PV array simulator adds automated MPPT efficiency test

September 08, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
An added test facility enables test of a 1,500V photovoltaic (PV) inverter’s static and dynamic maximum peak power tracking (MPPT) according to European Standard EN50530, with a single command, creating downloadable photovoltaic I-V curves, plus static and dynamic EN50530 test reports.

Keysight Technologies (Santa Rosa, CA) claimed a first for its one-box, 1,500V, photovoltaic array simulation solution—the N8900APV Series—and has now added automated static and dynamic maximum peak power tracking (MPPT) test to its Solar Array Simulator (SAS) Control software for the simulators.

The static and dynamic MPPT tests are performed in accordance with the European Standard EN50530 (April 2010) procedure, which is widely accepted as the industry standard for the overall efficiency of grid-connected photovoltaic inverters. This update to the software also includes integration with the Keysight BenchVue platform.

The Keysight SAS Control software is a no-cost way for PV/solar inverter designers to control their N8900APV Series Photovoltaic Array Simulators in order to test the MPPT of their inverters. The software allows the user to control the N8900APV’s output as well as easily create, visualize and download PV/solar I-V curves to the instrument using the intuitive curve workspace. After a designer downloads a curve to an N8900APV, they can enable the output and watch as their PV inverter searches for the maximum power point to gain insight into their MPPT algorithm.

“The European standard EN50530 gives photovoltaic inverter designers a standard way to evaluate their maximum peak power tracking algorithms and compare them to their competitors—however, implementing this test standard can be quite challenging and time consuming,” said Siegfried Gross, general manager of Keysight’s Automotive and Energy Solutions (AES) group.

After the built-in, 30-day free trial, users can purchase a Pro license of the SAS Control software (DG8901A). In addition to all the benefits and features of the no-cost version, SAS Control Pro permanently adds the automated static and dynamic EN50530 MPPT test capability. Designers can simply input the test parameters, such as Pmp, Vmp, etc., click Start Test, and the software does the rest. Once the test is complete, SAS Control Pro creates a report formatted to the EN50530 standard.

Keysight: www.keysight.com/find/N8900APV and www.keysight.com/find/SasControlSoftware