Solar Energy, Vol.169, 401-410, 2018
Performance comparison of a two PV module experimental setup using a modified MPPT algorithm under real outdoor conditions
The importance of Photovoltaic (PV) systems as a sustainable energy resource is widely recognized. The real maximum power point (MPP) is the most crucial parameter that must be considered to assure that maximum power is harvested from the PV module at all operating points. To this end, several PV testing systems and MPP tracker algorithms have been developed to find the real MPP. Issues related to the comparison of maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms, evaluation, and comparison of PV testing system performances are the repeatability and reproducibility of testing conditions such as solar irradiation and PV module temperature. In this work, a flexible, low-cost testing system for PV applications is presented, and two identical PV modules have been compared at the same environmental conditions. A model-based (MB) MPPT algorithm, previously developed by the authors of this study, has been used. The MB algorithm has been evaluated and its efficiency is reported as 99.65%. The experimental test has been carried out and the performance of the developed architecture is validated, and two PV modules have been compared in real-time. It has been shown that the generated energy percentage difference between two identical PV modules is 0.6%. It is also worth mentioning that the proposed testing system is capable of hosting, evaluating and comparing four different MPPT algorithms, four PV modules and a combination of them.