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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

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Maximum power point tracking of solar photovoltaic system

using modified perturbation and observation method
G. Dileep n, S.N. Singh
Alternate Hydro Energy Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttarakhand 247667, India

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Solar energy is one of the important renewable energy resources as it is pollution free, clean, never-
Received 27 June 2014 ending and abundant. Solar photovoltaic technologies are mounting vigor attention in the modern
Received in revised form electrical power applications due to fast growth in the relative sectors of semiconductor and power
21 March 2015
electronics. It is significant to operate solar photovoltaic energy conversion systems to its maximum
Accepted 24 April 2015
power output to raise the efficiency. Maximum power point tracking plays a very important role for
extracting maximum power from the solar photovoltaic module and transferring that power to the load.
Keywords: The present work highlights a survey on perturb and observe method maximum power point tracking
MPPT technique for solar photovoltaic system undertaken by considering the various works already listed
SPV system
relative study has been carried out, which includes different perturb and observe method on maximum
Perturbation and observation (P&O)
power point tracking techniques and draw their advantages and drawbacks. These techniques vary in
Renewable energy
many aspects, which can be broadly categorized on the basis of simplicity, way of implementing, type of
sensors, total cost of the system, range of effectiveness, hardware requirement and speed of
convergence. It is expected that this review work will provide precious information for solar
photovoltaic professionals to keep alongside with the latest progress in this area, as well as for new
researchers to get started on maximum power point tracking.
& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
2. SPV system description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
2.1. SPV system with MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
2.2. SPV characteristic curves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
2.3. DC–DC converter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
3. Conventional P&O algorithm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
4. Modified P&O methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
4.1. Soft computing based P&O MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
4.1.1. Artificial neural network (ANN) method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
4.1.2. Fuzzy logic controller (FLC) method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
4.2. FLC based improved P&O MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
4.2.1. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
4.3. Field programmable gate array (FPGA) method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
4.3.1. Operation and previous work using FPGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
4.3.2. FPGA based improved P&O MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
4.4. Variable step based method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
4.4.1. Operation and previous work using variable step . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
4.4.2. Variable perturbation step P&O MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
4.4.3. P&O MPPT with Dead Beat Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
4.4.4. Modified P&O MPPT with two-step algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
4.5. Bisection search theorem (BST) method. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (G. Dileep).
1364-0321/& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
110 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

4.5.1. Operation and previous work using BST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

4.5.2. BST based P&O MPPT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
4.6. Duty-cycle perturbations adaptation (DCPA) method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
4.6.1. Operation and previous work using DCPA method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
4.6.2. DCPA based P&O MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
5. Power ratio based variable step P&O MPPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
6. Comments and remarks on various P&O MPPT techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
7. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

1. Introduction some of disadvantages (steady state power loss) associated with

P&O and INC methods by choosing variable perturbation step size.
Solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems have been commercialized P&O MPPT method is widely used because it is simple and can
around the globe for its long term economic prospects and more implement easily. Analog [44] and digital [45–48] implementation
importantly, the concerns over the environment [1,2]. SPV system can are possible with P&O MPPT technique. P&O method is slow process
be integrated into grid [3–9] or can be operated in standalone mode it requires some time to track MPP [49] because it compares power
[10–16] or can be used along with other sources such as wind or diesel at old reference voltage before perturbation and power at new
in hybrid mode [17,18]. Standalone or off grid systems are preferred reference voltage after perturbation, this process will continue still
for the applications such as street lightning, home applications, solar MPP is reached. Response time of a DSP based P&O for tracking MPP
water pumping and supplying power to remote areas were grid is not is only few seconds as discussed in [50]. In FLC method [51–58] array
available for power supply. Standalone systems are designed with or voltage and reference voltage are compared to generate an error
without battery backup. Grid integrated systems are those connected signal to vary duty ratio of the converter. The reference voltage
to the grid to reduce the stress of grid. Hybrid SPV system involves two changes with the solar radiation. Artificial Neural Network (ANN)
or more power sources intelligently connected together. Generally SPV [59–63] based MPPT estimates the reference voltage in reference to
system is connected with wind, hydro, biomass or diesel generators. the solar insolation and cell temperature. ANN does not require
Hybrid system provides better reliability than standalone SPV system. complete information about the system. The neural fuzzy based
Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is regarded as the critical approach [64–66] combines the advantage of neural network and
component of SPV system. Maximum power of an SPV module, fuzzy controller both. In this approach optimal voltage will be
corresponding operating voltage and PV output current varies with determined by the neural network and the fuzzy controller is
insolation and temperature. So in order to extract maximum power, designed to change duty cycle of the converter. System oscillation
SPV module must be operated at the voltage corresponding to the control based MPPT [67,68] need one sensor for measuring voltage.
MPP. Plenty of research is going on this area, since it improves the This technique can be implemented easily and does not have any
overall system efficiency with minimum cost. Several classical meth- complicated mathematical computations. State space based MPPT
ods are there to track the MPP. Voltage based and current based, P&O, [69] transforms the nonlinear time varying SPV system to linear
incremental conductance (INC), artificial neural network (ANN), fuzzy dynamic system because it is easy to track the MPP for linear system.
logic control (FLC), etc. are the commonly used MPPT techniques. The Linearization based MPPT [70] is very simple, quick and cost
voltage and current based MPP tracking algorithm is simple but has effective. This method is similar to system oscillation control based
low accuracy and efficiency. Short circuit current based MPPT [19–23] MPPT, here nonlinear current and power equations are transformed
require only one sensor and simple to implement but it requires a to linear one first then MPPT is tracked. Array reconfiguration
momentarily short circuiting of SPV module with a switch to method [71] is a mechanical method; in this method PV arrays are
determine the short circuit current (Isc). Open circuit voltage (Voc) combined in series or parallel combinations to achieve MPP. β-MPPT
based MPPT [24–28] is also simple but it requires measurement of Voc method [72,73] is used along with other conventional methods to
periodically by temporarily shutting down the converter. But this track MPP quickly. This is a variable perturbation method which
incurs a few disadvantages, including temporary loss of power. To tracks MPP quickly during rapidly changing atmospheric conditions.
prevent this, use pilot cells from which Voc can be obtained. These pilot Numerical calculation based MPPT [74–76] calculates the voltage at
cells must be carefully chosen to closely represent the characteristics MPP using quadratic interpolation method. This algorithm calculates
of the PV array. Under open circuit and short circuit conditions SPV the exact voltage value at MPP by numerical calculations; hence
module will not deliver any power to the load, this reduces the MPP can be reached by single step. This method is very complicated.
efficiency. Gradient descent which uses variable step size overcomes Techniques that discussed above have certain merits and
the drawbacks of usually used techniques [29]. Ripple correlation demerits. Some of the methods provide better tracking speed
control (RCC) method resolve some problems associated with P&O while some other techniques provide better steady state perfor-
technique and are discussed in [30–34]. Slide mode control [35–38] mance. A detailed review about some of the modified P&O MPPT
technique track MPP precisely when compared to other methods but method is made in this paper. Modified P&O MPPT papers for
hardware implementation is complex. Less number of sensors are review purpose are chosen according to the relevance of the paper
required for temperature based MPPT [39–41]. Hence it is economical and year of publication. Different techniques are compared based
and simple in implementation. Bisection Search Theorem based MPPT on the desirable factors such as number of sensors required,
[42] can be used to track MPP of PV modules which exhibits more implementation easiness, performance under steady state, overall
than one local MPP's under varying climatic conditions. Dual MPPT efficiency implementation cost and tracking speed.
tracking system is discussed in [43]. Mechanical tracker moves PV
module towards maximum sunlight and an FLC based P&O MPPT
electrical tracker to track MPP.
The P&O and INC methods are widely used classical methods 2. SPV system description
with some advantages and disadvantages. Steady state power loss
associated with P&O technique is high due oscillations of operating SPV system is an arrangement of components such as PV
point around MPP. Incremental resistance method (INR) overcomes module, Maximum Power Point Tracker, DC or AC load, battery
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 111

input as given in Eq. (1)

V out ¼ V in =l  D ð1Þ

where D, Vout and Vin are duty cycle, output voltage and input
voltage of the boost converter. Duty cycle (D) of the converter is
varied by pulse-width modulated (PWM) output of the proposed
algorithm. MPP can be tracked with higher stability of operating
point and higher efficiency by controlling the converter with PWM
output of the proposed algorithm. By varying the duty cycle of the
Fig. 1. Block diagram of SPV system with MPPT [36].
converter the output voltage can be varied. In practical boost
converters there will be switching losses and losses in passive
elements, but efficiencies around 90% can be achieved by careful
selection of system components such as inductor and capacitor
and operating parameters such as switching frequency.

Fig. 2. P–V characteristics of solar cell [80].

and power conditioning unit (converter or inverter depending on

type of load). Typical SPV system is described below.

2.1. SPV system with MPPT

Fig. 1 shows a block diagram of a Solar PV system. SPV system

consists of an SPV module and several electrical loads. This may Fig. 3. Plot of power vs. voltage for a SPV module [80].
also have a Power conditioning unit (PCU) which may comprise of
an inverter (to convert dc into ac) or a converter(to convert dc into
dc), charge controller (to prevent reverse flow of current during Table 1
dark) and most importantly from the efficiency point of view the P&O technique.
Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT). By changing duty cycle of
Old perturbation Slope of power New perturbation
the power converter source impedance can be matched with that
of load impedance for maximum power transfer. An MPPT con- Positive ( þve) Positive ( þ ve) Positive (þ ve)
troller with P&O algorithm is used to vary duty cycle of the Positive ( þve) Negative (  ve) Negative (  ve)
converter. Negative (  ve) Positive ( þ ve) Negative (  ve)
Negative (  ve) Negative (  ve) Positive (þ ve)

2.2. SPV characteristic curves

Fig. 2 shows SPV characteristic curves, voltage–current (V–I)

curve and voltage–power (V–P) curve. Both V–I and V–P curves are
nonlinear in nature. The voltage corresponding to zero current is
called open circuit voltage (Voc) and the current corresponding to
zero voltage is called as Short circuit current (Isc). Power supplied
by the SPV module is zero at Voc and Isc. The maximum power
point is at knee of the current–voltage characteristic curve, where
the product voltage and current is maximum. Voltage and current
at MPP is indicated as Vmax and Imax respectively. MPP is unique, as
can be seen in Fig. 2, where the previous points are represented.

2.3. DC–DC converter

A DC–DC converter is included in between the SPV module and

the load in order to provide load matching. Boost converter, buck
converter and buck–boost converter are commonly used DC–DC
converters. Boost converter is preferred for SPV application due its
better performance. Boost converter provides higher output than Fig. 4. Flowchart of classical P&O algorithm [80].
112 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

3. Conventional P&O algorithm the peak power. The implemented proposed control scheme with
DSP and it was found that there is an increase in 0.5% tracked power
P&O is widely used MPPT technique because it is intuitive and with modified tracking algorithm. Khaehintung et al. [86] proposed
easy to implement. The conventional P&O method [77–81] mea- an FPGA based variable step P&O MPPT technique for battery
sures voltage and current from the solar panel and perturb the charging application. Dynamic and steady state performance of
operating voltage and compares the power received at old voltage the proposed algorithm was found to be superior to conventional
with the power received at new voltage. P&O MPPT. Femia et al. [87] proposed a method to optimize P&O
Direction of new perturbation depends upon the value of MPPT parameters to improve the dynamic behavior of the whole
measured power; perturbation will be in same direction, if higher system including DC–DC converter and PV array. Houssamo et al.
power is measured at new voltage, otherwise it will go in the [88] did experimental analysis and compared energy efficiency of
opposite direction as shown in Fig. 3. Conventional P&O MPPT four MPPT techniques. Four identical PV panels with P&O MPPT
employs fixed perturbation step size. Larger perturbation size with fixed step size, INC MPPT with fixed step size, variable step
increases the convergence speed but operating point will oscillate P&O MPPT and Fuzzy Logic based MPPT was used for the experi-
around MPP and slightly reduces the efficiency. Smaller perturba- mental analysis. Improved P&O MPPT was found to be superior over
tion will reduce the oscillations around MPP but it results in other MPPT methods. Srikumar et al. [89] proposed a new method
slower convergence to MPP. “Hill climbing method” is an alternate which tracks peak power quickly than conventional P&O MPPT.
name for conventional P&O MPPT technique. It is summarized in Convergence speed as well as accuracy of proposed algorithm was
Table 1. SPV module's output power vs. voltage curve (PV curve) at found superior to conventional method. Rezvani et al. [90] proposed
constant module temperature and the constant irradiance is a new method which incorporates artificial neural network and
shown in the Fig. 3. When the operating point of SPV module is genetic algorithm (ANN-GA). Data optimization is done GA and
away from the MPP, operating voltage will be perturbed by a small optimized values are trained by ANN and reference voltage is
increment, and the change of power (ΔP) is noticed. determined. Convergence speed of proposed algorithm is superior
If ΔP is positive, it means that the operating point is moving to conventional P&O MPPT, oscillations around MPP was found to
towards MPP. Further voltage perturbations will be provided in the minimum more importantly produces well regulated power output.
same direction as earlier in order to move operating point much closer Quamruzzaman et al. [91] proposed a single stage grid connected
to MPP. If ΔP is negative, it means that the operating point is moving PV system with modified P&O MPPT technique which reduces the
away from MPP. Further voltage perturbations will be provided in the oscillations around MPP. Some of the modified P&O MPPT techni-
reverse direction in order to move operating point much closer to ques are discussed and compared based on the desirable factors
MPP. Fig. 4 shows the flowchart of classical P&O algorithm. such as number of sensors required, implementation easiness, and
Conventional P&O algorithm have some restrictions which performance under steady state, overall efficiency implementation
reduce the MPPT efficiency. First, it cannot determine exactly cost and tracking speed.
whether the operating point has reached the MPP or not. The
operating point will oscillates around the MPP and reduces the
4.1. Soft computing based P&O MPPT
SPV module efficiency under constant irradiance condition [82].
Second, MPPT can be fooled under quickly changing atmospheric
Soft computing methods [92–95] such as particle swarm opti-
conditions [83]. When there is sudden increase in the irradiation
mization (PSO), ANN, FLC and other evolutionary algorithms (EA)
ΔP will be positive, MPPT will assume that the operating point is are utilized to optimize certain parameters of conventional MPPT's.
moving towards the MPP and further voltage perturbation in same
Soft computing techniques are used along with conventional P&O
direction. When there is sudden decrease in the irradiation ΔP will
MPPT to add extra intelligence and thereby improving performance
be negative, MPPT will assume that the operating point is moving
away from the MPP and further voltage perturbation will be in
reverse direction. When there is sudden increase in the irradiation
continuously the operating point will move towards left and MPPT
algorithm will be fooled continuously. When there is a sudden
decrease in irradiation continuously the operating point will move
towards right.

4. Modified P&O methods

P&O MPPT method is simple and easy to implement but it has

certain disadvantages. It cannot dictate when MPP is reached.
Operating point will no settle at MPP, it oscillate around MPP and
reduces the SPV efficiency under constant irradiance condition. Fig. 5. Basic ANN structure [97].
Under quickly changing atmospheric conditions this algorithm
exhibit unpredictable behavior. Modified P&O methods are intro-
duced to reduce these effects.
Several modified P&O MPPT methods are there to track the MPP.
Liu et al. [84] proposed an improved peak power tracking technique
with peak current control for reducing oscillations of operating
point around MPP. Instantaneous values of PV currents and voltages
along with small perturbation step were used to track peak power.
The implemented proposed control scheme with DSP, experimental
results too shown increase in tracking speed. Jung et al. [85]
proposed an adaptive algorithm which automatically varies the
perturbation step size and hysteresis bandwidth in order to track Fig. 6. Block diagram of ANN based MPPT [103].
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 113

MPPT controller. Conventional P&O MPPT along with soft comput- atmospheric condition also. Peak power tracking with ANN based
ing techniques will give better performance when compared to gradient descent method under varying atmospheric condition is
their individually performances. An attempt is made in this section explained in [102]. Several P&O and INC MPPT techniques with ANN
to carry out a review on P&O MPPT technique which employing soft to improve performance are also proposed by authors. Jinbang et al.
computing techniques such as PSO, ANN, FLC etc. One selected [103] proposed ANN based improve P&O MPPT with insolation data
paper from each improved method is also described in detail. and temperature as inputs. Performance under rapidly changing
atmospheric condition was superior in the proposed method. Islam
4.1.1. Artificial neural network (ANN) method et al. [104] combined ANN with conventional INC MPPT to improve
Theory, operation, previous work on FLC based MPPT techniques the tracking features. Proposed method provides better accuracy and
and an improved FLC based P&O MPPT technique is explained below. dynamic response than conventional method. Large number of
intermediate/hidden layer improves performance of tracking system Operation and previous work using ANN. Artificial neural but increases the complexity. Most of the ANN based MPPT techni-
networks (ANNs) [96–98] are learning algorithm inspired and ques uses back propagation method for MPPT. Once ANN is trained
developed based on central nervous systems of animals. ANN with sufficient data it will track MPP accurately without extensive
consists of neurons and connectors similar to brain neuron knowledge of PV parameters. Since all PV modules exhibit different
structure. In ANN neurons are aligned in layers and neuron of characteristics, ANN must be trained individually for each module/
each layer is connected to neuron of previous and subsequent layers array. Output characteristics of PV module/array vary with time also
as shown in Fig. 5. Due to the adaptive nature, ANN is able to hence it is better to train ANN continuously for good results.
pattern recognition and machine learning [99,100]. ANN is trained Continuous training process requires more time which is a drawback
continuously with the input parameters such as irradiation, PV of this method. A novel technique to solve P&O drawbacks by auto
voltage, PV current and temperature or any combination of these. tuning the perturbation step in order to make the control algorithm
Based upon the training of selected input parameters maximum adaptive to the operational state is presented in literature below.
current (IMPP), maximum voltage (VMPP) or duty ratio is generated
for controlling power converter. ANN based Improved P&O MPPT. In order to solve the P&O
ANN with three layers: input layer, output layer and hidden drawbacks, most MPPT system adjust the perturbation step (ΔV). A
layer are shown in Fig. 5. Weights associated with each neuron are small ΔV value decreases the amplitude of oscillations around MPP
calculated carefully through training process. ANN can be used for and reduces the power loss. But it slow down the response of the
generating reference signals once training is over. control algorithm to changing atmospheric condition and decreases
Schematic diagram of an ANN based MPPT technique is shown in the system efficiency [105,106]. On other hand large ΔV can ensure
Fig. 6. ANN based MPPT techniques are generally used track peak quick convergence to MPP but it increases the amplitude of
power under changing atmospheric conditions. Veerachary et al. oscillations around MPP. In [107] a new technique to solve P&O
[101] proposed an ANN based peak power point tracking technique drawbacks by auto tuning the perturbation step in order to make the
for a PV system connected to separately excited DC motor. Proposed control algorithm adaptive to the operational state is presented. To
system tracks peak power accurately even under changing do this, they exploited the slope of P–V curve during the previous
perturbation period to predict the suitable step of perturbation for

Fig. 9. Flowchart of AI based P&O MPPT [108].

Fig. 7. P–V characteristic slop-irradiance variations dependency [108].

Fig. 8. Artificial intelligence (AI) block [108]. Fig. 10. Basic fuzzy logic structure [110].
114 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

the next cycle as shown in Fig. 7. By considering the output voltage and provide better dynamic and steady state performances. Yuen
variation and power of the SPV module the perturbation step is et al. [123] proposed a method to track power under changing
determined continuously. Information about the operating point and atmospheric conditions. Simoes et al. [124] proposed a method with
how much it is far from MPP can be obtained from the characteristic change in power and duty ratio as crisp inputs to FLC. Masoum et al.
slope. When there is a sudden variation in atmospheric conditions [125] proposed a new method with array current, power and duty
information from the slope will fool the algorithm and there is a ratio as three FLC inputs. Patcharaprakiti et al. [126] proposed grid
chance that the operating point may move away from the MPP. integrated PV system with adaptive FLC which tunes rule base and
Above mentioned problem is solved in this algorithm by choosing membership functions continuously to improve performance. System
perturbation step by considering the variations in atmospheric consists of DC–DC boost converter along with a single phase grid tied
conditions. inverter. Wu et al. [127] proposed self tuned FLC based MPPT for grid
SPV module output power varies with variation in the atmo- connection. Purnama et al. [128] proposed a single input single
spheric conditions. In [108] a new idea, to use an artificial neural output FLC by applying “signed distance method” [129].
network (ANN) to detect deviation in atmospheric conditions is
proposed. ANN predicts the power value during the next pertur-
bation cycle from the available data. Information's about atmo- 4.2. FLC based improved P&O MPPT
spheric conditions is obtained by comparing ANN output value
and the real measured power. Based on this information next Fig. 11 shows the block diagram of FLC based P&O MPPT. The
perturbation step value is chosen. proposed MPPT technique [130] eliminates the oscillations around
Using AI based P&O MPPT method output power delivered to the operating point by varying the perturbation step size using
load can be maximized. Fig. 9 shows flowchart of this algorithm. FLC. The absolute power slope, P and old perturbation step size,
Flow chart and working is similar to conventional P&O MPPT,
additionally an AI block is included to vary the perturbation step
size with changing atmospheric conditions. Fig. 8 shows AI block,
SPV module voltage, current and old perturbation step size is the
input to the AI block. Equ 1 block compares the power predicted
by ANN and the real power. Based on the difference between the
power next perturbation step size is chosen. As shown in the
Fig. 7, if there is a large change in power for small increment in
voltage it means that atmospheric conditions are varying. ANN
will sense this change and by comparing the slope. This algorithm
helps to track MPP under quickly varying atmospheric conditions
as well as eliminates the oscillations around MPP.

4.1.2. Fuzzy logic controller (FLC) method

Theory, operation, previous work on FLC based MPPT techni-
ques and an improved FLC based P&O MPPT technique is
explained below. Operation and previous work using. Fuzzy logic [109–119] is a Fig. 11. Block diagram of FLC based P&O MPPT [130].
superset of conventional (Boolean) logic that has been extended to
handle the concept of partial truth: the truth values between
“completely true” and “completely false”. Value between truth and
false can be recognized by Fuzzy logic. With fuzzy logic, propositions
can be represented with degrees of truthfulness and falsehood. For
example, the statement today is sunny, might be 100% true if there
are no clouds, 80% true if there are a few clouds and 0% true if it rains
all day. Mathematical model of system is not required in FLC; hence
nonlinear systems can easily dealt with FLC [120]. Process structure
for a critical FLC is shown in Fig. 10.
FLC is implemented in three stages: (1) Fuzzification, crisp inputs
are fuzzified into linguistic variables based on the membership
functions. (2) Fuzzified inputs are then compared with the fuzzy Fig. 12. MF of the two inputs Pa and Vold [130].
rule base for making decision. Rule base provides certain possible
combinations to satisfy various conditions. (3) Defuzzification, lin-
guistic variable are converted back to analog signal by defuzzification
process which control the power converter. Error and change in error
is given as input to FLC. Error is calculated from irradiance, tempera-
ture, PV voltage, PV current or out power. Several FLC based MPPT
techniques had been proposed researchers. Mahmoud et al. [121]
proposed peak power tracking using FLC with seven linguistic
variables. Implementing complexity of proposed system is high,
and selection of membership functions and fuzzy rules require
excellent knowledge of the system. Khaehintung et al. [122] pro-
posed MPP technique with less number of membership function for
solar powered light flasher application. Their system is less complex Fig. 13. MF of the output ΔV [130].
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 115

ΔVold are taken as the inputs to FLC to calculate the new change in continuous function. Defuzzification method can be chosen accord-
step size ΔV. Two inputs P and ΔVold are fuzzified by using ing to the knowledge of operator about the system. The center of
normalized fuzzy sets with three triangular membership functions gravity (COG) defuzzification method is used for this work [131,132].
(MFs): Small, Medium, and Large as shown in Fig. 12. The output This method varies the perturbation step size to achieve better
variable consists of a normalized fuzzy set with triangular MF: results. When the operating point is away from the MPP larger step
Negative Big (NB), Negative Small (NS), Zero (ZO), Positive Small size is used to increase the convergence speed. When the operating
(PS), and Positive Big (PB) as shown in Fig. 13. After fuzzification of point is near to the MPP smaller step size is used to avoid the
the crisp inputs the resulting fuzzy are compared with rule-base. oscillations around MPP. This method provides better result under
The rule base is a set according to the system requirement.“If rapidly varying atmospheric condition s also. The proposed system is
premise then consequent” is the rule base used in this method. transparent, provides better dynamic response but it is wearisome to
SPV panel curve shown in Fig. 2 can be divided into three develop fuzzy rules and membership functions and fuzzy outputs
regions based on based on the absolute power slope. On the left and lot of data and knowledge is needed for designing the system.
side of MPP the slope is small while on the right side of MPP slope is FLC has certain advantages: Works with imprecise inputs, exact
large and slope is zero on MPP. Referring to Fig. 2, if absolute value mathematical model of PV array is not required, nonlinear system
of the slope Pa is Large, it indicates that the operating point of SPV can be easily handled. Accuracy and learning ability of FLC
module is away from MPP. Under this condition old perturbation depends greatly on number of fuzzy levels and form of member-
step, Vold can have three different values. Change in step size ΔV will ship function. Trial and error method is generally used to deter-
be Positive Big if Vold is small, in order to reach the MPP quickly. mine fuzzy rules and membership functions associated with
Change in step size ΔV will be Positive Small if Vold is Medium, in fuzzification and defuzzification which is time consuming.
order to reach the MPP without oscillating around it. Finally ΔV will
be Zero if Vold is Large, in order to avoid tracking of MPP in the
4.2.1. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) method
opposite direction finally leading to oscillations. First part of the
Theory, operation, previous work on PSO based MPPT techni-
rule, premise is calculated using the inference minimum operator.
ques and an improved PSO based P&O MPPT technique is
The rules which are ON during each input MFs are compared and
explained below.
the minimum rule is chosen for operation.
Defuzzification is the final step in this method, the fuzzy set
corresponding to change in step size ΔV is transformed back to a real Operation and previous work using PSO. Particle swarm
optimization (PSO) is based on the behavior of a colony or swarm
of bees, ants, wasps and termites; a train of fish or a group of birds
[133–136]. PSO mimics the behavior of theses social organisms. The
word particle denotes a bee in a colony or a bird in a flock etc. Each
individual or particle in a swarm behaves in a distributed way using
its own intelligence and the collective or group of intelligence of the
swarm. As such, if one particle discovers a good path to food, the rest
of the farm will also be able to follow the good path instantly even if
their location is far away in the swarm [137–139]. Optimization
methods based on swarm intelligence are called evolution-based
procedures. For multivariable optimization like SPV system, swarm is
assumed to be fixed with each particle located initially at random
locations in multi dimensional space. Each particle is assumed to
have two characteristics: a position and a velocity [140,141]. Each
particle wanders around in the design space and remembers the best
position it has discovered. The particles communicate information or
good positions to each other and adjust their individual positions and
Fig. 14. PSO model [133]. velocities based on the information received on the good positions.
PSO model is shown in Fig. 14.

Fig. 15. (a) PV system with shaded modules, (b) V–I characteristics; and (c) P–V characteristics [153].
116 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

Qiang et al. [142] implemented an improved MPPT technique tracking. Nattapol et al. [151] proposed an improved PSO with
using PSO. Performance of under partial shaded condition is Sugeno fuzzy control to avoid frequency fluctuations in grid
superior to conventional methods and implementing complexity connected PV system. Koad et al. [152] compared and analyzed
is more. Ishaque et al. [143] proposed a method to determine the performance of various peak power point tracking methods with
parameters of PV modules using differential evolution. A new peak PSO MPPT.
power tracking method with PSO which improves the dynamic
performance is proposed in [144]. Abdulkadir et al. [145] proposed PSO based Improved P&O MPPT. Series-parallel combination
an improved PSO MPPT to track peak power under rapidly of PV modules with string of series connected PV cells is used for
changing atmosphere. Inertia weight and learning factor are varied large PV systems. Due to the effect of clouds, shadows of trees and
continuously to speed up searching of MPP. Weighting factor is large buildings some part of PV module may receive less amount
linearly decreased with increase in iteration number. During irradiation when compared to other modules. Under partial shading
starting of iteration weighting factor will be large, it will decrease condition voltage across series connected module varies while
as iteration progress hence MMP can be tracked quickly and current remains constant, in case of parallel connected module
precisely. Chen et al. [146] proposed a sun tracking method with string current varies, this leads to multiple peaks. There will be
PSO which can act as dual axis sun tracking, single axis sun many local peaks (LP) depending upon number of PV modules used
tracking and fixed peak power point tracking. Gali et al. [147] and one global peak (GP) as shown in Fig. 15.
proposed an improved PSO MPPT method to track peak power Conventional tracking algorithms cannot ensure the conver-
under partial shaded condition. Shi et al. [148] proposed an gence to GP, operating point may trap on any of the LP's. The
improved method to track peak power under partial shaded proposed method [153] combines PSO and P&O MPPT technique to
condition. They used PSO to find out the global peak and INC to track GP under partial shading condition. Initially PSO is activated
track the peak power. PSO increases the convergence speed while to determine the optimal value of duty ratio for tracking GP. Once
INC provides precise tracking facility. Suryavanshi et al. [149] optimal value of duty ratio is determined P&O MPPT is initiated
proposed a new technique to track peak power under changing with this optimal duty ratio to track GP. Flow chart of the proposed
atmospheric condition. PSO was used to find the global peak and technique is shown in Fig. 16.
P&O MPPT for precisely MPP. Kamejima et al. [150] proposed a Initially a set of particles (duty ratio) within the maximum and
method for tuning parameters of PSO for peak power point minimum values of the duty ratio of converter is selected. Converter

Fig. 16. Flowchart of P&O MPPT combined with particle swam optimization (PSO) [153].
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 117

then activated with these selected particles and corresponding based MPPT implemented using FPGA is presented in [169] by
power is calculated. Power corresponding to ith particle is calcu- Mellit and company.
lated and if it is greater then than personal best (pbest), pbest is
replaced by present power and duty ratio corresponding to perso-
nal best (dpbest) is replaced by present duty ratio. Global best (gbest)
is then compared with pbest, if gbest is less than by pbest then it is 4.3.2. FPGA based improved P&O MPPT
replaced by pbest. And duty ratio corresponding to global best In this method [170] perturbation step is made constant with
(dgbest) is replaced by dpbest. After entire iteration dgbest is chosen as an offset which makes the FPGA [171–176] data acquisition process
doptimal and P&O MPPT is initiated. Check for insolation change is much easier. As shown in Fig. 17, the first step consists varying PV
done frequently once there is change PSO is initiated for determin- voltage consequently PV power by providing constant triangular
ing doptimal. perturbation. Old power P1 corresponding to old voltage, V1 and
MPP can be tracked accurately under partial shading condition new power P2 corresponding to new voltage, V2 is measured and
using this method. Misbehavior of conventional P&O MPPT during compared. If old power is greater than new power, operating point
rapidly changing atmospheric condition can be also solved using will be right of the MPP. Hence, the operating point is moved (in
this method. Determining optimal duty ratio using PSO requires step 2 and step 3) to attain equality between P1 and P2. The
commendable amount of time is disadvantage of this method. operating point will oscillate around MPP.
Fig. 18 shows circuit diagram of the FPGA based PV conversion
4.3. Field programmable gate array (FPGA) method system. Power part consists of a DC–DC converter, an SPV module
and an electrical load. DC–DC converter is controlled by FPGA part,
Theory, operation, previous work on FPGA based MPPT techni- which can be divided into different simple functions. Value of
ques and an improved FPGA based P&O MPPT technique is power, P1 on the rising edge and the value of and power, P2 on
explained below. falling edge of perturbation signal can be recovered using a switch
block. Fig. 19 shows principle algorithm of controller block. When
P1 ¼P2 OFFSET remains unchanged. When P2 oP1, the OFFSET
4.3.1. Operation and previous work using FPGA signal is incremented by one, else the signal is decremented by
Field programmable gate array (FPGA) [154–157] is an integrated one. The triangular waveform produced by the integration of
circuit configured by customer after manufacturing in field. Config- perturbation signal is added with OFFSET to create order signal.
uration of FPGA is generally done by hardware description language Thus the perturbation step size is varied with respect to the slope
(HDL). Reprogrammable logic blocks [158–161] are arranged in of power curve. When operating point is away from MPP pertur-
arrays so that it can be configured and inter connected in different bation step size will be chosen as big to track MPP quickly. If
ways. FPGA provides very fast I/O ports and bidirectional buses operating point is near to MPP perturbation step will become
which makes it more attractive. Because of high accuracy, better small to track MPP precisely without oscillations. From the order
dynamic response and less quantization errors FPGA is used as a signal digital pulse width modulation block (DPWM) creates
controller for solar power tracking. Several MPPT techniques with duty cycle.
FPGA controller had been introduced so far. Chekired et al. [162]
proposed a comparative study intelligent peak power point tracking
using FPGA. Messai et al. [163] implemented two input single
output FLC implemented on FPGA chip. Voltage and current was
chosen as the input and duty ratio of converter as output. Simula-
tion and experimental results showed good matching with better
performance than conventional method. Chettibi et al. [164] pro-
posed FPGA controlled grid connected system, MPPT control and
inverter control is done by FPGA. Rajkumar et al. [165] proposed a
multilevel cascaded inverters with space vector modulated PWM
for PV system. Mellit et al. [166] proposed a P&O MPPT technique
implemented using FPGA. Bharatiraja et al. [167] implemented
neutral point clamped multilevel inverters (NPC-MLI) for autono-
mous operation PV system with capacitor balancing using FPGA.
Parlak [168] proposed an improved MPPT with FPGA to track peak
power under shaded conditions. A review on artificial intelligence
Fig. 18. FPGA based P&O MPPT [170].

Fig. 17. Principle of new MPPT [170]. Fig. 19. Details of controller block [170].
118 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

This technique uses a constant triangular perturbation signal to method. But in this method the perturbation step size changes from
reach MPP. Frequency of analog to digital converter (ADC) is big one to small one in order to reduce the power pulsation around
reduced to 200 samples/s with perfect synchronization between MPP, hence the module approaches MPP slowly. Perturbation step size
data acquisition process and signal perturbation. FPGA based P&O is varied by considering sign change of J as in Eqs. (2) and (3).
MPPT provides fast dynamic response, less quantization errors, Fig. 20 shows the flow chart of variable perturbation step based
and high accuracy. P&O method. If J 40 and ΔP/ΔV 40, it shows that SPV module
departs from MPP. In this case, larger perturbation step size is
4.4. Variable step based method chosen to move SPV module to MPP quickly. On the other hand
smaller perturbation step size is chosen when ΔP/ΔV decreases
Theory, operation, previous work on variable step based MPPT abruptly, which will precisely move SPV module to MPP. Larger
techniques and an improved variable step based P&O MPPT perturbation step size is chosen when the SPV module deviates
technique is explained in sections below. from MPP. These larger perturbations help the SPV module to
reach near the MPP very quickly. When J o0 and ΔP oLimP
(provided value) this shows that SPV module is near MPP, under
4.4.1. Operation and previous work using variable step this condition smaller perturbation step is chosen to track MPP
For hill climbing methods like P&O method, INC method and precisely and reduce the oscillations. When J o0 and ΔP 4LimP
RCC method perturbation step size must chosen carefully. If this indicates SPV module deviates from MPP hence larger
perturbation step size is large convergence speed can be increased perturbations are chosen to track MPP quickly. The smaller
while oscillations of operating point around MPPT will be large. perturbations track MPP precisely and eliminate oscillations.
Hence certain amount of power will be lost. On the other hand if Choice of two perturbations helps to reduce the power loss due
we decrease the perturbation step size oscillations around MPP to oscillations around MPP, and hence increase overall efficiency of
can be reduced while the tracking speed will also reduce. Due to the system.
slow tracking of MPP certain amount of power will be lost. MPPT
with variable perturbation step size can address this issue and J ¼ ΔP k =ΔV k nΔP k  1 =ΔV k  1 40 ð2Þ
make tracking system more attractive. In variable step P&O MPPT Operating point away from MPP
the step size will be large when the operating point is away from
MPP and small when operating point is near to MPP. Convergence J ¼ ΔP k =ΔV k nΔP k  1 =ΔV k  1 o 0 ð3Þ
speed as well as tracking precision can be improved with variable Operating point near to MPP
step P&O MPPT. Several modified MPPT techniques has been When there is a slight change in illumination, value of ΔP will be
proposed by researchers so far. Amine et al. [177] proposed an less than LimP, perturbation step will remain small and MPP can be
improved MPPT technique with variable perturbation step size. tracked precisely without oscillations around peak point. When there
Dynamic and steady state performance of proposed method was is sudden increase in the illumination, J and ΔP will increase abruptly,
found to be superior. Ansari et al. [178] proposed variable step P&O larger perturbation step size is chosen to track MPP quickly. When
MPPT algorithm to reduce oscillations of operating point around
MPP and increase convergence speed. Zhang et al. [179] proposed
an improved variable step for grid connected system using
extreme seeking control (ESC). Ahmed et al. [180] proposed a
new approach to design scaling factor variable step operation. Liu
et al. [181] proposed a variable step MPPT technique in which step
size is a function of ratio of change in power and change in voltage.
Jae et al. [182] proposed an improved MPPT with variable
perturbation step size. Li et al. [183] proposed a novel MPPT
tracking method with variable perturbation step size, space vector
modulation scheme was used for controlling inverter. Tang et al.
[184] proposed a method which utilizes the slope of PV curve to
obtain variable perturbation step size. Menniti et al. [185] pro-
posed a method which utilizes change in conductance and
instantaneous conductance for varying perturbation step size.
Khaehintung et al. [186] proposed FPGA based variable step P&O
MPPT with duty cycle perturbation adaptation. Mei et al. [187]
proposed a novel variable step MPPT technique to which improves Fig. 20. Flow chart of variable perturb step based P&O MPPT [195].
the response speed, steady state performance and accuracy
simultaneously. Roy et al. [188] an improved method with FLC,
simulated and compared the results with conventional methods.
Hosseinil et al. [189] proposed Newton–Raphson method based
variable perturbation step MPPT technique implemented through
model predictive control. Chen et al. [190] proposed a variable step
MPPT method with single sensor. Conventional hill climbing
methods uses voltage and current sensors while modified method
uses voltage sensor only which reduces the cost. Yan et al. [191]
proposed an improved MPPT technique with variable step.

4.4.2. Variable perturbation step P&O MPPT

This algorithm [192–198] works by considering the value of ΔP/ΔV.
SPV module works around MPP when ΔP/ΔV (J) decreases signifi-
cantly. The perturbation step size is kept unaltered in conventional P&O Fig. 21. Power variation due step size [202].
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 119

there is a sudden decrease in the illumination J and ΔP will fall below for different perturbation steps. The step-size is made smaller to
zero, thus the algorithm will be fooled for a moment. reduce the power variation in steady state, and Eq. (6) is satisfied,
By using variable perturbations, MPP can be tracked quickly j ΔPj 4 P th ð6Þ
and precisely. When SPV module is away from MPP larger
perturbation step is used to track MPP quickly. When SPV module Power threshold is denoted by Pth, it is chosen larger than ΔP1 as
is working near the MPP smaller perturbation step size is used to shown in Fig. 15 in order to achieve quick and precise tracking of
avoid the oscillations. This algorithm increases the overall effi- maximum power.
ciency of the system by reducing the power loss due to oscillations This MPPT [202–206] method can be described as: when |ΔP|
around MPP and improves the tracking speed. The main disad- rPth, the step size is chosen as Vstp2 (smaller), and it could track
vantage of this method is that the system will be fooled momen- MPP precisely; when |ΔP|4Pth, the step size become Vstp1 (larger),
tarily under rapidly varying atmospheric condition. which will track MPP quickly. Fig. 22 shows the flow chart of this
modified MPPT method. As shown in Fig. 22 power ratio, Pr, defined
by Eq. (7) is also included into this control algorithm in order to
4.4.3. P&O MPPT with Dead Beat Control
reduce the additional power losses under very low solar irradiance.
In this method two step sizes and a power threshold are used in
MPPT algorithm. One step size is for quick convergence to MPPT and P ins
Pr 9 ð7Þ
second step size is for eliminating the oscillations around MPP [199– P mn
201]. Power threshold is chosen after considering the output power where Pins is instantaneous power and Pmn is nominal maximum
oscillations. In this method step size is chosen sinusoidal with a peak power under standard test condition. To achieve these goals high
amplitude of Vstp, operating voltage of PV panel is given by Eq. (4), resolution sensors are required which increase the complexity of
V PV ¼ V MPP þ V stp sin ðωtÞ ð4Þ technique.
In order forecast the pulse width of the next switching period
Variation in power is given by Eq. (5), [207–210], state equation of the inverter system is calculated by
ΔP ¼ V PV IPV  P PV ð5Þ Dead Beat Control with filter and feedback signal from the voltage.
This algorithm improves the tracking speed and reduces the
VPV, IPV, and PMPP are the instantaneous voltage, instantaneous
oscillations around MPP under low irradiance condition also.
current and maximum power of the SPV module under given
atmospheric conditions. Fig. 21 shows power variation with time
4.4.4. Modified P&O MPPT with two-step algorithm
P&O MPPT with Dead Beat Control also uses two steps to track
MPP quickly and precisely. Like Dead Beat Control this algorithm
[211] also uses two steps for tracking MPP but the tracking method
is different. Here two steps are used align the operating point
symmetric to the MPP and force one point near to MPP. Fig. 23
shows the location of operating points around MPP of PV module

Fig. 22. Flow-chart of the modified P&O MPPT algorithm with Dead Beat Control
[202]. Fig. 24. Four point behavior under steady state [211].

Fig. 23. Location of operating points around MPP of a PV module [211]. Fig. 25. Symmetric behavior under steady state [211].
120 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

Fig. 26. Flow-chart of the modified P&O MPPT algorithm with two step algorithm [211].

used for any systems easily. Primary perturbation step size is

chosen after considering the resolution of ADC and measurement
circuit noise level [212]. Application of primary perturbation is
similar to classical P&O MPPT method. If change in power after
perturbation is positive Nsteps will be incremented once. Else check
for Nsteps is done, if Nsteps less than three primary perturbation is
given else secondary perturbation will be triggered and after
perturbation Nsteps will be made one. As shown in Fig. 26 second-
ary perturbation will be activated when two conditions are
satisfied first when change in power (ΔP) is less than zero and
second Nsteps 43 (four or more primary perturbation in same
direction), first three will be due to increase in power and fourth
will be due to reversal of sign. Secondary perturbation is used to
force the central operating point towards the MPP. Secondary sign
perturbation (SSP) can have values 0 or 1. If it is zero secondary
Fig. 27. Operating voltage correction with two level MPPT [211]. perturbation will be Δx1 else Δx2.
This secondary perturbation will provide small increment or
when we are choosing a perturbation step which takes two decrement in operating voltage of SPV module and align the
perturbations to cross MPP. As shown in Fig. 23 operating points operating point symmetric to the MPP and force the middle point
will be symmetric in case of PV operating voltage (x axis) but they towards MPP. Fig. 27a shows operating voltage of SPV module with
are asymmetric about MPP (y axis). unsymmetrical placing of operating points and Fig. 27b shows the
MPPT efficiency will get reduced due the asymmetry; also this secondary perturbation for alignment of operating point symmetric
will led the algorithm to take a wrong decision leading to a four to the MPP. Fig. 27c shows operating voltage of SPV module which
point sequence under noisy environment as shown in Fig. 24. This will force central point of the three points towards MPP. This
four point oscillation further reduces the MPPT efficiency and method improves the efficiency of MPPT by reducing the steady
increases the oscillations around MPP. Around MPP PV curve has a state error. This technique does not need any complex mathema-
concave nature, due to this four point oscillations cannot be simply tical calculation, hence can be implemented using cheap controllers.
removed by choosing an optimal perturbation step size. Only
method to avoid this asymmetric behavior is by pushing any of
4.5. Bisection search theorem (BST) method
the operation points 2 or 3 much closer to MPP as shown in Fig. 25.
This helps to change four point sequences to three point sequence
Theory, operation, previous work on BST based MPPT techni-
and hence helps in improving the overall efficiency. This method
ques and an improved BST based P&O MPPT technique is
avoids the asymmetric behavior of the operating point by forcing
explained in sections below.
operating point towards MPP. Flow chart for this method is shown
in Fig. 26. This method is similar to classical P&O with variable step
size under steady state condition. Main difference of this algo- 4.5.1. Operation and previous work using BST
rithm with other variable step modified algorithm is that this does Bisection search method (BST) [213–215] is generally a classical root
not require information about the PV module used; hence it can be finding method which bisect intervals regularly and check whether the
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 121

optimum lies in the present point. This method is also called as interval reference voltage is calculated. Slope checking is done again with
halving method. In order to find root of a function y¼f(x) in an interval new power. If slope is positive it means that operating point is
{a,b}, BST moves the end points symmetrically towards optimum value moving towards MPP the perturbation step is increment again. If
(root) by halving the interval. First midpoint of the interval is the slope is negative it means that the operating point is moving
determined (c¼(aþb)/2) then f(c) is determined. Three possible away from the MPP. Then the voltage corresponding to the new
conditions are analyzed then; if f(c) is zero root is c, if f(a) and f(c) power is updated as Vx and voltage corresponding to the old
have opposite sign one root lies in {a,c} and if f(b) and f(c) have power is updated as Vy. Slope checking for the average of the two
opposite sign one root lies in {b,c}. If either case (2) or (3) occurs voltages Vx and Vy is done. If the slope lies near to zero(less than
interval corresponding to them is halved and process is continued until 0.1) then that operating point is read as MPP.
roots are obtained. In case of PV module [216] change in power If slope is positive, Vx will continue to exist as earlier and the
corresponding to maximum voltage is zero. Similarly power corre- new average voltage will be updated as Vy. Slope checking is again
sponding to open circuit voltage and short circuit voltage is zero; peak done for the average of two updated voltage. When the slope
power should not happen at these points even though change in reaches near zero (less than 0.1) this process will be terminated and
power is zero. Tracking maximum power from PV module is finding that operating point will be chosen as MPP. If slope is negative, Vy
out root of the function dP by changing the voltage of PV module. will continue to exist as earlier and the new average voltage will be
Change in power dP is considered as f(x), where x is voltage of PV updated as Vx. Slope checking is again done for the average of two
module. updated voltage and the process is terminated if slope lies within
the limit. If the slope corresponding to new average voltage lies
within the specified range, then corresponding voltage is consid-
4.5.2. BST based P&O MPPT
ered as the maximum voltage. Else the process is continued till MPP
By implementing bisection method [217] based P&O MPPT
is reached. If initially the slope corresponding to measured voltage
maximum power point can be reached much quickly. Like con-
is negative then the voltage is decremented till the slope becomes
ventional P&O MPPT first measurement of current, voltage calcu-
positive. The voltage corresponding to negative slope is updated as
lation of power and slope checking (dP/dV) are done to check
Vx and voltage corresponding to positive slope is updated as Vy.
whether the operating point lying on left hand side of MPP or in
Slope checking is done after calculating average of two voltages. Vy
the right hand side of MPP or on MPP. A specific increment is
is updated if slope is positive and Vx is updated if slope is negative.
provided to the reference voltage if the operating point is moving
This process will continue till the slope corresponding to the
towards MPP and resultant power is corresponding to the new
average voltage lies within the specified range.
Flow chart of this MPPT technique is shown in Fig. 28. Sub-
routine which is working as the decision box for calculation of
power and checking of slope is shown in Fig. 29.

Fig. 28. Flowchart of bisection method based P&O algorithm [217].

Fig. 29. Flow chart for slope checking [217]. Fig. 30. Operating point shifting [221].
122 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

MPP can be tracked quickly and precisely by implementing module output power due change in irradiance, ΔH and a constant
bisection based P&O MPPT. This method eliminates the oscillations duty cycle d(k)¼d(k l)  Δd).
of operating point around the MPP and improves the efficiency. If Eq. (9) is satisfied as shown in Fig. 13a algorithm will not be
Tracking speed and precision of this method is superior to the fooled and it will track MPP precisely. If Eq. (9) is satisfied as
conventional P&O algorithm. shown in Fig. 13b algorithm will be fooled and the operating point
will move away from MPP. Using duty cycle perturbation adapta-
4.6. Duty-cycle perturbations adaptation (DCPA) method tion [221–223] technique MPP can be tracked under varying
irradiance; hence the maximum power can be tracked from the
Theory, operation, previous work on DCPA based MPPT tech- PV module. Change in module output power due variation in duty
niques and an improved DCPA based P&O MPPT technique is cycle is shown in Eq. (10)
explained in sections below.
ΔP d ¼ V max ΔI d þ Imax ΔV d þ ΔV d ΔId ð10Þ

4.6.1. Operation and previous work using DCPA method Vmax and Imax are the voltage and current corresponding to
In classical P&O MPPT reference voltage value is varied to track MPP. ΔVd and ΔId are change in voltage and current proportional
MPP. Reference voltage value is used further for generating the duty to change in duty ratio. Relation between ΔVd and Δd are shown
ratio for converter. In duty cycle perturbation adaptation technique in Eq. (11). DC gain is denoted by G.
duty cycle of converter is directly varied by the MPPT algorithm.
Selection of duty cycle perturbation step size has a vital role in ΔV d ¼ G: Δd ð11Þ
efficient tracking of peak power. Several duty cycle perturbation
Change in module output power due variation in irradiance is
step MPPT technique has been proposed by researches. Zhang et al.
shown in Eq. (12)
[218] made a comparative study on duty ratio perturbation and
observation method and reference voltage perturbation and obser- ΔP s ¼ V max ΔI s þ ΔV d ΔIs ¼ KV max ΔH ð12Þ
vation method. Hsieh et al. [219] proposed an improved MPPT
technique using variable frequency constant duty cycle control and where K is material constant and ΔH is change in irradiance. Eq.
constant frequency variable duty ratio control. Harshavardhana (7) can be derived from Eqs. (9)–(12).
et al. [220] proposed an improved MPPT technique using duty cycle   
modifier to reduce the DC voltage ripples.   HV max þ 1 ðG:ΔdÞ2 4 V max K j ΔHj ð13Þ
4.6.2. DCPA based P&O MPPT Minimum magnitude of duty cycle perturbation step (Δdmin)
In this method duty cycle of the DC–DC converter varied can be determined from Eq. (13), it is shown in Eq. (14)
directly to track MPP. Duty cycle for (k þ1)th sampling interval is
shown in Eq. (8). By choosing the sampling interval (Ta) perfectly 1 V max K j ΔHj T a
oscillations of operating point around MPP is eliminated in this ¼ Δdmin ð14Þ
G HV max þ Rmax 1
method. Amplitude of duty cycle perturbation (Δd) must be
chosen carefully; large value will track MPP quickly but will From Eq. (14) we can determine the sampling interval (Ta),
increase the steady state losses. Small value will reduce steady perfectly selected sampling time interval eliminates the oscillation
state loss but it reduces the tracking speed. This method gives an of operating point around MPP. This algorithm determines ampli-
idea to choose Ta to eliminate the oscillations of operating point tude of duty cycle perturbation and sampling interval numerical,
around MPP and to select Δd. perfectly selected Δdmin and Ta will track MPP under quick
dððk þ 1ÞT a Þ ¼ dðkT a Þ þ ðdðkT a Þ  dððk  1ÞT a ÞÞ:signðpððk þ 1ÞT a  pðkT a ÞÞ changing condition precisely. By using this algorithm steady state
ð8Þ losses can be minimized hence the efficiency can be improved.

The reason for low efficiency under rapidly varying atmospheric

condition is that the algorithm cannot find the exact reason for Start
variation in the measured power. Consider a PV module working
near MPP at kth sampling interval with illumination H. When a Sense V K , V K+1 ,IK ,IK+1Calculate P K ,P K+1
positive perturbation, Δd is given operating point of the PV module and Power ratio S=P=(P MAX - P K+1)/ P MAX
will move away from the MPP towards point A as shown in Fig. 30,
ΔV= V K+1 - V K
if there is a change the irradiance between the instants kTa and
ΔP= P K+1 - P K
(kþl)Ta as shown in Fig. 13a. At (kþ1)Ta operating point will move
to point B rather than point A if there is an increase in irradiance.
The P&O MPPT algorithm will track MPP correctly if be ΔP = 0
confused only if Y
j ΔP d j 4 j ΔP s j ð9Þ
ΔP > 0
where ΔPd is the module output power variation at constant
irradiance, H and variable duty cycle and ΔPs is the variation in Y
ΔP > 0 ΔP > 0
Table 2 Y
Variable step P&O MPPT using power ratio.
D K+1= D K +S*ΔD D K+1= D K -S*ΔD
Sl. no. Operating point Power ratio (S) Perturbation step (Δd)

1. Away from MPP Large Large

2. Mid way Medium Medium Return
3. Near to MPP Small Small
Fig. 31. Flowchart of variable step P&O algorithm using power ratio.
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 123

Fig. 32. MATLAB simulation of MPPT controller with boost converter.

1000 will decrease hence absolute value of power ratio will also
decrease. As mentioned above duty cycle perturbation step for

next perturbation is product of power ratio and a fixed step size
0 (Δd) given by Eq. (16). Duty cycle for next perturbation is given by
0 0.5 1 1.5 Eq. (17)
ΔD ¼ S n Δd ð16Þ

DK þ 1 ¼ DK 7 ΔD ð17Þ
0 0.5 1 1.5 When operating point is far away from MPP instantaneous
100 power produced by PV panel will small hence power ratio will be
large making duty cycle perturbation step large. When operating

50 point move towards MPP power ratio and perturbation step size
decreases as a result operating point will move to precisely
0 0.5 1 1.5 towards MPP without too much oscillations around MPP. It is
summarized in Table 2. Flow chart of proposed algorithm is shown
in Fig. 31.

0.5 Simulink model of proposed algorithm is shown in Fig. 32, PV

panel with 800 W peak power was used for simulation.
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 0.45 0.5 Simulation results are shown in Fig. 33, when compared to
time(sec) conventional P&O MPPT proposed technique reduces oscillations
Fig. 33. Simulation results. of operating point around MPP and move operating point precisely
towards MPP.
Computation time for the proposed algorithm is less than that
5. Power ratio based variable step P&O MPPT of bisection method P&O MPPT, Dead Beat Control and two step
based algorithms. Artificial intelligence based P&O MPPT posse's
Detailed review on various modified P&O MPPT techniques greater accuracy than proposed method but its implementation is
shown that variable perturbation step P&O MPPT provides perfor- costly. Accuracy of proposed algorithm can be further by increased
mance than classical method. Soft computing based P&O MPPT also using FPGA or DSP controllers
shows better performance, but cost and complexity of implementa-
tion is higher than variable step P&O MPPT. Various modified P&O
MPPT techniques with variable perturbation step size is described 6. Comments and remarks on various P&O MPPT techniques
in detail in above sections. In this section design, analysis and
simulation results of an improved P&O MPPT technique with power Comparison of various P&O MPPT methods are done based on
ration is described in detail. tracking accuracy, complexity, convergance speed, efficiency under
In this method duty cycle perturbation step size is varied partial shading condition, cost and sensors used. Table 3 depicts
continuously by multiplying with a new variable power ratio (S) comparison of different P&O MPPT methods. AI, FPGA, PSO and FLC
defined by Eq. (15). based P&O MPPT method provides better result under quickly
changing atmospheric conditions and the tracking accuracy is
P max  P ins
Power ratio ðSÞ ¼ ð15Þ superior to other methods but the complexity of implementation
P max
is high. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) based P&O MPPT tracks
where Pins is instantaneous power and Pmax is nominal maximum global maximum effectively under partial shaded conditions.
power under standard test condition. When operating point move Bisection method is simple and the tracking accuracy is high but
towards MPP instantaneous power increases as a result P max  P ins it is not efficient under partial shading condition. Duty-Cycle
124 G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129

Table 3
A comparison of different P&O MPPT methods.

Sl. Algorithm PV array Efficient Tracking Complexity Parameters Cost Converter Advantages Disadvantages Applications
no. dependenT partial speed sensed used

1. ANN based Yes Yes High High Voltage and High Both Higher accuracy Training time Both
current required is more
2. FLC based No Yes High High Voltage and High Buck– Work with imprecise Tedious not good Both
current boost input,fast convergence under partially
transparent shaded condition
3. PSO based No Yes High High Voltage and Low Boost Higher accuracy Tracking time is large Both
4. FPGA based No Yes High High Voltage and High Boost High accuracy, good Slightly costlier Both
current dynamic response,
quantization errors less
5. Variable No No Medium High Voltage and Low Buck Reduced oscillations Fooled under rapidly Stand-alone
perturbation current around MPP changing conditions
6. Dead Beat No No High Simple Voltage and HIgh DC–AC Good tracking speed, High resolution Grid
Control current reduced oscillations sensors are required
based around MPP
7. Two-step No No High Simple Voltage and Low Boost Implemented on cheap Not efficient under Stand-alone
based current digital controllers partial shading
8. Bisection No No High Simple Voltage and Low Buck Good tracking speed, Fooled under rapidly Stand-alone
method current good precision changing
9. Duty-cycle No No Medium High Voltage and Low Boost Better dynamic response Fooled under rapidly Both
perturbation current changing
10. Variable step No No High Simple Voltage and Low Boost Good precision, reduced Not efficient under Both
using power current oscillations around MPP partial shading

Perturbation based and Variable Perturbation Step P&O MPPT is (4) Robustness and reliability of fuzzy based system relies on
provide better tracking accuracy and cost of Implementation is low selection of proper membership functions and fuzzy rules.
but provides less accurate results under partially shaded condi- Prior knowledge of the system is required for obtaining proper
tions. Dead Beat Control based P&O MPPT is economic and simple membership functions and fuzzy rules. Genetic algorithm (GA)
in hardware implementation. Variable step P&O MPPT using can be used to optimize the membership function. GA-FLC
power ratio reduces oscillations of operating point around MPP system provides better results compared to FLC systems and
and move operating point more precisely towards MPP. The GA systems.
problem of convergance speed, tracking accuracy, stability in (5) Particle swarm optimization (PSO) based P&O MPPT tracks
conventional P&O MPPT algorithm can be nullified by modifying global maximum effectively under partial shaded conditions.
P&O MPPT algorithm. Application of FLC, AI and FGPA improves Implementation cost of PSO based MPPT system is on higher
P&O MPPT algorithm. side due to the complexity of the algorithm. More memory
With respect to review of above mentioned papers following space is required to implement PSO controllers; hence
key points can be made: improved versions of FPGA must be used.
(6) Hybrid methods such as FLC-ANN combined with P&O, GA-FLC
(1) Artificial intelligence based P&O MPPT techniques provides good combined with P&O, and FLC-ANN combined with P&O pro-
dynamic performance, faster convergence speed, less oscillations vides better results. The main drawback of hybrid methods are
of operating point around MPP, will track global maxima under implementation complexity, requirement of more space and
partial shaded condition effectively, operating point will not response time is more.
diverge too much from MPP under quickly changing atmospheric (7) Duty cycle perturbation adaptation technique tracks peak
condition and it is more effective and efficient. power efficiently even in the absence of PI control loop.
(2) Robustness of artificial intelligence based P&O MPPT techni- (8) FPGA based P&O MPPT system provides good dynamic perfor-
ques depends on training accuracy and generalization cap- mance and less quantization errors. ANN, PSO, FLC and
ability. Radial basis function (RBF) network based P&O MPPT combinations of these can be implemented using FPGA chips
techniques provides better generalization capability than back easily. Flexibility, deployment easiness integration with heri-
propagation based P&O MPPT. ANN based P&O MPPT techni- tage systems makes FPGA chips more attractive than other
ques will fail when the PV modules start degrading, to counter controllers. When compared to other controllers like DSP and
the effects of degrading ANN must be trained periodically with dSPACE cost to function ratio of FPGA is less, hence allows low
new data's. cost implementation. Using FPGA soft computing based MPPT
(3) FLC based P&O MPPT techniques can be implemented much techniques can be implemented easily. It provides better
easier than ANN based P&O MPPT system. Nonlinear systems performance than DSP while implementing complex algo-
can be modeled much easier using fuzzy controller and exact rithms and performs DSP related computations easily.
knowledge of PV module is not required for FLC. FLC based (9) Variable step P&O MPPT techniques increases the convergence
P&O MPPT system provides better results under rapidly chan- speed and reduces the steady state oscillations of operating
ging atmospheric conditions also. around MPP. Variable step methods were found to be simple
G. Dileep, S.N. Singh / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 50 (2015) 109–129 125

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