Special Issue "PV Tracking Systems"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Catalin Alexandru
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Product Design, Mechatronics and Environment, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov 500036, Romania
Interests: photovoltaic systems; sun tracking mechanisms; virtual prototyping of mechanical and mechatronic systems; automotive engineering (suspension, steering, and others)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For several years, we have all noticed the dramatic climate change, mainly due to the effects of pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Exhaustion of fossil energy resources also represents a major problem that humankind faces. Research in the field of renewable energy systems is a worldwide priority, because these green power “plants” can provide long-term environmentally-friendly solutions. Sun is the most important source of renewable energy, either directly or indirectly. Increasing the energy efficiency of solar energy conversion devices (in electrical or thermal energy) is a continuing concern and challenge for contemporary research. Paraphrasing an old Maori proverb, Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you, the thematic of this Special Issue can be rendered in the following form: Turn photovoltaic (PV) modules to the sun and the shadows fall behind it, thus improving the energy efficiency of the PV system by increasing the rate of incoming incident solar radiation.

Thus, to further spread the methods, developments, and technologies related to PV tracking systems, this Special Issue of Energies (which is a peer-reviewed open access journal published by MDPI, and indexed by many databases, such as Web of Science/Clarivate Analytics—2018 IF = 2.707) aims to be an open platform destined to establish and share knowledge about solar trackers from all over the world. This collection of original and innovative works intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art, but also with the modern trends in the field. We especially encourage high quality papers addressing both theoretical and experimental studies (with mutual validation of the results), and which address comparative analyzes between different tracking modes. Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

I am writing to invite you to submit your original work to this Special Issue. I look forward to receiving your outstanding research.

Prof. Dr. Catalin Alexandru
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • PV tracking systems
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Optimization
  • Testing
  • Control strategies
  • Innovative solutions

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Maximum Power Point Tracking Method Based on a Modified Grasshopper Algorithm Combined with Incremental Conductance
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4329; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174329 - 20 Aug 2020
Abstract
The partial shading of photovoltaic (PV) modules due to clouds or blocking objects, such as buildings or tree leaves, is a common problem for photovoltaic systems. To address this, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is implemented to find the global maximum power point [...] Read more.
The partial shading of photovoltaic (PV) modules due to clouds or blocking objects, such as buildings or tree leaves, is a common problem for photovoltaic systems. To address this, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is implemented to find the global maximum power point (GMPP). In this paper, a new hybrid MPPT is proposed that combines a modified grasshopper optimization algorithm (GOA) with incremental conductance (IC). In the first stage, the proposed modified GOA is implemented to find a suitable tracking area where the GMPP is located. Then the system moves to the second stage by implementing IC to get the correct GMPP. IC is a fast-performing and reliable algorithm. By combining GOA and IC, the proposed method can find the GMPP accurately with a short tracking time. Various experimental results show that the proposed method yields the highest tracking efficiency and lowest tracking time compared to some of the state-of-the-art MPPT algorithms, such as particle swarm and modified firefly optimizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PV Tracking Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Solar Position Calculation Methods Applied to Horizontal Single-Axis Solar Trackers on Energy Generation
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3826; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153826 - 25 Jul 2020
Abstract
Photovoltaic systems have been explored as a solution to meet the growing demand for electricity from a clean and renewable source. However, the low energy conversion efficiency of photovoltaic panels is one of the critical factors that hinder the competitiveness of this energy [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic systems have been explored as a solution to meet the growing demand for electricity from a clean and renewable source. However, the low energy conversion efficiency of photovoltaic panels is one of the critical factors that hinder the competitiveness of this energy source concerning the others. An effective way to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic systems is by using solar trackers. The tracking strategy most used in photovoltaic plants employs algorithms to calculate the Sun position. This work presents energy generation estimation applying six algorithms in horizontal single-axis solar tracking: the Solar Position Algorithm (SPA) and Grena 1–5 algorithms. The aim is to evaluate the influence of these algorithms on energy generation. For all simulated locations, comparing to an ideal scenario, the SPA presented the best energy generation results. However, the other algorithms showed negligible differences between themselves, which allows us to conclude that any of the algorithms can be used without implying significant energy losses. Thus, Grena 1–2 can be highlighted for easier implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PV Tracking Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Wireless Sliding MPPT Control of Photovoltaic Systems in Distributed Generation Systems
Energies 2019, 12(17), 3226; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12173226 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
The aim of a photovoltaic (PV) system’s control is the extraction of the maximum power even if the irradiance, the temperature, or the parameters vary. To do that, a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm is required. In this work, a sliding control [...] Read more.
The aim of a photovoltaic (PV) system’s control is the extraction of the maximum power even if the irradiance, the temperature, or the parameters vary. To do that, a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm is required. In this work, a sliding control is designed to regulate the PV modules’ output voltage and make the panel work at the maximum power voltage. This control is selected to improve the robustness, the transient dynamic response, and the time response of the system under changeable environmental conditions, adjusting the duty cycle of the DC/DC converter. The DC/DC converter connected to the PV module output is a buck-boost converter. This configuration presents the advantage of providing voltages lower or higher than supplied by the photovoltaic modules to provide the required voltage to the load (including the voltages ceded by telecommunication loads, amongst others). In addition, a remote sliding control is developed to make the global supervision of the PV system in distributed generation grids. The designed algorithm is tested in an experimental platform, both locally and remotely connected to the base station, to prove the effectiveness of the sliding control. Thus, the communication effect in the control is also analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PV Tracking Systems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Solar Photovoltaic Tracking Systems for Electricity Generation: A Review
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4224; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164224 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper presents a thorough review of state-of-the-art research and literature in the field of photovoltaic tracking systems for the production of electrical energy. A review of the literature is performed mainly for the field of solar photovoltaic tracking systems, which gives this [...] Read more.
This paper presents a thorough review of state-of-the-art research and literature in the field of photovoltaic tracking systems for the production of electrical energy. A review of the literature is performed mainly for the field of solar photovoltaic tracking systems, which gives this paper the necessary foundation. Solar systems can be roughly divided into three fields: the generation of thermal energy (solar collectors), the generation of electrical energy (photovoltaic systems), and the generation of electrical energy/thermal energy (hybrid systems). The development of photovoltaic systems began in the mid-19th century, followed shortly by research in the field of tracking systems. With the development of tracking systems, different types of tracking systems, drives, designs, and tracking strategies were also defined. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of photovoltaic tracking systems, as well as the latest studies that have been done in recent years. The review will be supplemented with a factual presentation of the tracking systems used at the Institute of Energy Technology of the University of Maribor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PV Tracking Systems)
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