Research Article
CIRCUIT MODELING PROCESS FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULE
(Manuscript Title – ORIGINAL)
APPLICATION OF CIRCUIT MODEL FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM
(Manuscript Title – Revised)
Pandiarajan N ^{1}
Ramaprabha R ^{2} and Ranganath Muthu ^{3}
Address for Correspondence ^{1} Associate Professor, Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam 603110, India pandiarajann@ssn.edu.in ^{2} Associate Professor, Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam 603110, India ramaprabhasuresh@gmail.com
^{3} Professor, Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam 603110, India ranganathm@ssn.edu.in
Abstract— Circuit model of photovoltaic (PV) module is presented in this paper that can be used as a common platform for the material scientists as well as power electronic circuit designers to develop the better PV power plant. Detailed modeling procedure for the circuit model with numerical dimensions is presented using power system block set of MATLAB/ Simulink. The developed model is integrated with DCDC boost converter with closed loop control of maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm. The simulation results are validated with the experimental set up. Index Terms— Photovoltaic module, Matlab/ Simulink.
I.
INTRODUCTION
T he field of Photovoltaic (PV) has experienced a remarkable growth for past two decades in its widespread use from
standalone to utility in teractive PV systems. The best way to utilize the electric energy produced by the PV array is to deliver
it to the AC mains directly, without using battery banks [1]. A recent study in Germany, of 21 PV systems in operation for 10 years, revealed that inverters contributed for 63% of failures, modules 15% and other components 23%, with a failure occurring, on an average, every 4.5 years. [2] To reduce the failure rate of PV systems, it is necessary to reduce the failure rate of inverters and components also called the PV balance of systems (BOS) that would result in their economic viability. At present, PV BOS research use mathematical functional models for the performance analysis of newly developed systems. These developed systems could not be readily adopted by the field professionals and hence the above
difficulties arise. Hence the need for simplified Simulink modeling of PV module has been long felt. Simple circuitbased PV models have been proposed in literature [3][11]. Some authors have proposed indirect methods to adjust the I–V curve through artificial intelligence [13], [14]. Although in teresting, such methods are impractical, complicated and require high computational effort. In all the above, modeling was limited to simulation of PV module characteristics. In this paper, the design of PV system using simple circuit model with detailed circuit modeling of PV module is presented. In section II, the physical equations governing the PV module (also applicable to PV cell) is presented. Simulink model for each equation is presented with numerical results for various irradiation and temperature. The tabulation gives the relationship of module parameters with characteristics curves of PV module and hence the circuit performance. In section III, complete circuit model is evolved after due experimental verification. In Section IV, modeling of MPPT P&O algorithm is carried out using Simulink. The operation of developed circuit model with DC to DC boost converter for closed loop MPPT control was verified with simulations. Section V presents the experimental verification of simulation results. In Section VI result and discussions are presented.
II. MODELING OF PV MODULE
A. Equivalent Circuit
A PV module consists of a number of solar cells connected in series and parallel to obtain the desired voltage and current. Each solar cell is basically a p n diode. As sunlight strikes a
solar
electrical energy without any mechanical effort.
cell,
the
incident
energy
is
converted
directly
into
Fig.1
PV cell modeled as diode circuit
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TABLE 2 ELECTRICAL CHARACTERISTICS DATA OF SOLKAR 36W PV MODULE
Description 
Rating 

Rated Power 
37.08 Wp 

Voltage 
at 
Maximum power 
(V _{m}_{p} ) 
16.56 V 

Current at Maximum power ( I _{m}_{p} ) 
2.25 A 

Open circuit voltage 
( V _{O}_{C} ) 
21.24 V 

2.55 A 
Short circuit current ( I _{S}_{C}_{r} ) Total number of cells in series (N _{s} ) Total number of cells in parallel (N _{p} )
36
1
Note: The electrical specifications are under test conditions of irradiance of 1 kW/m ^{2} , spectrum of 1.5 air mass and cell temperature of 25 ºC.
_{F}_{i}_{g}_{.}_{2}_{.}
_{P}_{h}_{o}_{t}_{o}_{c}_{u}_{r}_{r}_{e}_{n}_{t}
Transmitted light is absorbed within the semiconductor, by using this light energy to excite free electrons from a low energy status to an unoccupied higher energy level. When a solar cell is illuminated, excess electron hole pairs are generated throughout the material, hence the p n junction is electrically shorted and current flows. For simplicity, the single diode model of Fig. 1 is studied in this paper [15]. This model offers a good compromise betwe en simplicity and accuracy with the basic structure consisting of a current source and a parallel diode. In Fig. 1, Iph represents the cell photocurrent while R _{s}_{h} and R _{s} are the intrinsic shunt and series resistances of the cell, respectively.
B. Equations of PV Module
PV cells are grouped in larger units called PV modules which are further interconnected in a parallelseries configuration to form PV arrays. The following are basic equations from the theory of semiconductors and photovoltaic [15] mathematically describe the IV characteristic of the photovoltaic cell and module.
Fig.3.
Module Reverse Saturation Current
C. Photo Current
In Fig.1, the module photocurrent I _{p}_{h} of the photovoltaic module depends linearly on the solar irradiation and is also influenced by the temperature according to the following equation.
I
ph
[
I
SCr
K
i
(
T
k
T
ref
)] *
/ 1000
(1)
where I _{p}_{h} [A] is the lightgenerated current at the nominal condition (25ºC and 1000W/m ^{2} ), K _{i} is the s hortcircuit current/ temperature coefficient at I _{S}_{C}_{r} (0.0017A / K), Tk and T _{r}_{e}_{f} are the actual and reference temperatures in K, λ [W/m ^{2} ] is the irradiation on the device surface, and 1000W/m ^{2} is the nominal irradiation. Detailed Simulink model of equation (1) of photocurrent I _{p}_{h} is shown in fig. 2. The value of I _{S}_{C}_{r} module short circuit current is taken from the datasheet of the reference model as given section D. I _{p}_{h} for different values of insolation and temperature is shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1 I _{P}_{h} FOR VARIOUS INSOLATIONS AND TEMPERATURES
S. 
Insol 
Value of I _{p}_{h} (A) 

No 
W/ 
25 ^{0} C 
30 ^{0} C 
40 ^{0} C 
50 ^{0} C 
90 ^{0} C 
m2 

1 
1000 
2.55 
2.559 
2.575 
2.592 
2.66 
2 
700 
1.785 
1.791 
1.803 
1.815 
1.862 
3 
500 
1.275 
1.279 
1.288 
1.296 
1.33 
4 
250 
0.6375 
0.6396 
0.6489 
0.6481 
0.6651 
5 
100 
0.255 
0.2559 
0.2576 
0.2592 
0.2661 
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D. Reference Model
Solkar make 36 W PV module is taken as the reference module for simulation and the data sheet details are given in Table 2.
Fig.4. Module Saturation Current
E. Module Reverse Saturation Current
Module
reverse saturation
equation(2) as follows.
I
rs
I
SCr
/[exp(
qV
current, I _{r}_{s} is
given
OC
/ N
S
kAT
) 1]
by
(2)
the
where q is the electron charge (1.6 × 10 ^{}^{1}^{9} C), Voc is the Solar module open circuit voltage (21.24V), N _{s} is the number of cells connected in series , k is the Boltzmann constant (1.3805×10 ^{}^{2}^{3} J/K), and A is the Ideality factor (1.6). Detailed Simulink model of equation (2) is shown in fig. 3. Module reverse saturation current varies with temperature as shown in Table 3.
TABLE 3 I _{r}_{s} FOR VARIOUS TEMPERATURES
S.No
Temperature ^{0} C
Module reverse saturation current
(A)
1
2
3
4
5
25
30
40
50
90
1.182 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 1.503 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 2.377 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 3.654 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 1.609 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{5}^{)}
F. Module Saturation Current I _{0}
The module saturation current I _{0} that varies with the cell temperature is given by,
I
0
I
rs
[
T
T
r
]
3
exp[
q
*
E
g 0
1
1
Ak
T
r
T
]
(3)
where E _{g}_{g} is the bandgap energy of the semiconducto r (Eg ≈ 1.1 eV for the polycrystalline Si at 25 ^{0} C). The equation is simulated with model shown in fig. 4. The module operating temperature, reference temperature and module reverse saturation current are taken as inputs. The module saturation current I _{0} calculated for various temperatures is given in Table 4.
TABLE 4
I _{0} FOR VARIOUS TEMPERATURES
S.No 
Temperature ^{0} C 
Module saturation current 
1 
25 
1.182 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 
2 
30 
2.456 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 
3 
40 
9.92 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{6}^{)} 
4 
50 
3.686 * 10 ^{(}^{}^{0}^{0}^{5}^{)} 
5 
90 
0.003491 
G. Module Output Current I _{P}_{V}
The basic equation that describes the current output of PV module I _{P}_{V} of the singlediode model presented in Fig.1 is given by
I
PV
N
P
*
I
ph
N
P
*
I
0
[exp
q
)
* (
V
PV
I
PV
R
s
N
S
AkT
1]
V
PV
(
I
PV
R
S
) /
R
Sh
(4)
where
connections of cells , respectively, in the given photovoltaic
N _{S} are the number of parallel and series
N _{p}
and
module ( N _{p} = 1 and N _{s} = 36), V _{P}_{V} = V _{o}_{c} =21.24V, R _{s} is
equivalent series resistance of the module and R _{s}_{h} is the equivalent parallel resistance. The current leakages, the tunnel effect, breakdown by micro plasmas, leaks along surface channels, etc are modeled as a parallel resistance. The parallel resistance has its greatest effect when the voltage is lowest, i.e. when the current passing
the
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through the diode of the equivalent circuit is very small. The effect of parallel resistance, when it is sufficiently small, is to reduce the opencircuit voltage and the fill factor [16]. The shortcircuit current is not affected by it.
Fig.5. Module Output Current I _{p}_{v}
Fig.6 Relative Efficiency Vs Irradiation for various values of R _{s}_{h} The graph between relative efficiency of PV modules and isolation for various values R _{s}_{h} is shown in fig. 6 [17]. In the graph, it can be seen that for large values R _{s}_{h} , the module efficiency at low isolation decreases by 3 to 5 percent. When Rsh is very large, we can neglect the same. In such a case the simulation values would be higher than the actual values by 3 to 5 percent at low isolation only. However there wouldn’t be any appreciable variation at normal/higher isolations. The use of simplified circuit model in this paper makes this model suitable for power electronics designers who are looking for an easy and effective model for the simulation of photovoltaic devices with power converters. The value of parallel resistance R _{s}_{h} is generally high and hence neglected to simplify the model as given in eq . (5) The series resistance R _{s} (0.1Ω) is the sum of several structural resistances of the PV module and its influence is stronger especially in maximum power point region. Equation (4) for the current output of PV module can be
modified as
I
PV
N
P
*
I
ph
N
P
*
I
0
[exp
q
* (
V
PV
I
PV
R
s
)
N
S
AkT
(5)
1]
The solution for equation (5) involves iteration and requires solving of algebraic loop in Simulink. To avoid this problem, the functional models are being used at present for modeling of PV module.
H. Algebraic Loop Problem
Algebraic loop solving is an iterative process. A successful solution results only if the algebraic loop solver converges to a definite answer. Proper care is to be taken for the feedback element to get convergence. For quicker convergence, simplification of equation is done with the exclusion of R _{s}_{h} . The iterative MATLAB/Simulink model of output current
I _{p}_{v} is shown in fig. 5.
I. I _{P}_{V} SIMULINK Model
All the above four blocks are interconnected to get I _{P}_{V} Simulink Model of PV module.
insolation, temperature and V _{P}_{V} as
inputs and calculates I _{P}_{V} . V _{P}_{V} is varied from 0 to 21.5V. I _{P}_{V}
Simulink Model is simulated with the setup shown in fig. 7.
I _{P}_{V} Simulink Model takes
Fig.7.
Simulation of I _{P}_{V} Simulink Model
Detailed discussion on simulation steps of I _{p}_{v} model for obtaining IV and PV characteristics under varying irradiation
with constant temperature and constant irradiation with varying temperature is available in [18].
J. Experimental Validation
in
The
hardware
for
v alidating
the
results
obtained
developed Simulink model is given in Fig.8.
Fig.8 Circuit for obtaining the experimental characteristics of PV module
The description of experimental circuit is as follows.
The OpAmp, the MOSFET and the resistor R _{s}_{e}_{n}_{s}_{e} are connected so that the current of the solar panel is proportional to the voltage applied to the non  inverting port of the OpAmp.
A linear MOSFET (IRF 150/IRF 460) is used. Gate  Source port of the MOSFET is driven by a low frequency triangular wave signal.
Fig. 9. Hardware set up of an Electronic load and Sample snap shot of DSO screen for VI plot
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DSO has been used and therefore repetitive trigger
signal is not required and only a slow changing ramp
signal is required to change the cu rrent from zero to
short circuit value.
The experimental characteristics smoothened by curve fitting along with characteristics of Simulink model are shown in figs. 10 & 11.
Fig. 10. Simulation & Experimental VI Characteristics at λ=1000 W/m ^{2} & T = 25 ^{0} C
Fig. 11. Simulation & Experimental PV Characteristics at λ=1000 W/m ^{2} & T = 25 ^{0} C
It can be seen from fig. 10 that the s imulated current value at λ=1000W/m ^{2} & T=25 ^{0} C is 2.55A while the experimental v alue is 2.49A, giving the percent error of 2.35. The simulated values using the developed model are higher than the experimental values by around 2% at higher insolation and hence the circuit model is having reasonable accuracy. The above graph also shows that useful voltage output varies from 12 to 19V. The maximum power point for all temperatures lies between these voltages.
III. CIRCUITORIENTED MODEL OF PV MODULE
In the equivalent circuit of a PV cell, as shown in Figure 1, the voltage available across the PV cell is nothing but the PN junction forward bias voltage of 0.6V. The open circuit voltage of the PV module is 21.24V/36 cells = 0.594V ≈ 0.6V. I _{P}_{V} Simulink model developed in section II provides the module current I _{P}_{V} . This PV current is calculated from irradiation and temperature and is the input to be used directly in circuit model.
The voltage input V _{i}_{n} for I _{P}_{V} Simulink model is fed back from the voltage output of the model [10 ]. A small resistance of 0.01Ω is added to the circuit to aid the charging of capacitor normally added to the current sources. The detailed circuit model of PV module is shown in fig.12. The circuit model of PV module is given in fig. 13.
Fig. 12 Detailed Circuit model of PV module.
Further, the forward bias voltage of the diode shown in fig.12 is taken as 19 V (as it represents the series connection of 36 PV cells) which is the higher value of useful voltage.
Fig. 13 Circuit model block of PV module.
Here, the voltage is chosen initially and singe iteration is done to arrive at the p ower equation as done in normal functional PV models and it involves algebraic loop problem as discussed in section II.
IV. DESIGN OF PV MAXIMUM POWER EXTRACTION SYSTEMS
With the variation of irradiation and temperature, the power output of PV module is varies continuously . The maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm is used for extracting the maximum power from the solar PV module and transferring that power to the load [15]. A DCDC converter (step up/ step down), as sown in fig. 13, serves the purpose of transferring maximum power from the PV module to the load and acts as an interface between the load and the module.
Fig. 13 DC – DC converter for operation at the MPP
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By changing the duty cycle of the PWM control signal, the load impedance as seen by the source varies and matches the point of the peak power with the source so as to transfer the maximum power.
A. Power Electronic Circuit
The PV modules are always used with DC to DC converters to get the maximum power point operation. The types of converters used are buck, boost and buckboost. For battery charging applications buckboost configuration is preferred where as boost converters are used for grid connected applications . DCDC boost converters are used often in PV
systems to step up the low module voltage to higher load voltages. Hence, DCDC boost converter is used for the design
of 
MPPT controller. 
B. 
Design of dcdc boost converter 
The boost converter configuration shown in fig. 14 consists 

of 
DC input voltage source V _{s} , boost indu ctor L, controlled 
switch S, diode D, filter capacitor C, and load re sistance R.
Fig. 14 Configuration of DC to DC boost converter
If the switch operates with a duty ratio D, the DC voltage gain of the boost converter is given by
M
v
V
o
^{1}
V
^{} 1
D
s
(6)
where V _{s} is input voltage, V _{0} is output voltage and D is the duty cycle of a pulse width modulation (PWM) signal used to control the MOSFET on and off states. The boost converter operates in the continuous conduction mode for inductor L >L _{b} where,
L
b
(1
D
2
)
DR
2 f
(7)
where L _{b} is the minimum value of inductance for continuous conduction. The current supplied to the output RC circuit is
discontinuous. Thus, a larger filter capacitor is required to limit the output voltage ripple. The minimum value of filter capacitor that provides the output DC current to the load when the diode
D is off is given by C _{m}_{i}_{n} . The minimum value of the filter
capacitance results in the ripple voltage V _{c} is given by
C min
DV
o
V
RF
r
(8)
Designed component values of DC to DC boost converter used for simulation are given in Table 5.
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Fig. 15. Boost converter circuit with DC supply.
Fig.16. Boost converter circuit with PV input
TABLE. 5 COMPONENT VALUES OF DC TO DC BOOST CONVERTER 
Switching 
20 KHz 
Frequency 

Description
Rating
Inductor
MOSFET
Power Diode
Capacitor
Resistive Load
120µH
IRF P460
1N5408
330µF
50Ω, 50W
C. Design of MPPT
The DC  DC converter is simulated with battery supply as shown in fig. 15. With DC supply, the converter voltage boost ratio is directly proportional to the duty cycle. The developed circuit model in section III is simulated with DC  DC boost converter as shown in fig. 16.
The detailed experimental verification with circuit response of this developed circuit model is available in [19]. For the design of MPPT, the data is collected through simulation with the developed circuit model and results are tabulated in Table 6.
TABLE. 6 DUTY CYCLE VARIATION
Duty 
Input 
Input 
Input 
Output 
Output 
Output 
Cy. 
Voltage 
Curren 
Power 
Voltag 
Current 
Power 
t
e
Irradiation – 1000 W/m ^{2} Temp – 25 ^{0} C
0.4 
17.82 
2.059 
36.69 
40.08 
0.8106 
32.13 
0.41 
16.7 
2.303 
38.46 
40.45 
0.8089 
32.72 
0.5 
15.05 
2.44 
36.72 
39.06 
0.7812 
30.52 
Irradiation – 700 W/m ^{2} Temp – 25 ^{0} C 

0.3 
17.6 
1.375 
24.21 
32.46 
0.6492 
21.08 
Irradiation – 500 W/m ^{2} Temp – 25 ^{0} C 

0.2 
17.64 
0.8661 
15.28 
25.76 
0.515 
13.27 
From Table 6, it can be seen that for lower irradiation and constant load, the duty cycle has to be reduced from 0.41 for 1000W/m ^{2} to 0.2 for 500W/m ^{2} . This variation coincides with following graph shown in fig.17, found in [20], where the duty cycle variation with respect to duty cycle is plotted.
Fig. 17. Duty Cycle Variation w.r.t. irradiation
D. MPPT Control Algorithm
Many MPPT techniques have been proposed in the literature; examples are the Perturb and Observe (P&O), Incremental Conductance (IC), Fuzzy Logic Method. The P&O
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algorithm is very popular and simple. So it is taken for the design. The power graph for P&O algorithm is shown in Fig.18. In P&O algorithm a slight perturbation (ΔD=0.01) is introduced in the system. This perturbation causes the power of the solar module to change.
Fig. 18. Power graph for P&O algorithm If the power increases due to the perturbation , then the perturbation is continued (D+ ΔD) in that direction . After the peak power is reached , the power at the next instant decreases and hence after that the perturbation reverses (D ΔD). The flow chart of MPPT algorithm is shown in fig.19. The Simulink model for P & O MPPT algorithm is shown in
fig.20.
The detailed Simulink model for closed loop control of developed circuit model of PV module with MPPT control unit is shown in fig. 21. The V _{i}_{n} and I _{i}_{n} , are taken as input to MPPT unit, duty cycle is obtained as output. Simulation output of the MPPT control circuit is shown for irradiation of 500 W/m ^{2} & 1000W/m ^{2} in fig.24.along with experimental results done for 1000W/m ^{2} .
V. HARDWARE IMPLEMENTATION
The schematic diagram of the proposed hardware system is shown in Fig.22
The DCDC boost converter acts as an interface between the PV module and the load.
The voltage and current output is sensed an error signal is produced.
The error signal in d igital form is given to the DAC (0808) which converts it to the corresponding analog signal.
This signal is then compared with a high frequency triangular wave of 20 kHz. The pulse generated is given to the gate of the power semi conductor device
_{F}_{i}_{g}_{.}_{1}_{9} _{F}_{l}_{o}_{w} _{C}_{h}_{a}_{r}_{t}
_{o}_{f} _{P} _{&} _{O} _{M}_{P}_{P}_{T} _{A}_{l}_{g}_{o}_{r}_{i}_{t}_{h}_{m}_{.}
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Fig. 20 Simulink model for P & O MPPT algorithm
Fig.21 MPPT control circuit
(MOSFET), thereby changing the duty cycle of the converter.
This generated pulse must be able to trigger the MOSFET of the power circuit.
Thus the source impedance is matched with the load impedance and maximum power is transferred.
.
Fig. 22 Proposed Hardware System
The hardware set up of the proposed system is shown in Fig.23. The microcontroller programming should be fed with the required range of duty cycle so that malfunctioning of the circuit can be avoided with quicker response.
Fig.23.Hardware of MPPT with microcontroller unit with pulse output of variable duty cycle
The expriment is carried out for 1000W/ m ^{2} & 30 ^{0} C.
PV
power and current are lower by around 2 to 5 percent as shown in fig. 24. Thus the circuit performance of the develpoed
model in closed loop control circuit follows the simulation valus with resonable accuray.
VI. RESULTS & DISCUSSION
In section II, in Eq. (1) and fig.1, it can be seen that the PV current I _{p}_{h} is a function of the solar irradiation and is the only energy conversion process in which light energy is converted to electrical energy.
Fig.24 Variation of current, power for variable Irradiation With experimental results
The next two equations , eqns. (2) and (3),
indicate that PV
voltage is a function of the junction voltage of diode, which is the material property of the semiconductors, susceptible to
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failure at higher temperatures. The physical equations governing the PV module (also applicable to PV cell) is elaborately presented with numerical values of module saturation current at various temperatures. Hence, this circuit model presents the relationship between module parameters and circuit performance. In section III, voltage level of the PV module is selected as 19V. However, functional PV models used in other papers , the voltage level for the iterative process is chosen as per the convenience of end circuit requirements and affect the circuit performance considerably. This has an effect on the temperature performance of the circuit. So the selection of this voltage level which is very important has to be selected transparently.
VII.
CONCLUSION
Circuit model of photovoltaic (PV) module is presented in this paper, which can be used as a common platform for the material scientists as well as power electronic circuit designers to develop the better PV power plant.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors wish to thank the management of SSN College of Engineering, Chennai for providing experimental and computational facilities to carry out this work at SSNCEEEE Department Solar  Photovoltaic research laboratory.
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