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Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms control power-electronic circuits employed in photovoltaic (PV) - energy systems to maximize the energy harvested over all ambient conditions. Irrespective of algorithm utilized, there are likely to be operating conditions under which MPPT can not be realized. This phenomenon is explored in the context of a boost converter and a generalized dc load. Experimental and simulation results demonstrate the infeasibility of MPPT when loads violate limits that are derived from the operational constraints of the boost converter.