Solar photovoltaic (PV) power is a widely used to supply power to the electric grid but can also be used in lower-power emerging applications, like in wearables or the internet of things. One fundamental challenge of using PV power in flexible wearable applications is that individual PV modules point at various angles, thus receiving different light intensities. Using a series configuration for the PV modules greatly decreases power utilization under uneven irradiance conditions. Parallel differential power processing (DPP) converters are employed to address this power reduction problem, while maintaining individual PV control and maximizing output power. Two parallel DPP configurations, with and without a front-end converter, are analyzed and compared for a target battery-charging application. The DPP system without a front-end converter shows consistently high performance and operates properly over a wider range of lighting conditions. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms are also examined for parallel DPP systems. When the MPPT parameters are properly calibrated, simulation results indicate that voltage-offset resistive control is the most effective at maximizing PV power under unbalanced lighting conditions.
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