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Power Smoothing by Controlling Stored Energy in

Capacitor of Photovoltaic Power System


Junichi Arai Tsuyoshi Takada Kaoru Koyanagi Ryuichi Yokoyama
Department of Major of Electrical Graduate School of Environment Graduate School of Environment
Electrical Engineering Engineering and Electronics and Energy Engineering and Energy Engineering
Kogakuin University Kogakuin University Waseda University Waseda University
Tokyo, Japan Tokyo, Japan Tokyo, Japan Tokyo, Japan
arai@cc.kogakuin.ac.jp cm10023@ns.kogakuin.ac.jp kkoyanagi@aoni.waseda.jp yokoyama-ryuichi@waseda.jp


Abstract Installation of the photovoltaic power system on the
roof of houses is increasing rapidly. The photovoltaic power
system has two typical problems, one is large power output
change depending on climate change, and the other is over
voltage in distribution line due to reverse power flow. These
problems will be remarkable subjects for large amount of
installation of photovoltaic power system in near future. This
paper discussed countermeasures for these problems. We
propose an output power smoothing method that a dc capacitor
is assumed and stored energy is controlled to make the output
smooth, an idea for determining the capacity of the capacitor
based on measured data is explained. We also propose a flexible
control for a photovoltaic power system with active power and
reactive power controls against conventional one that has
constant unity power factor, because reactive power is able to
contribute over voltage suppression in distribution line. Proposed
controllers are applied to a photovoltaic power system for a
single phase ac output with three wires, and performance is
confirmed by ATPDraw simulation.

Keywords- Renewable energy, Photovoltaic power system,
Inverter, Control, Smoothing

I. INTRODUCTION
Installation of renewable energy generation such as
photovoltaic and wind power system is increasing every year.
Especially, installation of the photovoltaic power system on
the roof of houses is increasing rapidly.
The power output of photovoltaic power system changes
largely depending on climate change, more smooth power
output is desired. A capacitor is one of energy storage
element, then we propose a capacitor circuit and its control to
make power smoothing. One idea for determining capacity of
the capacitor is proposed based on measured data in which
clear and cloudy climate conditions are considered.
Large amount of photovoltaic power system will induce
reverse power flow and over voltage in distribution networks,
because conventional photovoltaic power system has a simple
unity power factor control [1], [2]. According to a reference
[3] power factor of about 0.95 is able to suppress over voltage
in distribution line for most reverse power flow conditions,
then we apply a flexible control for a photovoltaic power
system with active power and reactive power controls for a
single phase ac output with three wires system that is modified
from control reported by authors [4], [5]. The performance of
proposed controllers is demonstrated by simulation on the
ATPDraw which is widely used in the world [6], [7].

II. PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEM
A. System configuration
The configuration of photovoltaic power system is shown
in Fig.1. It consists of a photovoltaic cell (PV), chopper (1),
chopper (2) with large capacitor, and an inverter. The capacity
of the inverter is 4kW and the inverter is connected to +/-100V
single-phase three-wire distribution network.

Figure1. PV circuit with capacitor

B. Determination of large capacitor
We decide the most suitable capacity of the large capacitor
as follows. Fig. 2 shows a conventional photovoltaic power
output measured on facilities in our university, which is ten
minutes average output value plotted by bar graph. On a clear
day, Fig. 2a, electrical output has similar pattern as intensity of
solar radiation, and full power output is obtained. On cloudy
day, Fig. 2b, the output stays lower value and it changes
largely. Both two days are selected as typical output patterns
as photovoltaic power system. If we assume power smoothing
during one day, huge capacitor would be required. Then we
assume 30 minutes moving average that is shown in solid line
in Fig.2. There is large difference between bar graph and the
solid line around at 10:00, it is taken up and the capacity of the
capacitor is calculated to absorb this large difference. Fig. 3
shows capacity of the capacitor corresponding to moving
average period from 20 minutes to 60 minutes, and also for
Main
circuit
Control
circuit
Ac bus
(+/-100V)
Inverter (4kW)
PV
Ec
Ed
Chopper
(1)

Chopper
(2)
Large
capacitor
978-1-4577-0547-2/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE
clear day and cloudy day. The capacity for clear day has
smaller value because difference between bar graph and solid
line is small. The 30 minutes average period is considered here
and finally C=25F is selected as shown in Fig. 3, which is
between clear day and cloudy day curves and discharge during
lower output than the 30 minutes moving average is expected.


(a) Clear day

(b) Cloudy day
Figure2. Electric energy and average value


Figure3. Average period and capacity of large capacitor

III. CONTROLS
The role of chopper (1) is to boost the PV voltage up to a
dc voltage of the inverter. Chopper (2) controls the dc voltage
of the inverter applying dc capacitor C. The conventional
photovoltaic power system does not have chopper (2) and the
capacitor C, this part is newly proposed here. The inverter
converts dc power to ac power. The main circuit of the
inverter is the same as conventional one, but control is a new
one.
A. Dc chopper
The dc chopper (1) circuit is shown in Fig.4. This is a
booster, and the PV voltage represented by a dc voltage source
and a resistor is boosted to a dc voltage suitable for the
inverter. Each value is R=3, L=5mH, C=500F , d=0.65 ,
PV=320V in this simulation. The general photovoltaic power
system has MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) control,
but this study leaves out MPPT control modeling.


Figure4. Dc chopper circuit

The chopper (2) circuit is shown in Fig.5, and chopper (2)
control is shown in Table.1. The chopper controls the dc
voltage Ed by charging capacitor C if Ed > 530V or
discharging C if Ed < 470V (Table.1). The chopper (2-1) and
(2-2) have similar circuit to the chopper (1), and they are
connected in inverse parallel to permit power direction to bath
ways. The chopper (2) controls the dc voltage Ed within
470V-530V. We use C=25F to make active power output of
the inverter smooth.


Figure5. Chopper circuit for charge and discharge

TABLE I. CHOPPER SELECTION
Voltage
condition
Selection Operation
Ed > 530v Chopper (2-1) Charge C
Ed < 470v Chopper (2-2) Discharge C

B. Voltage phase detector of inverter
This study uses a phase locked loop (PLL) circuit as
voltage phase detector. The PLL circuit is shown in Fig.6.
This PLL is modified from normally used for three phase
Chopper

(2-1)
Chopper

(2-2)
Ed Ec C
Duty factor
d=0.65
L=5mH
C=500F
C=500F
PV
320V
R=3
Ed
500V
C=25F
E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

e
n
e
r
g
y

(
k
W
h
)

E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

e
n
e
r
g
y

(
k
W
h
)
Electric energy
Average value
Time
Time
Electric energy
Average value
Average period (min)
C
a
p
a
c
i
t
y

(
F
)

Cloudy day
Clear day
voltages [8] to for a single phase use. The voltage with 90
degrees difference is obtained by inserting a first order lag
function.


Figure6. PLL circuit

The simulation result of this PLL circuit is shown in Fig.7
and Fig.8. Distribution line voltage fluctuation is shown in
Fig.7, and PLL circuit output response is shown in Fig.8. The
simulation assumes a distribution line voltage drops by 10
percent. The PLL circuit output returns to the normal output
after 0.02 seconds. It is confirmed the PLL has enough
performance.

(file PLL- .pl4; x- var t) v:VAC1
0.98 0.99 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06
- 150
- 100
- 50
0
50
100
150

Figure7. Voltage fluctuation

(file PLL- .pl4; x- var t) t: PLLOUT
0.98 0.99 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06
- 2.0
- 1.5
- 1.0
- 0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0

Figure8. PLL output response
C. P-Q control
Detection method of active power and reactive power in
the inverter control is shown in Fig.9.

Figure9. Detection of active power and reactive power
The active power is detected by multiplying voltage and
current, and the reactive power is detected by multiplying the
voltage and 90 degrees delayed current through a first order
lag function.
The active power reference for the inverter control, Pref, is
obtained from the dc voltage Ec of the capacitor C as shown in
Fig.10. The range of 0.5pu-1.0pu of residual energy of C is
adopted for power smoothing and Pref is corresponded to
0.05pu-1.0pu. Also Pref is limited to 1.0pu if Ec is over than
1.0pu.

Figure10. Determination of active power reference value

The reactive power reference for power factor control,
Qref is obtained from the active power reference as shown in
Fig.11.

Figure11. Determination of reactive power reference value


Figure12. P-Q control circuit

Qref
Pref Pref
K
Q

ref
Apparent power
Sref

S P
Q
I
+
-
+
-
Pref
Qref
Iref




+
+
sin
PLL
output
Current
control
circuit


PLL
Iacref
Ec Pref
Ec(pu)
Pref
(pu)
0 1
1
0.5
0.05
Voltage
Current
Active
power
Reactive
power
90 deg lag

PI VCO
V
V
0
sin

cos
+
+
+
+
Ac bus
voltage
T[s]
[V]
[Deg]
T[s]
This control can change power factor by modifying value
of K
Q
, and even if the active power reference changes due to
change of the capacitor voltage Ec, the inverter outputs
constant power factor by this control. The gain K
Q
=-0.33 is
used to make pf=0.95 in the simulation.
The P-Q control circuit of the inverter is shown in Fig.12.
This control circuit makes the amplitude reference (Iref) and
the phase reference (ref) of the current from reference values
of the active power (Pref) and the reactive power (Qref). They
are compared with detected values S and , and error signals
are fed to lead-lag controls. Finally, this control makes current
signal (Iacref) by the amplitude and the phase. This current
signal Iacref is supplied to an ac current control.

D. Current control
The ac current control of hysteresis comparator method is
applied for switching inverter arms. A principle of the
hysteresis comparator method current control for a single-
phase inverter is shown in Fig.13, and the calculated output
current waveform is shown in Fig.14. The hysteresis band Ihy
of 2A is assumed in this simulation.


Figure13. Hysteresis comparator method


Figure14. Output current waveform

IV. SIMULATION
Simulation results are shown in Fig.15 ~ Fig.17. In this
simulation, the initial voltage of capacitor voltage Ec is set to
500V, the active power reference is 1.0pu.
Fig. 15 shows a case of photovoltaic power system output
is reduced largely as in Fig. 2(b) cloudy day that condition is
represented by PV voltage drop in the simulation. The PV
voltage is changed from 320V to 220V at 2.0s. The PV
voltage drops, but the Ed is maintained in 470V by
discharging the capacitor energy. The active power of the
inverter changes very slowly due to large capacitor. The
reactive power remains -0.33 pu to keep power factor 0.95.
This shows even if the PV output drops suddenly, the inverter
output changes very slowly.



(a) Voltages of PV, Ed and Ec

(b) Active and reactive power
Figure15. Simulation result of PV voltage drop case

Fig. 16 shows a case of photovoltaic power system output
is increased that is represented by PV voltage rise. The PV
voltage is changed from 320V to 420V at 2.0s. The voltage Ed
rises, and the capacitor is charged to maintain Ed 530V. The
residual energy of C increases and the active power of the
inverter increases slowly, and the reactive power remains to
keep power factor 0.95. This shows even if the PV output rises
suddenly the inverter output changes very slowly.



(a) Voltages of PV, Ed and Ec

(b) Active and reactive power
Figure16. Simulation result of PV voltage rise case

Very slow inverter power output change is observed in
above cases, then performance is unclear during this
simulation time span. To confirm adequacy of the control, a
small capacitor is assumed and responses are examined.
Fig.17 shows a result of C=0.25F that is 1/100 of the original
capacity. The PV voltage is dropped from 320V to 220V at
2.0s, and is raised to 420V at 4.0s. The capacitor C is
discharged from 2.0s to 4.0s, and is charged after 4.0s. The
capacitor voltage Ec is changed largely, and the active power
of inverter is also changed similarly but slowly. Also the
reactive power reference is set to (-0.33*Pref) in this
simulation, and simulation result shows the power factor
remains almost 0.95. It is confirmed the new control has
enough performance.

-
+
0
Hysteresis
comparator
Q2
i
Iacref
Q1
Ihy
-Ihy
ACload
iref+Ihy
(Q1on)
iref-Ihy
(Q2on)
i
iref
[A]
T[s]
Active power
Reactive power
Ec PV
Ed
Ec PV
Ed
T[s]
T[s]
T[s]
T[s]
[pu]
[pu]
[V]
[V]
Active power
Reactive power


(a) PV, Ed and Ec

(b) Active and reactive power

(c) Power factor
Figure17. Simulation result of C=0.25F

From simulation results it is observed that lager capacitor
generates slower inverter output power change. This means
even if the PV output changes frequently due to climate
change, the smoothed output is obtained applying large
capacitor and control proposed here. It is also feasible to
control reactive power and it will be applicable to power
factor control of the inverter output. It will be useful for
overvoltage suppression in distribution line brought by reverse
power flow from photovoltaic power system.



V. CONCLUSION
In this study, we have proposed a new control of
smoothing household photovoltaic power system output using
large capacitor, and we have proposed one idea for selecting
suitable capacity for output smoothing. Furthermore we have
proposed active power and reactive power controls to get any
power factor operation. The performance of these controls has
been confirmed by simulation. The proposed photovoltaic
power system circuit and control will be useful for promoting
much installation of photovoltaic power system.

REFERENCES

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Control of Distribution Network with Photovoltaic power Generation,
ICEE-A-130, 17
th
ICEE, 2011
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2011
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Analysis of Flexible Inverter for Household Photovoltaic Cell with
Active Power and Reactive Power Controls, ICEE-A-134, 17
th
ICEE,
2011
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[7] Ryo Tanaka, Junichi Arai, A stability Analysis of Operation for
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th
ICEE, July 11-14, Busan, Koria, PSMSA-08,
2010
[8] Vijay K. Sood, HVDC and FACTS controllers, Kluwer Academic
Publishers, 2004

Ec PV Ed
T[s]
T[s]
[pu]
[V]
Active power Reactive power
T[s]