Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments

The research article 'A novel fuzzy controller for photovoltaic pumping systems driven by general-purpose frequency converters' has been published in Elsevier journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments (Volume 40, August 2020, 100758).


In this paper, a fuzzy logic based Mandani-type controller is applied to an industrial frequency converter to couple a photovoltaic generator to a conventional centrifugal pump for water pumping applications. The system operates in closed loop and the DC bus voltage regulation of the frequency converter is done indirectly by varying the speed of the pump according to the power provided by the photovoltaic generator. In order to decrease the number of series-connected modules, the working voltage of the photovoltaic generator (maximum power point voltage) must be as close as possible to the minimum voltage limit required by the frequency converter’s input. The proposed algorithm was embedded in a general-purpose microcontroller. Controller performance was evaluated through tests on an experimental bench that allows simulating different water heads.

Experimental results shows that the speed of the proposed fuzzy controller allows the operation close to the lower DC voltage limit imposed by the frequency converter, making possible the use of photovoltaic generators with a reduced number of PV modules in series (in this work, 30% fewer modules). The fuzzy controller regulates the photovoltaic generator voltage throughout the day, avoiding frequency converter limitation due to undervoltage errors, even with sudden changes in irradiance.

Access the complete article on ScienceDirect.