Improving the efficiency of PV low-power processing circuits by selecting an optimal inductor current of the DC/DC converter
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In the context of autonomous sensors powered by small-size photovoltaic (PV) panels, this work analyses how the efficiency of DC/DC-converter-based power processing circuits can be improved by an appropriate selection of the inductor current that transfers the energy from the PV panel to a storage unit. Each component of power losses (fixed, conduction and switching losses) involved in the DC/DC converter specifically depends on the average inductor current so that there is an optimal value of this current that causes minimal losses and, hence, maximum efficiency. Such an idea has been tested experimentally using two commercial DC/DC converters whose average inductor current is adjustable. Experimental results show that the efficiency can be improved up to 12% by selecting an optimal value of that current, which is around 300-350 mA for such DC/DC converters.
CitationReverter, F.; Gasulla, M. Improving the efficiency of PV low-power processing circuits by selecting an optimal inductor current of the DC/DC converter. A: Eurosensors. "Procedia Engineering". Brescia: 2014, p. 1214-1217.