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A Method to Enhance the Global Efficiency of High-Power Photovoltaic Inverters Connected in Parallel

Grupo de Sistemas Electrónicos Industriales del Departamento de Ingeniería Electrónica, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Energies 2019, 12(11), 2219; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12112219
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic and Wind Energy Conversion Systems)
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Abstract

Central inverters are usually employed in large photovoltaic farms because they offer a good compromise between costs and efficiency. However, inverters based on a single power stage have poor efficiency in the low power range, when the irradiation conditions are low. For that reason, an extended solution has been the parallel connection of several inverter modules that manage a fraction of the full power. Besides other benefits, this power architecture can improve the efficiency of the whole system by connecting or disconnecting the modules depending on the amount of managed power. In this work, a control technique is proposed that maximizes the global efficiency of this kind of systems. The developed algorithm uses a functional model of the inverters’ efficiency to decide the number of modules on stream. This model takes into account both the power that is instantaneously processed and the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) voltage that is applied to the photovoltaic field. A comparative study of several models of efficiency for photovoltaic inverters is carried out, showing that bidimensional models are the best choice for this kind of systems. The proposed algorithm has been evaluated by considering the real characteristics of commercial inverters, showing that a significant improvement of the global efficiency is obtained at the low power range in the case of sunny days. Moreover, the proposed technique dramatically improves the global efficiency in cloudy days. View Full-Text
Keywords: efficiency improvement; photovoltaic inverters; parallel inverters efficiency improvement; photovoltaic inverters; parallel inverters
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Liberos, M.; González-Medina, R.; Garcerá, G.; Figueres, E. A Method to Enhance the Global Efficiency of High-Power Photovoltaic Inverters Connected in Parallel. Energies 2019, 12, 2219.

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