You are on page 1of 6

IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. 5, No.

4, December 1990


THE EFFECT OF ELECTRICAL ARRAY RECONFIGURATION ON THE PERFORMANCE OF A PV-POWERED VOLUMETRIC WATER PUMP Ziyad M. Salameh Senior Member Fouad Dagher Student Member Department of Electrical Engineering University of Lowell Lowell, MA. 01854
This paper presents a technique to improve the performance of a photovoltaic (PV) powered permanent magnet dc motor coupled to a screw-type volumetric water pump. The method uses a solid state Electrical Array Reconfiguration Controller (EARC), which senses the radiation as low, medium or high. Accordingly, the controller chooses one favorable set of IV characteristics for starting and another favorable set of I-V characteristics for steady state operation. This is done by switching the solar panels, depending upon the starting c u k n t requirements and the irradiance level, from a parallel to seriesparallel to series connection. This produces sufficient starting current especially at low and medium radiation levels, which considerably improves the pump's performance, particularly in the early moming, late evening and cloudy days, providing valuable extra pumping hours for the user. techniques include optimal matching of direct coupled systems [l-21, single-axis and dual-axis sun trackers [3-51, maximum and power point trackers [6-81. A volumetric water pump coupled with a dc permanent magnet motor is one type of PV powered water pump system. This type of pump is known to have a constant starting torque that is dependent on the head and the water flow rate but not on the speed. In order to overcome the starting torque, a relatively high irradiance level (approximately 600 w/m2) should be available. Therefore, to operate this type of pump during medium and low irradiance levels (poor irradiance), the torque developed by the motor should be increased. Since an increase in the current that is available to the motor yields an increase in the torque developed by the motor, it would be beneficial to increase the available current. A logical way of achieving this is by reconfiguring the photovoltaic array during poor irradiance. In this paper the photovoltaic arrays are grouped into four units. These four units are connected in parallel during low irradiance, parallel-series (two strings in parallel; each string consists of two units in series) during medium irradiance, and in series during high irradiance. The switching is done by the threestage EARC. The EARC was designed, built, and put into operation. The performance of a screw-type volumemc pump, driven by a permanent magnet dc motor and controlled by the EARC, was evaluated and presented in this paper.

Array Reconfiguration,Photovoltaic Systems, Volumetric pump, Solar Irradiance

The uses of photovoltaic (PV) powered water pumping systems are increasing due to the steady decline in the cost of photovoltaic solar panels. However, the efficiencyof PV panels is still poor. It is of interest to investigate simple and inexpensive devices that enhance the performance of a PV powered water pump. Numerous techniques have been med out in the past to improve PV water pump performance. These

Circuit Design and Operation

The three-stage EARC design calls for grouping the photovoltaic array into four units U1,U2,U3. and U4. Each unit comprises of a fixed number of modules. The four units are interconnected through nine N-channel Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT), as shown in figure 1. IGBTs are used as switching devices because of their high current capabilities, small internal resistance, and ease of control.

90 SM 432-5 EC A paper recommended and approved by the IEEE Energy Development and Power Generation Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society for presentation at the IEEE/PES 190 Summer Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 15-19, 1990. Manuscript submitted September 1, 1989; made available for printing June 6, 1990.


1990 IEEE


2 2+ v



Figm 1 Three-StageEARC Power Circuit

I - +



Under low irradiance levels, the four units are connected in parallel, as shown in figure 2-a, by triggering T4, T5, T6, T7,T8, and T9. Since each unit can provide I current and V voltage, then the current that is available to the motor is 41 and the voltage is V, thus providing high current for starting. Under medium irradiance levels the units are grouped into two sets (each set consists of two units in series). These two sets are then connected in parallel to form a parallel-series connection, as shown in figure 2-b, by triggering T1, T3,T4, and T5. In this case the current that is available to the motor is 21 and the Voltage is 2V. Under high irradiance levels, the four units are connected in series, as shown in and figure 2-c, by triggering T1, n, T3.In this case the current that is available to the motor is I and the voltage is 4V. Keeping in mindthat the permanent magnet motor is capable of operating over a wide range of input voltages, then the change in voltage will not prevent the motor from operating. Figure 3 shows the logic control circuit that implements the switchingof the IGBTs to form the three stages (parallel, parallel-series,and series). The logic control circuit senses the incident irradiance as low, medium, and high with the aid of a reference solar cell that is made of the same materials as the PV units. The cell is mounted in the same plane and in the same direction as the photovoltaic array. The cell produces a current proportional to the amount of solar irradiance. This current is changed into a voltage signal by connectinga resistor in parallel with it. This voltage is then fed into

(4 Figure 2. Electrical Array Reconfigurations; (a) Stage-One (b) Stage-Two (c) Stage-Three

a low voltage and a high voltage comparator. The low voltage comparator (L) switches on when the irradiance is lower than the low irradiance set point. This comparator will switch on T4, T5, T6, T , and T9 connecting the four units in parallel. When the 7 T8, irradiance is higher than the high irradiance set point, the high voltage comparator (H) will switch on causing T1, T2,and T3 to switch on connecting the four units in series. These set points can be varied by adjusting the cmsponding potentiometers R1 and R2. The medium voltage comparator (M) turns on when the incident irradiance is between the low and the high irradiance set points. It tums on because both L and H comparators are off and the voltage at point C is zero. When the medium comparator is on it triggers T1, T3, T4. and T5 to provide the parallel-series connection. If either the high comparator or the low comparator is on, then the voltage at point C is p a t e r than zero, and that prevents the medium comparater from turning on. D o e D and D2 are used to ensure ids 1 that only one stage switches on at any time.

01 1



01... Opto-Isolator

Isolated Voltage Supply


Figure 3 Three-StageEARC logic control circuit

The switch SW is used to change the three-stage EARC into a two-stage EAR, by eliminating the fist stage (parallel stage). The two-stage EARC was evaluated for a centrifugal pump by (9). The high value positive feed back resistors across the voltage comparators are used to make sure that the transition between the stages is devoid of oscillations and smooth. The opto-isolators are used to provide floating voltages needed to mgger the IGBTs. Since the emitter of the N-channelsT4, T6, and T7 are connected to the

7 positive side of U1,then the gate voltage of T4. T6, and T has to be 8 to 12 volts higher than the emitter voltage in order for the IGBTs to switch on. Hence, an isolated voltage source (SS) is used to provide this voltage.
When the machine starts from stand still, the control circuit forces the system to initially start from stage one, and switches to stage two and stage three whenever the corresponding switching irradiance level is available.


System Analysis
A DC permanent magnet motor can be represented by a voltage source in series with the motor armatureresistance (R,) and the back emf of the motor (Ea). The equations that govern the

curves of the motor-pump, when it is pumping against a 100 psi pressure head, and the PV array when the four units are connected in parallel, parallel-series,and series. From figure 4, the current available to the motor at any irradiance is maximum in the first stage (parallel connection), minimum in the third stage (series connection) and in the middle in the second stage (parallel-series connection). The starting point of the motor-pump system occurs at the intersection of the I-V curves of the array and the I-V curves of the motor-pump.

operation of the permanent magnet motor are:

Vt = Ia% + Ea Ea = K$Om Tm = K$Ia whek IC$ is the constant of the motor (1)


The ratio of the power drawn by the motor to the power used by the pump to lift a given quantity of water at a specified pumping rate and head is known as the "wire to water efficiency (q)" and it is :


4 (5)


From the pump manufacturer, Q, Om, and q can be found for different heads, and utilizing equations 1 through 5 , the armature current can be calculated. Hence, the I-V curve of the motor-pump system may be obtained


100 150 200 Voltage (Volts)



Figure 4 PV and motor-pump IV curves at 500 W/m2

The I-V characteristicsof a PV array are generated by using "M.Khallat and S.Rahman" model (10). The equation that relates the array current to the array voltage is
I, = IL- Io( exp[e(Vr + IrRs)/AKTI - 1) (6) Equation 6 is only used to generate a reference curve at one particular insolation level and array temperature. To translate this curve to other insolations and temperatures, the "JPL"model (11) uses the followingequations: AT= T - Tr T = TA + mS

Experimental Results
A closed loop system, in which water is pumped from a fifty gallon tank against a pressure valve and back to the tank was built and shown in figure 5. The pressure, which simulates the head, can be changed by changing the setting of the pressure valve.

where m = 0.02

(9) (10) (11) (12)

AI = a(S/Sr)AT + (S/Sr - l)Isc AV = -PAT - RsAI V = (Vr + AV) I = (1,+ AI)

The cell series resistance (R,) is calculated from experimental I-V characteristics at two different irradiance levels using the method of Wolf and Rauschedbach [12]. Using the above equations, the I-V characteristics of the photovoltaic array can be generated with the aid of a computer, by the iterative method. The curves thus obtained, when superimposed on the I-V characteristicsof the motor-pump system, yield the operatingpoints of the PV array-motor-pump system. Figure 4 shows the I-V

Figure 5. PV Powered Motor-Pump System


A 1.5 HP Mono ProgressiveCavity pump (manufacturedby Mono Pumps LTD Africa, model ESIOS), driven by a 1.5 HP 180 volt permanent magnet dc motor, was tested. The irradiance at which the pump starts pumping against a 100 psi head was recorded, in figure 6, for the system operating with and without the EARC. In figure 6, the dotted column shows the irradiance level that is needed to start the system when it is direct coupled while the dark columns show the irradiance level that is needed to start the system using the &-stage controller.
800 1 700



150 300 450









+ o

Irradiance (W/rn2)
Figure 7-b. Flow rate as a function of irradiance for the EARC.

500 400 300 200 100

The Electrical Array Reconfiguration Controller (EARC) presents a new approach to optimize the performance of PV powered volumemc water pumps by producing sufficientcurrent to start the motor-pump at low irradiance levels, thus providing a wide range of irradiance level for operation and extra pumping hours.

Stage Figure 6. Starting points for 100 psi pressure head for the system operating with and without the EARC.

This work was performed under the auspices of University of Lowell PhotovoltaicProgram, providing technology servicesfor Massachusetts Photovoltaic Program, as part of the DOE cooperativeagreement DEFC0487ALA2558.

The water flow rate, in gallons per minute, as a function of the irradiancelevel is shown in figure 7-a and figure 7-b for the 100 psi pressure head. Figure 7-a shows the water flow rate for the system when it is direct coupled (no controller), while figure 7-b shows the water flow rate when the controller is used.

I V Ra Ea vt Pin Tm am IS, voc S T Tr

150 300


750 900 1050 1200

Array Unit Current (A) Array Unit Terminal Voltage (V) Motor Axmature Resistance Motor Back E.M.F.(V) Motor Terminal Voltage (V) . Power Input to the Motor (watts) Motor Torque (N-m) Motor Angular Speed (rad/sec) Array Short Circuit Current (A) Array Open Circuit Voltage (V)


Irradiance (W/m2) Array Temperature (K) Array Reference Temperature (K) Current Change Temperature Coefficient (A/K) Voltage Change Temperature Coefficient (V/K) Charge on Electron (Coulombs) Reference Irradiance (W/mz)




e Sr

Irradiance (W/m2)
Figure 7-a Flow rate as a function of irradiancefor direct coupling.


[91 Array Series Resistance Array Reference Voltage (V) Cell Reference Current (A) Ambient Temperature (K) Light Generated Current (A) Diode SaturationCurrent (A)


Z. Salameh, A. Mulpur, and F. Dagher, "Two-Stage Electrical Array Reconfiguration Controllerfor PVPowered Water Pump", Vol. 4 .No. I, 4
PD. 51-56 199Q.

Luft, W., Baeton, J.R. and Conn, A.A., "Multifaceted Solar Array PerformanceDetermination, " TRW Systems Group, Redondo Beach, CA, February 1967. Solar Cel1 HandJet Propulsion Laboratory, 1976. Vol. 11, Chapter 9,

Diode Quality Constant

Boltzmann's Constant Wire-to-Water Efficiency Specific Gravity of Water (kg/m3) Flow Rate (m3/sec) Head (m) [111

[ 121

M. Wolf and H.Rauschenbach, Advanced Energy Conversion, yol. 3. 1963


Ziyad M. Salameh (S-78, M-82, SM-88) was bom in Aqraba, Jordan on May 4, 1944. He received his B.S. in voltaic Power Source to Water Pumping System ," Electrical Engineeringfrom Moscow Energ.v, V01.32, pp. 489-498, 1984. Power Engineering Institute, USSR, in J. A. Roger,"Theory of Direct Coupling Between DC 1974 and his M.S. and Ph.D from the Motors and Photovoltaic Solar Arrays," solarEnerpv, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in Vol. 23, pp. 193-198,1979. 1980 and 1982, respectively. Ziyad Salameh taught at Yarmouk University, in Irbid Jordan, from 1982 to 1985. Since 1985 he has C.F.Gay,"Performance Advantages Two-Axis Tracking been with the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of for Large Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Energy Systems", Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts, where he is presently an Associate . . ,sal enth IEEE Photovoltaic Professor. He is a member of IEEE Power Engineering, Industry UCalifornia, 1982. . Applications and Power Electronics Societies. His areas of interest are power electronics, solid-state electrical drive systems, D. M. Moshov, " The Advantages of Sun Tracking for photovoltaic and wind energy conversion systems and modeling of ,Vol. 19, pp. Planar Silicon Solar Cells," Solar electrical machines. 91-97, 1077.

Y.R. Hsiao, B.A Blevens, "Direct Coupling of photo-

B. Lynch, Z. Salameh, "High Precision ElectroOptically ControlledDual Axis Sun Tracker"European Photovoltaic Solar Energv Conferencg,Italy, May 9-13, 1988. R. W. Matlin, P.W. Sarles, A. Rangarajan,S. Reyes, "PV Water Pumping With Reciprocating Volumetric .. Pump," Fifteenth IEEE P h o t o v o m Confereu, pp. 1386-1391, 1981.
Z. Salameh, D. Talor, "Step-up Maximum Power Point Tracker for Photovoltaic Arrays,"Proceedingsof the Annual Meeting of the American Solar E n e w Societv Confereu, MIT, June 20-24, pp. 409-414,1988.

Fouad Dagher (S-85) was born in Lebanon on April 20,1962. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Lowell, Lowell, Masschusetts in 1987. He is currently working on his Masters degree at the University of Lowell. His areas of interest are power electronics, photovoltaic energy conversion systems and telecommunications.

Z. Salameh, F. Dagher, W. Lynch, "Step Down Maximum Power Point Tracker for Photovoltaic eSystems," Proceedings of the Annual Me ,4meriw Solar -n E e Denver, Colorado& June 19-23, pp. 243-248, 1989.