Buck-based DMPPT emulator: a helpful experimental demonstration unit

Marco Balato, Annalisa Liccardo, Carlo Petrarca, Francesco Bonavolontà

Abstract


Distributed control strategyrepresents the most promising solution to enhance the lackluster energetic performance of mismatched PhotoVoltaic (PV) systems. Moreover, many factors that contribute to such poor performance are still to be explored. To fully understand the advantages offered by the Distributed Maximum Power Point Tracking (DMPPT) approach, the implementation of a DMPPT emulator is necessary. Based on the above needs, this paper describes the realization and use of a Buck based DMPPT emulator and shows its high flexibility and potential. The realized device is capable to emulate the output current vs. voltage (I-V) characteristics of many commercial PV modules with a dedicated Buck DC/DC converter not only in controlled atmospheric conditions but also with different currents rating of the switching devices. The system implementation is based on a commercial power supply controlled by a low-cost Arduino board. Data acquisition is performed through a low-cost current and voltage sensor by using a multichannel board by National Instruments. Experimental results confirm the validity and potential of the proposed DMPPT emulator.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21014/acta_imeko.v10i2.923