Performance of Power-Limited Differential Power Processing Architectures in Mismatched PV Systems

Carlos Olalla, Christopher Deline, Daniel Clement, Yoash Levron, Miguel Rodriguez, Dragan Maksimovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus Citations


Differential power processing (DPP) architectures employ distributed, low power processing, submodule-integrated converters to mitigate mismatches in photovoltaic (PV) power systems, while introducing no insertion losses. This paper evaluates the effects of the simple voltage-balancing DPP control approach on the submodule-level maximum power point (MPP) efficiency. It is shown that the submodule MPP efficiency of voltage-balancing DPP converters exceeds 98% in the presence of worst-case MPP voltage variations due to irradiance or temperature mismatches. Furthermore, the effects of reduced converter power rating in the isolated-port DPP architecture are investigated by long-term, high-granularity simulations of five representative PV system scenarios. For partially shaded systems, it is shown that the isolated-port DPP architecture offers about two times larger energy yield improvements compared to full power processing (FPP) module-level converters, and that it outperforms module-level FPP approaches even when the power rating of DPP converters is only 20-30% of the PV system peak power. In the cases of aging-related mismatches, more than 90% of the energy yield improvements are obtained with DPP converters rated at only 10% of the PV peak power.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2312980
Pages (from-to)618-631
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-63317


  • Aging
  • dc-dc converters
  • Differential power processing (DPP)
  • Equalization
  • Mismatch
  • Partial shading
  • Photovoltaic modules
  • Submodule-integrated converters (subMICs)


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