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Modular generation system, which consists of modular power conditioning converters, is an effective solution to integrate renewable energy sources with conventional utility grid to improve reliability and efficiency, especially for photovoltaic generation. A distributed control strategy based on improved dc bus signaling is proposed for a modular photovoltaic (PV) generation system with battery energy storage elements. In this paper, the modular PV generation system is composed of three modular dc/dc converters for PV arrays, two grid-connected dc/ac converters, and one dc/dc converter for battery charging/discharging and local loads, which is available of either grid-connected operation or islanding operation. By using the proposed control strategy, the operations of a modular PV generation system are categorized into four modes: islanding with battery discharging, grid-connected rectification, grid-connected inversion, and islanding with constant voltage (CV) generation. The power balance of the system under extreme conditions such as the islanding operation with a full-charged battery is taken into account in this control strategy. The dc bus voltage level is employed as an information carrier to distinguish different modes and determine mode switching. Control methods of modular dc/dc converters, battery converter, and grid-connected converter are addressed. An autonomous control method for modular dc/dc converters is proposed to realize smooth switching between CV operation and maximum power point tracking operation, which enables the dc bus voltage regulation capability of modular dc/dc converters. Seamless switching of a battery converter between charging and discharging and that of a grid-connected converter between rectification and inversion are ensured by the proposed control methods. Experiments verify the practical feasibility and the effectiveness of the proposed control strategies.