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University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Metaheuristics-based dynamic reconfiguration strategy to mitigate photovoltaic array mismatch loss due to partial shading conditions

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To meet higher power requirements, the photovoltaic (PV) modules are customarily connected in series, or in series-parallel, to serve as a single power generating unit—an assembly of interconnected PV modules is termed as a PV array. Although these configurations are conventionally employed for their simplicity, they are highly susceptible to mismatch when subjected to partial shading (PS) conditions.

To meet higher power requirements, the photovoltaic (PV) modules are customarily connected in series, or in series-parallel, to serve as a single power generating unit—an assembly of interconnected PV modules is termed as a PV array. Although these configurations are conventionally employed for their simplicity, they are highly susceptible to mismatch when subjected to partial shading (PS) conditions. The adverse effects of PS include reduced power output, development of P-V curves with multiple peaks, and formation of hotspots. In that regard, the dynamic reconfiguration of PV array is among the most interesting approaches to mitigate these issues. The general idea is to implement an intelligent reconfiguration algorithm which continuously evaluates and rearranges the interconnection between the modules to achieve optimal performance. With the advent of practical artificial intelligence algorithms and increasingly cost-effective computing power, this field is undoubtably worthy of fresh research efforts.

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