Automated Solar PV Simulation System Supported by DC–DC Power Converters

Armando Cordeiro, Miguel Chaves, Paulo Gâmboa, Filipe Barata, Pedro Fonte, Hélio Lopes, Vítor Fernão Pires, Daniel Foito, Tito G. Amaral, João Francisco Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


Solar photovoltaic simulators are valuable tools for the design and evaluation of several components of photovoltaic systems. They can also be used for several purposes, such as educational objectives regarding operation principles, control strategies, efficiency, maintenance, and other aspects. This paper presents an automated solar photovoltaic simulation system with the capability to generate automated tests considering different parameters of solar photovoltaic panels and different operation conditions. The proposed simulator is composed of three buck-boost DC–DC power converters controlled in such a way that will behave similarly to solar photovoltaic panels. It allows to introduce additional variable loads and maximum power point tracker algorithms similar to real systems. Some converters are controlled by a DSP microcontroller connected to a single programmable logic controller which generates the automated tests. Thus, using the presented solution, it is possible to implement the I-V and P-V characteristic curves of solar photovoltaic panels and evaluate different maximum power point tracker algorithms considering different meteorological conditions and load variations, being a useful tool to teach subjects related to renewable energy sources and related applications. Several simulation results using Matlab/Simulink and experimental results are presented to validate the operation of the proposed solution. Experimental results achieve a ripple between 2% and 5% of the desired average current in MPP conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Number of pages30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • buck-boost DC–DC converter
  • programmable logic controller
  • PV simulator
  • SCADA system
  • sliding mode controller


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