Revisited Perturbation Frequency Design Guideline for Direct Fixed-Step Maximum Power Point Tracking Algorithms

Jyri Kivimaki, Sergei Kolesnik, Moshe Sitbon, Teuvo Suntio, Alon Kuperman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


In order to optimize the performance of direct (or perturbative) fixed-step maximum power point tracking algorithms (e.g., perturb and observe and incremental conductance), two design parameters - perturbation frequency and step size - must be selected. The main requirement for perturbation frequency design is ensuring the period between two successive perturbations is longer than settling time of photovoltaic generator power transient. According to existing design guidelines, perturbation frequency should be selected at maximum power point, corresponding to standard test conditions. However, due to finite resolution of digital controllers, maximum power region rather than single maximum power point exists in practice. Therefore, operating point can arbitrarily reside within this region, belonging either to constant-current or constant-voltage I-V curve parts. It is shown that the photovoltaic generator power transient settling process is significantly slower in constant current than maximum power region due to increased value of dynamic resistance. Consequently, perturbation frequency design should be carried out in constant-current region rather than at maximum power point. Short-circuit condition should be selected as worst-case design operation point, where photovoltaic generator dynamic resistance obtains highest value. Then, perturbation frequency design becomes photovoltaic generator independent, influenced only by interfacing converter component values. Experimental results validate presented findings successfully.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7862858
Pages (from-to)4601-4609
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
  • perturbation frequency
  • photovoltaic generators (PVGs)


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