Title page for ETD etd-01122011-021740

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kang, Byung O
Author's Email Address bokang@vt.edu
URN etd-01122011-021740
Title Maximum Power Point Tracking Using Kalman Filter for Photovoltaic System
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lindner, Douglas K. Committee Chair
Baumann, William T. Committee Member
Ha, Dong Sam Committee Member
  • Maximum power point tracking
  • Kalman filter
  • Photovoltaic system
Date of Defense 2010-12-10
Availability unrestricted
This thesis proposes a new maximum power point tracking (MPPT) method for photovoltaic (PV) systems using Kalman filter. The Perturbation & Observation (P&O) method is widely used due to its easy implementation and simplicity. The P&O usually requires a dithering scheme to reduce noise effects, but the dithering scheme slows the tracking response time. Tracking speed is the most important factor for improving efficiency under frequent environmental change.

The proposed method is based on the Kalman filter. An adaptive MPPT algorithm which uses an instantaneous power slope has introduced, but process and sensor noises disturb its estimations. Thus, applying the Kalman filter to the adaptive algorithm is able to reduce tracking failures by the noises. It also keeps fast tracking performance of the adaptive algorithm, so that enables using the Kalman filter to generate more powers under rapid weather changes than using the P&O.

For simulations, a PV system is introduced with a 30kW array and MPPT controller designs using the Kalman filter and P&O. Simulation results are provided the comparison of the proposed method and the P&O on transient response for sudden system restart and irradiation changes in different noise levels. The simulations are also performed using real irradiance data for two entire days, one day is smooth irradiance changes and the other day is severe irradiance changes. The proposed method has showed the better performance when the irradiance is severely fluctuating than the P&O while the two methods have showed the similar performances on the smooth irradiance changes.

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