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.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Barghi Latran, M. , and Teke, A. , 2015, “ Investigation of Multilevel Multifunctional Grid Connected Inverter Topologies and Control Strategies Used in Photovoltaic Systems,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 42, pp. 361–376. [CrossRef]
Ma, T. , Yang, H. , and Lu, L. , 2014, “ Solar Photovoltaic System Modelling and Performance Prediction,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 36, pp. 304–315. [CrossRef]
Mellit, A. , Benghanem, M. , and Kalogirou, S. A. , 2007, “ Modeling and Simulation of a Stand-Alone Photovoltaic System Using an Adaptive Artificial Neural Network: Proposition for a New Sizing Procedure,” Renewable Energy, 32(2), pp. 285–313. [CrossRef]
Fialho, L. , Melício, R. , Mendes, V. M. F. , Viana, S. , Rodrigues, C. , and Estanqueiro, A. , 2014, “ A Simulation of Integrated Photovoltaic Conversion Into Electric Grid,” Sol. Energy, 110, pp. 578–594. [CrossRef]
Burger, B. , and Rüther, R. , 2006, “ Inverter Sizing of Grid Connected Photovoltaic Systems in the Light of Local Solar Resource Distribution Characteristics and Temperature,” Sol. Energy, 80(1), pp. 32–45. [CrossRef]
Alonso-Abella, M. , and Chenlo-Romero, F. , 2004, “ A Model for Energy Production Estimation of PV Grid Connected Systems Based on Energetic Losses and Experimental Data. On Site Diagnosis,” 19th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Paris, June 7–11, pp. 244–2450.
Sera, D. , Mathe, L. , Kerekes, T. , Spataru, S. V. , and Teodorescu, R. , 2013, “ On the Perturbe and Observe and Incremental Conductance MPPT Methods for PV Systems,” IEEE J. Photovoltaics, 3(3), pp. 1070–1078. [CrossRef]
Lian, K. L. , Jhang, J. H. , and Tian, I. S. , 2014, “ A Maximum Power Point Tracking Method Based on Pertub and Observe Combined With Particle Swarm Optimization,” IEEE J. Photovoltaics, 4(3), pp. 626–633. [CrossRef]
Sorensen, N. R. , Thomas, E. V. , Quintana, M. A. , Barkaszi, S. , Rosenthal, A. , Zhang, Z. , and Kurtz, S. , 2013, “ Thermal Study of Inverter Components,” IEEE J. Photovoltaics, 3(2), pp. 807–813. [CrossRef]
Pablo Sanchis, P. , López, J. , Ursúa, A. , Gubía, E. , and Marroyo, L. , 2007, “ On the Testing, Characterization, and Evaluation of PV Inverters and Dynamic MPPT Performance Under Real Varying Operating Conditions,” Prog. Photovoltaics: Res. Appl., 15(6), pp. 541–556. [CrossRef]
Salas, V. , Alonso-Abella, M. , Chenlo-Romero, F. , and Olías, E. , 2009, “ Analysis of the Maximum Power Point Tracking in the Photovoltaic Grid Inverters of 5 kW,” Renewable Energy, 34(11), pp. 2366–2372. [CrossRef]
Lalili, D. , Mellit, A. , Lourci, N. , Medjahed, B. , and Berkouk, E. M. , 2011, “ Input Output Feedback Linearization Control and Variable Step Size MPPT Algorithm of a Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Inverter,” Renewable Energy, 36(12), pp. 3282–3291. [CrossRef]
Chen, W. , Shen, H. , Shu, B. , Qin, H. , and Deng, T. , 2007, “ Evaluation of Performance of MPPT Devices in PV Systems With Storage Batteries,” Renewable Energy, 32(9), pp. 1611–1622. [CrossRef]
Decker, B. , Jahn, U. , Rindelhardt, U. , and Vaaben, W. , 1992, “ The German 1000-Roof-Photovoltaic-Programme: System Design and Energy Balance,” 11th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Montreux, Switzerland, pp. 1497–1500.
Macagnan, M. H. , and Lorenzo, E. , 1992, “ On the Optimal Size of Inverters for Grid Connected PV Systems,” 11th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Montreux, Switzerland, Oct. 12–16, pp. 1167–1170.
Mondol, J. D. , Yohanis, Y. G. , and Norton, B. , 2007, “ The Effect of Low Insolations Conditions and Inverter Oversizing on the Long-Term Performance of a Grid-Connected Photovoltaic System,” Prog. Photovoltaics: Res. Appl., 15(4), pp. 353–368. [CrossRef]
Schalkwijk, M. V. , Kil, A. J. , Weiden, T. C. J. , and Paes, P. S. , 1997, “ Undersizing of Inverters: Modeling and Monitoring Results of 15 PV/Inverter Units in Portugal and Netherlands,” 14th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Barcelona, June 30–July 4, pp. 2229–2232.
Mondol, J. D. , Yohanis, Y. G. , and Norton, B. , 2006, “ Optimal Sizing of Array and Inverter for Grid Connected Photovoltaic Systems,” Sol. Energy, 80, pp. 1517–1539.
Chen, S. , Peng, L. , Brady, D. , and Lehman, B. , 2013, “ Determining the Optimum Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Inverter Size,” Sol. Energy, 87, pp. 96–116. [CrossRef]
Notton, G. , Larazov, V. , and Stoyanov, L. , 2010, “ Optimal Sizing of a Grid-Connected PV System for Various PV Module Technologies and Inclinations, Inverter Efficiency Characteristics and Locations,” Renewable Energy, 35(2), pp. 541–554. [CrossRef]
Fanbo, H. , Zhao, Z. , and Yuan, L. , 2012, “ Impact of Inverter Configuration on Energy Cost of Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems,” Renewable Energy, 41, pp. 328–335. [CrossRef]
Luoma, J. , Kleissl, J. , and Murray, K. , 2012, “ Optimal Inverter Sizing Considering Cloud Enhancement,” Sol. Energy, 86(1), pp. 421–429. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Inverter operating temperature with overheating

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Inverter operating temperature without overheating

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Energy balance applied to a PV inverter

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Thermal equilibrium curve of an inverter with forced ventilation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Comparison between the experimental and simulated temperature of the inverter

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Simulated AC power using FVConect software

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Simulated DC voltage using FVConect software



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In