Storage-Less and Converter-Less Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting With Maximum Power Point Tracking for Internet of Things

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Energy harvesting from natural environment gives range of benefits for the Internet of things. Scavenging energy from photovoltaic (PV) cells is one of the most practical solutions in terms of power density among existing energy harvesting sources. PV power systems mandate the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to scavenge the maximum possible solar energy. In general, a switching-mode power converter, an MPPT charger, controls the charging current to the energy storage element (a battery or equivalent), and the energy storage element provides power to the load device. The mismatch between the maximum power point (MPP) current and the load current is managed by the energy storage element. However, such architecture causes significant energy loss (typically over 20%) and a significant weight/volume and a high cost due to the cascaded power converters and the energy storage element. This paper pioneers a converter-less PV power system with the MPPT that directly supplies power to the load without the power converters or the energy storage element. The proposed system uses a nonvolatile microprocessor to enable an extremely fine-grain dynamic power management in a few hundred microseconds. This makes it possible to match the load current with the MPP current. We present detailed modeling, simulation, and optimization of the proposed energy harvesting system including the radio frequency transceiver. Experiments show that the proposed setup achieves an 87.1% of overall system efficiency during a day, 30.6% higher than the conventional MPPT methods in actual measurements, and thus a significantly higher duty cycle under a weak solar irradiance.
Publisher
IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC
Issue Date
2016-02
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

SYSTEMS

Citation

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS, v.35, no.2, pp.173 - 186

ISSN
0278-0070
DOI
10.1109/TCAD.2015.2446937
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/207431
Appears in Collection
EE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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