Power generation from the sun is scalable from residential to commercial applications. Scientists and engineers use MATLAB® and Simulink® products to harness this energy source by:
- Modeling and analyzing the performance of photovoltaic panels
- Developing solar power inverters
- Simulating commercial-scale solar power plants
Develop Maximum Power Point Tracking Algorithms for Solar Inverters
The efficiency of solar power inverters depends on developing algorithms for maximum power point tracking (MPPT). MATLAB and Simulink products reduce the cost and effort of designing and testing inverters by letting engineers simulate the solar panel DC source and electric load on the inverter. Inverter designers can run simulations using multiple operating conditions to test for varying insolation, partial panel shading, and rapidly changing loads.
Design Concentrated Solar Power Generation Systems
Concentrated solar thermal power has the advantage of using conventional power generation techniques, such as steam-driven turbine generators. However, developing accurate predictions of the electrical output of these alternative power systems is complicated by their dependence on the sun as a thermal source.
Multidomain simulations allow engineers to model the insolation on the thermal collectors, heat transfer efficiency from the collectors to a boiler, and the electrical output at the generator. Simulink lets system engineers simulate the entire power system to determine its efficiency under varying operating conditions. These simulations are used to optimize and validate control systems necessary to operate the solar plant at higher efficiency and bring the plant online and offline safely.