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Multi-Phase Smart Converter for PV System

Fig. 1. Fig. 1. Proposed multi-phase smart converter: (a) 2-phase smart converter; (b) 4-phase smart converter.
Recent research, and industrial accomplishment has revealed the advantages of a cascaded, smart converter, Photovoltaic (PV) system over a traditional centralized and string PV system. However, a smart converter normally has a higher cost than the central-level or string-level MPPT PV system due to the fact that each smart converter needs an individual MPPT controller, voltage and current sensors. In order to solve this problem, a multi-phase smart converter with a single controller is proposed in this paper. By comparing to a traditional smart converter, the proposed solution can largely reduce cost by saving MPPT controllers, current and voltage sensors without sacrificing energy production. The effectiveness of the proposed structure is verified by both simulation and hardware testing. The proposed multi-phase smart converter also can be extended to work on a subpanel-level and string-level multi-phase PV converters.

Fig. 2. Fig. 2. Concept of time sharing MPPT control for a 4-phase smart converter.