Methodology for Analysis of Thermal Behavior of Inverters for Photovoltaic Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
G. A. Rampinelli

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC),
Campus Araranguá,
Araranguá-SC, 88905-355, Brazil
e-mail: giuliano.rampinelli@ufsc.br

A. Krenzinger

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS),
Solar Energy Laboratory,
Porto Alegre, 90040-060, Brazil
e-mail: arno.krenzinger@ufrgs.br

A. J. Bühler

Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (IFRS),
Campus Farroupilha,
Cinquentenario, Farroupilha-RS 95180-000, Brazil
e-mail: ajbuhler@gmail.com

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received October 22, 2015; final manuscript received September 29, 2016; published online November 17, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Carlos F. M. Coimbra.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(2), 025501 (Nov 17, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1349; doi: 10.1115/1.4034973 History: Received October 22, 2015; Revised September 29, 2016

The amount and quality of the energy converted by a photovoltaic system connected to the grid can be evaluated by experimental monitoring or computer simulation. The Solar Energy Laboratory at UFRGS developed a simulation software for analysis of grid connected photovoltaic systems (FVCONECT). In order to perform a reliable simulation, it is required for the implementation of suitable mathematical models that describe the behavior of each system component. The inverter is the equipment responsible for converting DC to AC. The manufacturers provide some technical parameters for the inverters. However, electrical and thermal characteristics require mathematical models which coefficients must be obtained from specific tests. This work presents a methodology for analysis of thermal behavior of inverters. Such analysis requires experimental determination of two thermal coefficients. Energy losses due to inverters overheating can be calculated through the proposed methodology, providing a more accurate simulation of a determined photovoltaic (PV) system. The proposed methodology has been tested in several inverters, providing good results.

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Fig. 1

Inverter operating temperature without overheating

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Fig. 2

Inverter operating temperature with overheating

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Fig. 3

Energy balance applied to a PV inverter

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Fig. 4

Inverter heating curve from the moment when the inverter is connected to the grid

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Fig. 5

Thermal equilibrium curve of an inverter with forced ventilation

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Fig. 6

Inverter cooling curve from the time when the inverter is disconnected from the grid

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Fig. 7

Comparison between the experimental and simulated temperature of the inverter

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Fig. 8

Simulated AC power using FVConect software

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Fig. 9

Simulated DC voltage using FVConect software




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