Waterloo researchers develop a better way to harness the energy of solar panels

Researchers Farsi and Liu, from the University of Waterloo, have recently published a study with their advances in this area.

Researchers Farsi and Liu, from the University of Waterloo , have recently published a study on better use of solar panel energy. They have developed an algorithm that increases the efficiency of the photovoltaic solar system. This reduces the volume of energy wasted due to the lack of effective controls.

We have sometimes talked about research to improve the efficiency of solar panels or their energy losses . We now know that some Waterloo researchers have created an algorithm to harness the energy of the panels better.

The study has been published recently. It is named: ” Optimal nonlinear feedback control and stability analysis of solar photovoltaic systems“. Its authors, the aforementioned researchers from Waterloo Farsi and Liu.

The new algorithm allows controllers to deal better with fluctuations around the maximum energy point of a photovoltaic solar system. This situation has always led to wasting the potential energy collected by the panels.

Milad Farsi , from the Department of Applied Mathematics of Waterloo (Canada), explains it this way:

«We have developed an algorithm to further increase the energy extracted from an existing solar panel. The hardware in each solar panel has some nominal efficiency, but there must be some appropriate controller that can extract the maximum energy from the solar panels.

We do not change the hardware or require additional circuits in the photovoltaic solar system. What we develop is a better approach to control the hardware that already exists.

Take advantage of the energy. Practical examples

Researchers have explained that, according to the simulations, for a domestic solar array of 12 335W modules, up to 138.9 kWh / year can be saved . In this regard, Farsi has indicated that the savings may seem insignificant for a small solar system for domestic use, but:

“They could make a substantial difference in larger-scale ones, such as a solar farm or in an area with hundreds of thousands of local solar panels connected to the power grid.”

Taking another example, the largest photovoltaic plant in Canada, the Sarnia Photovoltaic Power PlantFarsi indicates:

“If this technique is used, the savings could amount to 960,000 kWh / year, which is enough to feed hundreds of homes. And if the energy saved were generated by a coal plant, it would mean the emission of 312 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.”

Milad Farsi further noted that the savings could be even more substantial in a rapidly changing environmental environment, such as Canadian weather conditions . Even when the loss of energy in the converters is taken into account, observed in other conventional control methods and caused by unwanted vibration effects.