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Research Papers

J. Sol. Energy Eng. 2017;140(2):021001-021001-8. doi:10.1115/1.4038591.

According to modern grid codes (GCs), high penetration of photovoltaic power plants (PVPPs) to the utility grid requires a reliable PV generation system by achieving fault ride-through (FRT) requirements. In order to meet these requirements, there are two major issues that should be addressed to keep the inverter connected during grid fault. The two issues are the ac over-current and dc-link over-voltage that may cause disconnection or damage to the grid inverter. In this paper, the control of single-stage PVPP inverters is developed to address these issues and enhance FRT capability. The proposed control scheme introduces the dc brake chopper circuit and current limiter to protect the inverter and ride through the fault smoothly with no perceptible overcompensation. A 1.5 MW PVPP connected into the Malaysian grid and modeled in simulink is utilized to explain the proposed control scheme. The simulation results presented demonstrate the effectiveness of the overall proposed control strategy to ride through different types of faults and to help to ensure the safety of the system equipment.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Sol. Energy Eng. 2017;140(2):021002-021002-10. doi:10.1115/1.4038621.

Photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) collector is a novel collector which incorporates photovoltaic power generation and low-temperature heat utilization of solar energy. In this paper, a three-dimensional (3D) physical model of flat-box PV/T collector is established in the cfd software. The effects of different tube heights, flow rates, inlet temperature, wind speed, and ambient temperature were tested. By analyzing and comparing the simulated and experimental results, the relative errors of the thermal efficiency between the simulated and experimental values are smaller than those of the electric efficiency. According to the experiment, when the water flow is 210 L/h, the average outlet temperature is 37.598 °C, and the thermal and electric efficiencies are 52.524% and 10.064%, respectively.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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