Photovoltaic array fault detection by automatic reconfiguration

Dong Ji, Cai Zhang, Mingsong Lv, Ye Ma, Nan Guan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Photovoltaic (PV) system output electricity is related to PV cells' conditions, with the PV faults decreasing the efficiency of the PV system and even causing a possible source of fire. In industrial production, PV fault detection is typically laborious manual work. In this paper, we present a method that can automatically detect PV faults. Based on the observation that different faults will have different impacts on a PV system, we propose a method that systematically and iteratively reconfigures the PV array until the faults are located based on the specific current-voltage (I-V) curve of the (sub-)array. Our method can detect several main types of faults including open-circuit faults, mismatch faults, short circuit faults, etc. We evaluate our methods by Matlab/Simulink-based simulation. The results show that the proposed methods can accurately detect and classify the different faults occurring in a PV system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number699
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Fault detection
  • I-V curve
  • Photovoltaic
  • Reconfiguration
  • TCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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