Photovoltaic (PV) energy is one of the most important renewable energy sources. Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) techniques should be used in photovoltaic systems to maximize the PV panel output power by tracking continuously the maximum power point which depends on panel’s temperature and on irradiance conditions. Incremental conductance control method has been used as MPPT algorithm. The methodology is based on connecting a pulse width modulated dc/dc SEPIC converter, which is controlled by a microprocessor based unit. The SEPIC converter is one of the buck-boost converters which maintain the output voltage as constant irrespective of the solar isolation level. By adjusting the switching frequency of the converter the maximum power point has been achieved. The main difference between the method used in the proposed MPPT systems and other technique used in the past is that PV array output power is used to directly control the dc/dc converter thus reducing the complexity of the system. The resulting system has high efficiency, low cost and can be easily modified. The tracking capability has been verified experimentally with a 10 W solar panel under a controlled experimental setup. The SEPIC converter and their control strategies has been analyzed and simulated using Simulink/Matlab software.
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