Power conversion in concentrating photovoltaic systems: Central, string, and micro-inverters

Yong Sin Kim, Roland Winston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems coupled with various inverter configurations are modeled, compared, and tested. Because CPV systems use optics to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient PV cells, the systems are affected not only by mismatches in the I-V characteristics among individual PV cells but also by the electro-optical mismatches of each concentrator. The best way to minimize power losses by these mismatches is having higher quality controls in aligning at the time of manufacturing and installation. To mitigate the power losses when mismatches are present, electrical components can be considered at the expense of additional cost. The developed models for central, string, and micro-inverters allow an accurate estimation of power losses in CPV systems and can be used to find an optimum solution for various power conversion schemes on the basis of the given mismatch conditions. Simulation results show that a CPV system with micro-inverters outperforms a CPV system with conventional inverters. Experimental test results under normal operation validate that power losses in a CPV system can be reduced by more than 5% by using the micro-inverter scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-992
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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