Transformerless Microinverter with Low Leakage Current Circulation and Low Input Capacitance Requirement for PV Applications
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The inevitable depletion of limited fossil fuels combined with their harmful footprint on the environment led to a global pursuit for alternative energy sources that are clean and inexhaustible. Renewable energies such as wind, biomass and solar are the best alternative energy candidates, with the latter being more suitable for GCC countries. Besides, the energy generated from photovoltaic (PV) modules is one of the elegant examples of harnessing solar energy, as it is clean, pollutant-free and modular. Furthermore, recent advances in PV technology, especially grid-connected PV systems revealed the preeminence of using multiple small inverters called (Microinverters) over using the conventional single inverter configuration. Specifically, the break-even cost point can be reached faster and the system modularity increases with microinverters usage. Nonetheless, due to microinverter’s small ratings designers prefer transformerless designs because transformer removal achieves higher efficiency and power density. However, the transformer removal results in loss of galvanic isolation that leads to dangerous leakage current circulation that affects system safety. Another issue with microinverters is that since they are installed outside their bulky DC-Link electrolytic capacitor lifetime deteriorates the system reliability because electrolytic capacitor failure rate increases as temperature increases. Moreover, the DC-Link capacitor is used to decouple the 2nd order power harmonic ripples that appear in single-phase systems. Thus, the objective of this thesis is to design an efficient transformerless microinverter that has low leakage current circulation and low input capacitance requirement with a minimum number of active switches. In other words, the objective is to increase the safety and the reliability of the system while maintaining the high efficiency. Eventually, the configuration selected is the transformerless differential buck microinverter with LCL filter and it is modeled with passive resonance damping and active resonance damping control.
- Electrical Engineering [9 items ]