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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

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 Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Improved performance low-cost incremental conductance PV MPPT technique

Zakzouk, Nahla E. and Elsaharty, Mohamed A. and Abdelsalam, Ahmed K. and Helal, Ahmed A. and Williams, Barry W. (2016) Improved performance low-cost incremental conductance PV MPPT technique. IET Renewable Power Generation, 10 (4). pp. 561-574. ISSN 1752-1416

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Variable-step incremental conductance (Inc.Cond.) technique, for photovoltaic (PV) maximum power point tracking, has merits of good tracking accuracy and fast convergence speed. Yet, it lacks simplicity in its implementation due to the mathematical division computations involved in its algorithm structure. Furthermore, the conventional variable step-size, based on the division of the PV module power change by the PV voltage change, encounters steadystate power oscillations and dynamic problems especially under sudden environmental changes. In this study, an enhancement is introduced to Inc.Cond. algorithm in order to entirely eliminate the division calculations involved in its structure. Hence, algorithm implementation complexity is minimised enabling the utilisation of low-cost microcontrollers to cut down system cost. Moreover, the required real processing time is reduced, thus sampling rate can be improved to fasten system response during sudden changes. Regarding the applied step-size, a modified variable-step size, which depends solely on PV power, is proposed. The latter achieves enhanced transient performance with minimal steady-state power oscillations around the MPP even under partial shading. For proposed technique's validation, simulation work is carried out and an experimental set up is implemented in which ARDUINO Uno board, based on low-cost Atmega328 microcontroller, is employed.