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Energies 2016, 9(11), 884; doi:10.3390/en9110884

Effects of Power Tracking Algorithms on Lifetime of Power Electronic Devices Used in Solar Systems

1
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus, 99738 Kalkanli, Guzelyurt, Mersin 10, Turkey
2
Advanced Industrial Diagnostics Research Centre, School of Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
3
Faculty of Marine Studies, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Senthilarasu Sundaram
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 19 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016

Abstract

In photovoltaic solar energy systems, power management algorithms (PMAs), usually called maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms, are widely used for extracting maximum available power at every point in time. However, tracking the maximum power has negative effects on the availability of solar energy systems. This is due, mainly, to the created disturbances and thermal stresses on the associated power electronic converters (PECs). This work investigates the effects of PMA on the lifetime consumption, thermal stresses and failures on DC-DC converters used in solar systems. Firstly theoretical analysis and modelling of photovoltaic solar systems including converter’s electro thermal characteristics were developed. Subsequently, experiments on photovoltaic solar systems were carried out using two different PMAs, namely, perturb and observe (P&O) and incremental conductance (IC). Real-time data was collected, under different operating conditions, including thermal behavior using thermal imaging camera and dSPACE. Converters’ thermal cycling was found to be approximately 3 °C higher with the IC algorithm. The steady state temperature was 52.7 °C, for the IC while it was 42.6 °C for P&O. Although IC algorithm offers more accurate power management tool, it causes more severe thermal stresses which, in this study, has led to approximately 1.4 times greater life consumption compared to P&O. View Full-Text
Keywords: availability of photovoltaic solar systems; thermal stress of boost converters; power management algorithms (PMAs) availability of photovoltaic solar systems; thermal stress of boost converters; power management algorithms (PMAs)
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Batunlu, C.; Alrweq, M.; Albarbar, A. Effects of Power Tracking Algorithms on Lifetime of Power Electronic Devices Used in Solar Systems. Energies 2016, 9, 884.

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