Photovoltaic panels have a non-linear current-voltage characteristics to produce the maximum power at only one point called the maximum power point. In the case of the uniform illumination a single solar panel shows only one maximum power, which is also the global maximum power point. In the case an irregularly illuminated photovoltaic panel many local maxima on the power-voltage curve can be observed and only one of them is the global maximum. The proposed algorithm detects whether a solar panel is in the uniform insolation conditions. Then an appropriate strategy of tracking the maximum power point is taken using a decision algorithm. The proposed method is simulated in the environment created by the authors, which allows to stimulate photovoltaic panels in real conditions of lighting, temperature and shading.
A single photovoltaic panel under uniform illumination has only one global maximum power point, but the same panel in irregularly illuminated conditions can have more maxima on its power-voltage curve. The irregularly illuminated conditions in most cases are results of partial shading. In the work a single short pulse of load is used to extract information about partial shading. This information can be useful and can help to make some improvements in existing MPPT algorithms. In the paper the intrinsic capacitance of a photovoltaic system is used to retrieve occurrence of partial shading.