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Title:Asynchronous differential power processing for true maximum power point tracking of photovoltaic sub-modules
Author(s):Hsiao, Felix Zephyr
Advisor(s):Pilawa-Podgurski, Robert C. N.
Department / Program:Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline:Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):power electronics
distributed power electronics
photovoltaics
photovoltaic systems
solar energy
maximum power point trackers
differential power processing
DC-DC converters
buck-boost converters
wide-bandgap semiconductors
Abstract:This thesis examines maximum power point tracking (MPPT) at the photovoltaic (PV) sub-module level, but in the context of large arrays. Central communication carries large overheads, and neighbor-to-neighbor communication can have long propagation times in large arrays, so a communication-less solution was explored. An MPPT algorithm that could be run asynchronously was developed, and simulations confirmed its viability. Simulated tracking efficiencies of 99.977% and above were attained at steady-state. Next, a power electronics hardware prototype was designed to implement the MPPT algorithm. A differential power processing (DPP) architecture was used to achieve high system efficiencies. The efficiency of a single DPP converter reached a peak of 94.0%. In the laboratory tests performed, an increase in PV module power of up to 29.7% was observed using the proposed method when compared to no sub-module MPPT. Additionally, a long-term measurement system for a 12-module PV array was constructed. The system provided a safe, durable, and weatherproof mounting scheme for the power electronics and related circuitry. Furthermore, the setup allowed communication with the power electronics, so sub-module data could be collected and analyzed to determine the performance of the MPPT. Possible future work includes gathering more results, revising the circuit board, and simplifying the measurement system.
Issue Date:2016-07-21
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/92676
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Felix Zephyr Hsiao
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08


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