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Differential Power Processing System for the Capacitor Voltage Balancing of Cost-effective Photovoltaic Multi-level Inverters

  • Jeon, Young-Tae (Department of Electrical Engineering, Soongsil University) ;
  • Kim, Kyoung-Tak (Department of Electrical Engineering, Soongsil University) ;
  • Park, Joung-Hu (Department of Electrical Engineering, Soongsil University)
  • Received : 2016.11.30
  • Accepted : 2017.05.02
  • Published : 2017.07.20

Abstract

The Differential Power Processing (DPP) converter is a promising multi-module photovoltaic inverter architecture recently proposed for photovoltaic systems. In this paper, a DPP converter architecture, in which each PV-panel has its own DPP converter in shunt, performs distributed maximum power point tracking (DMPPT) control. It maintains a high energy conversion efficiency, even under partial shading conditions. The system architecture only deals with the power differences among the PV panels, which reduces the power capacity of the converters. Therefore, the DPP systems can easily overcome the conventional disadvantages of PCS such as centralized, string, and module integrated converter (MIC) topologies. Among the various types of the DPP systems, the feed-forward method has been selected for both its voltage balancing and power transfer to a modified H-bridge inverter that needs charge balancing of the input capacitors. The modified H-bridge multi-level inverter had some advantages such as a low part count and cost competitiveness when compared to conventional multi-level inverters. Therefore, it is frequently used in photovoltaic (PV) power conditioning system (PCS). However, its simplified switching network draws input current asymmetrically. Therefore, input capacitors in series suffer from a problem due to a charge imbalance. This paper validates the operating principle and feasibility of the proposed topology through the simulation and experimental results. They show that the input-capacitor voltages maintain the voltage balance with the PV MPPT control operating with a 140-W hardware prototype.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP)

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