T4: Optimization Techniques for Solar Photovoltaic Systems

10:40AM - 12:30PM
Monday, June 3rd, 2019

Martin Ordonez, Francisco Paz
The University of British Columbia, Canada



Solar power installations are extremely sensitive to the cost of the installation, the expected payback time, and the availability of energy generation over time. Many factors must be weighed in the design of a PV system (e.g., panels, arrays, inverters), but traditional design rules are too simplistic and do not make use of critical information. Often, oversized components are used that do not produce any advantages for the PV system. An alternative to the traditional approach is to optimize the different components of the system to obtain an overall system that minimizes installation cost, payback time, or other user defined targets.

In this tutorial, models, methods, and techniques will be presented to optimize the performance of the PV systems. Three aspects of the design process will be addressed: 1) PV plant size optimization, based on detailed models; 2) PV inverter stage optimization, based on power envelope and mini-boost stages; and 3) maximum power point tracking strategies. The discussion of each of these topics will focus on design considerations and on the trade-offs between different factors that lead to optimal solutions. The topics are discussed in relation to industry standard practices, and this is followed by the introduction of advanced techniques that yield better performance.



Dr. Martin Ordonez is currently a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Power Converters for Renewable Energy Systems with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is also the holder of the Fred Kaiser Professorship on Power Conversion and Sustainability at UBC. He was an adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada, and MUN. His industrial experience in power conversion includes research and development at Xantrex Technology Inc./Elgar Electronics Corp. (now AMETEK Programmable Power in San Diego, California). With the support of industrial funds and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, he has contributed to more than 150 publications and R&D reports.

Dr. Ordonez is an Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, a Guest Editor for IEEE JOURNAL OF EMERGING AND SELECTED TOPICS IN POWER ELECTRONICS, an Editor for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY serves on several IEEE committees, and reviews widely for IEEE/IET journals and international conferences. He was awarded the David Dunsiger Award for Excellence in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (2009) and the Chancellors Graduate Award/Birks Graduate Medal (2006) and became a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies, MUN.


Francisco Paz is a Ph.D. Candidate and Liu Scholar at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He serves as vice-chair of the Vancouver IEEE Power Electronics Chapter since 2016 and served as the Local Organizing Chair for the IEEE PEDG 2016 in Vancouver, Canada. Mr. Paz has been recognized with several scholarships and awards, including the ICICS Graduate Scholarship (2014), the UBC Faculty of Applied Science Graduate Award (2014 to 2016), and the Four Year Fellowship for Ph.D. students (2014 to 2018) from UBC. He also received a Best Conference Paper awarded by PELS Technical Committee 5 (TC5) at PEDG. Other recognitions include the TICs scholarship from the Argentinian Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (2008). Hi is passionate about teaching and learning, having served as lecturer for seven courses on renewable energy sources, under the Vancouver Summer Program (2016 to 2018), and having delivered tutorials at the IEEE SPEC 2017 in Chile, IEEE PEDG 2018 in Charlotte, and IEEE ECCE 2018 in Portland. For his teaching contributions to UBC, he received the prestigious Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.