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Simulation and Comparison of Mathematical Models of PV Cells with Growing Levels of Complexity

Management and Production Technologies of Northern Aveiro—ESAN, Estrada do Cercal, 449, Santiago de Riba-Ul, 3720-509 Oliveira de Azeméis, Portugal
C-MAST—Centre for Aerospace Science and Technologies—Department of Electromechanical Engineering, University of Beira Interior, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Northumbria University Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE18ST, UK
Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(11), 2902;
Received: 24 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Energy Harvesting, Storage and Utilization)
PDF [6435 KB, uploaded 25 October 2018]


The amount of energy generated from a photovoltaic installation depends mainly on two factors—the temperature and solar irradiance. Numerous maximum power point tracking (MPPT) techniques have been developed for photovoltaic systems. The challenge is what method to employ in order to obtain optimum operating points (voltage and current) automatically at the maximum photovoltaic output power in most conditions. This paper is focused on the structural analysis of mathematical models of PV cells with growing levels of complexity. The main objective is to simulate and compare the characteristic current-voltage (I-V) and power-voltage (P-V) curves of equivalent circuits of the ideal PV cell model and, with one and with two diodes, that is, equivalent circuits with five and seven parameters. The contribution of each parameter is analyzed in the particular context of a given model and then generalized through comparison to a more complex model. In this study the numerical simulation of the models is used intensively and extensively. The approach utilized to model the equivalent circuits permits an adequate simulation of the photovoltaic array systems by considering the compromise between the complexity and accuracy. By utilizing the Newton–Raphson method the studied models are then employed through the use of Matlab/Simulink. Finally, this study concludes with an analysis and comparison of the evolution of maximum power observed in the models. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoltaic cells; maximum power point tracking; sustainable energy; mathematical models; Newton-Raphson photovoltaic cells; maximum power point tracking; sustainable energy; mathematical models; Newton-Raphson

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Manuel Godinho Rodrigues, E.; Godina, R.; Marzband, M.; Pouresmaeil, E. Simulation and Comparison of Mathematical Models of PV Cells with Growing Levels of Complexity. Energies 2018, 11, 2902.

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