Maximum power point tracking for PV systems under partial shading conditions using current sweeping

K. M. Tsang, Wai Lok Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Partial shading on photovoltaic (PV) arrays causes multiple peaks on the output power-voltage characteristic curve and local searching technique such as perturb and observe (P&O) method could easily fail in searching for the global maximum. Moreover, existing global searching techniques are still not very satisfactory in terms of speed and implementation complexity. In this paper, a fast global maximum power point (MPPT) tracking method which is using current sweeping for photovoltaic arrays under partial shading conditions is proposed. Unlike conventional approach, the proposed method is current based rather than voltage based. The initial maximum power point will be derived based on a current sweeping test and the maximum power point can be enhanced by a finer local search. The speed of the global search is mainly governed by the apparent time constant of the PV array and the generation of a fast current sweeping test. The fast current sweeping test can easily be realized by a DC/DC boost converter with a very fast current control loop. Experimental results are included to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed global searching scheme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015


  • Maximum power point tracking
  • Partial shading conditions
  • Photovoltaic system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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