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PV Module MPP Locus Characterization

Vladimir V. R. Scarpa, Student Member, IEEE, Simone Buso, Member, IEEE, and Giorgio Spiazzi, Member, IEEE

AbstractThis paper proposes a method for tracking the max- A less complicated way of tracking the maximum power

imum power point (MPP) of a photovoltaic (PV) module that point (MPP) is through a convenient estimation technique,

exploits the relation existing between the values of module voltage based on an offline module characterization. In these meth-

and current at the MPP (MPP locus). Experimental evidence

shows that this relation tends to be linear in conditions of high ods, the optimal value of the PV voltage (VMPP ) or current

solar irradiation. The analysis of the PV module electrical model (IMPP ) is estimated as a function of the module short circuit

allows one to justify this result and to derive a linear approxima- current (ISC ) [14], [15], open circuit voltage (VOC ) [16][18],

tion of the MPP locus. Based on that, an MPP tracking strategy is or temperature (T ) [19]. Although estimation methods are

devised which presents high effectiveness, low complexity, and the generally much cheaper and simpler than those previously

inherent possibility to compensate for temperature variations by

periodically sensing the module open circuit voltage. The proposed mentioned based on hill climbing algorithms, they often rely on

method is particularly suitable for low-cost PV systems and has approximated relations which, in certain operating conditions,

been successfully tested in a solar-powered 55-W battery charger can drive the system excessively far from the true MPP, thus

circuit. significantly reducing the effectiveness of the power processing

Index TermsMaximum power point (MPP) tracking, stand- circuit. Therefore, their use has been limited mainly to low-cost

alone photovoltaic (PV) systems. low-power PV applications.

Intermediate solutions can also be devised, as the one dis-

I. I NTRODUCTION cussed in [20], where a linear relation between the values

of module voltage and current at the MPP is used to reduce

energy, the tracking of the maximum power point (MPPT)

is an essential part of any photovoltaic (PV) system [1]. This

the convergence time in the P&O and IncCond methods. This

paper shows how and why the relation exploited in [20] can

actually be used as an alternative estimation technique, al-

function is implemented by suitably controlling the power lowing the implementation of a novel low-complexity MPPT

processing circuit which is almost always used as an interface method.

between the PV generator and the load or the energy accu- The analytical derivation of the estimation equation from

mulator. In the last few years, several novel MPPT methods the electrical model of a PV module allows one to identify

have been proposed, as well as improvements for the already its parameters, expressing them in terms of module quantities.

established ones [2][6]. Furthermore, the proposed solution suggests a simple and effec-

Many of those methods aim at tracking the maximum power tive way to compensate the estimation equation for temperature

operating point of a PV generator by satisfying, in a closed variations, which only requires the periodic sensing of the

loop regulation, the condition dPPV /dVPV = 0, where PPV VOC . As it will be further demonstrated, the proposed method

and VPV represent the PV module output power and voltage, presents better results when compared to other offline methods

respectively. As an example, the very popular Perturb and of comparably low complexity.

Observe (P&O) [7][10] and the Incremental Conductance This paper is organized as follows. In the first part, Section II,

(IncCond) [11][13] make use of this relation. Due to the the mathematical analysis of a PV module electrical model is

complexity of the required mathematical operations, a digital presented, which clarifies the underlying physical background

signal processor or a relatively powerful microcontroller are and derives the analytical expression of the MPP locus. In

typically needed to implement them, which increases the cost the following part, comprising Sections IIIV, the method

of the power processing circuit. is presented, the effect of temperature on its performance is

discussed, and its effectiveness is compared with that of the

Manuscript received April 21, 2008; revised October 17, 2008. First pub- very popular Fractional VOC method. Finally, in Sections VI

lished November 25, 2008; current version published April 29, 2009. This work and VII, the experimental application of the proposed strategy

was supported by the Program Alban, the European Union Program of High

Level Scholarships for Latin America, under Scholarship E05D049801BR.

to a 55-Wp PV-powered battery charger is discussed.

V. V. R. Scarpa and G. Spiazzi are with the Department of Infor-

mation Engineering, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy (e-mail:

scarpa@dei.unipd.it; spiazzi@dei.unipd.it). II. MPP L OCUS C HARACTERIZATION

S. Buso is with the Department of Technology and Management of Indus-

trial Systems, University of Padova, 36100 Vicenza, Italy (e-mail: simone. In a PV module, the MPP locus can be defined as the couple

buso@unipd.it). (VMPP , IMPP ), expressed as a function of module irradiation

Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online

at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. at a given operating temperature. The basic result presented in

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TIE.2008.2009618 this paper is how to find a linear equation that approximates the

1532 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 56, NO. 5, MAY 2009

TABLE I

PV MODULE DATA AND SIMULATION PARAMETERS

cells.

complexity MPPT method.

We start the analytical derivation of the module MPP locus

from the usual equivalent electrical model shown in Fig. 1.

The model represents a generic PV module, composed by N

series-connected cells, each of them presenting an equivalent

series resistance RS and shunt resistance RSH . As usual, the

current source Ig represents the photogenerated current, while

Fig. 2. Difference between VOC and VMPP for several irradiation conditions

series-connected diodes Di are lumped representations of the in a 55-Wp PV module (dots) and in the corresponding model (solid line),

internal electron-hole recombination processes. We can write according to (6).

the following expression for the module current IPV :

(6), which expresses the difference between VOC and VMPP and

V +N R I

PV S PV VPV + N RS IPV determines the relation between the variables (VMPP , IMPP )

IPV = Ig Isat e N (nVT ) 1

N RSH VMPP

(1)

VOC VMPP = N RS IMPP + nVT ln +1

N nVT

where

= N (RS IMPP + VDO ) . (6)

Eg

Isat = C T e 3 VT

(2)

In (6), the term named Differential Offset Voltage (VDO ) has

is the cell inverse saturation current, and n is the so-called ide- been implicitly defined. We will now introduce the hypothesis,

ality factor. In (2), C is a suitable constant (in Ampere/ K3 ), which we will verify in the immediate following, that VDO

VT = kT /q is the temperature equivalent voltage, being k the variations with irradiation can be neglected, and hence, the

Boltzmanns constant, q the electron charge, T the temperature difference between VOC and VMPP , expressed by (6), increases

in kelvin, and Eg represents the energy gap of silicon in linearly with IMPP .

electronvolts. Experimental verification of (6) has been done on a 36-cell

Since in almost all practical cases the cell shunt resistance module by Helios Technology (Model H580) whose data, given

RSH is relatively high, the current through it can be neglected by the manufacturer [21], are presented in Table I. The same

and, consequently, the module output power can be well ap- table also shows the parameter values needed to emulate the

proximated by modules characteristics with the model of Fig. 1. The obtained

results are shown in Fig. 2. As can be seen, the measured values

V +N R I

follow the linear trend corresponding to (6).

PPV

PV S PV

= VPV Ig Isat e N (nVT ) 1 . (3) However, the relation between VMPP and IMPP with respect

to irradiation is not linear, because VOC is a logarithmic func-

Calculating the partial derivative of (3) with respect to VPV tion of Ig , as clearly shown by (5). Nonetheless, it is possible

and imposing it to be zero, it is possible to derive the following to linearize this relation for an interval where the value of VOC

relation, valid at the MPP: is sufficiently insensitive to irradiation. Indeed, from (5), it is

VMPP +N RS IMPP

possible to derive the sensitivity of VOC to Ig (SVOC ,Ig ) as

Ig VMPP

+1=e N nVT

1+ . (4)

Isat N nVT dVOC Ig 1

SVOC ,Ig = . (7)

VOC dIg Ig

ln Isat + 1

Equation (1) can now be rearranged to approximate the value

of VOC as

If we predefine a threshold value for SVOC ,Ig (e.g., 5%),

Ig from (7), we can calculate a minimum irradiation condition,

VOC = N nVT ln +1 (5) corresponding to a photogenerated current Ig , above which

Isat

the sensitivity is lower than the selected threshold, at a given

where the term related to RSH has been neglected once again. temperature T . Associated to Ig and T are the values VOC

,

Combining (4) and (5) and rearranging the terms, we obtain IMPP , VMPP shown in Fig. 3 , and VT . Now, the desired

SCARPA et al.: MPPT TECHNIQUE EXPLOITING THE PV MODULE MPP LOCUS CHARACTERIZATION 1533

Fig. 3. (Black lines) IV curves for several irradiation conditions, (blue line)

the MPP locus curve, and (red line) the VLR, calculated for Ig = 2.5 A. Fig. 4. Simulated effectiveness of the VLR as a function of irradiation, for

three different values of RS .

TABLE II

VLR PARAMETERS AT T = 25 C

tangent to the MPP locus curve for Ig = Ig . The tangent line is

named Voltage Linear Reference (VLR), and is shown in Fig. 3.

As can be seen, the choice of the irradiation range guarantees a Fig. 5. (VDO + n VT ) obtained through simulation, with the parameters of

Table I, for three different temperature conditions.

maximum relative VOC variation of about 4.9%. The VLR can

also be analytically derived from (6) as any Ig > Ig . Beneath this value, the effectiveness decreases,

reaching a value of = 0.9 for Ig = 0.3 A.

dVOC

VLR N RS IMPP + VOFFSET (8)

dIMPP Ig =Ig

III. P ROPOSED M ETHOD

where VOFFSET = n

VOC + (VDO and VT )is cal-

VDO Based on the previous analysis, it is possible to implement

culated for Ig = Ig . Considering that IMPP is roughly pro- a simple MPPT method by forcing the PV module to operate

portional to Ig (see [14] and [15]), dVOC /dIMPP can be over the VLR. The MPPT can be based on any dcdc switching

calculated as converter, driven by a suitable input voltage (or input current)

control circuitry that, using the VLR equation over the values of

dVOC dVOC dIg

n VT

= . (9) module voltage and current, automatically drives the module to

dIMPP Ig =Ig dIg dIMPP Ig =Ig

IMPP the point where the VLR intercepts the current IV curve. At

that point, the equilibrium condition VPV = VMPP (or IPV =

The parameters used to analytically derive the VLR for the IMPP ) holds.

simulated PV module are presented in Table II. Of course, the effectiveness of the method is conditioned

According to (8) and (9), for the particular case where by the accuracy of (8), which can be very high for high

nVT /IMPP

> RS , the VLR has negative slope. However, this irradiationand thus high powerconditions, as shown in

is not a necessary condition for the proposed method to operate Fig. 4. Furthermore, in order to guarantee the same performance

properly, since (6) is valid independently from the value of RS . for any temperature condition, the proposed method must also

Nevertheless, as will be seen in Section VI, the slope sign has a include some kind of compensation for temperature variations.

role in the way the method is implemented. This will be discussed in the next section.

In order to evaluate the accuracy of the proposed approx-

imation, the electrical power of each point of the VLR was

IV. E FFECT OF T EMPERATURE V ARIATIONS

calculated and compared with the power of the MPP locus at

the same irradiation condition. The ratio between these two It is known that, assuming constant irradiation, the value of

values, which we can define as the effectiveness () of the VLR VOC in a PV module varies by about 2.5 mV/ C per cell

approximation, is shown in Fig. 4. As can be seen, in order to [19], and thus the value of VOC is a function of temperature.

assess the sensitivity of the achievable effectiveness to different In addition, according to (6), it is expected that the MPP locus

values of RS , two other VLRs were calculated through (8). is shifted by the same amount, since it is normally acceptable

In the three cases, the effectiveness is very near to unity for to consider RS independent from temperature and, from Fig. 5,

1534 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 56, NO. 5, MAY 2009

condition at Voc sensing (marked with points).

Fig. 6. MPPs for T = 0 C, T = 25 C, T = 50 C, and (black lines) their

respective VLRs calculated through (7).

one can observe that VDO variation with temperature can also

be neglected.

Furthermore, if we neglect the IMPP variation with tempera-

ture, and considering that, as shown in Fig. 5, the sum (VDO +

n VT ) varies only about 6% for a 50 C temperature variation,

one can conclude that not only the characterization for the

VLR calculation can be done at any temperature condition, but

also that it is possible to compensate for temperature variations

simply by sampling the value of VOC (T ). This is demonstrated

by Fig. 6, where the VLR, calculated for T = T = 25 C,

approximates the MPP locus with similar accuracy for any

Fig. 8. (Blue lines) Effectiveness of the VLR method and (red lines) the

temperature condition, as long as VOC is updated. Fractional Voc method for three different temperature conditions.

Hence, to take advantage of this property, a practical imple-

mentation of the method would require the periodic sensing the VLR, instead, remains the same one, calculated offline.

of VOC at the irradiation condition that corresponds to Ig = Therefore, in the presence of variable irradiation conditions, the

Ig . However, this solution would not be convenient, since it system moves across several effectiveness curves, each related

requires the additional sensing of Ig or the use of an irra- to the particular, more recently sampled, VOC value.

diation sensor. Therefore, this paper proposes a simpler and Using the parameters of Table I and temperature T = 25 C,

cost-effective implementation: the value of VOC is sensed and Fig. 7 shows several effectiveness curves of the proposed

simply inserted in (8), without any concern about temperature method for the entire Ig range. The curves differ in the value

or irradiation conditions at the moment of sensing. As it will be of Ig at which VOC has been sensed, given by the marked point

further discussed in the next section, it will not only determine on each curve. As an example, assuming that VOC is sensed

the required compensation, but also inherently increase the for Ig = 1.5 A (point A in Fig. 7), if the value of Ig decreases

effectiveness of the estimation, particularly for lower irradia- to Ig = 0.2 A (point B), the operation point will go far from

tion conditions, i.e., those below Ig . Given the relatively slow the MPP, as predicted in Section II. However, if a new sample

thermal time constants, this only requires the periodic sampling of VOC is taken, this will result in more suitable parameters

of VOC at a very low frequency, which helps to minimize for the estimation equation, increasing the effectiveness. Please

the negative impact on the effectiveness of the temperature note that the same fact is observed in the inverse situation, i.e.,

compensation process. if irradiation increases between two VOC samples.

V. S TUDY OF THE M ETHOD E FFECTIVENESS B. Comparison With the Fractional VOC Method

This section presents the study of the effectiveness of the The proposed solution will now be compared with the

proposed method. First, the impact of the proposed solution for F racVOC method ([12] and [13]) that estimates the VMPP

temperature compensation on the effectiveness of the method value as

will be considered. Later, the VLR method will be compared

to the very popular Fractional VOC (F racVOC ) method, to VFrac = kFrac VOC . (10)

evaluate the effectiveness improvement obtained with respect

to a method with similar implementation complexity. The idea is to compare the effectiveness of each method as

a function of irradiation and temperature. Parameter kFrac was

defined as kFrac = 0.75, and the VLR has the same parameters

A. Influence of Irradiation at VOC Sampling

presented in Table I. For each value of Ig , the VOC was sampled

As explained above, during operation, VOC is periodically and the effectiveness of each method, for the three values of

sensed, and VOFFSET is adjusted accordingly. The slope of temperature, was calculated and reported in Fig. 8.

SCARPA et al.: MPPT TECHNIQUE EXPLOITING THE PV MODULE MPP LOCUS CHARACTERIZATION 1535

TABLE III

COMPARISON OF THE MEAN EFFECTIVENESS FOR

VLR AND F racVOC METHODS

and for the range of Ig defined above can be calculated as

m

i

i=1

m (11)

m

where m is the total number of Ig samples. Applying (11)

to the results, the mean effectiveness of each method for the

three simulated temperature conditions can be derived, and

is presented in Table III. As can be seen, in any condition,

the proposed solution offers better results than the F racVOC

method.

For a given PV module, it might be not so immediate to

measure all the parameter values required by (8). A more

Fig. 9. Convergence process of the proposed MPPT strategy. (a) Explanation

convenient way to implement the proposed solution consists in of the process. (b) Example of convergence to the MPP (simulation: VMPP =

the graphic determination of the VLR over offline measured 16 V, IMPP = 2.3 A).

IV curves. Then, the VLR can be arranged to generate a

reference value for the module voltage, through an equation of As shown in Fig. 9(a), starting from the condition VPV =

the form S

VOC , both the calculated Iref and the error are negative. As

the value of IPV increases, thanks to the integral controllers

Vref = Req IPV + VOC

S

Veq (12) action and to a proper organization of the modulator, the error

S decreases in absolute value, until the steady-state equilibrium

where VOC represents the periodically sampled VOC while

point is reached, at the intersection between the VLR and the

Req and Veq are the parameters extracted from the analysis of

module IV curve. It is worth recalling that, if the VLR esti-

the IV curves. Their physical interpretation is given by the

mation error is low, the equilibrium point will be very close to

comparison of (12) and (8).

the MPP, as we have shown in Section V. Once the equilibrium

Since the parameters Req and Veq are related to physical

point is reached, a further increase of the current is prevented

characteristics of the considered PV module, it is expected that

by the error sign reversal. Therefore, the equilibrium point is

they will be only affected by fabrication process tolerances,

inherently stable. An interesting consequence of this fact is that,

resulting in a reasonable repeatability, at least within the same

with the proposed method, phenomena like oscillations around

production lot.

the MPP or control losses due to sudden illumination varia-

If needed, (12) can also be straightforwardly transformed to

tions (that can take place with other methods, e.g., P&O and

give a reference value for the module current Iref

IncCond) are not possible. As can be recognized, the situation

shown in Fig. 9(a) is general and applies to all the operating

Iref = VPV VOC S

+Veq /Req = VPV VOC S

+Veq Geq .

conditions. Therefore, the convergence to the equilibrium point

(13)

is guaranteed by the hardware organization, i.e., the system will

With the help of Fig. 9, we would now like to illustrate the always move toward the equilibrium point, independently from

methods convergence to the MPP. In doing that, we assume its initial conditions.

that we are dealing with a current controlled dcdc converter, Of course, we need to make sure that the small signal stability

whose controller has, at least, an integral characteristic and is around the equilibrium point is guaranteed as well. Indeed, the

designed to guarantee a suitable stability margin, in particular current reference generation is based on the measured module

when (13) is used to determine the current set point. voltage and, therefore, represents a further feedback loop, with

In addition, we suppose the pulse width modulation (PWM) a purely proportional compensator in it, whose gain is equal to

modulator is organized so that, when the PV module is such Geq (13). In order to guarantee the small signal stability of this

that Req < 0, IPV increases for a negative current error. The controller, i.e., its capability to steadily maintain the module on

opposite must occur if Req > 0, so that we are always closing the equilibrium point of Fig. 9(a), rather than oscillating around

a negative feedback loop. it, the crossover frequency and phase margin of the external

1536 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 56, NO. 5, MAY 2009

TABLE IV

CONVERTER COMPONENT VALUES

quired negative feedback for the convergence process shown

in Fig. 9. The parameters of the circuit are presented in

Table IV.

It is worth noting that the proposed method is not in any way

topology dependent and can be adapted to all types of convert-

Fig. 10. Battery charger schematic with the proposed control strategy. ers with input current or input voltage control. The choice of

the buckboost topology is only motivated by practical reasons,

loop have to be properly chosen. As the loop gain cannot be as it allows both series and parallel connection of batteries. In

modified (it is imposed by the VLR), a simple and robust way particular applications, the choice of an optimized topology is,

to do that is by limiting the loop bandwidth, to give to the of course, recommended. As shown in Fig. 10, even though

loop gain a first-order compensated behavior. This result can be Iref is calculated by a microcontroller, it passes through a D/A

obtained reducing the current controller speed of response, i.e., converter and feeds an analog closed loop current controller,

adjusting the current controller gain until a properly damped re- to avoid the need for fast A/D conversion and digital PWM

sponse is achieved. Please note that this does not imply any real modulation.

performance penalization, as the required speed of response Given the simple operations involved in the Iref

for an effective MPPT does not need to be very high. As we calculationsum and multiplication between a sensed variable

will show in the following (Fig. 10), in our implementation, and a predefined constantand the low repetition frequency

the reference current is digitally generated, even if the current typically below 1 kHza simple 8-bit microcontroller has

controller is still implemented by an analog circuit. In this been used, whose high quantity price is below 1USD.

case, to avoid any stability problem, it is only required to keep This is, in fact, one of the advantages of the proposed solution

the digital controller update, or iteration, frequency fMPPT when compared to more sophisticated methods, such as P&O

high enough to introduce a negligible delay in the reference and IncCond. These algorithms need the calculation of the

generation loop. We observed that setting the reference update module power, i.e., the multiplication of two sensed variables,

frequency, at least, two or three times higher than the cur- and, therefore, cannot take advantage of any of the optimized

rent controller bandwidth guarantees a satisfactory response. multiplication routines that can be generally used, in low-cost

Indeed, in these conditions, the digital implementation of the microcontrollers, when one of the multiplication parameters is

current reference generator behaves very much like the sampled a constant.

data version of an analog one and does not pose any additional A flow chart of the algorithm executed by the microcontroller

stability problem. Of course, the iteration frequency must also is shown in Fig. 11. The frequency of the MPPT calculation,

be compatible with the reference computation time, which is according the aforementioned considerations, has been defined

limited by the A/D and D/A conversion speed and by the time as fMPPT = 200 Hz, while the value of VOC is sampled every

required for the numerical calculation of Iref (13). However, 5 minutes.

unless a very low-performance digital control hardware is

adopted, there is normally no problem to achieve an acceptable

VII. E XPERIMENTAL R ESULTS

speed of response. An example of the typical response that can

be obtained with a proper design is shown in Fig. 9(b), where The aforementioned, practical way to obtain the equation of

the module voltage, current and power are shown, together with the VLR is shown in Fig. 12, where, after defining the value of

the current reference, digitally generated according to the VLR Ig = 2.5 A, the MPPs at this condition and at two other ones

equation (13). The reference update frequency is, in this case, in the vicinity of Ig are connected by a straight line. This line

equal to 200 Hz, as in our experimental prototype. represents the VLR.

In order to validate the proposed method, an experimental As can be seen, the process can be repeated for any temper-

setup was built, based on the buckboost topology, that operates ature condition, since, as we have shown, the slope of the VLR

as a battery charger, as shown in Fig. 10. The implementation is practically insensitive to this parameter. Once the control

is conventional, except for an additional logic switch, inserted parameters are extracted, the proposed method can be applied

in the output of the PWM block. straightforwardly.

It determines if the MOSFET will be driven by the duty Fig. 13(a) shows the dynamic behavior of the system for an

cycle D, if Req > 0, or by its complement (1-D), if Req < 0, irradiation decrease. As it can be observed, while the irradiation

SCARPA et al.: MPPT TECHNIQUE EXPLOITING THE PV MODULE MPP LOCUS CHARACTERIZATION 1537

Fig. 13. (a) Dynamic behavior of the system for an irradiation decrease. (From

top to bottom) Module voltage (2 V/div), module power (20 W/div), module

current (0.5 A/div), current reference (1.2 A/div). Horizontal scale: 50 ms/div.

(b) Same transition over the IV plane.

The Iref oscillation visible in the steady state condition is due to

the limit cycle caused by the finite resolution of the calculation. Fig. 14. (Lower black line) Maximum available power, (gray line) average

In Fig. 13(b), the same process is represented in the IV plane. extracted power, and (upper black line) the effectiveness of the MPPT.

Since the irradiation step occurs between two samples of VOC ,

the effectiveness obviously decreases in the new irradiation This paper has shown why and under what hypotheses the MPP

condition, from = 0.99 to = 0.91. The effectiveness of locus can be well approximated by a line. Once the param-

the circuit for an entire sunny day measurement is shown in eters of the estimation equation are extrapolated from offline

Fig. 14. measurements, the method allows one to track the MPP of the

It was calculated as the ratio between maximum available module requiring only the measurement of the input voltage

power and extracted power (thus not including the converter and current. As any other estimation method, its effectiveness

efficiency, by the way about 85% on average). As can be can be impaired by variations in the operating conditions.

seen, it is very close to 100% in the higher irradiation con- However, due to the effect of the module series resistance, the

ditions, remaining above 90% even for the lower irradiation method will present better results in the high irradiation, high

conditions. power conditions, with respect to the conventional solutions.

Furthermore, this paper shows how, by simply measuring the

module open circuit voltage, it is possible to compensate for

VIII. C ONCLUSION

temperature variations. The method has been implemented in

This paper has presented an MPPT method that is based on a low-cost 8-bit microcontroller and tested in a battery charger

the offline characterization of the MPP locus of a PV module. application with satisfactory results.

1538 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 56, NO. 5, MAY 2009

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Jul. 2008.

[5] K. K. Tse, B. M. T. Ho, H. S.-H. Chung, and S. Y. R. Hui, A comparative Vladimir V. R. Scarpa (S05) was born in

study of maximum-power-point trackers for photovoltaic panels using Uberlndia, Brazil, in 1980. He received the B.Sc.

switching-frequency modulation scheme, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from

vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 410418, Apr. 2004. the Federal University of Uberlndia, Uberlndia, in

[6] T. Esram and P. L. Chapman, Comparison of photovoltaic array max- 2003 and 2005, respectively. He is currently working

imum power point tracking techniques, IEEE Trans. Energy Convers., toward the Ph.D. degree in information engineering

vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 439449, Jun. 2007. at the University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

[7] W. J. A. Teulings, J. C. Marpinard, A. Capel, and D. OSullivan, A new His research interests include power electronics

maximum power point tracking system, in Proc. 24th Annu. IEEE Power applied to renewable energy sources and digital con-

Electron. Spec. Conf., 1993, pp. 833838. trol of switching power supplies.

[8] D. Sera, R. Teodorescu, J. Hantschel, and M. Knoll, Optimized max-

imum power point tracker for fast-changing environmental conditions,

IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 55, no. 7, pp. 26292637, Jul. 2008.

[9] E. Koutroulis, K. Kalaitzakis, and N. C. Voulgaris, Development of a Simone Buso (M97) received the M.Sc. degree

microcontroller-based, photovoltaic maximum power point tracking con- in electronic engineering and the Ph.D. degree in

trol system, IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 4654, industrial electronics from the University of Padova,

Jan. 2001. Padova, Italy, in 1992 and 1997, respectively.

[10] W. Xiao, W. G. Dunford, P. R. Palmer, and A. Capel, Application of He is currently an Associate Professor of electron-

centered differentiation and steepest descent to maximum power point ics with the Department of Technology and Manage-

tracking, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 25392549, ment of Industrial Systems, University of Padova.

May 2007. His main research interests are in the industrial and

[11] F. Liu, S. Duan, F. Liu, B. Liu, and Y. Kang, A variable step size INC power electronics fields and are specifically related

MPPT method for PV systems, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 55, no. 7, to dc/dc and ac/dc converters, digital control and ro-

pp. 26222628, Jul. 2008. bust control of power converters, solid-state lighting,

[12] A. Brambilla, M. Gambarara, A. Garutti, and F. Ronchi, New approach to and renewable energy sources.

photovoltaic arrays maximum power point tracking, in Proc. 30th Annu.

IEEE Power Electron. Spec. Conf., 1999, pp. 632637.

[13] Y. Kuo, T. Liang, and J. Chen, Novel maximum-power-point-tracking Giorgio Spiazzi (S92M95) received the M.Sc.

controller for photovoltaic energy conversion system, IEEE Trans. Ind. degree (cum laude) in electronic engineering and

Electron., vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 594s601s, Jun. 2001. the Ph.D. degree in industrial electronics from the

[14] T. Noguchi, S. Togashi, and R. Nakamoto, Short-current pulse based University of Padova, Padova, Italy, in 1988 and

adaptive maximum-power-point tracking for photovoltaic power genera- 1993, respectively.

tion system, in Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Ind. Electron., 2000, pp. 157162. He is currently an Associate Professor with the

[15] S. Yuvarajan and S. Xu, Photo-voltaic power converter with a simple Department of Information Engineering, Univer-

maximum-power-point-tracker, in Proc. Int. Symp. Circuits Syst., 2003, sity of Padova. His main research interests are in

pp. III-399III-402. the fields of power-factor correctors, soft-switching

[16] J. J. Schoeman and J. D. van Wyk, A simplified maximal power controller techniques, lamp ballasts, renewable energy appli-

for terrestrial photovoltaic panel arrays, in Proc. 13th Annu. IEEE Power cations, and electromagnetic compatibility in power

Electron. Spec. Conf., 1982, pp. 361367. electronics.

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