Articles written in Sadhana
Volume 42 Issue 8 August 2017 pp 1377-1387
Starting-up of photovoltaic (PV) inverters involves pre-charging of the input dc bus capacitance. Ideally, direct pre-charging of this capacitance from the PV modules is possible as the PV modules are current limited. Practically, the parasitic elements of the system such as the PV module capacitance, effective wire inductance and resistance determine the start-up transient. The start-up transient is also affected by the contactor connecting the PV modules to the inverter input dc bus. In this work, the start-up current and voltages are measured experimentally for different parallel and series connections of the PV modules. These measurements are used to estimate the stray elements, namely the PV module capacitance, effective inductance and resistance.The estimation is based on a linear small-signal model of the start-up conditions. The effect of different connections of the PV modules and the effect of varying irradiation on the scaling of the values of the stray elements are quantified. The System model is further refined by inclusion of connecting cable capacitance and contactor resistance. Dynamics of the resulting fifth-order model are seen to be consistent with those of the simplified third-order model. The analysis of this paper can be used to estimate the expected peak inrush current in PV inverters. It can also be used to arrive at a detailed modelling of PV modules to evaluate the transient behaviour.