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1632 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, VOL. 28, NO.

4, APRIL 2013

A New DC Anti-Islanding Technique of Electrolytic


Capacitor-Less Photovoltaic Interface in DC
Distribution Systems
Gab-Su Seo, Student Member, IEEE, Kyu-Chan Lee, Student Member, IEEE, and Bo-Hyung Cho, Fellow, IEEE

AbstractThis paper proposes a photovoltaic (PV) generation be much more energy efficient than ac because power generated
system interfaced with a dc distribution system. DC interface from dc sources, such as photovoltaics (PVs), can be directly
allows for the improvement of system efficiency by fully utiliz- supplied to the loads, which allows for a reduction of conversion
ing dc-based renewable sources and storage devices. In this paper,
issues on PV interface for dc distribution systems are discussed loss by eliminating dc-ac and ac-dc conversion stages [3].
for energy-efficient and reliable system implementation. AC and DC interface systems have been applied in data centers, such
dc PV interfaces are mathematically analyzed. In dc distribution, that ac-dc and dc-ac conversions required for traditional uninter-
eliminating electrolytic capacitors in PV interfaces improves sys- ruptible power supplies can be completely eliminated [4][6].
tem reliability, increases system efficiency, and reduces cost. In An analytical evaluation of a variety of data center system archi-
addition, this paper proposes a new anti-islanding technique for
dc distribution as a system protection scheme. The operating prin- tectures is presented in [4], where the feasibility of a 400-VDC
ciple is presented in detail and analysis shows that the proposed distribution system is discussed. In view of system realization,
injected current perturbation technique is an effective solution for design and control issues, such as operation modes and transi-
anti-islanding operation. A prototype converter features a simple tion conditions, are discussed for data center applications in [6].
structure with no electrolytic capacitor, which ensures a longer System performance of dc systems is maximized when the
lifetime of the PV power circuit. Experimental results of the proto-
type circuit show a maximum efficiency of 98.1% and a European system components, such as dispersed generation sources, stor-
efficiency of 97.5%. The proposed anti-islanding technique shows age devices, and loads, are efficiently configured and managed,
fast response to the islanding condition in less than 0.2 s. It also as shown in numerous studies related to system configuration
shows that the average maximum power point tracking efficiency and control schemes [7][11]. Low-voltage bipolar-type dc mi-
is 99.9% in normal conditions, which verifies the performance of crogrid for a residential complex is proposed in [7]. Each house
the proposed scheme.
can share its generated power with others within the dc system.
Index TermsAnti-islanding, building integrated photovoltaic Minimization of the energy exchanged with the ac utility, using
(BIPV), dc distribution, islanding, photovoltaic (PV). a super capacitor as a storage device, enables the system energy
efficiency to be optimized. Issues related to current-controlled
bidirectional inverters are discussed in [8], where cost effective
I. INTRODUCTION
approaches are presented for system realization. In addition,
HE penetration rate of distributed generation (DG) has
T rapidly increased as their feasibility and reliability improve
through technology advances, and as environmental issues and
several control methods are presented in [9][11] for dc system
operation.
Research on dc system feasibility evaluation has also been
sustainable developments have become a major concern [1]. In widely conducted [12][15]. Loss comparison of dc distribution
this trend, the research on optimization of the traditional power with conventional ac is made based on the system component
system by utilizing state-of-the-art power electronics is widely models in [12] and [13], where an ac and dc hybrid system
expanding [2]. Among the efforts, dc application approaches, is also considered. In [14], availability evaluation of dc micro-
such as dc distribution systems, are especially promising for the grids is presented considering the system configurations and
use of renewable power sources and dc loads. DC interface can power converter topologies. Economic feasibility considering
replacement and installation cost is discussed in [15]. Based on
previous research, it is clear that a dc distribution system is an
Manuscript received March 31, 2012; accepted June 24, 2012. Date of current effective solution considering the increasing use of renewable
version October 26, 2012. This work was supported by the New and Renewable sources and storage devices with dc preferred loads.
Energy Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and This paper focuses on a PV generation system interfaced with
Planning funded by the Korea Government Ministry of Knowledge Economy
under Grant 20104010100490. Recommended for publication by Associate dc distribution. The penetration rate has dramatically increased
Editor S. Valkealahti. due to its attractive features, e.g., ease of installation, and static
G.-S. Seo and B.-H. Cho are with the School of Electrical Engineering and operation [16]. In conventional applications, PV generation sys-
Computer Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea (e-mail:
gabzzu@snu.ac.kr; bhcho@snu.ac.kr). tem is interfaced with the ac utility. Generated energy must be
K.-C. Lee is with the Interpower Company, Ltd., Seoul 151-869, Korea converted to ac, which causes inefficacy of energy generation
(e-mail: kyuchan6@empas.com). and usage. When PV generation is interfaced with dc distribu-
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. tion, the energy efficiency can be improved because redundant
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPEL.2012.2208226 conversion is eliminated [17][20]. In addition, system lifetime

0885-8993/$31.00 2012 IEEE


SEO et al.: NEW DC ANTI-ISLANDING TECHNIQUE OF ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR-LESS PHOTOVOLTAIC INTERFACE 1633

issues can be improved by utilizing the advantages of dc dis-


tribution. Module-integrated solutions, which address mismatch
issues, typically utilize an electrolytic capacitor. The electrolytic
capacitor is employed to block the alternate current fluctuation
on the PV side from the ac system; however, it is also the main
cause of power circuit failure [21]. In a dc distribution system,
the decoupling capacitor is not necessary because there are no
ac fluctuations. Thus, the short lifetime electrolytic capacitors
can be eliminated, extending the PV generation system lifetime
toward PV panel lifetime of 25 years.
For system protection, there are many implementation chal-
lenges [22], [23]. In PV applications, anti-islanding technology
is a key requirement for human safety and equipment protec-
tion. This paper proposes a new anti-islanding technique for
dc-interfaced PV generation systems. The solution detects the
island and disconnects the PV system from dc distribution in
0.2 s. Depending on the system configuration and operation
principle, the technique can be utilized not only for system pro-
tection but also as a system control signal for operation mode
change.
In Section II, PV generation system structures are reviewed Fig. 1. PV generation system configurations in ac distribution: (a) centralized,
for system cost, efficiency, and reliability. In Section III, the (b) string, (c) ac module.
analysis of PV voltage variation in an ac- and dc-interfaced PV
generation system is presented and the feasibility of electrolytic
Another solution is to have individual modules controlled by
capacitor-less converter implementation in dc distribution is ver-
their own conditioners, as shown in Fig. 1(c). Harvest energy
ified. In Section IV, islanding operation is discussed and a new
can be maximized and safety issues can be eliminated by at-
dc anti-islanding technique is proposed. In Section V, a dc PV
taching the conditioner at the back of the module such that users
interface is designed for building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV)
are not exposed to high dc voltage and installation becomes
modules and the prototype PV converter is implemented. Ex-
easier [28]. By applying the ac module concept, harvest effi-
perimental results of the prototype PV converter are shown to
ciency can be kept high even in mismatch conditions. However,
verify the feasibility of this study. In Section VI, the conclusion
its relatively high cost and low efficiency compared to the cen-
is presented.
tralized structure have been obstacles for its wide application.
II. PV GENERATION IN DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS In addition, the lifetime issue caused by the use of electrolytic
capacitors for ac decoupling is also a drawback for this ap-
Although PV panel cost has been continuously declining as a
proach [25]. Because the module-integrated inverter is installed
result of PV technology advances, it is still relatively expensive
on the back of the PV module frame, the power circuit must
compared to conventional energy sources. In many countries,
sustain harsh conditions and high temperature. The lifetime of
the installation of PV generation systems is driven by govern-
electrolytic capacitors, which is much shorter than that of other
ment grant and it is still an efficiency driven market due to the
components and heavily depends on operating temperature, be-
high cost. Therefore, efficiency and cost are the most important
comes the main obstacle to extending the lifetime of PV module
driving factors in the PV market [24], [25].
generation systems [29], [30].
The centralized inverter architecture has been widely em-
In this paper, a dc PV generation interface based on dc dis-
ployed due to its high efficiency and low cost. Because one
tribution is proposed as a compensatory solution to ac module
integrated inverter controls a group of PV modules in the cen-
concept. Retaining the advantages of the ac module concept, dc-
tralized structure, as shown in Fig. 1(a), the efficiency of the PV
interfaced PV generation systems have lower cost and higher
power circuit is relatively high and the cost per watt is reduced
power conversion efficiency due to lower part count and less
due to its high power capacity. However, mismatch between
conversion stages from source to load. In addition, reliability is-
panels caused by partial shading and panel characteristic differ-
sues are addressed by eliminating the short lifetime electrolytic
ences makes it difficult to achieve individual maximum power
capacitors in the PV power circuit.
point tracking (MPPT) for each PV module [26].
String and multistring structures have been used for improved
harvest efficiency. In the string structure, energy lost due to mis- III. ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR-LESS PV INTERFACE
WITH DC DISTRIBUTION
match is reduced by conditioning a single string of PV modules
as shown in Fig. 1(b). However, the structure is not suitable Figs. 2 and 3 show the schematic of ac and dc distribution
for applications such as residential rooftop or BIPV generation systems, respectively. Renewable sources, storage devices, and
system due to the partial shading problem and safety issues of loads that are connected through their own ac-dc interfaces in
high voltage wiring [27]. the ac distribution system are directly connected to the dc link in
1634 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, VOL. 28, NO. 4, APRIL 2013

Fig. 2. Schematic of ac distribution with renewable generations and storage devices.

Fig. 3. Schematic of dc distribution with renewable generations and storage devices.

the dc distribution system. An integrated ac-dc converter, shown


in Fig. 3, controls the dc-link voltage and balances the power
flow with the ac utility.
In the ac module concept, a PV converter enacts MPPT and
output commutation current control. Because the output current
must be injected to the ac utility in a sinusoidal manner, as
shown in Fig. 4, large decoupling capacitors are required to keep
PV operation near its maximum power point (MPP) regardless
of the sinusoidal alternate current. Electrolytic capacitors have
been widely used for decoupling due to their high energy density
and relatively low cost. Due to the short lifetime of electrolytic Fig. 4. Flyback-type PV inverter with a thyristor unfolding stage.
capacitors, research focusing on increasing system lifetime is
being widely investigated [28].
operation. Electrolytic capacitors are located between the PV
module and converter to decouple ac fluctuations. Average PV
A. AC Utility Interactive PV System
module output power and instantaneous output power trans-
Fig. 4 shows a conventional ac line interactive PV inverter, ferred to the ac utility are expressed as
flyback-type converter followed by a thyristor unfolding stage,
which is widely used for its low component count and ease of Ppv = Vpv Ipv (1)
SEO et al.: NEW DC ANTI-ISLANDING TECHNIQUE OF ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR-LESS PHOTOVOLTAIC INTERFACE 1635

proportional to current and reversely proportional to capacitance


Cdc and switching frequency fs . The relationship is similar
to that of the ac module in (3), but a much smaller current
and voltage variation occurs in a dc interface with the same
capacitance because the dc PV converter switching frequency
is in the range of tens of kilohertz, while the ac grid frequency
ranges from 50 to 60 Hz. A small capacitance of about 10 F
one thousandth of ac caseis enough to meet the required
2% voltage ripple on the same 35-V MPP voltage, 200-W PV
Fig. 5. PV voltage variation in dc distribution. (a) Equivalent circuit model. module application.
(b) Voltage and current waveforms. In short, utilizing the lack of ac fluctuations in dc distribution,
an electrolytic capacitor-less PV interface can be realized. DC
distribution not only enables efficiency improvement and cost
and
reduction, but also helps improve system reliability.
Pac (t) = Ppv (1 cos(2grid t)) (2)

where Ppv , Vpv , Ipv , and grid are the average power, voltage,
and current of PV module, and grid angular frequency, respec- IV. NEW ANTI-ISLANDING TECHNIQUE FOR DC PV
tively. Based on (1) and (2), voltage ripple at the PV side is GENERATION SYSTEM
Anti-islanding is a key requirement for PV conditioners in-
Ipv
vpv = (3) terfaced with the ac utility to guarantee human safety and equip-
2grid Cdc ment damage protection. A variety of anti-islanding technolo-
where vpv and Cdc are the operating voltage variation of PV gies have been developed that utilize the amplitude of voltage,
module and PV dc-link capacitance, respectively. frequency, phase, and harmonic characteristics [33]. DC distri-
If the PV voltage variation tolerance is chosen as 2% to en- bution systems also require anti-islanding technology. In this
sure high harvest efficiency, a minimum capacitance of 10 mF section, a new anti-islanding technique is proposed for dc PV
is required for a 60-Hz ac utility, 35-V MPP voltage, 200-W generation system.
PV module application. The electrolytic capacitors relatively
short lifetime, usually several thousand hours, is a limiting fac-
tor for product lifetime guarantees. Capacitor size reduction or A. Need for Anti-Islanding Method in DC Distribution
elimination techniques using additional circuitries have been
explored to tackle the issue [31]. The ac utility can be considered as an infinite source, which
means that it is not affected by other system components. There-
fore, subsystems can be independently designed and imple-
B. DC Distribution Interactive PV Generation System
mented in ac distribution systems. However, it is more difficult
In dc distribution systems, an electrolytic capacitor-less PV to design reliable systems in dc distribution because all system
interface can be implemented to improve lifetime of PV power components are directly connected to the dc link, which is easily
circuits. The dc-link voltage is tightly regulated such that there affected by their operation. In a conventional system, bidirec-
are no ac fluctuations in the dc distribution system. Thus, elec- tional ac-dc converters are employed to tightly regulate the dc
trolytic capacitors can be replaced with film capacitors, extend- distribution voltage. The ac-dc converter balances energy ex-
ing product lifetime for electric devices, such as PV interface change with the ac utility and the system goes into island condi-
or LED driver circuits. The lifetime of film capacitors is about tion when the converter is disconnected from the utility [3]. With
ten thousands hours, which is an order of magnitude longer than the ac-dc converter disabled, the dc distribution voltage must be
electrolytic capacitor lifetimes [32]. regulated by another component or the system should be shut
Fig. 5(a) shows an equivalent circuit model of a PV module down for safety. In this case, charging/discharging of storage
connected to a boost converter with a parallel capacitance. The device can be enabled for dc-link voltage regulation. Using the
PV is modeled as a constant current source and the boost con- storage interface, system efficiency can be improved by reducing
verter is shown as a current load which is shown in Fig. 5(b). It is the energy exchange with the ac utility. For effective dc system
assumed that the boost converter employs boundary conduction operation, several schemes have been proposed [7], [11], [17].
mode (BCM) for this analysis. The anti-islanding method may seem to not be required, given
Considering the current through the capacitor Cdc , the voltage the utilization of the ac-dc converter and energy buffer interface.
variation at the PV module in dc distribution is However, it is still required for system protection. The ac-dc
IL p converter and energy buffer interface cannot perform properly
vpv = (4) in some conditions, such as when the devices are disconnected
8 Cdc fs
from a dc distribution system or renewable sources are islanded
where IL p and fs are the peak inductor current and switching by an accident. Therefore, anti-islanding is essential in dc dis-
frequency of boost converter, respectively. Voltage variation is tribution systems for safety and protection.
1636 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, VOL. 28, NO. 4, APRIL 2013

Fig. 6. DC system diagram with PV generation and line conditioner including protection devices.

fp , as shown in Fig. 8, island conditions can be detected. In


normal operation, ac-dc power converter is operating and the
dc-link voltage is not affected by the current injection. How-
ever, without the dc-link regulation, the voltage is affected by
the perturbation. If the fluctuation caused by injected current
perturbation exceeds a set threshold value, algorithm increases
Fig. 7. Equivalent circuits of normal and island conditions. (a) Normal con- the amount of perturbation as shown in Fig. 8, which creates
dition. (b) Island condition. positive feedback. The voltage change caused by the current
imbalance is accelerated and the island is quickly detected by
under voltage protection. The performance of the algorithm is
B. New DC Anti-Islanding Technique for determined by the perturbation factor k, perturbation frequency
DC Distribution System fp , and perturbation duration Tp . In addition, the effect of the
Because voltage is the only measurable parameter in dc distri- algorithm on MPPT efficiency in normal operation should be
bution system, while the frequency and phase can be measured considered.
for ac systems, a new dc anti-islanding algorithm is required Based on the equivalent circuit in Fig. 7, mathematical analy-
to smoothly interconnect renewable sources to the dc distribu- sis is carried out. In the analysis, it is assumed that the resistor is
tion system. The system diagram including protection devices exactly matched to the injected current before the perturbation,
is shown in Fig. 6, where a PV converter, ac-dc converter, and and injected current id is considered a constant current source,
equivalent resistance for the loads are connected to the dc link. which means that switching ripple in PV converter output cur-
DC circuit breakers and dc relays are utilized for safety and pro- rent is ignored. After islanding, the dc-link voltage is expressed
tection. When the difference between generated and consumed as
 
power is large enough to make the dc-link voltage reach the un- dvdc (t) 1 1
der or upper limit of operating voltage, the islanding condition = k Id vdc (t) (5)
dt Co Ro
can be easily detected. This is considered a passive method, like
the over under voltage method in ac systems. However, based where vdc (t), Co , Id , and Ro , are dc-link voltage, PV converter
on the IEEE Standard 9292000, the hardest islanding condi- output capacitance, average current from PV converter to output
tion to detect is when the difference is near to zero because capacitor, and equivalent resistance of the load, respectively. The
the dc-link voltage does not change quickly. Thus, an effective solution of (5) can be expressed as
anti-islanding method should be able to detect the island in this vdc (t) = k Id Ro + [(Vdc k Id Ro )e1/(R o C o )t ] (6)
worst case.
In this paper, the proposed anti-islanding algorithm is where Vdc is the initial voltage right before islanding occurs.
equipped with passive and active detection methods imple- Nominal distribution voltage is assumed to be 380 V.
mented in software. With the proposed injected current pertur- Based on (6), the voltage drop curves as a function of time
bation technique, the algorithm can detect the island condition with different perturbation factor k values are shown in Fig. 9
within 0.2 s while maintaining high PV MPPT efficiency. and the circuit parameters are shown in Table I. As the factor
For the analysis of islanding condition in dc distribution sys- k decreases, the detection time decreases. However, a smaller
tems, equivalent circuits of normal and island conditions are k creates larger perturbations on the PV input side, which is
shown in Fig. 7(a) and (b), respectively. The PV converter is closely related to MPPT efficiency and the required PV out-
modeled as a current source with an output capacitor Co , loads put capacitance. Because large perturbations can affect the PV
are modeled as an equivalent resistor, and the dc link is shown operating point and reduce MPPT efficiency, proper perturba-
as a constant voltage source. The proposed anti-islanding al- tion factor must be determined. The perturbation frequency
gorithm is based on injected current perturbation. By causing fp exhibits a tradeoff between detection time and MPPT ef-
a current imbalance for a short time at a scheduled frequency ficiency. Thus, perturbation duration Tp should be determined
SEO et al.: NEW DC ANTI-ISLANDING TECHNIQUE OF ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR-LESS PHOTOVOLTAIC INTERFACE 1637

Fig. 8. Key waveforms of the proposed dc anti-islanding algorithm.

Fig. 9. DC-link voltage drop curves with different k values.

TABLE I
SPECIFICATIONS OF A PROTOTYPE PV CONVERTER

Fig. 10. BIPV module (SPECTRA-100T).

system. The building is also equipped with a 23.1-kW PV gen-


eration system consisting of 210 BIPV modules to implement
the energy efficient dc distribution system. The PV modules are
connected to the dc link through their PV converters in parallel.
The BIPV module is an attractive candidate for DG with dc
distribution systems due to its feasibility as a building material,
which helps to reduce installation cost [27]. In addition, the rel-
considering dc-link voltage condition such as dc-link voltage atively high MPP voltage, higher than 100 V, helps achieve high
ripple and voltage dynamics in normal operation. efficiency using simple transformer-less converters.
The SPECTRA-100T BIPV module was used for the PV gen-
V. PV CONVERTER IMPLEMENTATION AND eration system. The BIPV modules were installed on a building
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS in Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, for the dc distri-
bution system realization. The photograph and specifications
A. PV Interface Design and Experimental Setup of the BIPV module used are shown in Fig. 10 and Table II,
To verify the proposed dc PV interface and dc anti-islanding respectively.
technique, a 380-V dc distribution system in an office building The boost converter was operated in BCM for the high-
with a 50-kW ac-dc converter and a 40-kWh battery storage efficiency BIPV interface. BCM operation improves efficiency
was considered. A variety of LED lights and office appliances, by not only achieving zero voltage switching of the active switch
such as personal computers, are powered by the dc distribution S, but also achieving zero current switching of the passive switch
1638 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, VOL. 28, NO. 4, APRIL 2013

TABLE II C. Experimental Results of the New Anti-islanding Algorithm


SPECIFICATIONS OF A BIPV MODULE
The proposed dc anti-islanding algorithm was implemented
for the prototype dc PV converter shown in Fig. 12. To detect the
island within 0.2 s, the perturbation frequency fp is determined
as 6 Hz (0.167 s). Perturbation duration Tp of 8 ms is determined
from the dc-link voltage variation and MPPT efficiency. The
factor k starts from 0.9 and it continuously decreases by 0.1
until under voltage protection detects island operation or it is
reset to 0.9 once it is determined that the dc-link voltage is
tightly regulated, indicating normal operation.
A compensation technique is employed right after the injected
current perturbation, as shown in Fig. 8, to balance the average
output current, and maintain high MPPT efficiency. Fig. 17
shows the voltage estimation curve in island operation with the
proposed algorithm. The island is detected within 15 ms of the
perturbation.
D [34]. The diagram of the BCM boost converter and functional To verify the proposed algorithm, the prototype converter
blocks of the digital signal processor are shown in Fig. 11. is constructed with a dc relay. The dc relay, FTR-J2AK012W,
The power stage parameters such as boost inductance L and shown in Fig. 12, is manufactured by Fujitsu Components for
PV output capacitance Cdc of the PV converter are specified dc distribution systems. The relay can interrupt direct current
in Table I, which were determined based on the electrical char- up to 10 A at 450 VDC within 15 ms.
acteristics of the BIPV module, converter operating conditions, Figs. 1820 show the experimental results of the prototype
and analysis results shown in (4). Long lifetime film 10 F ca- PV converter with the proposed algorithm. In Fig. 18, it is clear
pacitors were used in place of electrolytic capacitors in the PV that the island is detected within 15 ms after the injected current
circuit. The designed prototype PV converter shown in Fig. 12 perturbation. The perturbation factor k is decreased three times
was implemented using 56F8006, a low-cost digital signal pro- from 0.9 to 0.6, accelerating the voltage drop and resulting in
cessor manufactured by Freescale Semiconductor. A dc relay faster detection response. In addition, a 12-ms delay for the dc
circuit and power line communication module are included for relay to completely turn-off is observed. Finally, the algorithm
anti-islanding operation and PV generation information trans- guarantees island detection in less than 0.2 s in total: 0.167 s
mission to monitoring systems. between current perturbations, 0.015 s to detect islanding, and
A solar array simulator (SAS) manufactured by AMETEK, 0.015 s to turn off the dc relay. Fig. 19 shows normal operation
which simulates electric characteristics of PV modules, was waveforms of the PV converter. It is clear that the injected cur-
employed to evaluate the performance of the PV converter. Us- rent perturbation occurs every 0.167 s and additional current for
ing the embedded computerized program, MPPT efficiency and PV current compensation is drawn right after the perturbation to
power conversion efficiency were tested over the full range of improve MPPT efficiency. Fig. 20 shows recovery operation. As
operating conditions. the dc-link voltage returns to its normal range, the PV converter
delivers the generated power to the distribution line after
B. Experimental Results of Electrolytic Capacitor-less reconnection.
DC PV Interface Fig. 21 shows the MPPT efficiency measured by the PV sim-
ulator during normal operation for 100 s. The average MPPT
Fig. 13 shows the operation waveforms of the prototype con- efficiency is 99.9%, unaffected by the current perturbation
verter at full irradiation conditions (1000 W/m2 ), where the con- technique. This verifies the performance of the proposed dc
verter is operated in BCM at about 65 kHz. Fig. 14 shows the anti-islanding method. Fig. 22 shows the prototype converter
converter operation at 20% irradiation (200 W/m2 ), in which efficiency over the full operating range. The efficiency was
the converter operates in valley skipping mode, where the first measured based on the European efficiency expressed as
valley is skipped to reduce switching loss. Fig. 15 shows the
operation waveforms at 5% irradiation (50 W/m2 ), where the
Euro = 0.035% + 0.0610% + 0.1320% + 0.130%
converter operates in low-frequency discontinuous conduction
mode (DCM) for switching loss and operating power reduction. + 0.4850% + 0.2100% . (7)
The switching frequency is controlled at 25 kHz to keep the
voltage variation within the required range and avoid audible The prototype PV converter shows a maximum efficiency of
noise. Fig. 16 shows a capture image of the SAS embedded 98.1% and European efficiency of 97.5%, which verifies the
software where the SPECTRA-100T BIPV module is simulated performance of the dc distribution system and proposed dc PV
at the irradiation of 1000 W/m2 . The converter operates the PV interface. The light-load efficiency is maintained higher than
module near the MPP with harvest efficiency higher than 99.9% 93.0%, even at 5% load condition, by utilizing valley skipping
from the PV panel. The experimental results verify the analysis and DCM operation that reduce switching loss and operating
and feasibility of the proposed dc PV interface. power consumption.
SEO et al.: NEW DC ANTI-ISLANDING TECHNIQUE OF ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR-LESS PHOTOVOLTAIC INTERFACE 1639

Fig. 11. Diagram of the proposed BCM boost power converter for dc PV interface with a digital signal processor.

Fig. 12. Prototype dc PV power circuit.

Fig. 15. Operation waveforms of the prototype converter at 5% irradiation.

Fig. 13. Operation waveforms of the prototype converter at full irradiation.

Fig. 16. Capture image of SAS software with SPECTRA-100T simulated at


1000 W/m2 irradiation.

Fig. 14. Operation waveforms of the prototype converter at 20% irradiation.


1640 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, VOL. 28, NO. 4, APRIL 2013

Fig. 17. Voltage estimation curve of the detection algorithm. Fig. 21. MPPT efficiency during normal operation for 100 s.

Fig. 18. Islanding detection waveforms of the prototype converter.


Fig. 22. Efficiency of the prototype PV converter over the full operating range.

VI. CONCLUSION
In this paper, a new PV interface concept for dc distribution
has been proposed. Utilizing the dc distribution system, elec-
trolytic capacitors can be replaced with film capacitors at the
PV dc link, which extends PV product lifetime. Also, dc dis-
tribution systems achieve high efficiency with simple dc power
converters by eliminating the ac-dc interface.
Islanding detection is a key requirement for dc distribution
systems to ensure safety and protection. A new anti-islanding
algorithm has been proposed for dc systems. Based on math-
ematical analysis, the algorithm perturbation factor, duration,
Fig. 19. Normal operation waveforms of the prototype converter. and frequency parameters can be designed to guarantee detec-
tion time and maintain high MPPT efficiency.
A prototype converter for BIPV modules was implemented
with a digital signal processor. Its experimental results have
verified the feasibility of the converter showing a maximum ef-
ficiency of 98.1% and European efficiency of 97.5%. This study
should be helpful to implement high efficiency and long lifetime
guaranteed PV interface converters without electrolytic capaci-
tors. In addition, the experimental results have showed that the
proposed dc anti-islanding algorithm detects the island condi-
tion within 0.2 s, as estimated from the analysis. The algorithm
minimally affects the MPPT efficiency, whose average is 99.9%
in the experiment.

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Fig. 20. Recovery operation waveforms of the prototype converter.
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29. sity, Seoul, in 1987, 1989, and 2001, respectively.
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integrated DC/DC converter for PV energy harvest in FREEDM systems, verter, and electronic ballast for metal halide discharge lamps.
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tegrated converter topologies with three different DC link configurations, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Uni-
IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 13201333, May 2008. versity (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, all in electrical
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Operating mechanism of SiC-SIT DC circuit breaker in 400 V-DC power Prior to his research at Virginia Tech, he was a
supply system for data center In case of grounding fault, in Proc. IEEE member of the Technical Staff with the Department
Appl. Power Electron. Conf. Expo., Feb. 2012, pp. 21892194. of Power Conversion Electronics, TRW Defense and
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DC microgrids, IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 10451053, Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineer-
Jul. 2009. ing, Virginia Tech. In 1995, he joined the School of Electrical Engineering,
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tion, in Proc. Int. Conf. Sustain. Power Gen. Supply, 2009, pp. 14. His current research interests include power electronics, modeling, analysis,
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Mag., vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 2434, Jun. 2009. systems.
[26] S. B. Kjaer, J. K. Pedersen, and F. Blaabjerg, A review of single-phase Dr. Cho is a recipient of the 1989 Presidential Young Investigator Award from
grid-connected inverters for photovoltaic modules, IEEE Trans. Ind. the National Science Foundation. He chaired the 2006 IEEE Power Electronics
Appl., vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 12921306, Sep./Oct. 2005. Specialists Conference. He is a Member of Tau Beta Pi.