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Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) techniques are employed in photovoltaic (PV) systems to make full utilization of PV array output power which depends on solar irradiation and ambient temperature. Among all the MPPT strategies, the incremental conductance (INC) algorithm is widely used due to the high tracking accuracy at steady state and good adaptability to the rapidly changing atmospheric conditions. In this paper, a modified variable step size INC MPPT algorithm is proposed, which automatically adjusts the step size to track the PV array maximum power point. Compared with the conventional fixed step size method, the proposed approach can effectively improve the MPPT speed and accuracy simultaneously. Furthermore, it is simple and can be easily implemented in digital signal processors. A theoretical analysis and the design principle of the proposed method are provided and its feasibility is also verified by simulation and experimental results.
Date of Publication: July 2008