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Sharaf Mohamed M. Mansour, Abmed A. El-Sattar Dept. of Electrical Power and Machines Dept. of Electrical Engineering, UNB Fredericton, NB. Canada E3B 5A3 Ain Shams University, Cairo Egypt Kegwonis: Photovoltaic energy systems, Line-commutated inverters, Neural networks based controller.

A b s t m t - The paper presents laboratory implementation of a photovoltaic artificial neural network (ANN) based maximum power tracking controller. The control purpose is to track the maximum available solar power in a photovoltaic array interfaced to an electric utility grid via a linecommutated inverter. The inverse dynamic characteristics of this scheme is identified by off-line training of a multi-layer perceptron type neural network. The ANN output is used as the control signal to vary the line-commutated inverter firing angle, hence track the available maximum solar power. The weights of the ANN is updated by an on-line training algorithm which utilizes the on-line power mismatch error. This ensures on-line maximum solar power tracking.

equation relating voltage and current as follows: V, = (AKT/q) In (($, - BI, - Io) / 1 3 - I,R,

I,= IJ,


V , = V,N,

Renewable photovoltaic interface schemes with the electric utility grid are growing very fast in the recent time. The scheme comprises a Photovoltaic PV array, DC link and linecommutated inverter as the elements of this energy converter. Fig. 1 shows The power-current characteristics of the PV array it is nonlinear and depend on the solar insolation level and operating cell temperature. Photovoltaic arrays cost is still high, so it is recommended to utilize the maximum available solar power at all times. There are number of control schemes for regulating the output power of the PV array, some use conventional PID controllers [ 6 ] , others used rule based fuzzy logic tracking regulators [7,8]. Artificial neural networks ANN provide new flexible design technology to control engineers due to their learning capabilities and nonlinear input-output mapping and pattem generalization. ANN controllers do not require a priori knowledge of the process under control [ 5 ] . Recently ANN technology has attracted new interest in electrical power engineering applications, refs. [2] to [ 5 ] give examples of these new applications. This paper presents a novel ANN based controller for maximum solar power on-line tra.cking and utilization of a photovoltaic energy interface scheme. The proposed ANN controller is trained by off-line using a bench mark model and on-line training for weight adaptation is also utilized.

Where V, is the single cell voltage, I, is the cell current, q is the charge of an electron, K is Boltzman's constant, A is completion factor and its value is in the range 1 to 3 [6], T is the absolute temperature, $b is the photo current, I, is the reverse saturation current, R, is the equivalent series resistance of the cell, I, is the solar array current, V, is the array voltage, N, I S the number of strings in parallel, N, is the number of solar cells in series for one string and B is a constant equal to (l+R&J, where R, is the equivalent shunt resistance of the cell. The photo-current $b is a function of the solar insolation level S ,and cell temperature and its variation with S, is given by eqn. (3).



where k is a constant of value 0.56 Amps/W/cm2 and S , is the solar insolation level in W/cm2[6]. The characteristic equation relating the PV cell's voltage to current and the associated parameters such as N,, N, etc. are programmed into a PC AT digital computer and used to control the output of a dc power amplifier whose output volt-ampere characteristics are made to emulate the actual PV solar array characteristics. Using an A P data translation card DT2821, the solar insolation level S, and the array current are sampled at sampling interval 0.08 sec. and input to the digital computer PV emulator, then used to compute the corresponding $b,V,,I,. Knowing the cell current I, and using the above characteristic equation, the full array output voltage V , is computed on-line as a voltage reference signal which is fed to the power amplifier through the D/A converter of the data translation card DT2821. By appropriately setting the gain of the power amplifier, the solar array's voltage-current V-I nonlinear characteristic can be emulated at the power amplifier-output. This PV array computer based simulator is used as a nonlinear quasi-static dc source to experimentally verify the proposed ANN control scheme with the fuzzy logic controller bench mark model in the 1aboratory testing . The photovoltaic array is interconnected to the electric utility via a dc link line-commutated inverter (firing delay angle a,

The PV scheme structure is shown in Fig. 2. The solar array is emulated using the quasi-static solar cell model

0-7803-1901-X/94 $4.00 01994 E E E


in the range (95' to 165). The dynamic equation introduced by the DC link smoothing reactor is L,d(IJdt

+, $ R

=V , - VI


where R , and L,, are the DC link smoothing reactor resistance and inductance respectively, VI is the DC controlled voltage at the six-pulse inverter dc side, and it is related to the utility line to neutral voltage V , (peak value) by the following equation [2].
V, = -(343/7~)V,

approximate any nonlinear continuous function [3]. In this work a two layer perceptron network, one hidden and one output is used, the hidden layer has only four neurons and the output layer has one output neuron. Fig. 3 depicts this multilayer perceptron with one hidden layer. The multi-layer perceptron is represented by the recovering and learning stages. The recovering stage is described as follows: uj(k) = Wij(k) a,(k)


+ 3(X&)IW

(5 )

where X , is the commutating reactance representing AC transformer inductance. The inverter output voltage V , (peak value) is related to the utility's line to neutral voltage V, (peak value) by the turns ratio (no : 1) of the output transformer (that is V , = noV,). The output power of the PV array is

The optimal maximum power operating point of Fig. 1 is determined for different solar insolation levels S, using an offline curve fitting model. The data obtained is least squarescurve fitted and used to relate P , to S , variations using a second order polynomial, assuming constant cell temperature.

PE,= -11.575 + 4785.7 S , + 4706.8 S:


i = 1, 2,-----NI j = 1, 2,----NJ -weight between input i and neuron j in the hidden layer -weight between hidden layer neuron j and output layer neuron -input to the network -input to neuron j in the hidden layer -output of neuron j in the hidden layer -input to the neuron in the output layer -output of the neuron in the output layer -sigmoid activation function 1 / ( 1 + e" ) -bias of the neuron j in the hidden layer -bias of the output neuron

The on-line reference power P,, is computed using eqn. (7) and the array power Pp is also calculated using eqns. (1-6). The power error Pe=(P,-P,) and PEf are used as an input variables to the ANN based controller. The output of the ANN 0, is used to adjust the line-commutated inverter firing angle a,. hence power drawn from the PV solar array is varied online in order to track and extract the maximum available solar power from the PV array. 0, is in the range (0 to 5 ) Volts and it is corresponding to firing angle a,range (180" to 90").

The learning stage is performed by updating the weights and biases using Back Propagation BP algorithm using the descent gradient method in order to minimize a mean squared error performance index E.

where V, is the line-commutated inverter control signal and it is the target output for the network. The weights and biases are updated by BP algorithm as follows: Wj(k+l) = W, (k)+ p€,,aj(k)

The multi-layer feed forward perceptron structure is one of the most popular neural networks architecture. It has an input layer, an output layer and one or more hidden layers, each layer has a certain specified number of neurons. The network receives the outside input, scale it by weights and biases passes it to the neurons in the next layer. Each neuron in every layer receives its input from the previous layer, then activate it by the sigmoid activation function and send the output to the next layer. The output vector of the network is the output of all neurons in the output layer. It has been proved that a network with one hidden layer is sufficient to

Wij(k+l) = Wij(k) + p€,a,(k)


(18) B,(k+l) = HJ(k) + pk, where p is the learning rate selecting of ANN structure, number of layers, number of


neurons in each layer and learning rate are using guided trial and error experience as stated in many refs. [1,2,3]. The inverse dynamic characteristic of the process is identified by the above described multi-layer feed forward perceptron. It is trained based the network output error. The input-output data patterns are obtained from the bench mark robust fuzzy logic FL controller for a wide range of operating conditions and dynamic changes in the system. The fuzzy controller performance is described by authors in ref. [8]. Any other conventional PID controller could be utilized for the same purpose. MATLAB soft ware package (version 4) with the neural networks tool-book is used for the off-line training of the input-output ensembles using an (IBM 486/33 MHz ). The training parameters are listed as follows:
# inputs = 2 # hidden layer = 1 # output layer = 1

Figs. 6 depict the scheme dynamic performance for both the ANN and the bench mark F X controller, it is clear that the ANN based controller has better response than the FL controller. Figs. 7,8 show the proposed ANN scheme performance at different operating conditions. All figures validate the robustness of the proposed ANN controller. The ANN based controller has a built in noise tolerance and filtering capability. This enhances the tracking response and minimizes steady state mismatch error.

# outputs = 1
# hidden layer neurons 4 # output layer neurons =1

learning rate = 0.00001 training patterns = 600 training time = 4 hours error goal = 0.0001 nu.mber of training iterations = 20000 The training program calculates the weight matrix W,, 12x41 with the bias matrix B, 14x11 for the input to hidden layer mapping, and a weight matrix W, [1x4] with bias Bo for the hidden layer to output layer mapping. Fig. 4 shows the neural network structure and the function approximation mapping. The weights and biases obtained only from off line training are used to validate the ANN controller operation. It is known using this inverse fixed “stationary” dynamic model may lead to unaccepted control performance because it is difficult to have global data pattern ensembles for the training process to describe all possible dynamic situations [4,5]. To over come this limitations the inverse model weights and biases are also updated on-line using the same steps described through eqns. 8 to 18 by BP algorithm, only equation 14 is modified to use the actual on-line process power error and is given as follows:

An artificial neural networks based controller is presented in this paper for on-line maximum solar power tracking of a photovoltaic electric utility interface scheme. The ANN network is an inverse dynamic process and function mapping. Off-line training is done using a bench mark fuzzy logic controller then the ANN network weights are updated on-line using the actual process output power error. The experimental results validate the robustness and effectiveness of the ANN based solar power tracking controller.

The on-line training and weight adaptation is done using the aciual process output error (P,Xk) - P,(k)) instead of the ANN network output error used earlier in the off-line training phase. The ANN network error (V,(k) - o,(k)) is usually unknown due to the absence of the target value of V, in this case. This enhances the power tracking capability

The proposed photovoltaic interface scheme with the novel ANN controller is implemented using an AT PC digital computer with a data translation card DT2821. The scheme variables are updated at a sampling interval equal to 0.08 sec.

[l] Paul J. Werbos, “Back propagation Through Time: What It Does and How to Do It”, Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 78, No. 10, October 1990, pp. 1550-1560. [2] Y.Zhang, G . P. Chen, 0. P. Malik, and G . S . Hope, “An Artificial Neural Network Based Adaptive power system stabilizer”, IEEE Trans. on E.C., Vol. 8, No. 1, March 1993, pp. 71-77. [3] S.Weerasooriya and M. A. El-sharkawi, “Laboratory Implementation of a Neural NetworkTrajectory Controller for a DC Motor”, IEEE Trans. on E. C., Vol. 8, No. 1, Mach 1993, pp. 107-113. [4] X. Cui and K.Shin, “Application of Neural Networks to Temperature Control in Thermal Power Plants”, Engg. Applic. Artif. Intell. Vol. 5, No. 6, 1992, pp. 527-538. [5] D. S. Hofer, D. Neumerkel and K. Hunt, “Neural Control of a Steel Rolling Mill”, IEEE Control System Magazine, June 1993, pp. 69-75. [6] O.Wasynczuk, “Modelling and Dynamic Performance of a Line-Commutated Photovoltaic Inverter System”, IEEE Trans. on E. C., Vol. 4, No. 3, Sept. 1989, pp. 37-343. [7] Hilloowala R.M. Sharaf A.M., “A Rule-Based Fuzzy Logic Controller for a PWM Inverter in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion Scheme”, Proceeding IEEE IAS Conference Houston, October 1992. [8] H. M. Mashaly, A. M. Sharaf, M. Mansour and A. ElSattar, “Fuzzy Logic Controller for Maximum Power Tracking in Line-Commutated Photovoltaic Inverter Scheme”, CCECE 93, Sept. 1993, pp. 1287-1290


6 pulse

SI= 0.1 W l c d
SI= 0.OSWkd






0.04 Wkm2 0.02Wkm2



Digilal Computu With Data Translallon Card


Fig. 2 Block diagram of experimental setup of the PV array and line-commutated inverter scheme.

0.06 W k n S


Fig. 1 Power current characteristics of the PV array at T=28"and different solar insolation levels.


Fig. 3 Multi-layer perceptron network.

Fig. 4 ANN process dynamic identification using the fuzzy logic controller as a bench mark.





Back Ropagdion ' basedonprofess





Fig. 5 ANN controller with on-line training using the power error.








Time in sec. Fig. 6 Experimental results depicting the power change for +- step change on the solar insolation from (0.059 to 0.078) W/cm2.






power reference


0 a








Time in sec. Fig. 8 Experimental results depicting the power change for +- step change on the solar insolation from (0.025 to 0.09) W/cm*.

Time in sec. Fig. 7 Experimental results depicting the power change for +- step change on the solar insolation from (0.04 to 0.08) W/cm2.