Dithering Digital Ripple Correlation Control for Photovoltaic Maximum Power Point Tracking

Christopher Barth, Robert C.N. Pilawa-Podgurski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study demonstrates a new method for rapid and precise maximum power point tracking in photovoltaic (PV) applications using dithered PWM control. Constraints imposed by efficiency, cost, and component size limit the available PWM resolution of a power converter, and may in turn limit the MPP tracking efficiency of the PV system. In these scenarios, PWM dithering can be used to improve average PWM resolution. In this study, we present a control technique that uses ripple correlation control (RCC) on the dithering ripple, thereby achieving simultaneous fast tracking speed and high tracking accuracy. Moreover, the proposed method solves some of the practical challenges that have to date limited the effectiveness of RCC in solar PV applications. We present a theoretical derivation of the principles behind dithering digital ripple correlation control, as well as experimental results that show excellent tracking speed and accuracy with basic hardware requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6898827
Pages (from-to)4548-4559
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2015


  • Digital control of photovoltaics
  • digital ripple correlation control (DRCC)
  • energy harvesting
  • maximum power point trackers
  • photovoltaic cells
  • ripple correlation control (RCC)
  • ripple-based control
  • solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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