S Udhayakumar, R A Sindhu, R Srivasthan, Y Yogaraj

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The harvesting of solar energy is gaining increasing attention as it is pollution free and is available in abundance. Various researches and experiments are being carried out to improve the efficiency of power conversion by altering the material of the photovoltaic panels, by incorporating tracking systems and by making use of Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithms. The conventional rigidly fixed solar panels limit their area of exposure to the sun during the entire day. The use of tracker increases the area of panel exposed to direct beam of the sun, thus increasing the power generated. MPPT algorithm tracks the maximum power point attained at all loads and extracts the power from the panel at that voltage. Despite the variations in the external environment, the power obtained from the panel is always maximum. This paper reviews various tracking methods and MPPT techniques to increase the energy harvesting capacity of the panel and in turn improve its efficiency.


photovoltaics, MPPT, solar tracker

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