Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Electrical Engineering


Alan Mantooth

Committee Member

Yue Zhao

Second Committee Member

Juan Carlos Balda

Third Committee Member

David Huitink


Photovoltaic generation system, Grid-tied solar energy system


In the photovoltaic (PV) generation system, two types of grid-tied inverter systems are usually deployed: the single-stage grid-tied inverter system and the two-stage grid-tied inverter system. In the single-stage grid-tied inverter system, the input of the inverter is directly connected to the PV arrays, while an additional dc-dc stage is inserted between the PV arrays and the dc-ac inverter in the two-stage design. The additional dc-dc stage could provide a stable dc-link voltage to the inverter, which also enables new design possibilities, including the multi-MPPT operation and solar-plus-storage application. Thus, the two-stage grid-tied inverter has been widely used in the PV generation system.As the core component of the PV generation system, the reliability of the grid-tied inverter determines the overall robustness of the system. The two-stage grid-tied inverter system includes three parts: the dc-dc stage, dc-link capacitor, and dc-ac inverter. Thus, the reliability of the two-stage grid-tied inverter relies on the reliability of each part. The dc-dc stage is used to provide a stable dc-link voltage to the inverter. However, when the inverter stage provides constant power to the grid, the load of the dc-dc stage becomes the constant power load (CPL), which will deteriorate the stability of the dc-dc stage. The dc-link capacitor is used to attenuate the voltage ripple on the dc-link and balance the transient power mismatch between the dc-dc stage and the dc-ac stage. However, during the operation of the inverter system, the degradation of the capacitor will reduce the converter reliability, and even result in system failure. The inverter stage is connected to the grid through the output filter, and the LCL type filter has been commonly used due to its superior performance. The resonance of the LCL filter must be properly damped to enhance the inverter stability. However, the grid-side impedance will lead to the resonant frequency drifting of the LCL filter, which will worsen the stability margin of the inverter. Thus, the control design of the two-stage grid-tied inverter system must consider those reliability challenges. In this work, three control algorithms are proposed to solve the reliability challenges. For the dc-dc stage, an uncertainty and disturbance estimator (UDE) based robust voltage control scheme is proposed. The proposed voltage control scheme can actively estimate and compensate for the disturbance of the dc-dc stage. Both the disturbance rejection performance and the stability margin of the dc-dc stage, especially under the CPL, could be enhanced. For the dc-link capacitor, a high-frequency (HF) signal injection based capacitance estimation scheme is proposed. The proposed estimation scheme can monitor the actual dc-link capacitance in real-time. For the inverter stage, an adaptive extremum seeking control (AESC) based LCL filter resonant frequency estimation scheme is proposed. The AESC-based estimation scheme can estimate the resonant frequency of the LCL filter online. All the proposed reliability enhancing control algorithms could enhance the reliability of the two-stage grid-tied inverter system. Detailed theoretical analysis, simulation studies, and comprehensive experimental studies have been performed to validate the effectiveness.