New MPPT technique based on improved snake algorithm

PV system performance
Typical representation of maximum power point tracking
Image: Stündle, Wikimedia Commons

A group of researchers from Lanzhou Jiaotong University in China has developed a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technique based on an improved snake optimizer (ISO) algorithm.

The ISO is a swarm-intelligence-based optimization algorithm proposed in 2022 to improve the typical shortcomings of the snake algorithm. The latter is inspired by the behavior of snakes searching for food sources. Its search mechanism is controlled with a fixed development probability, which the researchers said can affect the search accuracy and efficiency of the algorithm.

“The snake optimizer algorithm suffers from the problem of easily being trapped in a local optimum in the procedure of position updating,” they also explained. “The ISO algorithm is a new intelligent optimization algorithm that mimics the mating and reproduction of snakes. Each snake will try to find the best mate if it has sufficient amount of food and very low-temperature conditions.”

The proposed MPPT method can detect the output current and the output voltage of the system in real time and adjust the duty cycle of the boost circuit. Then, it achieves MPPT by changing the output voltage of the circuit.

The novel approach was tested through a series of simulations with five different types of PV system configurations. The group assumed the system to operate under standard illumination conditions and at a temperature of 25 C.

This analysis showed that the ISO algorithm achieved better convergence speed and accuracy than the SO counterpart, while also enhancing PV system stability. “The tracking efficiency range of the ISO algorithm is 99.94-99.99% and the response time of 0.08 s-0.21 s, while the tracking efficiency range of the SO algorithm is 65.84-99.94% and the response time of 0.19 s-0.25 s,” the scientists explained.

Overall, the improved version of the algorithm was found to improve PV system efficiency, global search ability and convergence speed of maximum power point. “Under partial shading conditions, the maximum tracking rate of the ISO algorithm is 99.97%-92.75%, and the maximum tracking efficiency of the SO algorithm is 98.82%-72.98%,” they added.

The novel MPPT technique was presented in the study “Optimize photovoltaic MPPT with improved snake algorithm,” published in Energy Reports. “The ISO algorithm proposed in this article has better adaptability and higher tracking efficiency under local shading conditions, and can adapt well to dynamic environments where environmental changes are detected,” the academics concluded.

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