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Comparison of Various Maximum Power Point

Tracking Techniques for Photovoltaic Array

Akshay Sharma Nachiket Sharma Nikhil Tyagi
New Delhi, India New Delhi, India New Delhi, India

Nishant Singh Varun Kumar Ajit Kr. Sharma

New Delhi, India New Delhi, India New Delhi, India

Abstract — In this paper various techniques for maximum In recent years, in order to make the PV system have faster
power point tracking of photovoltaic (PV) arrays are discussed speed and better accuracy in the MPPT process, many
and compared to obtain the maximum efficiency. These all methods have been used for MPPT control, such as P&O
techniques are taken from the literature dating back to the [6], the incremental conductance (INC) method [7], and
earliest methods. It is shown that twelve distinct methods have
fuzzy Logical control [8], as well as a variety of bionic
been introduced in the literature, with many variations on
implementation. This paper may be serve as a convenient
algorithms [9], etc. Among all these methods, the P&O has
reference for future work in PV power generation. the advantages of being easy to implement and low cost,
which is mostly used; however, the P&O has some
Keywords — Photovoltaic Array (PV), Maximum Power Point
Tracking (MPPT).
drawbacks such as slow tracking speed, and the operating
point oscillating around the maximum power point leading
to the waste of power [10]. Therefore, this paper proposes
a variable step size P&O. When the working point of the
PV system is far away from the maximum power point, a
With the increasing energy crisis and environmental larger step size is used to quickly track to near the
pressure, the development and utilization of renewable maximum power point. When the operating point of the PV
energy has received more and more attention. As a kind of system crosses the maximum power point once the
new energy, solar energy is developing into an important disturbance step size is reduced by half until the minimum
green energy source because of its renewable nature, disturbance threshold. Finally, by setting up a two-stage
cleanliness, and inexhaustible characteristics [1]. photovoltaic Load-connected system, a comparison is
Photovoltaic Array is one of the main forms of utilization made between the variable step size P&O and fixed step
of solar energy by converting solar energy into electricity size P&O.
and delivering it to the Load [2]. Maximum power point
This article is organized as follows. Section I presents
tracking (MPPT) control is one of the most critical
background and the purpose of the study. Section II
technologies in photovoltaic systems [3].
explains problem overview. Section III expounds about
Tracking the maximum power point (MPP) of a PV array. Section IV contains the different MPPT
photovoltaic (PV) array is usually an essential part of a PV techniques. Section V embodies conclusion followed by
system. As such, many MPP tracking (MPPT) methods references.
have been developed and implemented. The methods vary
in complexity, sensors required, convergence speed, cost,
range of effectiveness, implementation hardware,
popularity, and in other respects. They range from the The problem considered by MPPT techniques is to
almost obvious (but not necessarily ineffective) to the most automatically find the voltage 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉 or current 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉
creative (not necessarily most effective). In fact, so many at which a PV array should operate to obtain the
methods have been developed that it has become difficult maximum
to adequately determine which method, newly proposed or power output 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉 under a given temperature and
existing, is most appropriate for a given PV system at irradiance as shown in fig. 1. It is noted that under partial
certain load. shading conditions, in some cases it is possible to have
multiple local maxima, but overall there is still only one
true MPP. Most techniques respond to changes in both
irradiance and temperature, but some are specifically more
useful if temperature is approximately constant [11]. Most
techniques would automatically respond to changes in the
array due to aging, though some are open-loop and would
require periodic fine-tuning. In our context, the array will
typically be connected to a power converter that can vary
the current coming from the PV array.

Fig.3. I-V Characteristic of PV Panel

TABLE II. Design Specifications of PV Module

Characteristics Specifications

Power output 1860 W

Fig. 1. Characteristic PV array power curve
Short circuit current 8A

A mathematical model is developed in order to simulate the Open circuit voltage 261 V
PV array. Fig. 2 gives the equivalent circuit of a single solar
cell, where 𝑉𝑉𝑉 and 𝑉𝑉𝑉 are the PV array’s current and Voltage at peak power 230 V
voltage, respectively, 𝑉𝑉𝑉 is the cell’s photocurrent, 𝑉𝑉
represents the nonlinear resistance of the p-n junction, and Current at peak power 7.1 A
𝑉𝑉𝑉 and 𝑉𝑉 are the intrinsic shunt and series resistances
of the cell[12]. Temperature coefficient 0.008 A/C


Since, the output power characteristics of the PV system as

functions of irradiance and temperature curves are
nonlinear and are crucially influenced by solar irradiation
and temperature. Furthermore, the daily solar irradiation
diagram has abrupt variations during the day [14], as
shown in Fig. 4. Under these conditions, the MPP of the
PV array changes continuously; consequently, the PV
system’s operating point must change to maximize the
Fig. 2. PV Panel Circuit Model energy produced. An MPPT technique is therefore used to
maintain the PV array’s operating point at its MPP [15].
Since 𝑉𝑉𝑉 is very large and 𝑉𝑉 is very small, these terms
can be neglected in order to simplify the electrical model.
The following equation then describes the PV panel [8].

𝑉𝑉𝑉 = 𝑉𝑉. 𝑉𝑉ℎ − 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉 . [exp(𝑉. 𝑉𝑉𝑉/𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉] − 1


where 𝑉𝑉 and where 𝑉𝑉 are the number of cells

connected in series and the in parallel, q=1.602· 10−19 C
is the electron charge, k=1.3806· 10−23J·K -1 is
Boltzmann constant, A=2 is the p-n junction’s ideal
factor, T is the cell’s temperature (K) [13]. Fig.4 Solar Irradiation graph on sunny day

In incremental conductance method the array terminal

voltage is always adjusted according to the MPP voltage it
is based on the incremental and instantaneous conductance
of the PV module. Fig-5 shows that the slope of the P-V
array power curve is zero at The MPP, increasing on the
left of the MPP and decreasing on the Right hand side of
the MPP [16].

Fig. 6. Characteristic PV Array Power Curve

TABLE I. Summary of Hill Climbing Algorithm

Perturbation Change in Power Next Perturbation

Positive Positive Positive

Positive Negative Negative
Negative Positive Negative
Fig. 5. Basic idea of incremental conductance method on a P-V Curve of
solar module Negative Negative Positive

The basic equations of this method are as follows:

𝑉𝑉 / 𝑉𝑉 = − 𝑉 / 𝑉 at MPPT (2)

𝑉𝑉/ 𝑉𝑉 > − 𝑉/ 𝑉 Left of MPPT (3) The open circuit Voltage algorithm is the simplest MPPT
control method. This technique is also known as constant
𝑉𝑉/ 𝑉𝑉 < − 𝑉 / 𝑉 Right of MPPT (4) voltage method. VOC is the open circuit voltage of the PV
panel. VOC depends on the property of the solar cells. A
Where I and V is P-V array output current and voltage commonly used VMPP/V(oc) value is 76% This
respectively. The left hand side of equations represents relationship can be described by equation
incremental conductance of P-V module and the right hand
side represents the instantaneous conductance. When the V (max) = k1 ∗ V(oc) (5)
ratio of change in output conductance is equal to the
negative output conductance, the solar array will operate at Here the factor k1 is always less than unity. It looks very
the maximum power point. simple but determining best value of k is very difficult and
k1 varies from 0.71 to 0.8[19]. The common value used is
0.76; hence this algorithm is also called as 76% algorithm.
The hill climbing algorithm locates the maximum power The operating point of the PV array is kept near the MPP
point by relating changes in the power to changes in the by regulating the array voltage and matching it to a fixed
control variable used to control the array. This system reference voltage V(ref). The V(ref) value is set equal to
includes the perturb and observe algorithm [17]. the VMPP of the characteristic PV module or to another
calculated best open circuit voltage this method assumes
Hill-climbing algorithm involves a perturbation in the duty that individual insulation and temperature variations on the
ratio of the power inverter. In the case of a PV array array are insignificant, and that the constant reference
connected to a system, perturbing the duty ratio of power voltage is an adequate approximation of the true MPPT
inverter perturbs the PV array current and consequently [20].
perturbs the PV array voltage. The process is repeated
periodically until the MPP is reached. The system then
oscillates about the MPP. The oscillation is minimized by
reducing the perturbation step size [18].
signal is provided here which will modify RT and the RT
will change VT, and VT will keep changing till this
become zero under such conditions when under such
conditions VT = VM error is zero, then we have maximum
power point tracking. In the neighbourhood of this panel
which is delivering power to the load we will place a small
cell called the reference cell, and that reference cell is kept
open circuited there is no load connected across the
reference cell. So this reference cell is going to provide
open circuit value of this cell. And we will take this open
circuit value to be same as this cell provided both the cells
are identical. And then you start to obtain the open circuit
voltage. Now this open circuit voltage is given as input to
this scaling block, and this scaled value will provide BM
and this will become the reference for making the VIT of
this try to reach VM, and thereby achieve maximum power
point tracking. So this is the voltage scaling method
Fig. 7. Flowchart of Open Circuit Voltage
reference cell method of maximum power point tracking.



The reference cell method is used to achieve maximum

power point transfer using the reference cell. Our objective Fig. 8. Comparison Model of Voltage Cell Method
is to make VT the terminal voltage across the panel is as
close to the VM value as possible, so that MPPT can be
achieved. Now VM is the reference we want VM here to
be the reference and VT is the feedback signal. So we can
sense the terminal voltage across the panel and give it as
feedback and ultimately VT should become same as VM in
such a case when this error is zero VT is same as VM and
we observe that maximum power is being transferred to the
load. So let us assume that VT is less than VM then error
is positive and output of the controller increases. Once the
output of this increases there is this duty cycle a pulse with
modulation wave form coming in here, because this DC
compares with this carrier and use a duty cycle. Now this
duty cycle will change by going from 0 to 1 or 1 to 0 Fig. 8. Block Diagram of Voltage Cell Method
depending upon which type of converter and appropriately
modulate the input resistance seen from the PV panel
which will appropriately position the load line. And
therefore, change the value of VT. So the value of VT willE. E. ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS (ANN) METHOD
keep changing and try to reach VM such that error here
G. An ANN is a collection of electrical neurons connected
becomes zero. The job of the controller is to always see that based on various topologies. The most common application
the error here becomes zero, the error here is zero VT will of an ANN involves identification and modelling of the
be same as VM. And hence we have achieved maximum system using nonlinear and complex functions.
power point tracking, but how to get VM we have to add a i.
block let us say that is K, and then we will submit as input ii. a. Fuzzy Logic (FL) Method
This system implements the fuzzy logic control in three
So we provide VOC gets multiplied scaled by K and we stages: fuzzification, decision-making and defuzzification.
have VM becomes the reference, this is reference section During fuzzification, crisp input variables are converted
VT which is measured gets compared with VM the error is into linguistic variables based on a membership function In
controlled by this controller, and the pulse with modulated the decision-making stage, the rules which are specified by
a set of IF-THEN statements define the controller
TABLE III. Comparison of Various MPPT Technique

Algorithm ensed parameters Efficiency Current Voltage (V) Power(W) Installation Cost Controlling

Open circuit voltage Voltage Low (=86%) 2.3 195 450 Low Difficult

Short circuit current Current Low (=89%) 2.8 190 425 Low Difficult

Artificial neural networks Can be both Low (=89%) 2.6 193.8 437.5 High Easy

Fuzzy logic Can be both High 2.31 194.5 450.8 High Easy

P&O (variable perturbation Voltage& current High (=96%) 2.37 194.7 463.2 Moderate Moderate

P&O (Fixed Perturbation) Voltage& current Low 2.38 194.8 463.7 Moderate Moderate

Incremental Conductance Voltage& current High 2.93 226.9 666.1 Moderate Moderate

In the defuzzification stage, the fuzzy logic controller

output is converted from a linguistic variable to a
numerical variable still using a membership function.


The Constant Voltage (CV) algorithm is the simplest

MPPT control method. The operating point of the PV array
is kept near the MPP by regulating the array voltage and
matching it to a fixed reference voltage 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉 . The 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉
Fig. 9. Block Diagram of Constant Voltage Method
value is set equal to the 𝑉𝑉𝑉𝑉 of the characteristic PV
module or to another calculated best fixed voltage. This
method assumes that individual insulation and temperature
variations on the array are insignificant, and that the
In this study, for a fixed resistive load and photovoltaic
constant reference voltage is an adequate approximation of
system various MPPT techniques are studied & compared.
the true MPP. Operation is therefore never exactly at the
Based on given specification of PV module the most
MPP and different data has to be collected for different
suitable technique is P&O (Variable perturbation size). As
geographical regions. The CV method does not require any
shown in comparison table P&O (Variable perturbation
input. However, measurement of the voltage 𝑉𝑉𝑉
size) gives maximum efficiency and minimum installation
is cost.
necessary in order to set up the duty-cycle of the dc/dc
SEPIC by PI regulator, as shown in the block diagram of
Fig. 8.

It is important to observe that when the PV panel is in low

insulation conditions, the CV technique is more effective
than either the P&O method or the IC method (analysed
below) [13].
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