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Simulation of PV Array with Partial Shading Effect

Simulation of PV Array with Partial Shading Effect


We'll explore how to handle partial shading in photovoltaic (PV) systems using MATLAB. Partial shading occurs when some sections of a solar panel receive less sunlight due to obstructions like trees or buildings. This can lead to inefficiencies and even damage to the panels if not managed properly. We'll focus on connecting multiple PV panels in parallel-series configuration, implementing bypass diodes, and simulating the effects of partial shading.

1. Understanding Partial Shading and Bypass Diodes

Partial shading can occur due to obstructions casting shadows on PV panels. This can result in reduced power output and hotspots on shaded cells. Bypass diodes are used to mitigate these effects by allowing current to bypass shaded cells, preventing overheating and increasing overall system efficiency.

2. Setting Up the Simulation Environment

  • Create a new Simulink model in MATLAB.

  • Add PV panels, diodes, constant blocks, current and voltage measurements, controlled voltage sources, and a ramp input for voltage variation.

3. Configuring PV Panels and Diodes

  • Configure PV panels in parallel-series connection to mimic real-world setups.

  • Add bypass diodes to each panel to handle partial shading scenarios effectively.

4. Implementing the Simulation Logic

  • Use constant blocks to set radiation and temperature values.

  • Vary the terminal voltage using a ramp input to simulate changing environmental conditions.

  • Measure current, voltage, and power of the PV array using appropriate blocks.

  • Connect controlled voltage sources to observe terminal voltages.

5. Simulating Partial Shading Effects

  • Run the simulation to observe the effects of partial shading on the PV array.

  • Analyze the voltage, current, and power output under different shading scenarios.

  • Observe the behavior of bypass diodes in mitigating shading effects and preventing hotspots.

6. Optimizing Simulation Parameters

  • Adjust simulation parameters such as slope and duration to match real-world conditions.

  • Fine-tune the model to achieve accurate results and optimize system performance.


In conclusion, this tutorial demonstrates how to simulate and analyze the effects of partial shading on photovoltaic systems using MATLAB. By accurately modeling the behavior of PV panels and incorporating bypass diodes, users can better understand and optimize system performance under varying environmental conditions. With the insights gained from this simulation, engineers can design more robust and efficient solar energy systems capable of handling partial shading scenarios effectively.

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