Date of Graduation

12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Zhao, Yue

Reader

Albers, David

Abstract

This thesis demonstrates the ability to model and simulate the operation of Maximum Power Point Tracking, MPPT. Moreover, the MPPT technology is contextualized within the confines of the Solar Splash competition to provide the foundation for future model development and simulation for optimal competition performance. MatLab Simulink was used to model the solar panel's operation. A MPPT algorithm was written using the perturb and observe method and was implemented in the model using a buck DC to DC converter. The performance of the model with hardware in the loop using Typhoon and dSPACE, which demonstrated how the actual hardware would operate in real time. The results showed that in Simulink, an idealized environment, the MPPT operates as expected. However, hardware simulation revealed inaccuracies of MPPT at lower irradiance values. For all cases, the driving force for changes in power is the value of irradiance.

Keywords

MPPT, Solar Splash, PV Array, Solar Panel

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