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Connecting Solar Cells to electrical circuits designed with blocks from

SimPowerSystems library
10 CommentsPosted by Yu Ang Tan on October 31, 2011
Here is a good article for researchers who deal with Solar Cells in the Simulink environment.
A common situation that solar cell researchers face is they typically design electrical power systems (e.g
RLC Circuits) with blocks from the SimPowerSystems library, and then would like to connect the Solar
cell block to this circuitry (see figure 1).

Figure 1 Circuitry designed in SimPowerSystems domain, and User wants to replace DC Voltage
Source with a Solar Cell block.
However, as intuitive as figure 1 may seem to be, this method is not possible. This is because the solar
cell block is obtained from another library and is considered as a member of the family of another domain
(SimElectronics). Therefore, when the researcher tries to connect this block to the circuitry, hell find that
Simulink does not allow the connection.
The tip
Heres the tip on how to connect the Solar Cell block to a circuitry designed with SimPowerSystems.
Listed below are the steps in sequence, where each of it is assisted by a diagram.
1. Connect a current sensor block (Simscape>Foundation Library>Electrical>Electrical Sensors) to
the Solar Cell block. This block measures the current and outputs a physical signal which will be
fed to the SimPowerSystems domain later.

1. Connect a PS Constant block (Simscape>Foundation Library>Physical Signals>Sources) to
specify the irradiance value (Light Intensity in W/m
) that falls onto the Solar Cell. Plug in the Solver
Configuration block (Simscape>Utilities) to specify the solver parameters that is needed by the
model for simulation.

1. Connect an Electrical reference block (Simscape>Foundation Library>Electrical>Electrical
Elements)to represent electrical grounding for the circuit.

1. Connect a PS-Simulink Converter block (Simscape>Utilities) to convert the physical signal to a
Simulink signal.

1. Finally, connect a Controlled Current Source block from the SimPowerSystems
library(SimPowerSystems/Electrical Sources) to convert the Simulink input Signal to an equivalent
current signal in SimPowerSystems.

With this final step, the connection between the Solar Cell and SimPowerSystems has actually been
established. The circuit with the solar cell can then be interfaced with the SimPowerSystem circuit as
shown in figure 2.

Figure 2 Connection between Solar Cell and Circuits in SimPowerSystems
Thats the tip to interface the Solar Cell block to the SimPowerSystem domain. Hopefully you will find it
useful in your research and development. Happy Working!