Connecting Solar Cells to electrical circuits designed with blocks from SimPowerSystems library
October 31, 2011
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Here is a good article for researchers who deal with Solar Cells in the Simulink environment.
A common situation that solar cell researchers face is they typically design electrical power systems (e.g RLC Circuits) with blocks from the SimPowerSystems library, and then would like to connect the ‘Solar cell’ block to this circuitry (see figure 1).
Figure 1 – Circuitry designed in SimPowerSystems domain, and User wants to replace DC Voltage Source with a Solar Cell block.
However, as intuitive as figure 1 may seem to be, this method is not possible. This is because the ‘solar cell’ block is obtained from another library and is considered as a member of the family of another domain (SimElectronics). Therefore, when the researcher tries to connect this block to the circuitry, he’ll find that Simulink does not allow the connection.
Here’s the tip on how to connect the ‘Solar Cell’ block to a circuitry designed with SimPowerSystems. Listed below are the steps in sequence, where each of it is assisted by a diagram.
Connect a current sensor block (Simscape>Foundation Library>Electrical>Electrical Sensors) to the ‘Solar Cell’ block. This block measures the current and outputs a physical signal which will be fed to the SimPowerSystems domain later.
Connect a ‘PS Constant’ block (Simscape>Foundation Library>Physical Signals>Sources) to specify the irradiance value (Light Intensity in W/m2) that falls onto the Solar Cell. Plug in the Solver Configuration block (Simscape>Utilities) to specify the solver parameters that is needed by the model for simulation.
Connect an Electrical reference block (Simscape>Foundation Library>Electrical>Electrical Elements) to represent electrical grounding for the circuit.
Connect a ‘PS-Simulink Converter’ block (Simscape>Utilities) to convert the physical signal to a Simulink signal.
Finally, connect a ‘Controlled Current Source’ block from the SimPowerSystems library (SimPowerSystems/Electrical Sources) to convert the Simulink input Signal to an equivalent current signal in SimPowerSystems.
With this final step, the connection between the Solar Cell and SimPowerSystems has actually been established. The circuit with the solar cell can then be interfaced with the SimPowerSystem circuit as shown in figure 2.
Figure 2 – Connection between Solar Cell and Circuits in SimPowerSystems
That’s the tip to interface the Solar Cell block to the SimPowerSystem domain. Hopefully you will find it useful in your research and development. Happy Working!