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Keywords:

  • photovoltaic emulator;
  • photovoltaic simulator;
  • MPPT testing;
  • photovoltaic inverter

ABSTRACT

In testing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms running on electronic power converters for photovoltaic (PV) applications, either a PV energy source (PV module or PV array) or a PV emulator is required. With a PV emulator, it is possible to control the testing conditions with accuracy so that it is the preferred option. The PV source is modeled as a current source; thus, the emulator has to work as a current source dependent on its output voltage. The proposed emulator is a buck converter with an average current mode control loop, which allows testing the static and dynamic performance of PV facilities up to 3 kW. To validate the concept, the emulator is used to evaluate the MPPT algorithm of a 230-W experimental microinverter working from a single PV module. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.