November 2011:- Magna-Power Electronics, a leader in high power programmable DC power supplies, offering solar array simulation software Photovoltaic Power Profile Emulation (PPPE). The PPPE software enables any Magna-Power Electronics power supply, from 2 kW to 1000 kW+, to emulate the power profile characteristics of solar array and vary these characteristics over time as a function of temperature and sunlight. With voltages up to 4000 Vdc and systems designed for central inverters into the multi-megawatts, Magna-Power Electronics offers the broadest line of solar array emulation products in the industry.

Solar Power Simulation Software from Magna-Power ElectronicsThe Photovoltaic Power Profile Emulation (PPPE) software automatically calculates solar array voltage and current profiles based on user-defined parameters. These profiles can be sequentially sent to a Magna-Power Electronics’ power supply, which will emulate defined characteristics. The user can define a limitless number of profiles to be emulated and sequenced over a given time period.

Design and production validation for photovoltaic connected electronics requires a photovoltaic emulating power source with flexible output characteristics. Inverters and specialized dc-dc converters employ maximum power point tracking (MPPT) control algorithms to maximize utilization of nonlinear energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines. For development and manufacturing, using photovoltaic solar arrays for validation is costly with uncontrolled source characteristics. By utilizing a power supply with user-programmable output characteristics, the user can evaluate the full range of power conditions.

Photovoltaic Modeling and Operation using PPPE Solar Simulation Software

  1. Automatic, based on solar array reference parameters: The user defines the reference parameters provided by the solar array manufacturer. The user only needs to define the new temperature and irradiance values for each profile. The rest of the parameters: maximum power point (Vmp, Imp), open circuit voltage (Voc), and short circuit current (Isc); are all calculated automatically in accordance with the EN50530 standard.
  2. Automatic, based on 4-parameters: The user defines the maximum power point (Vmp, Imp), open circuit voltage (Voc), and short circuit current (Isc). The profile is then generated based on these parameters.
  3. Manual: The user defines up to 50 current and voltage points for the power supply to emulate. The power supply performs a piecewise linear approximation between points to provide a smooth output curve.

Key Features of PPPE Solar Simulation Software

  • EN50530 Modeling: The European EN50530 standard provides a new algorithm for proper solar array modeling. PPPE 2.0 incorporates this model, furthermore allowing the selection of thin film or polycrystalline silicon parameters. Defining a curve is as simple as specifying desired open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current, and maximum power point. Alternatively, manual parameters can be entered for more customized modeling or profile importing from an external file.
  • Live Output Viewer: A new live output viewer provides six graphs of instantaneous output parameters versus time. This data allows the user to visualize fluctuations in voltage, current, and power over time.
  • Curve Interpolation: An interpolation function was added to automatically generate transitional curves. This functionality enables smooth transitions from one curve to another over a user-defined period of time.
  • Data Logging: Customizable data logging functionality was added, allowing for report generation and data analysis using external tools. Data is exported to a comma-delimited (.csv) file.
  • Command Export: Leverage the ease of profile generation in PPPE and export the generated SCPI commands for integration into a separate programming environment, such as LabVIEW/LabWindows.