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Conceptual Design of Solar Power System

Denis Karabetsky Victor Sineglazov

Aviation Computer-Integrated Complexes Department Aviation Computer-Integrated Complexes Department
National Aviation University National Aviation University
Kyiv, Ukraine Kyiv, Ukraine
karabetsky@gmail.com svm@nau.edu.ua

Abstract—Each solar powered device that is based on solar As additional requirements to solar power system could
cells requires energy system, which contains typical set of be: cost minimization and integration flexibility.
subsystems which should be implemented in software and
hardware to achieve efficient power management. This paper
will structure general design of solar power system that could
be modular and applied to many different types of devices and Structure of solar power system consists of three main
applications. blocks: conversion, accumulator and provision. Each block
used only for particular independent application (Fig. 1).
Keywords—design, solar power, Simulink, maximum power
point tracking, solar powered system, energy management,
system architecture

Today, solar power plants, which are based on
photovoltaic modules, spread around the world each day
more and more and increasing itself share in world’s
electricity generation. There are many factors why it is
happening, but the main reasons are: to save our planet
environment and reduce its degradation, to have new source
of clean power or have a source of additional power. That’s
why we are trying to build solar power plants that could
assist us in energy needs of our houses, solar aircrafts that
could fly much longer even continuously day-by-day, for
helping us in many aspects of our life and applications.
The main thing that unites every solar powered device is
solar power system. That could be independently described
and formalized with almost universal, modularized structure
for every use.
This paper will concentrate on two aspects: specification
of universal structure and analysis of the solar power system
by describing models and the application of maximum power
extraction technique.


The main objectives of solar power system, from one side Fig. 1. Structure of Solar Power System.
is extraction of energy or, to be more clear, conversion of
energy from the sun light to the electrical energy and from Energy conversion block, represents subsystem of energy
opposite side of the system is providing available energy to conversion from the sunlight to electrical energy and power
consumers. Such type of conversion at the system is done by subsystem which could provide internal power line for solar
photovoltaic cells that are grouped to modules. power system. This block structurally consists of Solar
Modules that are used for sunlight/energy conversion and of
Those objectives create some restrictions that could be DC/DC Converter that used for DC level stabilization and
added as requirements to the system. providing single DC power line for the system.
For the conversion part main requirement is maximizing Energy provision block, represents subsystems that could
conversion efficiency that could be achieved by increasing be used for connection to loads of different types. DC Load
solar module efficiency, by using, for example, newer could be connected directly if DC level is met, AC load
technological PV cells and by adding additional maximum could be only connected through special DC/AC Converter
power point tracking block, which could find best possible or Inverter that should be syncronized with grid phase or just
power point in real time to harvest energy. with voltage level in only home usage.
For provision part requirements are: power availability Energy accumulator block, which represents energy
(could be guaranteed by adding accumulating subsystem), storage system, that also could be used for additional power
power stability and quality (reaction to change of load over delivery. This block contains bidirectional dc/dc converter
time, integrity with international power standards). named charge/power management controller, it provides

c 2018 IEEE
978-1-5386-5870-3/18/$31.00 275
abilities to manage power flow throught it and balance The maximum panel power at the operating point can be
charge of the battery bank by charging them when we have represented in the form of power at the points V and I MPP ,
excess power or discharge to supply required level of power which are located on the I-V curve:


First and main subsystem of solar power system is solar
modules. Mostly, they are build as array of PV cells, that Since the power maximum is one extremum of the power
used for photovoltaic conversion. Today, we have a lot of curve, the condition (according to Fermat's theorem) must be
types of PV cells, with efficiency from 5% for thin-film and satisfied for it:
upto 21–23% for monocrystaline cells. They have different
price tag, that could impact on our need for total energy that dP
 0.
we can extract from the solar array. This paper will not dV
concentrate on discussion about solar cells and types of
modules, we will take it as constant parameter for our Due to the fact that maximum point can move on the
system. But with one remark, that this type of semiconductor power curve at different times and system operations, due to
device has not linear C-V characteristic. And this, creates temperature dependencies, illumination level, for its real-
additional requirements on how we will use it later at the time search, MPPT algorithms must be applied, which could
system. handle any maner of conditions change. More detailed
The output power of any solar panel depends on many analysis is made at [1].
parameters. They can be divided into two main groups: 1. The energy accumulator is one of the modules of the
primary, which affect the volt-ampere characteristic of solar power system, its lies on the fact that it provides the
photocells, as environmental conditions, such as: the level of possibility of accumulating free energy that was not used by
solar radiation, temperature of solar panels; 2. secondary, the load, or in the formation of reserves for the users in need
which directly affect the output power, such as the of operation.
characteristics of the connected load.
Scenarios of the use can have different load
For example, with an increase in the level of solar characteristics, such as:
radiation, the output power and current of the solar panels
will grow linearly, but with the simultaneous increase in the  load power exceeds the limits of the power generation
temperature of the solar panels, the output power will fall. capacity of the grid;
DC/DC converter is a electromechanical device that used  load is less than the power generation limit;
for changing voltage level from one to another and should
utilize the power source for conversion as much as posible  load power is not constant, it can both exceed, so be
with maximum efficiency. On the market, we have many less than the power limit, at a different time.
designed topologies for coverters, like: buck or step-down, For each scenario, the energy store can perform an
boost or step-up, buck-boost and boost-buck or SEPIC etc. auxiliary function to provide load characteristics.
Example of power schematic of SEPIC topology shown at
Fig. 2. Each of those topologies have its own pros and cons In the first case, if the load is exceeded, the energy store,
and decision which one should be used have to be based on in the presence of reserves, can provide part or all of its
use-case of solar power system. To obtain an accurate and energy to the power bus, providing a temporary increase in
well-regulated output voltage that does not respond to load maximum power. This mode, will allow for a certain time
changes and changes in input voltage, feedback loop is interval, increase the output power.
always used in DC/DC power converters. There could be In the second case, with insufficient load power, a free
different techniquest to implement it as: voltage mode energy is generated in the power bus, which can not be used
control, current mode control and hysteresis mode control. at the moment. At the same time, it can be argued that solar
And DC/DC Converter is a place where maximum power panels, which are in fact an energy generator, do not work at
point tracking (MPPT) subsystem is used. Maximum power full capacity. In order to utilize the maximum power, the
point tracking is a techniques which is used at PV sysmtes to remaining energy can be accumulated. This will ensure the
maximize power extraction under any condition. This is most efficient operation of the plant during working hours,
required because of non linear C-V characteristic of PV cells when the solar panels are the main generator of energy.
and possible to implement because we can control DC/DC In the third case, with fluctuating load power. In this
converter by providing optimal switching signal. mode of operation, the energy storage device can act as a
power bus stabilizer to provide sufficient power. This
approach is a combination of the first and second modes of
Considering these three modes of use, it is possible to
single out the problems that are possible with the operation
of the solar power system with the energy storage module:
 utilization of energy, when the generation power
Fig. 2. Example schematic of SEPIC DC/DC converter. exceeds the power of the load;

276 2018 IEEE 5th International Conference on Methods and Systems of Navigation and Motion Control (MSNMC)
 support for output power, with oscillations in Centralized inverter with DC microconverter per string.
generation power, as a result of temporary power In this topology (Fig. 5), each solar panel line has its own
outage by the consumer (peak loads), as well as microconverter, which includes both MPPT and DC-DC
unexpected changes in environmental conditions or converter. Further, the outputs of each of the DC
work at night. microcontrollers are connected to a centralized inverter.
Inverter is a device designed to convert a DC to AC. In For this topology, both advantages and disadvantages of
the context of the solar power system is one of the key topologies considered above are inherent. A unique
modules in cases of connecting an AC load and perform the advantage is the use of MPPT, which allows you to work at
function of energy conversion from both solar panels and the point of maximum power of each of the lines of solar
from storage batteries. panels.
Conversion of DC to AC inverter is achieved due to
various control techniques and inverter execution circuits.
The main performance indicators of inverters are such
characteristics as: efficiency, overload capacity, load power
factor, load cross-factor and the quality of the output voltage
There are various topologies for the placement of solar
cells, converters and inverters in the systems of solar power
system [2].
Centralized inverter. When using this layout, one main or
central inverter is used, which is connected to the main DC
power line. In turn, solar panels are organized so as to
provide an acceptable working voltage for the selected Fig. 5. Centralized inverter with microconverters per string topology.
inverter, which will form the voltage on the power line,
without the use of intermediate DC converters. An example Microinvertor topology. This topology (Fig. 6) is the next
of the circuit diagram is shown in Fig. 3. Most often it is step of microconvertor topology with the use of an integrated
used in systems with high. microinvertor.
Includes the main advantages of all three previous
topologies, from the unique properties of this topology can
be identified: the possibility of solar modules with different
characteristics; high fault tolerance.
Drawbacks: expensive solution; not suitable for high AC.

Fig. 3. Centralized inverter topology.

Pros: cheap to implement. Cons: loss of energy due to

lack of MPPT, due to differencies of solar modules
characteristics; if inverter fault then system will stop
providing power.
Inverter per string. This topology implies the separation
of an array of solar panels into parallel lines of solar panels Fig. 6. Microinverter topology.
or strings, with connection of independent inverter. They are
used in low power systems and shown on Fig. 4.
Pros: higher fault tolerance of the system, because there
In order to create simulation environment, we should
is no central inverter; differencies in solar modules has less
define models of the each functional block.
impact because of many string.
Solar cells could be described in terms of equivalent
circuit; there are many types of models that was used in
literature to describe it. The most popular one which
provides balance between simplicity and efficiency is single
diode model (SDM). Its equivalent circuit is shown on
Fig. 7.
Mathematically this equivalent circuit of Single Diode
Model could be written as:

Fig. 4. String inverter topology.

2018 IEEE 5th International Conference on Methods and Systems of Navigation and Motion Control (MSNMC) 277
  qV  
I PV  I ph  I rs  exp  PV   1 ,
  kTA  

where q is the electron charge; k is the Boltzmann’s constant;

A is a p-n junction factor constant; T is a cell temperature;
Irs is the reverse saturation current of the cell.
Simulation model is shown at Fig. 8.
Charge power management controller could be
Fig. 7. Cell equivalent circuit (Single Diode Model): I and V are the
implemented as bidirectional DC/DC converts. Selected current and voltage of cell and IL is the cell generated photocurrent; ID is the
design topology is buck-boot. Model shown at Fig. 9 and current of p-n junction; RSH is the intrinsic shunt and RS is a series resistances
simulation model of charge/power management controller of solar cell.
shown at Fig. 10.

Fig. 8. Simulation model of Single Diode Model.

Fig. 9. Simulation model of SEPIC converter.

At this paper whole solar power system was analyzed,
with target of providing most possible modular solution for
any type of application, from solar power plant and solar
powered aircraft up to simplest solar chargers.

[1] N. A. Kamarzaman and C. W. Tan, “A comprehensive review of
maximum power point tracking algorithms,” Renewable and
Sustainable Energy Review, no. 37, pp. 585–598, 2014.
[2] M. S. Agany, “DC-DC Converter Topology Assessment for Large
Scale Distributed Photovoltaic Plant Architectures,” GE Global
Research Center, NY, USA, 2011, pp. 764–769.

Fig. 10. Simulation model of charge/power management controller.

278 2018 IEEE 5th International Conference on Methods and Systems of Navigation and Motion Control (MSNMC)