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Single-source multibattery solar charger: Case study and implementation issues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1916-1928
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Volume23
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

In this paper, design process and functionality of a portable single-panel dual-battery solar charger prototype are presented, achieving energy density of 571Whkg-1 during a typical 3-day infantry mission. The device may instantaneously charge up to two Li-ion MR-2791 batteries, supporting plug-and-play operation. The system consists of a lightweight custom solar panel, based on 20% efficient monocrystalline photovoltaics, and an intelligent power processing module. The panel contains eight transparent polymer-encapsulated and camouflaged series-connected six solar cell packs with antiparallel diodes, allowing partial shading operation. The power processing module consists of two synchronous current-mode-controlled buck converters, digital signal processor, and a microcontroller, supporting both maximum power point tracking of the solar panel with partial shading detection and multimode charging of Li-ion packs while instantaneously communicating with the batteries. Power management algorithmic design is presented, based on ensuring system stability while supporting the required operation modes. System implementation stages and underlying issues are thoroughly discussed, and utilized hardware components are presented in detail. Experimental results of system testing under real outdoor conditions are presented to demonstrate the device functionality and energy yield capabilities.

Keywords

  • Energy density, Li-ion battery, Partial shading, Portable system, Solar charger

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