PV Array Fault Diagnosis

Why we need PV array fault diagnosis?

Photovoltaic (PV) systems provide a promising solution to directly utilizing solar energy and are currently gaining in popularity as the technologies are mature and the material costs are driven down. However, current bottlenecks are still associated with high costs and low efficiency of PV systems. In addition to capital costs, the maintenance costs for PV panels are also high because they are generally installed in outdoor environments and they are prone to various mechanical and electrical faults. These faults can result in additional power losses, hotspots, different irradiances between PV modules. In turn, these lead to loss of production and reduced generation efficiency. If left untreated, the faults may propagate to neighbouring modules and cause a complete failure of the PV strings. As a result, the reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM) of PVs have been a heated topic in research and application community over the last three decades.

What are the challenges for PV array fault diagnosis?

  • The electrical and thermal characteristics of fault PV array;
  • For small scale PV array, how to design low cost and online fault diagnosis method with optimized voltage sensor locations
  • How to achieve fault diagnosis for large scale PV array?

How are these challenges being addressed by SISER researchers?


University of Strathclyde power electronics and motor drive (PEMD) group has strong knowledge in PV array fault diagnosis. They investigate the PV array electrical and thermal characteristics under fault condition. They build a parameter based model to linkage the thermal characteristics and electrical characteristics. By this model, the temperature distribution can be illustrated. For small scale PV array, they develop a fault diagnosis strategy, in which string current sensors are removed and the number of voltage sensors is also reduced by optimizing the location of voltage sensors; an online two-section fault diagnosis method is developed to locate faulty PV modules; and the state of health information from this work can be also used for the MPPT and PV array dynamical reconfiguration. For large scale PV array, the thermal camera is employed to diagnostic the fault PV array. The driver behind the IR image degeneration has been studied. Two main factors have been identified to be the cause of this phenomenon, namely the variation of atmospheric transmission and directional emissivity. A temperature recovery method has been proposed to recover the real temperature from the degenerated image.


SISER researchers with interest in this area are: Dr Yihua Hu, Prof. Steve Finney, Dr Derrick Holliday


Full details of all SISER researchers are found on the SISER People Page.

Publications

  1. Yihua Hu, Hao Chen, Ruidong Xu and Xiaoshu Zan. PV module characteristics effected by shadow problem. Diangong Jishu Xuebao(Transactions of China Electrotechnical Society) 26(1), 2011.
    BibTeX

    @article{hu2011pv,
    	title = "PV module characteristics effected by shadow problem",
    	author = "Hu, Yihua and Chen, Hao and Xu, Ruidong and Zan, Xiaoshu",
    	journal = "Diangong Jishu Xuebao(Transactions of China Electrotechnical Society)",
    	volume = 26,
    	number = 1,
    	year = 2011,
    	publisher = "Chinese Machine Press,| a 1 Nanjie Baiwanzhuang| c Beijing| z 100037| e tesail. machineinfo. gov. cn| u http://www. eage. com. cn"
    }
    
  2. Yihua Hu, Wenping Cao, Jiande Wu, Gui Yun Tian, Stephen Finney, James Kirtley and others. Online Two-Section PV Array Fault Diagnosis with Optimized Voltage Sensor Locations. , 2015.
    BibTeX

    @article{hu2015online,
    	title = "Online Two-Section PV Array Fault Diagnosis with Optimized Voltage Sensor Locations",
    	author = "Hu, Yihua and Cao, Wenping and Wu, Jiande and Tian, Gui Yun and Finney, Stephen and Kirtley, James and others",
    	year = 2015,
    	publisher = "IEEE"
    }
    
  3. Yihua Hu, Wenping Cao, Stephen J Finney, Weidong Xiao, Fengge Zhang and Sean F McLoone. New Modular Structure DC–DC Converter Without Electrolytic Capacitors for Renewable Energy Applications. Sustainable Energy, IEEE Transactions on 5(4):1184–1192, 2014.
    BibTeX

    @article{hu2014new,
    	title = "New Modular Structure DC--DC Converter Without Electrolytic Capacitors for Renewable Energy Applications",
    	author = "Hu, Yihua and Cao, Wenping and Finney, Stephen J and Xiao, Weidong and Zhang, Fengge and McLoone, Sean F",
    	journal = "Sustainable Energy, IEEE Transactions on",
    	volume = 5,
    	number = 4,
    	pages = "1184--1192",
    	year = 2014,
    	publisher = "IEEE"
    }
    
  4. Peng Li, Grain Philip Adam, Yihua Hu, Derrick Holliday and Barry W Williams. Three-Phase AC-Side Voltage-Doubling High Power Density Voltage Source Converter With Intrinsic Buck–Boost Cell and Common-Mode Voltage Suppression. Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on 30(9):5284–5298, 2015.
    BibTeX

    @article{li2015three,
    	title = "Three-Phase AC-Side Voltage-Doubling High Power Density Voltage Source Converter With Intrinsic Buck--Boost Cell and Common-Mode Voltage Suppression",
    	author = "Li, Peng and Adam, Grain Philip and Hu, Yihua and Holliday, Derrick and Williams, Barry W",
    	journal = "Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on",
    	volume = 30,
    	number = 9,
    	pages = "5284--5298",
    	year = 2015,
    	publisher = "IEEE"
    }
    
  5. Hu Yihua Chen Hao Xu Ruidong and Zan Xiaoshu. PV Module Characteristics Effected by Shadow Problem [J]. Transactions of China Electrotechnical Society 1:022, 2011.
    BibTeX

    @article{ruidong2011pv,
    	title = "PV Module Characteristics Effected by Shadow Problem [J]",
    	author = "Ruidong, Hu Yihua Chen Hao Xu and Xiaoshu, Zan",
    	journal = "Transactions of China Electrotechnical Society",
    	volume = 1,
    	pages = 022,
    	year = 2011
    }
    
  6. Yihua Hu, Yan Deng, Jiangtao Long and Xiaoxun Lu. High step-up passive absorption circuit used in non-isolated high step-up converter. Power Electronics, IET 7(8):1945–1953, 2014.
    BibTeX

    @article{hu2014high,
    	title = "High step-up passive absorption circuit used in non-isolated high step-up converter",
    	author = "Hu, Yihua and Deng, Yan and Long, Jiangtao and Lu, Xiaoxun",
    	journal = "Power Electronics, IET",
    	volume = 7,
    	number = 8,
    	pages = "1945--1953",
    	year = 2014,
    	publisher = "IET"
    }
    
  7. Yihua Hu, Weidong Xiao, Wenping Cao, Bing Ji and John D Morrow. Three-Port DC–DC Converter for Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems. Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on 30(6):3068–3076, 2015.
    BibTeX

    @article{hu2015three,
    	title = "Three-Port DC--DC Converter for Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems",
    	author = "Hu, Yihua and Xiao, Weidong and Cao, Wenping and Ji, Bing and Morrow, D John",
    	journal = "Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on",
    	volume = 30,
    	number = 6,
    	pages = "3068--3076",
    	year = 2015,
    	publisher = "IEEE"
    }