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Among all renewable energy sources for power generation, the share of solar energy is the largest. The solar energy is harnessed by photovoltaic (PV) panels which convert the solar radiation to electrical output. The performance of PV panels degrades under typical fault conditions such as shading, open circuit fault, hotspots, and minor cracks. This is reflected in the IV characteristics of PV panels which provide information about their health status. The electrical energy generated through these faulty solar panels impacts the efficiency of PV inverters.

This project deals with the development of a hardware testbed to analyze the impact of PV panel faults on solar power generation. We have Chroma programmable DC power supply [1], which can emulate a PV panel. The PV emulator can be programmed based upon different IV characteristics for panel faults and can be controlled via a remote interface. The PV emulator will be interfaced to a solar inverter which will supply power to a programmable AC load [2]. The programmable load can provide power quality analysis in terms of total harmonic distortion (THD), crest factor, etc.

The student must have programming skills. Also, knowledge of power systems and solar energy generation is required.


The student will follow a programming manual to operate and program the PV emulator with solar data from different locations, which are available on [3].  The commissioning of solar inverter with the PV emulator will be done. Different tests would be carried out to measure the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) efficiency. This project will provide hands-on experience in setting up an emulated off-grid PV plant. The results of this project will provide insight into power quality issues due to faults in solar panels in solar-powered energy systems.