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A novel technique for efficiently extracting maximum power from photovoltaic (PV) panels is presented. The power conversion stage, which is connected between a PV panel and a load or bus, is a SEPIC or Cuk converter or their derived circuits operating in discontinuous inductor-current or capacitor-voltage mode. A method of locating the maximum power point (MPP) is based on injecting a small-signal sinusoidal perturbation into the switching frequency and comparing the AC component and the average value of the panel terminal voltage. Apart from not requiring any sophisticated digital computation of the panel power, the proposed technique does not approximate the panel characteristics and can globally locate the MPP under wide insolation conditions. The tracking capability has been verified experimentally with a 10 W solar panel under a controlled experimental setup. Performances under the steady state and in the large-signal change of the insolation level will are given.