Maximum Output Power Point Tracking for Low Power Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting Systems

A novel approach for finding the maximum output power point of a photovoltaic energy harvesting system is proposed in this paper. It is based on maximizing the power delivered to the load taking into account the performance of the whole system in contrast to conventional approaches focused on tracking the maximum power point of the photovoltaic transducer alone. The output power tracking is performed by measuring the output voltage, which significantly simplifies the hardware complexity and consequently reduces the power consumption. A circuit implementation of the entire system is presented and validated using electrical simulations. The designed circuit is self powered and is able to successfully supply a load with voltage levels higher than 1.2V. The system achieves a peak efficiency of 80.51% when the input power is equal to 28.03 μW.

keywords: Energy Harvesting, MPPT, DC-DC converter