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Energies 2018, 11(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11010250

Improvement of Shade Resilience in Photovoltaic Modules Using Buck Converters in a Smart Module Architecture

Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PV System Design and Performance)
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Abstract

Partial shading has a nonlinear effect on the performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules. Different methods of optimizing energy harvesting under partial shading conditions have been suggested to mitigate this issue. In this paper, a smart PV module architecture is proposed for improvement of shade resilience in a PV module consisting of 60 silicon solar cells, which compensates the current drops caused by partial shading. The architecture consists of groups of series-connected solar cells in parallel to a DC-DC buck converter. The number of cell groups is optimized with respect to cell and converter specifications using a least-squares support vector machine method. A generic model is developed to simulate the behavior of the smart architecture under different shading patterns, using high time resolution irradiance data. In this research the shading patterns are a combination of random and pole shadows. To investigate the shade resilience, results for the smart architecture are compared with an ideal module, and also ordinary series and parallel connected architectures. Although the annual yield for the smart architecture is 79.5% of the yield of an ideal module, we show that the smart architecture outperforms a standard series connected module by 47%, and a parallel architecture by 13.4%. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoltaics; modules; shade resilience; buck converter; module architecture photovoltaics; modules; shade resilience; buck converter; module architecture
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Mirbagheri Golroodbari, S.Z.; de Waal, A.C.; van Sark, W.G.J.H.M. Improvement of Shade Resilience in Photovoltaic Modules Using Buck Converters in a Smart Module Architecture. Energies 2018, 11, 250.

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