Masters Theses


"A new solar technology with the capability to increase array-level power production is introduced by using simple integrated power converters that connect directly to photovoltaic (PV) panels is investigated. The power converters proposed here are full-bridge DC-DC converters with high voltage gain that operate with an open-loop control scheme. The outputs of these converters could then be directly connected to a grid-tie converter eliminating the need to connect panels in series to achieve the appropriate voltage. With a high-efficiency converter, the total system efficiency would increase even though one panel in the array may be compromised. The simulation results show that a highly-efficient converter is possible. To assist in experimentation, an auxilary [sic] circuit using a microcontroller was implemented to supply power and gate signals to the gate driver of the power converters. The design and construction of a transformer for use with the full-bridge converter is discussed. A novel transformer topology is utilized to increase converter efficiency. The converters were tested both in a laboratory environment and outdoors for solar data collection. Transient response, source regulation and load regulation analysis was performed. The maximum power points of the array were investigated for different insolation levels. Even when insolation differs substantially, the panel output power levels are within their individual maximum power levels when the total output is maximized even without independent power trackers. Analysis of both field data and random insolation indicate that the new approach does increase power generation and therefore system efficiency"--Abstract, page iii.


Kimball, Jonathan W.

Committee Member(s)

Zawodniok, Maciej Jan, 1975-
Crow, Mariesa


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Electrical Engineering


U.S. Army Research Laboratory
California Energy Commission. Energy Innovations Small Grant Program
Leonard Wood Institute


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2012


xi, 86 pages


© 2012 Zachary Scott Johnson, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

DC-to-DC converters
Electric current converters
Photovoltaic cells

Thesis Number

T 9967

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