001Ω. Restrictions apply. The I-U characteristic and P-U characteristic of solar cells are simulated under different solar radiations.197Ω.327 0. The other simulation parameters are set in the following values: I0 ＝ 0. Sun=1. Rsh=5000Ω.0 0. the recommended equivalent resistance provided by the system is R′=0.Authors and Affiliations R′（Ω） 0. the output power reaches its maximum value.001A，T=298 K，R=0. RS=0.2 0. It is worth notice that the value of equivalent resistance of solar cells under different solar radiations differs. FF=0.368 0.0 Figure 6. the output power will decrease gradually to 0 and then the voltage is termed as the open circuit voltage UOC. the I-V characteristic of solar cell is nonlinear.133 0. Since every solar has a maximum power point Pm.147 0.8 1. It is obviously that the point A is not located at the maximum power point.698 1. and the working point of solar cell changes to be in the point B. the voltage under maximum power point Um and the current under maximum power point Im are both increasing with it. the simulation parameters are set to be: I0 ＝0. Figure 7. the output power also increases together withit.8 0.907 B. The simulation results are shown in Figure 5 and Figure 6 and the relevant data are shown in TABLE 1.801 0. The change of working point of silicon solar cell Figure 5.702 0.

Simulation of the influence of Rsh on characteristics of solar cells The parallel internal resistance Rsh is usually very high and in some cases it can be omitted. “ Simulation of characteristics of silicon solar cells and its maximum power point tracking”. . “Model of photovoltaic cell circuits under partial shading”. “Synthetic structure of industrial plastics (Book style with paper title and editor). W. W. The maximum power of solar cell increases significantly with the increase of solar radiations. CONCLUSIONS As shown in TABLE 3.76840 0.02Ω. 16-19 July. 21. 2005: 866-870. The influence of Rsh to the P-U characteristics of solar cells [8] 394 Authorized licensed use limited to: Guru Anandan Saminathan. 2nd ed. Acta Energiae Solaris Sinca. Cau. the less the load resistance. 2006. Q. G.63871 0.C. Restrictions apply. 829834. Guo. However. vol. The influence of internal resistance is simulated under the following parameters: I0 ＝ 0. J. Chen.18. L. Peters.” in Plastics. Xia. 74-77. Cui. REFERENCES [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] G. vol. pp.17325 0. (in Chinese) Y.64998 V. Young. The optimum matched equivalent resistance differs with different solar radiations.16975 0. C. New York: McGraw-Hill. however. To better improve the efficiency of solar cells. M. (in Chinese) G. pp. vol. Y. The maximum power point under different solar radiations differs from each other and the there is a maximum power point at a given solar radiation and temperature. B. vol. 2006. Sun=1. the influences the output power and the open circuit voltage of solar cells. vol.5 1 10 100 1000 TABLE 3 THE SIMULATION RESULTS UNDER DIFFERENT Rsh R′(Ω) FF Pm（W） UOC（V） 0. R=0. Downloaded on December 11. Study on Simulation Model of PV module. B. this trend tends to be inconspicuous when Rsh is larger than 10Ω.1Ω. Figure 8 points out the influence of Rsh to the P-U characteristics of solar cells. 2009 at 15:04 from IEEE Xplore. The increase of Pm leads to the increase of FF and the decrease of the optimum matched load resistance [7].78422 0. T=298K. “Computer simulation of internal resistance on the output properties of a conventional solar cell”.78118 0. Journal of Shandong University (engineering science). 2006 256-259. 39:1-5.50144 0. From the above analysis. H. RS=0.44883 0. Hou. 2006.17006 0. H.20234 0. “The technology of PV generation system”. 14-17 Dec. LI. the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology is used to force the solar cell working at its maximum power point. (in Chinese) J. 23. It is proved by the simulation results that the internal resistance Rsh is a key factor to the performance of solar cells and the decrease of it will result in the decrease of open circuit voltage and the fill factor. The simulation results are shown in TABLE 3.18448 0. It will also affect the photo electronic conversion efficiency. thus the resistance should be built larger in actual applications. Aprail. J. 1964.48122 0. D. it is obvious that the output characteristics of solar cells are nonlinear and its maximum power point changes with solar radiation. The larger the solar radiation is. 2005.0008A. “Modeling and Simulation of Solar PV Arrays under Changing Illumination Conditions”. Journal of Qingdao University (E&T).44688 0. Shen. Wu. T. IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology.63291 0. Journal of System Simulation. D. pp. Nguyen.48261 0. Yang. pp.48249 0. 3. it is a key factor of determining the performance of solar cells. Kong. (in Chinese) H. Zheng. Ed. (in Chinese) Figure 8.46739 0.46739 0. “The model and simulation of PV cell based on MATLAB/Simulink”. Beijing: Chemical industry press. IEEE Workshops on Computer in Power Electronics. ect. 121-125. O.64782 0. Ren. J. 15–64. H. Kaiihara. Pm and UOC increase along with the increase of Rsh. Rsh (Ω) 0. 2009.

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