Submodule integrated distributed maximum power point tracking for solar photovoltaic applications

Robert C.N. Pilawa-Podgurski, David J. Perreault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the benefits of distributed power electronics in solar photovoltaic applications through the use of submodule integrated maximum power point trackers (MPPT). We propose a system architecture that provides a substantial increase in captured energy during partial shading conditions, while at the same time enabling significant overall cost reductions. This is achieved through direct integration of miniature MPPT power converters into existing junction boxes. We describe the design and implementation of a high-efficiency (>98%) synchronous buck MPPT converter, along with digital control techniques that ensure both local and global maximum power extraction. Through detailed experimental measurements under real-world conditions, we verify the increase in energy capture and quantify the benefits of the architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2957-2967
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 11 2013


  • DC-DC power converters
  • Energy harvesting
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Power integrated circuits
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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