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Solar Panel Parameterization Validation

This example shows how to model a solar panel using information from a manufacturer datasheet. The data is imported and used to generate current-voltage and power-voltage curves for the solar panel. The power-voltage curve is useful for designing an inverter because it helps to identify the peak power for a given irradiance level and panel cell temperature


Solar Panel Subsystem

The Solar Panel subsystem models a solar panel that contains parallel-connected strings of series-connected solar cells. The solar cell strings are modeled by a single Solar Cell block from the Simscape™ Electrical™ library. The number of parallel strings is defined by the workspace variable Np_cell and the number series-connected cells in each string is defined by workspace variable Ns_cell.

Connecting multiple solar cell strings in parallel can slow simulation because it increases the number of elements in a model. To avoid a reduction in performance, a controlled-current source scales up the current to the fulfill the demand of the requisite number of parallel paths. The current source is modeled by a Current-Controlled Current Source block from the Simscape™ Foundation Library.

The implicit assumptions are that:

  • All of the solar cells are identical.

  • Temperature and irradiance levels are the same for each cell.

Simulation Results

The plot shows current and power as a function of voltage for various irradiance and cell temperatures. The table shows the peak power values extracted from the plot. If the datasheet includes a plot like this, then it can be used to validate correct parameterization of the Solar Cell block.

Maximum power operating points
    PanelIrradiance    CellTemperature    MaximumCurrent    MaximumVoltage    MaximumPower
    _______________    _______________    ______________    ______________    ____________

          200                25               1.5067             27.11           40.847   
          500                25               3.7887            29.066           110.12   
         1000                25               7.6059            30.557           232.41   
          200                50               1.4954             23.88           35.712   
          500                50               3.7665            25.992           97.899   
         1000                50               7.5762            27.576           208.92   

Results from Real-Time Simulation

This example has been tested on a Speedgoat Performance real-time target machine with an Intel® 3.5 GHz i7 multi-core CPU. This model can run in real time with a step size of 30 microseconds.