Comparison of PV maximum power point

Kirby, Christopher (2015) Comparison of PV maximum power point. [USQ Project]

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Abstract

Photovoltaic technology began in 1876 with the development of the selenium solar cell, although the limited electrical energy generated was not enough to power any useful machine. Experimentation during the 1950’s with alternate materials led to the development of the first silicon based cell. The new silicon cell was selected for use in space exploration to provide a longer lasting energy supply. Modern solar panels are commonly used across the country as part of a distributed electricity supply network.

The electrical power generated by a photovoltaic solar panel will be affected by a large number of factors, ranging from light irradiance level, light angle, location, electrical load on the panels and the configuration of the connection with adjacent panels.

Simulations conducted within Matlab were used to assess the effect of various energy reduction factors when a multiple direction oriented panels are connected in common. The series connected system provided the best level of immunity for the case having unequal levels of shading. The parallel configuration performed better for each of the other cases tested, including mismatched voltage and current specifications, irradiance level, ambient temperature and only angular offset.

The efficiency of a solar panel decreases with increased cell temperature. Natural convection currents surrounding the panel assist with cooling and are increase with a larger panel tilt angle. Experimentation results indicated a linear increase in the panel efficiency of approximately 0.05% per degree tilt increase.

The optimum azimuth and tilt angles vary depending on the installation location. Data obtained using the Homer microgrid modelling package was used to identify the optimum installation angles for four locations throughout Australia. A mathematical model was developed to describe the azimuth and tilt relationship. Further modelling conducted using Homer included a second photovoltaic string. Simulations of different inverter configurations indicated the dual power point tracking provided the best efficiency for all situations. Single power point tracking and separate inverters were able to demonstrate similar efficiencies when components of the installation were matched, and panels were installed on a common orientation.

The goal of this project was to provide information which could assist designers of solar generation installations maximise the electrical energy generated over the life of the system.

The recommendations are the correct inverter selection, prioritisation of the most north facing roof surface, and setting tilt angle relative to the actual installation azimuth will deliver superior energy yields than a generalised installation approach.


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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) project
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Supervisors: Hills, Catherine
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 00:15
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 00:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Photovoltaic, Matlab, Efficiency
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090601 Circuits and Systems
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29264

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