When photovoltaic (PV) cells are connected in series, they experience internal and external mismatch that reduces output power. Differential power processing (DPP) architectures achieve high system efficiency by processing a fraction of the total power while maintaining distributed local maximum power point operation. This paper details the computationalmethods and analysis used to determine the operation of PV-to-bus and PV-to-PV DPP architectures with rating-limited converters. Simulations for both DPP architectures are used to evaluate system performance over 25 years of operation. Based on data from field studies, a PV power coefficient of variation can be estimated as 0.086 after 25 years. An improvement figure of merit reflecting the ratio of energy produced to that delivered in a conventional system is introduced to evaluate comparative performance. Converter ratings of 15-17% for PV-to-bus and 23-33% for PV-to-PV architectures are identified as appropriate ratings for a 15-submodule system (five PV panels in series). Both DPP architectures with these ratings are shown to deliver up to 2.8% more power compared to a conventional series-string architecture based on the expected panel variation over 25 years of operation. DPP converters also outperform dc optimizers in terms of lifetime performance.
- Dc power optimization
- Differential power processing (DPP)
- Photovoltaic (PV)
- Solar cell degradation
- Solar cell variation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering