Maximizing Output Power from #Solar Cells/Panels through the Development of an Integrated Voltage Regulator/MPPT Circuit

Abstract—This paper presents the initial results of our research effort to fully integrate a voltage regulator with a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) circuit in order to harvest maximum power from solar cells or panels. We take a novel approach to emulate the inductor in a buck-boost voltage regulator using a Generalized Impedance Converter (GIC), thereby eliminating the requirement for the grounded inductor which impedes full integration. LTSPICETM models are developed to compare a traditional “inductive” voltage regulator with a “GIC” voltage regulator, and experimental results are discussed. Component size, switching frequency, and loadmatching are optimized to achieve maximum efficiency; however, GIC operational-amplifier power consumption was an obstacle to high-efficiency operation.

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