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Reconfigurable Topologies for Smarter PV Modules: Simulation, Evaluation and Implementation
P. Bauwens, J. Govaerts, M. Baka, F. Catthoor, K. Baert, G. Van den Broeck, H. Goverde, D. Anagnostos, J. Doutreloigne, J. Poortmans
PV System, Shading, Energy Performance, Configurable Topology
New Materials and Concepts for Solar Cells and Modules
Subtopic: New Materials and Concepts for Modules
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 1BO.12.6
61 - 65
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-1BO.12.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, presentation


In a reconfigurable PV panel, the connections between groups of cells (cell-strings) can be rearranged in order to increase the overall power output under non-uniform conditions. In a traditional PV panel, current mismatch between the series-connected cells (due to irradiation differences of differential aging) limits the generated power output by either reducing the overall current or by bypassing the substring containing the limiting cells. A reconfigurable panel can respond to such a situation by changing the connections to a more favorable configuration, allowing the majority of the cells to operate at their MPP. This paper elaborates on such a topology and its components (high current switches, wiring). To get a clearer picture of the added value of such a reconfigurable panel, a detailed energy yield analysis was performed which includes the performance of those added components. The simulation model used for this analysis is calibrated with extensive measurement results. A comparison of that model and corresponding measurements will be discussed. The analysis shows that a reconfigurable PV panel can outperform the traditional panels when suboptimal conditions are predominant, as encountered for instance in BIPV. As a demonstration of the principle, a small-scale prototype was created and will be presented in this paper.