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This work develops a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm for optimizing solar array performance that is robust to rapidly varying weather conditions. In particular, a novel extremum seeking (ES) controller, which utilizes the inverter ripple, is designed and tested on a simulated array with grid-tied inverter. The new algorithm is benchmarked against the perturb and observe (PO) method using irradiance data gathered on a rooftop array experiment in Princeton, NJ. The extremum seeking controller achieves an efficiency of 99.7% and transient rise to the MPP of 1 seconds, which is 100 times faster than perturb and observe.
Date of Conference: 7-12 June 2009