Evaluation of Grid-Connected PV Converter Power Module Technologies in Terms of Efficiency, Initial Cost, and Return on Investment Time

Oztoprak, Oguzhan
Hava, Ahmet Masum
The voltage source converter (VSC) of the grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems is the most technological component in a PV system and contributes to 5-15% of the whole investment. As the cost and energy efficiency of a VSC are two factors that determine the total system economics, the system total cost of ownership (TCO) should be optimized during the VSC design. This paper provides a design methodology for grid connected VSCs considering TCO, the return on investment (ROI) and payback period (PP) as the basic criterion for optimization. In the design, since power electronics is entering the wide-bandgap device technology age, higher efficiency and faster wide bandgap devices are also weighed along with the silicon IGBT (Si-IGBT) technology. In the paper, the power module, passives (LCL filter) and heatsink are designed and compared with the conventional design as reference. The comparative and progressive design study of a 1-MW PV power plant with 30-kW string PV converters demonstrates the advantages of design with wide bandgap devices. The investigation is conveyed via theory, analytical methods, and experiments.


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In this thesis, as compared to silicon IGBT (Si-IGBT) technology, the advantages of using higher efficiency and faster wide bandgap silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor switches in low voltage three-phase grid-tied PWM DC/AC voltage source converters (VSCs) are investigated in terms of sizing, efficiency and economic considerations for MW-scale photovoltaic power plant applications. As the cost and energy efficiency of a VSC strongly affect the total system economics, this thesis proposes a design methodolog...
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Output power generated by a photovoltaic array is prone to fluctuations during utilization due to varying solar irradiance exposure throughout the day and changes in cell temperature; therefore, maximum power point tracking is essential for overall system efficiency. For this purpose, DC-DC Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) Converters are used in photovoltaic systems connected to the grid in order to extract the available power. SiC semiconductors are favorable new devices that enable greater power convers...
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The four-quadrant operation ability of photovoltaic (PV) inverters makes them promising candidates for reactive power compensation in low voltage systems. In this paper, utilization of PV inverters instead of conventional reactive power compensation units is evaluated. The use of PV inverters for reactive power compensation as well as active power supplying is investigated considering a real life system. The considered system suffers from low capacitive power factor due to the connected online UPS system. T...
Citation Formats
O. Oztoprak and A. M. Hava, “Evaluation of Grid-Connected PV Converter Power Module Technologies in Terms of Efficiency, Initial Cost, and Return on Investment Time,” 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/42150.