A new PV emulator to evaluate the I-V profile of solar panels


Researchers have developed a PV source emulator – a power converter delivering current and voltage with the same behavior as those generated by PV panels – which they say can evaluate the I-V profile of solar modules independent of atmospheric conditions.

Scientists at Morocco’s Hassan I University have described their non-linear power electronic device in the paper Real-time emulation of photovoltaic energy using adaptive state feedback control, published in SN Applied Sciences.

The researchers claim their device can perform module measurements at desired weather parameters without any time, space or cost constraints.

The new emulator is based on a state-feedback adaptive control system which can regulate current and voltage of the circuit and track the I–V characteristic of a PV module. The feedback control was implemented in a real-time controller as a hardware dSpace card.


“The given experimental results showed that the proposed PV emulator can achieve a good dynamic response and have a better bandwidth compared to the existing commercial PV emulators [which are] based on programmable power supply,” the research team stated.

The developers claim the accuracy of their emulator was unaffected by changes in the resistance load and, as a consequence, of the operating point of the system.

“It has been proven that the realized power circuit can sweep the whole I–V curve for different values of solar irradiance and temperature,” the researchers stated. The developers now want to work on the emulator’s ability to track partial shading conditions, among other improvements, to bring their innovation nearer commercial production.

A study published last month attempted to evaluate the accuracy of the mathematical models which are used in the PV industry and research to assess the performance of solar modules under varying environmental conditions such as irradiance and temperature.

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