Novel intelligent control techniques in solar-based energy harvesting systems
Eid, Mahmoud Mohamed
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The sun is considered a precious source of energy. Much research has been done to increase our usage from solar energy since it is a renewable source and, most importantly, it is free and green. However in order to use solar panels "photovoltaic", it is important that we are getting the maximum power from the solar panels, which is very difficult and depends on factors such as solar intensity, temperature and the load itself. This is why Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller is necessary to ensure that maximum power is delivered to connect appliances. Many MPPT algorithms have been developed with different accuracies and limitations. In this thesis, a novel algorithm is developed, implemented and a comparison is done with other algorithms. The results from the proposed system show fast tracking algorithm with a very small error. The new algorithm has been applied to a solar-based water pump, which is a very important application. Water pumping can be implemented in different ways. If electrical energy is used for water pumping, the cost can be very high for areas, such as the rural and remote areas, where there is no conventional power grids. Solar-based water pumps offers a much needed alternative solution, which is easy to install, environmentally friendly, and needs less energy. A simple system consists of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, DC controller, DC water pump, and a very efficient DC converter. In this thesis, a triple DC-DC converter has been developed. The purpose for the triple output DC-DC converter is to provide the power needed to power up and control the DC water pump which requires different voltage levels. A complete solar photovoltaic system with our proposed MPPT algorithm and developed DC-DC converter has been implemented. Detailed simulations and analysis are provided as well as prototyping phase is successfully achieved and tested. A 10W prototype was built and experimental results are provided for the proof of concept and to show the merits of the proposed thesis work.