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For the performance test of photovoltaic (PV) generation systems, actual system apparatuses: a solar panel, converter system, and load facilities should be installed. It is also hardly possible to compare a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) control scheme with others under the same weather and load conditions in an actual PV generation system. One of the possible alternatives is to realize a transient simulation scheme for PV generation systems under real weather conditions of insolation and surface temperature of solar cell. The authors propose a novel real-time simulation method for PV generation systems under real weather conditions using a real-time digital simulator (RTDS). V--I curves of a real PV panel are tested using electric load device, and a hypothetical network of the tested PV panel is created on the RTDS by arranging electrical components from the customized component model libraries. The real weather conditions, insolation, and temperature of the PV panel, are interfaced through the analog input ports of the RTDS for real-time simulation. The outcomes of the simulation demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed simulation technique, and also show that cost-effective verification of availability and stability of PV generation systems is possible using the built-in simulator.
Date of Publication: March 2004