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    Social Grouping Algorithm Aided Maximum Power Point Tracking Scheme for Partial Shaded Photovoltaic Array

    Vadivel, Srinivasan, Sengodan, Boopathi C, Ramasamy, Sridhar, Ahsan, Mominul, Haider, Julfikar ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7010-8285 and Rodrigues, Eduardo MG (2022) Social Grouping Algorithm Aided Maximum Power Point Tracking Scheme for Partial Shaded Photovoltaic Array. Energies, 15 (6). p. 2105.

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    Photovoltaic (PV) systems-based energy generation is relatively easy to install, even at a large scale, because it is scalable in size and is thus easy to transport. Harnessing maximum power is only possible if maximum power tracking (MPPT) functionality is available as part of the power converter control that interfaces the PV panels to the grid. Solar exposure covering all PV panels is unlikely to happen all the time, which is known as a partial shading (PS) phenomenon. As a result, depending on the MPPT algorithm adopted, it may fail to find a maximum global power peak, being locked into a local power peak. This research work discusses an alternative MPPT control technique inspired in the social group optimization (SGO) algorithm. SGO belongs to the meta-heuristic optimization techniques family. In this sense, the SGO method ability for solving global optimization problems is explored to find the global maximum power point (GMPP) under the presence of local MPPs. The introduced SGO–MPPT was subjected to different PS conditions and complex shading patterns. Then, its performance was compared to other global search MPPT techniques, which include particle swarm optimization (PSO), the dragon fly algorithm (DFO) and the artificial bee colony algorithm (ABC). The simulation outcomes for the SGO–MPPT characterization showed good results, namely rapid global power tracking in less than 0.2 s with reduced oscillation; the efficiency of solar energy harness was slightly above 99%.

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