Integrated system of solar simulator, photovoltaic panel, and single sensor load voltage maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
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The work reported herein describes the design, analysis, and construction of a 50-W integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar simulator apparatus. It consists of 100-W PV panel, dc-dc converter, maximum power-point tracker, and an artificial light source from four 400-W metal halide light bulbs. The primary function of the apparatus is to simulate a wide range of solar irradiance profiles. Its accuracy is determined by the relative similarity to a given solar irradiance profile. This work begins by reviewing state of the art solar simulators. It covers the type of solar simulators, sources of artificial light, and the configuration and components of simulator. The review is the starting point for conceiving a preliminary simulator design. A computer simulation using Matlab/Simulink is then used to refine the integrated system. Based on this simulation, the complete integrated system is constructed and then validated. Component-level validations are performed by evaluating inputs and outputs of each component. The system-level validations are done by simulating actual solar irradiance profiles obtained from field measurements and comparing the PV power output profiles to the corresponding irradiance profiles.