A novel Photovoltaic Power Converter for military and space applications
Fernandez, Randyll R. M.
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The purpose of this thesis is to consider PhotoVoltaic Power Converter (PVPC) technology, developed by Atira TechnologiesÊ¼, and its prospects for military and space applications. This research will validate the hypothesis that PVPC technology enables a solar power system to produce usable power during low- and no-light conditions which standard solar power systems fail to provide. Solar cell panels are exposed to sunlight at different angles and with variable intensity, therefore the resulting output power varies depending on the illumination angle as well as the light intensity of each panel. Atira TechnologiesÊ¼ devised a novel buck-boost converter that is specifically designed to track the maximum power point of each solar panel. This would provide a significant increase in the overall available power by utilizing a switching topology in a subdued lighting condition. Although a small amount of power is generated, given enough time, a battery will reach its full charge, compared to no additional charging if the battery is using a panel without the circuit. In addition, this research will also show the vital sustaining information to substantiate PVPC's claim of usefulness and effectiveness to allow for longer time on station both in the field and in space so it can extend its missions.
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