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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Thermography-based virtual MPPT scheme for improving PV energy efficiency under partial shading conditions

Hu, Yihua and Cao, Wenping and Wu, Jiande and Ji, Bing and Holliday, Derrick (2014) Thermography-based virtual MPPT scheme for improving PV energy efficiency under partial shading conditions. IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, 29 (11). pp. 5667-5672. ISSN 0885-8993

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Abstract

This paper proposes a new thermography-based maximum power point tracking (MPPT) scheme to address photovoltaic (PV) partial shading faults. Solar power generation utilizes a large number of PV cells connected in series and in parallel in an array, and that are physically distributed across a large field. When a PV module is faulted or partial shading occurs, the PV system sees a nonuniform distribution of generated electrical power and thermal profile, and the generation of multiple maximum power points (MPPs). If left untreated, this reduces the overall power generation and severe faults may propagate, resulting in damage to the system. In this paper, a thermal camera is employed for fault detection and a new MPPT scheme is developed to alter the operating point to match an optimized MPP. Extensive data mining is conducted on the images from the thermal camera in order to locate global MPPs. Based on this, a virtual MPPT is set out to find the global MPP. This can reduce MPPT time and be used to calculate the MPP reference voltage. Finally, the proposed methodology is experimentally implemented and validated by tests on a 600-W PV array.