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A Complex-Method-based PSO algorithm for the maximum power

point tracking in photovoltaic system



Qiang Fu
College of Science and Technology, Ningbo University
Ningbo, China
E-mailgoodwill99@163.com

Nan Tong
College of Science and Technology, Ningbo University
Ningbo, China
E-mailtongnan@nbu.edu.cn

Abstract-In order to deal with problems of premature
convergence and slow convergence rate, this paper proposes a
Complex-method-based Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm,
namely CPSO. At the beginning of the evolution, the PSO is
applied to implement global search, and when the group of
particles has entered into the local optimum region, the Complex
method is used to quickly get the local optimal point, which can
effectively improve the ability of local search. The mutation
inertia weight is also used in the CPSO to jump out of the local
optimum, which can increase the diversity of the population and
solve the premature convergence problem. This new algorithm is
applied for the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) in the
photovoltaic system, and the effectiveness of this algorithm is
demonstrated in the experimental findings.

Keywords-Particle Swarm optimization; Complex method;
Mutation; Photovoltaic system; MPPT

I. INTRODUCTION
The Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm is a swarm
intelligence-based algorithm in an attempt to locate the global
optimal solutions. One of the reasons that PSO is attractive is
that there are only a very few parameters that need to be
adjusted. Although PSO is still in its infancy, it has been used
across a wide range of applications. Generally speaking, the
PSO like other evolutionary optimization algorithms is
applicable to most optimization problems and circumstances
that can be cast into optimization problems.
However, in the PSO there are two major weaknesses. First
of all, it is easy to be premature convergence and fall into local
minimum points when the PSO handle with high-dimensional
complex optimization problems. Second, the local convergence
accuracy of the PSO is not high. The algorithm can organize
efficient search in the early stages, but later on the convergence
rate will slow down or even stagnate and poor of the ability to
do local optimization.
To overcome all these problems, the paper presents a novel
PSO algorithm based on the Complex method and mutation
inertia weight mechanism, which has been applied to tack the
Maximum Power Point (MPP) of the photovoltaic (PV) system.
The numerical results show the effectiveness and efficiency of
the proposed algorithm.
II. MODELING THE PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL SIMULATION
A. simulation model
Worldwide the conventional energy sources are rapidly
depleting, while population growth and scientific and
technological developments have dramatically increased the
global demand for renewable energy resources. In particular,
solar photovoltaic energy is attracting a lot of attention, since it
is clean, pollution-free, and inexhaustible. Photovoltaic cell is
the core component of the PV system, which has the ability to
convert sunlight radiation into electrical energy directly.
As shown in Fig. 1, the equivalent circuit of a photovoltaic
cell [1] is a current source in parallel with a diode, which
includes a series resistance giving a more accurate shape
between MPP and the open circuit voltage. According to the
characteristics of the circuit and the internal structure of
photovoltaic cell, the I-V characteristics of the cell can be
described as follows (1) ~ (8):
S
R
) 1 (
/ ) (
0
=
+ nkT IR V q
L
S
e I I I (1)
)) ( 1 (
1 0 ) 1 (
T T K I I
T L L
+ = (2)
) ( ) , 1 ( ) 1 (
/ *
nom nom I SC T L
G I G I = (3)
) /( ) (
1 2 ) 1 ( ) 2 ( 0
T T I I K
T SC T SC
= (4)
) / 1 / 1 ( /
/ 3
1 ) 1 ( 0 0
1
* ) / ( *
T T nk qV
n
T
g
e T T I I

= (5)
) 1 /(
1 ) 1 (
1
/
) ( ) 1 ( 0
=
nkT qV
T SC T
T OC
e I I (6)
V V S
X dI dV R
OC
/ 1 / = (7)
1 )
1
(
1
/
1 ) ( 0
* / *
nkT qV
T V
T OC
e nkT q I X = (8)
Where, : photocurrent of the PV panel; : saturation
current of the diode; : series resistance;
L
I
0
I
V
S
R
S
IR +
: the
voltage across the diode; : the voltage equivalent of
temperature; : irradiance; : temperature of panel(
q KT /
T G K ); :
Boltzmann constant ( ); : elementary charge
( ); : diode factor (usually between 1 and 2);
: short circuit current; : open circuit voltage, normally
provided by PV panel manufacturers.
k
K . 1 J / 10
23
OC
38
V
q
C
19
10 6 . 1

SC
I
n
L
I
I
S
R
D
I
V

2010 Second International Conference on Information Technology and Computer Science
978-0-7695-4074-0/10 $26.00 2010 IEEE
DOI 10.1109/ITCS.2010.39
134

Figure1. The circuit diagram of the PV model
B. Analyzing the output characteristics of the photovoltaic
cell
The photovoltaic cell is by nature a non-linear power source.
As it is well known, the MPP of a PV power generation system
depends on temperature, irradiance and other external
conditions. By using (1) ~ (8), the simulation model of the
photovoltaic cell is built up and used to analyze its output
characteristics. Fig. 2 shows P-V curves at the same irradiance
value (1 ), but at various temperatures (075 ),
and Fig. 3 shows at constant temperature (25 ), but under
increasing irradiance (0.251 ).
2
/ m kw C
C
2
/ m kw
As seen in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3, under different conditions, there
is a unique point on the curve, called the maximum power
point (MPP), at which the photovoltaic cell operates with
maximum efficiency and produces maximum output power. At
the same irradiance value, the voltage of the MPP decreases as
the temperature increases, the same as the maximum output
power. Under the conditions of constant temperature and
increasing irradiance, needless to say there is any change of the
voltage at which the MPP occurs, however, the value of the
maximum output power increases obviously.
C. Maximum Power Point (MPP) Analysis
In order to obtain mathematic characteristics of the MPP for
the photovoltaic cell, this paper provides a theoretical analysis
with (1) ~ (8) as follows:
Form (1), the expression of the output voltage can be
obtained:
S L
IR I I I I q nkT V + = ) / ) ln(( * / ) (
0 0
(9)
From (1) and (9), the following expression for P-I
characteristic can be obtained:
S L
R I I I I I I q nkT VI P
2
0 0
* ) / ) ln(( * / ) ( + = = (10)
From (10), the first order derivative of I can be obtained
as:
) / ) (ln(( * / ) ( /
0 0
I I I I q nkT dI dP
L
+ =
0 2 )) /(
0
= +
S L
IR I I I I (11)
Obviously, I that fits (11) is the current of the MPP,
marked as .
max
I
Substituting I = into (9), the voltage of the MPP can
be obtained, marked as . Then, the maximum output power
can be calculated as follows:
max
I
V
max
max
P
max max max
* I V P = (12)
However, (11) is a complex transcendental equation, cannot
be easily solved through conventional methods or the
numerical solution.
III. THE COMPLEX-METHOD-BASED PSO ALGORITHM(CPSO)
A. Particle swarm optimization(PSO)
In the PSO algorithm [2], the system is initialized as a set of
random solutions. The optimal particle in the group transmits
information to other particles, then, the entire search process
follows the current updating optimal solution to gain the goal.

Figure2. PV curves at various temperatures. (Temperature is 0
75 ; Irradiance is 1
2
) C / m kw

Figure3. PV curves at various irradiation levels. (Temperature is
25 ; Irradiance is 0.251 ) C
2
/ m kw
The position and velocity of each particle are initialized
randomly, and then each particle in the population moves
towards the global optimum and individual optimum.
Equations are given as follows:
) ( * () * ) ( * () * *
2 1
1 t
i
t
i
t
i
t
g
t
i
t
i
x p rand c x p rand c v w v + + =
+

(13)
1 1 + +
+ =
t
i
t
i
t
i
v x x (14)
Where indicates iteration number, is the best
position in the population at time t (global best),
represents the best ever position of each particle in the
population at time (best individual position), is a
random value inside (0, 1), which provides randomness to the
movement of the swarm.
t
g
p
i
p
t () rand
The acceleration coefficients and adjust the velocity
to move towards
g
p d
i
p . inertia weight w contro
the impact of the previous particle velocity on the current
particle velocity. Linear decrease of w an slow the
movement of particles, and convenient for convergence when
particles move close to .
1
c
The
2
c
an ls
c
g
p
After doing further analysis on (1) and (2), there are two
135

major weaknesses of the PSO algorithm.
Firstly, when the particles enter into the local optimum areas,
the global optimal value is similar with the individual optimal
value, and the inertia weight has been set smaller value to
catch the local optimum, so the velocity update for the global
best particle through (1) and (2) generates merely a tiny jump
for further improvement such that those particles are very
unlikely to pull themselves out of the local optimum.
w
Secondly, when the particles get into the local optimum area,
according to (1) and (2), particles randomly adjust their
velocity and position without certainty direction of search.
Therefore, particles will do a slight swing around the optimal
point, and difficult to converge on the optimal point.
To overcome these problems, many researchers take further
analyses on the PSO algorithm, and propose corresponding
improvements: Y. Shi[3] pointed out that the adjustment of
inertia weight could help particles to jump out of local
optimum area, and then enhanced the capability to reach the
global optimum; [4] integrated PSO with hybrid method
employed in the genetic algorithms, which greatly increased
the diversity of population and improved the ability to locate
the global optimal solution; [5] proposed the population of
particles was divided into several independent sub-groups with
different evolutionary mode, and then cooperated to search for
the global optimum. This approach could effectively avoid
being trapped into one of the local optima; [6] verified that the
simplex algorithm could effectively improve the accuracy of
local convergence. All these researches put forward many
improvements to enhance the ability of the PSO algorithm, but
they are difficult to balance the relationship between jumping
out of premature convergence and improving convergence rate.
w
B. Complex Method
The Complex method is essentially a deterministic local
search algorithm with high efficiency search ability [7]. It does
not need to calculate the gradient of the objective function, so
the computation cost is small. It is mainly through reflection,
contraction, expansion and other operations to adjust positions
of the vertices. The new complex keeps moving and
contracting to the optimum point.
When using the Complex method to solve an optimization
problem of variables, an initial Complex with
vertices, must first be constructed. All
vertices will be evaluated for their objective function values
and accordingly sorted to locate the direction of the next search.
The vertex with good performance will be located to replace
the worst one. The iterative process goes over and over until all
vertices occupy almost the same location, and the Complex
shrinks to one point. This point represents the optimum vertex
that can be found.
n
) 2n ~ 1 ( n k k + =
Assume constraint optimization problem:
m n x g t s
R x x f
n
n
, , 2 , 1 0 ) ( . .
), ( min
= s
e

In order to solve the problem above, an initial Complex
configuration with vertices, marked
as , should be generated randomly.
) 2 ~ 1 ( n n k k + =
) , , 2 , 1 (
) (
k j X
j
=
) (
) ( j
X f ) , , 2 , 1 ( k j = are the objective function value of
each vertex, in which the best point
) (L
X
and the worst point
) ( H
X
can be obtained according to (15)~(16):
) (L
X
: (15) )} , )( ( k j X f
j
= , 2 , 1 min{ ) (
) (
X f
L
=
) ( H
X : (16) )} , )( ( k j X f
j
, 2 , 1 = max{ ) (
) (
X f
H
=
Suppose the central point
) (c
X of vertices except for k
) ( H
X
,
) (
1
1
1
) (
H j X
k
k
j
j
=

=
_
=
) (
X
c
(17)
The worst point
) ( H
X should be removed from the
Complex, and the substituted vertex
) R (
X could be found
according to (18):
) (
) ( ) ( ) ( H c c
X X X + = o
(R)
X (18)
(o is the mapping coefficient from the range [1,2])
If < , )
) (R
X ( f ) (
) (H
X f
) (R
X is the new vertex of the
Complex in the next iteration. Otherwise, an appropriate
) (R
X
should be searched by modifying o through expansion,
contraction and other operations to make superior to
. The procedure is repeated to remove the worst point
) (
) (R
X f
) (
) (H
X f
) ( H
X from each new Complex, and find the new vertex
) (R
X with better objective function value to construct a new
Complex. The algorithm is terminated when the convergence
criterion has been met.
C. The procedure of Complex-method-based PSO(CPSO)
After the group of particles enters into the optimal region,
each particle is still in the state of random search without clear
direction, and takes a lot of time to reach the optimum. So it is
not enough to fundamentally solve the problem of slow
convergence rate only by reducing the inertia weight .
Therefore, when the particles have entered into the optimal
region, the Complex method is adopted in this paper to replace
random search process, which could efficiently improve the
local search ability of the PSO algorithm, and balance the
relationship between local performance and global search
ability, namely CPSO. The solution process of the CPSO
algorithm is as follows:
w
Step 1: Generate a population of size 6N. Randomly
initialize the position and velocity of each particle, and set the
convergence criterion.
Step 2: Evaluate the fitness value of each particle, and
record and .
i
f
i
p
g
p
Step 3: Determine whether the convergence criterion has
been met. If satisfied, go to step 9; otherwise execute step 4.
Step 4: To all of the particles in the population, carry out
following operations:
Apply PSO operator for updating position and velocity
of particles.
136

Evaluate the fitness of each particle, and update
and at the same time.
i
f
i
p
g
p
Step5: Calculate fitness variance according to (19):
2
o
2
1
2
_
=

=
l
i
aver i
f
f f
o (19)
Where, is the number of the particles, l
_
=
=
l
i
i aver
f
l
f
1
1
,
is the normalized scaling factor, which is to limit the size
of . The value of is as follows:
f
2
o f

>
=
others
f f f f
f
aver i aver i
, 1
1 } max{ }, max{
(20)
Step 6: Estimate the size of . If the algorithm is trapped
into the local optimum region, then execute Step 7. Otherwise,
go back to step 3.
2
o
Step 7: Rank all of the particles based on fitness . Apply
Complex algorithm to the top N particles, and then update
with the result.
i
f
g
p
Step 8: According to (21), adjust the inertia weight of
remained particles. Go back to step 3.
w
) * 6 . 0 1 ( * | + = w w (21)
( | is the mutation factor from the range [1,2])
Step 9: Output , end of running.
g
p
IV. EXPERIMENTAL SIMULATION AND RESULT ANALYSIS
In order to train and test the CPSO algorithm for the MPP
prediction of PV systems, the actual data included irradiation,
temperature taken at half an hour intervals from 8:00 to 17:00
on a certain day at China. The CPSO algorithm was used to
solve (11) to evaluate the solution of the MPP at each collected
time. Each CPSO maintained 30 populations and 100
independent runs and the average statistical data are collected
as the final results. At the same time, the ideal values were
obtained from the previous simulation model. Comparison
between the solutions of the MPP by the CPSO and the ideal
values by the model are displayed in Fig. 4.
Fig. 4 illustrates that the CPSO algorithm can effectively
track the MPP of the photovoltaic cell under different
conditions. The convergence rate is rapid, and the convergence
precision is high.
V. CONCLUSION
This paper presents a Complex-method-based Particle
Swarm Optimization algorithm, namely CPSO, which
integrates the global search ability of the PSO and the local
search ability of the Complex method. Considering both
requirements of the search speed and population diversity, the
novel algorithm effectively solves problems of local search
efficiency and premature convergence in the PSO.
Figure 4. the CPSO prediction comparing with the ideal values from the
simulation model

The CPSO algorithm is applied to predict the MPP of the
photovoltaic system. The experimental results verify that the
proposed algorithm, which can accurately track the movement
of the MPP, is a practical and efficient search algorithm.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The work was supported by Foundation of Ningbo
University(XYL09007, XYL09009); Ningbo Natural Science
Foundation (2009A610061); Pre-Research Foundation of
college of Science and Technology of Ningbo University
(XYY09005), China.
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