Small-size PV cells have been used to power sensor nodes. These devices present limited computing resources and so low complexity methods have been used in order to extract the maximum power from the PV cells. Among them, the fractional open circuit voltage (FOCV) method has been widely proposed, where the maximum power point of the PV cell is estimated from a fraction of its open circuit voltage. Here, we show a generalization of the FOCV method that keeps its inherent simplicity and improves the tracking efficiency. First, a single-diode model for PV cells was used to compute the tracking efficiency versus irradiance. Computations were carried out for different values of the parameters involved in the PV cell model. The proposed approach clearly outperformed the FOCV method, specially at low irradiance, which is significant for powering sensor nodes. Experimental tests performed with a 500mW PV panel agreed with these results.
CitationPenella, M.; Gasulla, M. A simple and efficient MPPT method for low-power PV cells. "International journal of photoenergy", 01 Gener 2014, vol. 2014, p. 1-7.
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