Power Electronics and Control Techniques for Maximum Energy Harvesting in Photovoltaic Systems
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Power Electronics and Control Techniques for Maximum Energy Harvesting in Photovoltaic Systems

Photovoltaic (PV) systems produce a significant amount of the electrical energy used around the world. PV technology will be capable of offering a great deal of support in the future to the rate of growth of advanced economies as well as developing countries. The incentives provided at a first stage by the European governments have resulted in the rapid growth of the PV market and an increase in the number and quality of products offered by industry.

PV modules by many producers are now commercially available, and a number of power electronic systems have been put on the market for processing the electric power produced by PV systems, especially for gridconnected applications. The scientific literature concerning PV applications has been characterized by a strong quantitative and qualitative growth in the past decade. A huge number of papers have been written and continue to be published in many journals, and there are many high-impact scientific journals specifically devoted to PV systems. A significant number of scientific papers are dedicated to control of the PV source.

A simple search on the Reuters Thomson website reveals that at the end of May 2012, about 600 papers include maximum power point tracking (MPPT) among their keywords. Many authors have contributed to the scientific field of circuits and systems, ensuring the best operation of the photovoltaic generator, but a reference in this field is still lacking. Some books that assess the most significant improvements concerning the connection of PV systems to the grid have been published recently.

The most recent advances in this field and the various solutions offered to researchers as a starting point for their activities and to the industries for developing new products are overviewed. The aim of this book is to fill the gap in the field of control circuits, systems, and techniques dedicated to the maximization of the electrical power produced by a PV source. In the first part of the book, an overview of the methods allowing a PV array working in uniform and mismatched conditions to be modeled is given.

Next, the ways in which the best MPPT performances can be achieved are discussed. The design of the parameters affecting the algorithm performances is treated. The maximization of the energy harvested in mismatched conditions is then discussed, in terms of both power architecture and control algorithms. Last, the design of the DC/ DC converter, which usually performs the MPPT function, is discussed, with special emphasis on its energy efficiency. This first edition of the book is the result of ten years of activity in the field of PV systems.

In this period, some of the points that have been investigated in detail, with many relevant scientific and applicative results, were raised from discussions with a number of persons. Researchers and friends from academia, who are acknowledged for these fruitful discussions, and industry design experts, from whom we received encouragement to continue our studies, have had a significant role in helping us to write this book. We also acknowledge out mentor, Professor Emeritus Luigi Egiziano, who trusted in us and supported our research initiatives and academic growth. 

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