Converter rating analysis for photovoltaic differential power processing systems

Katherine A. Kim, Pradeep S. Shenoy, Philip T. Krein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6945409
Pages (from-to)1987-1997
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Dc power optimization
  • Differential power processing (DPP)
  • Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Solar cell degradation
  • Solar cell variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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