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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 65, NO.

3, MARCH 2018 2653

A Research on Power Line Communication


Based on Parallel Resonant Coupling
Technology in PV Module Monitoring
Wang Mao , Student Member, IEEE, Xing Zhang, Senior Member, IEEE, Renxian Cao,
Fusheng Wang , Member, IEEE, Tao Zhao, Student Member, IEEE, and Linchong Xu

Abstract—Intelligent photovoltaic (PV) module monitor- The ability to predict failures by monitoring changes in system
ing can automatically locate the position of panels and parameters not only is significant for operation and maintenance
monitor the status of PV modules, which is of great signif- of PV plants, but also can offer plant owners the possibility to
icance for PV plants operation and maintenance. As a new
communication method in the field of PV monitoring, the increase profitability by decreasing downtime.
monitoring of PV modules based on power line communica- Existing systems typically exploit distributed sensors that
tion is the future trend of PV power plants monitoring due to communicate with a remote station through a wireless proto-
its low maintenance cost and strong anti-interference abil- col [8], [9], but only a few make use of dedicated cables [7].
ity. This paper presents an intelligent PV module monitoring
Although its cost is low, the wireless communication, which uses
scheme based on the parallel resonant coupling unit, which
uses the dc bus as the communication channel and modula- the common frequency, is particularly vulnerable to the inter-
tes the monitoring data into a high-frequency form to carry ference of the same frequency band, which leads to an incorrect
out the carrier communication. By using the parallel transmission of the instruction and a damage to the security
resonant coupling, the high-frequency carrier wave is operation of the power network. According to the National De-
injected into the dc bus, which improves the system velopment and Reform Commission’s “Power Monitoring Sys-
efficiency and anti-interference ability. In addition, an
adaptive level decision circuit is proposed to improve the tem Security Provisions,” PV plants monitoring system shall
flexibility and scalability of the communication system by be a production control area, within which the use of wireless
adaptively changing the reference level of the decision communication equipment is strictly prohibited. Wired com-
circuit. Experimental results achieved by a developed munication requires additional communication cables, which
power line transceiver demonstrate both feasibility and increases the cost of system operation and maintenance.
validity of the proposed scheme.
Power line communication (PLC) technology, as a new type
Index Terms—Intelligent photovoltaic (PV) system, mod- of communication in the field of PV monitoring, enables com-
ule monitoring, parallel resonant coupling unit, power line munication over existing dc power lines and requires no ad-
communication (PLC), PV plants maintenance.
ditional communication lines. Using PLC technology in PV
I. INTRODUCTION power plants monitoring is bound to be the trend of future
development.
HE market for sustainable, renewable energies is growing
T fast and, in recent years, great progress in terms of the
overall efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) systems has been made
Numerous PV monitoring systems based on PLC have been
studied [10]–[22]. A current pulse PLC scheme is proposed in
[10], which can transmit data signal of the PV module by the
[1], [2]. However, a recent study by the International Energy
instantaneous current drop pulse generated by shunt circuit of
Agency (IEA) finds that faults and defects reduce PV plants
the module. However, this scheme can only be one-way commu-
efficiency [3]–[6]. In order to improve the performance ratio
nication. In [11], an inductive coupling PLC scheme to realize
of PV plants, the IEA recommends that monitoring be taken
the transmission of the carrier communication signal through
directly at the PV module. Module monitoring is capable of
the current transformer is proposed. However, the signal at-
finding a fault or failure in the PV system as soon as possible.
tenuation of this scheme is large and the signal transmission
efficiency is low [12]–[14]. A capacitive coupling PLC scheme
Manuscript received January 22, 2017; revised April 27, 2017 and is proposed in [15], which utilizes the coupling transformer to
June 18, 2017; accepted June 30, 2017. Date of publication August
7, 2017; date of current version December 15, 2017. (Corresponding transmit the carrier communication signal. However, due to the
author: Fusheng Wang.) parallel connection between the transformer and the PV mod-
W. Mao, X. Zhang, F. Wang, and T. Zhao are with Hefei Univer- ule, the power requirement of the signal transmitter is high and
sity of Technology, Hefei 230009, China (e-mail: hfut_maow@163.com;
honglf@ustc.edu.cn; 10748451@qq.com; 864125074@qq.com). the emission efficiency is low [16]. In [17]–[22], different PLC-
R. Cao and L. Xu are with Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd., Hefei based PV module monitoring schemes are proposed, but all
230088, China (e-mail: crx@sungrow.cn; xulc@sungrowpower.com). proposed schemes are based on integrated PLC communication
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available
online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. modem which is expensive and heightens the cost of the PV
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TIE.2017.2736483 module monitoring.
0278-0046 © 2017 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.
See http://www.ieee.org/publications standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.
2654 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 65, NO. 3, MARCH 2018

Fig. 2. Structure of signal modulation circuit based on the ASK modu-


lation method.

B. Signal Modulation Circuit


The signal modulation circuit transforms the measured
certain characteristics of the PV module into high-frequency
carrier signals for transmission. At present, current pulse, am-
plitude shift keying (ASK), and frequency shift keying (FSK)
are the three major utilized PLC modulation schemes in the
Fig. 1. Structure of intelligent PV module monitoring system based on
the parallel resonant coupling unit. field of PV module monitoring. The current pulse modulation
scheme provides an uncomplicated arrangement, but it cannot
realize bidirectional communication [10]. The FSK modulation
This paper proposes a PLC scheme based on parallel resonant scheme is less susceptible to noise jamming than ASK. How-
coupling unit. The scheme has not only high transmission ef- ever, it is complicated to realize and its bandwidth utilization is
ficiency, strong anti-interference ability, but also low cost. The lower than ASK [17]–[21]. Thus, considering that the noise at
contents of this paper are arranged as following: in Section II, the dc side is very low [26], the simple ASK modulation scheme
the principle and implementation of PLC scheme based on par- is adopted in the PV module monitoring system. The proposed
allel resonant coupling unit is introduced; the implemented PV PLC module uses ASK digital modulation scheme, namely,
monitoring system and field test results are given in Section III; on-off keying. The carrier generator generates a carrier when
and Section IV is the conclusion. the transmitting signal from the universal asynchronous receiver
transmitter (UART) is logic “1” and no carrier when logic “0.”
II. INTELLIGENT PV MODULE MONITORING SYSTEM BASED Fig. 2 shows the structure of signal modulation circuit based
ON THE PARALLEL RESONANT COUPLING UNIT on the ASK modulation method. The measured certain parame-
ters of the PV panel, such as dc voltage, direct current, and tem-
A. Intelligent PV Module Monitoring System Architecture perature, are converted into digital signals and modulated into
The structure of an intelligent PV module monitoring system the high-frequency carrier signals by the MCU for transmission.
based on the parallel resonant coupling unit is shown in Fig. 1. The sinusoidal carrier is generated by filtering the PWM car-
The proposed PV monitoring system is composed of two ele- rier produced from MCU. Therefore, an m-derived low-pass
ments: smart communication module (SCM) and data collector filter (LPF) with three notch points is designed for filtering
unit (DCU). The SCM is deployed at the rear side of the PV PWM wave [23]. In this paper, the PWM wave frequency is
module. It measures the corresponding PV module’s charac- selected as 200 kHz, and the corresponding three notch points
teristics based on three factors: dc voltage, direct current, and of LPF are 600 kHz, 1 MHz, and 1.4 MHz, respectively, which
temperature. From those measured data, each PV panel can be mainly filter out third, fifth, and seventh harmonics. Fig. 3(a)
diagnosed to decide whether it is normal or abnormal. The DCU, shows the designed filter under ideal conditions, and the corre-
which is deployed beside the PV inverter, periodically aggre- sponding frequency response is shown in Fig. 3(c). As shown
gates the measured data of each PV module. The dc power line in Fig. 3(c), the attenuation at three notch frequency points of
becomes a communication medium between DCU and SCM. the designed LPF are 82, 112, and 119 dB, respectively, which
DCU consists of signal processing unit, while SCM contains basically meet the designed requirements. However, in practical
two parts: signal bypass unit and signal processing unit. In order situations, the effect of the parasitic parameters of the magnetic
to avoid fluctuations of the operating point of the PV module components on the LPF should be taken into account. Fig. 3(b)
induced by high-frequency carrier signals travelling across the shows the equivalent circuit of the designed m-type LPF when
PV panel and the communication signals’ attenuation caused considering parasitic parameters. The parasitic parameters of the
by the ac impedance of PV module, a bypass unit, designed magnetic components are measured by the Wayne Kerr 65120B
to have the extremely low impedance at carrier frequency, is impedance analyzer. As is shown in Fig. 3(c), the frequency
connected in parallel with the solar panel, thus providing an response of the m-type LPF are almost the same below 2.5 MHz
alternative bypass path for the high-frequency carrier signals. under both two cases. Therefore, in practice, the performance of
With a major function to analyze and process the communication the LPF can still meet the requirements. After the carrier is gen-
signals, the signal processing unit mainly includes three parts: erated, the high-speed logic bilateral switch is controlled by the
signal modulation circuit, signal coupling circuit, and signal digital signals generated from the UART of MCU to implement
demodulation circuit. ASK modulation.
et al.: RESEARCH ON POWER LINE COMMUNICATION BASED ON PARALLEL RESONANT COUPLING TECHNOLOGY IN PV MODULE MONITORING 2655

Fig. 4. Proposed coupling circuit based on the parallel resonant unit.

Fig. 5. Equivalent circuit of the high-frequency modulated signal in the


system comprising N coupling circuits.

bypass unit, can be neglected because the bypass unit is designed


to have extremely low impedance at the carrier frequency. Thus,
the signal transmission efficiency can be obtained as
ILo op ILo op
Fig. 3. (a) Designed m-type LPF under ideal conditions. (b) Designed η= × 100% = × 100%
m-type LPF when considering parasitic parameters. (c) Frequency re- IT x ILo op + ICoupler
sponse of m-type LPF under both two cases. UT x
Z C o u p le r R e
N Z C o u p le r + R e
= UT x UT x
× 100%
C. Signal Coupling Circuit Z C o u p le r R e + ZC o u p le r
N Z C o u p le r + R e

The coupling circuit performs the connection with the com-


1
munication channel. It acts as a filter through which the commu- = N Re
× 100%. (1)
nication signals pass and out-of-band noises are attenuated. The R e +Z C o u p l e r +1
proposed coupling circuit based on the parallel resonant unit in
this paper is shown in Fig. 4. As is shown in Fig. 4, in which In this paper, the terminating impedance of the receiver is
the inductor L and capacitor C1 are composed of the parallel 50 Ω. Therefore, the signal transmission efficiency can be ex-
resonant unit, the capacitor C2 located between the transformer pressed as
and the dc power bus block the dc current from the power line; 1
and Re is the terminating impedance of the receiving circuit. η= 50 N
× 100%. (2)
50+Z C o u p l e r +1
DC power signal forms the return circuit through the resonant
inductor, while the modulated signal is superimposed on the dc While the signal transmission efficiency of capacitive cou-
power line through a coupling transformer and a capacitor C2 . pling PLC scheme [15] is
IT x , ILo op are transmitter current and loop current for commu- ILo op ILo op
nication separately. η= × 100% = × 100%
IT x ILo op + ICoupler
Fig. 5 shows the equivalent circuit of the high-frequency
modulated signal in the system comprising N coupling circuits. UT x
N ZC o u p le r 1
ZCoupler is the impedance of coupling circuit, UT x is signal = UT x UT
× 100% = . (3)
+ x N +1
transmission voltage. Zbypass , which is the impedance of a N ZC o u p le r ZC o u p le r
2656 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 65, NO. 3, MARCH 2018

Fig. 6. Comparison of signal transmission efficiency of the coupling


circuit under different PLC schemes.

Fig. 7. (a) Equivalent circuit of coupling circuit of the proposed PLC Fig. 8. Comparison of impedance frequency response of the coupling
scheme. (b) Simplified equivalent circuit of coupling circuit. circuit under different parameters of the coupling transformer: (a) under
different parameters of the magnetizing inductor, (b) under different pa-
rameters of the leakage inductor, and (c) under different parameters of
the mutual capacitor between the two winding.

As shown in Fig. 6, compared with the conventional capac-


itive coupling PLC scheme, the signal transmission efficiency
of the proposed PLC scheme is higher. Fig. 6 also shows that and Z34 (s) are
the greater the impedance of the proposed coupling circuit, the ⎧ Z 2 (s)Z 4 (s)

⎪ Z24 (s) = Z2 (s) + Z4 (s) +
higher the signal transmission efficiency, the smaller the system ⎪
⎨ Z 3 (s)
power loss; and that the reduced number of PV modules leads to Z 2 (s)Z 3 (s)
Z23 (s) = Z2 (s) + Z3 (s) + Z 4 (s) . (4)
the higher signal transmission efficiency and the smaller system ⎪


⎩ Z (s) = Z (s) + Z (s) + Z 3 (s)Z 4 (s)
power loss. Therefore, in order to improve the efficiency of sig- 34 3 4 Z 2 (s)
nal transmitting, the impedance of the coupling circuit should
be increased as much as possible. Therefore, the impedance of the coupling circuit can be ob-
Fig. 7(a) illustrates the equivalent circuit of coupling circuit of tained as, eq.(5) as shown at the bottom of next page
the proposed PLC scheme. Rl1 , Ll1 and Rl2 , Ll2 are the resistors In this paper, we mainly consider how to increase the
and leakage inductors of the primary and secondary windings, impedance of the coupling circuit at carrier frequency as much
respectively, Rm and Lm are the equivalent core loss resistor as possible. The impedance of the coupling circuit is greatly re-
and magnetizing inductor separately, C12 is the mutual capacitor lated to the parameters of coupling transformer and parallel res-
between the two windings, Rp1 and Cp1 are the parasitic resistor onant components. Fig. 8 shows the comparison of impedance
and capacitor of resonant inductor, respectively. The simplified frequency response of the coupling circuit under different pa-
equivalent circuit is shown in Fig. 7(b) in which Z24 (s), Z23 (s), rameters of the coupling transformer. As shown in Fig. 8(a),
et al.: RESEARCH ON POWER LINE COMMUNICATION BASED ON PARALLEL RESONANT COUPLING TECHNOLOGY IN PV MODULE MONITORING 2657

the larger the magnetizing inductor, the greater the impedance D. Signal Demodulation Circuit
of the coupling circuit at resonant frequency. It can be known
The signal demodulation circuit is used to extract the original
from Fig. 8(b) and (c) that the leakage inductor and interwind-
information-bearing signal from the modulated carrier wave. As
ing capacitor have no effect on the impedance of the coupling
shown in Fig. 10, the demodulation circuit is mainly composed
circuit at the resonant frequency. In general, the parameters of
of bandpass filter (BPF), signal amplifier, envelope detector,
the coupling transformer have little effect on the impedance of
and decision circuit. The modulated carrier signal received by
the coupling circuit at resonant frequency.
the coupling transformer may contain switching noises and har-
Fig. 9 shows the comparison of the coupling circuit under
monics of the PV inverter, which are filtered by BPF. Therefore,
different parameters of the resonant components. In Fig. 9(a),
a passive LC BPF, which can be implemented at lower cost com-
with the increase of the parasitic resistor of resonant inductor,
pared with active BPF, is designed in this paper. Fig. 11(a) shows
the impedance of the coupling circuit at resonant frequency is
the developed filter, and the corresponding frequency response
decreased rapidly. Fig. 9(b) shows that the increase of the par-
is shown in Fig. 11(c). As shown in Fig. 11(c), the designed
asitic capacitor of resonant inductor leads to the impedance of
filter, whose lower cutoff −3 dB point is set by 169 kHz and
the coupling circuit at resonant frequency increase. Fig. 9(c)
upper cutoff −3 dB point is set by 220 kHz, can remove out-of-
shows different impedance frequency responses of the coupling
band noises. However, in practical situations, the effect of the
circuit under ideal capacitor, 5% tolerance capacitor and 10%
parasitic parameters of the magnetic components on the BPF
tolerance capacitor, respectively, when the resonant inductor is
should be taken into account. Fig. 11(b) shows the equivalent
constant. As shown in Fig. 9(c), compared with ideal impedance
circuit of the designed BPF when considering parasitic param-
at resonant frequency, the impedance of the coupling circuit
eters. As is shown in Fig. 11(c), the frequency response of the
under 5% tolerance capacitor is decreased by 22%, while the
BPF is almost the same before 500 kHz under both two cases.
impedance of the coupling circuit under 10% tolerance capac-
Thus, in practice, the performance of the BPF can still meet
itor is reduced by as much as 72%. Fig. 9(d) shows different
the requirements. After filtered by BPF, the signal is amplified
impedance frequency responses of the coupling circuit under
and fed into the envelope detector that is composed of a diode,
ideal inductor, 5% tolerance inductor, and 10% tolerance in-
a capacitor, and a resistor. The decision circuit judges whether
ductor, respectively, when the resonant capacitor is constant.
the received signal is logic “1” or “0.” The decided logic data is
As Fig. 9(d) shows, compared with ideal impedance at reso-
input to the MCU.
nant frequency, the impedance of the coupling circuit under
However, the amplitude of the received signal varies with the
5% tolerance inductor drops by 70%, while the impedance of
number of modules in the PV system. The change of the ampli-
the coupling circuit under 10% tolerance inductor is reduced
tude of the received signal can lead to variations in the amplitude
by up to 83%. Generally, the effect of the parasitic parameters
of the detected signal. Such variations may cause output errors
of resonant inductor and the resonant components’ tolerances
in decision circuit because of the fixed judgment level. In order
on the impedance of coupling circuit at resonant frequency is
to minimize the digital signal quantization errors, the automatic
large.
gain control amplifier circuit is typically adopted [24], [25],
In order to increase the impedance of the coupling circuit at
which adjusts the amplifier gain properly based on the ampli-
resonant frequency for improving the signal transmission ef-
tude of the received signal detected by peak detector circuit to
ficiency as much as possible, the selected parasitic resistor of
keep the amplitude of the amplified signal unchanged. How-
resonant inductor and the selected tolerance of resonant compo-
ever, the implementation of this method is complex and costly.
nents should be as small as possible. Therefore, considering the
Therefore, a novel adaptive level decision circuit is proposed
signal transmitting efficiency and the system cost, the selected
in this paper. As shown in Fig. 12(a), the proposed adaptive
parasitic resistor of resonant inductor is about 0.4 Ω and the
level decision circuit is composed of LPF and resistance voltage
resonant elements are selected as 5% tolerance capacitor and
division circuit. As Fig. 12(b) shows, the adaptive level deci-
10% tolerance inductor.
sion circuit, which functions as an average detector that extracts

Zcoupler (s) = Z1 (s) + (Z24 (s)// ((Z5 (s)//Z23 (s)) + (Z6 (s)//Z34 (s))))
    
Z5 (s)Z23 (s) Z6 (s)Z34 (s)
= Z1 (s) + Z24 (s)// +
Z5 (s) + Z23 (s) Z6 (s) + Z34 (s)
  
Z5 (s)Z23 (s) (Z6 (s) + Z34 (s)) + Z6 (s)Z34 (s) (Z5 (s) + Z23 (s))
= Z1 (s) + Z24 (s)//
(Z5 (s) + Z23 (s)) (Z6 (s) + Z34 (s))
= Z1 (s)
Z24 (s) (Z5 (s)Z23 (s) (Z6 (s) + Z34 (s)) + Z6 (s)Z34 (s) (Z5 (s) + Z23 (s)))
+ .
Z24 (s) ((Z5 (s) + Z23 (s)) (Z6 (s) + Z34 (s))) + Z5 (s)Z23 (s) (Z6 (s) + Z34 (s)) + Z6 (s)Z34 (s) (Z5 (s) + Z23 (s))
(5)
2658 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 65, NO. 3, MARCH 2018

Fig. 11. (a) Designed BPF under ideal conditions. (b) Designed BPF
when considering parasitic parameters. (c) Frequency response of BPF
under both two cases.

Fig. 9. Comparison of impedance frequency response of the coupling


circuit under different parameters of the resonant components: (a) un-
der different parameters of the parasitic resistor of resonant inductor,
(b) under different parameters of the parasitic capacitor of resonant in-
ductor, (c) under different tolerances of resonant capacitor, and (d) under
different tolerances of resonant inductor.

Fig. 12. (a) Proposed adaptive level decision circuit. (b) Theoretical
Fig. 10. Structure of signal demodulation circuit. waveform with the proposed circuit.
et al.: RESEARCH ON POWER LINE COMMUNICATION BASED ON PARALLEL RESONANT COUPLING TECHNOLOGY IN PV MODULE MONITORING 2659

Fig. 14. Implemented PV module monitoring system based on the


parallel resonant coupling unit.
Fig. 13. Implemented PLC module based on parallel resonant coupling
unit.
TABLE I
EXPERIMENTAL PARAMETERS
the average value of the signal envelope, generates the average
voltage of the envelope that is to be used as the reference with Symbol Parameter Value
which the envelope will be compared. The decision circuit uses Pm a x Peak power of PV module 255 W
the envelope and its average to recover the data in the baseband. Vo c Open-circuit voltage of PV module 37.82 V
The flexibility and reliability of the communication system can Vm p Max power voltage of PV module 30.29 V
Isc Short circuit current of PV module 8.98 A
be improved by adopting the adaptive level decision circuit. Im p Max power current of PV module 8.42 A
P inv Rated output power of inverter 12 kW
N Number of PV modules 16
III. IMPLEMENTATION RESULTS OF PROPOSED PV MODULE
MONITORING SYSTEM
A. Developed PLC Module Based on Parallel Resonant
Coupling Unit
As is shown in Fig. 13, the developed PLC module based on
parallel resonant coupling unit, which is implemented on the 32-
bit MCU, is mainly composed of auxiliary power supply circuit,
modulation circuit, coupling circuit, and demodulation circuit.
The auxiliary power supply circuit providing power for other cir-
cuits drops down the high PV voltage to +12 V, −12 V, +5 V,
−5 V, and +3.3 V. The analog-to-digital converter (ADC) capa-
bility of the MCU is used to convert the measured PV module’s
characteristics, such as dc voltage, direct current, and tempera-
ture, to digital signals for transmission. The digital signals are
modulated into the high-frequency carrier signals by modulation Fig. 15. Experimental waveforms of modulation circuit.
circuit and injected into the dc power bus through the coupling
circuit. After being decoded by the demodulation circuit, the
high-frequency communication signals are restored as the data ulated and coupled to dc power line and then the coupled signal,
in the baseband. obtained by receiver of the SCM through a coupling transformer,
is demodulated and restored as the original data signal.
Fig. 15 shows experimental waveforms of modulation cir-
B. Field Test of the Proposed PV Module Monitoring cuit. The 200 kHz sinusoidal carrier is generated by filtering
System the PWM carrier produced from MCU. The digital baseband
The configuration of a field test for the proposed PV module signal shown in the figure is generated from the UART of MCU
monitoring system is shown in Fig. 14. The detailed parameters and amplified by the power amplifier. Fig. 15 also shows the
of the system are listed in Table I. The SCM measuring the modulated signal waveform based on the ASK digital modula-
corresponding PV module’s parameters is deployed at each PV tion scheme. The generated ASK signals are then amplified by
module. The DCU periodically aggregating the measured data the power amplifier and transferred to the dc power line by the
of each PV module is deployed beside the PV inverter. In order isolation transformer.
to verify the feasibility of the proposed PLC scheme, the pseudo- As shown in Fig. 16, the output signal waveforms of the
random code, which is generated by MCU of the DCU, is mod- coupling circuits under two different coupling methods are
2660 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 65, NO. 3, MARCH 2018

Fig. 17. Experimental waveforms of demodulation circuit.

Fig. 18. Experimental waveforms of the communication signal: (a)


Fig. 16. Experimental waveforms of coupling circuit: (a) open-circuit waveforms of the communication signal without adopting the adaptive
output signal waveform of the coupling circuit, (b) output signal waveform level decision circuit and (b) waveforms of the communication signal
of the coupling circuit based on the parallel resonant unit, and (c) output when adopting the adaptive level decision circuit.
signal waveform of the capacitive coupling circuit.

coupling circuit, reduce the signal attenuation, and improve the


efficiency of signal transmission.
compared. The open-circuit output signal waveform of the cou- The experimental waveforms of demodulation circuit are
pling circuit is shown in Fig. 16(a) as a reference. Fig. 16(b) shown in Fig. 17. The predetection signal is produced by fil-
shows the output signal waveform of the coupling circuit based tering and amplifying the signal received from the power line.
on the parallel resonant unit. The parallel resonant coupling cir- The detected signal waveform shown in Fig. 17 is the digital
cuit’s output signal, which is injected into the power line, is baseband signal envelope. As is shown in Fig. 17, the demod-
basically similar in amplitude with the open-circuit signal of ulated signal, which is digitized by the comparator, can be rec-
the coupling circuit. Fig. 16(c) is the output signal waveform of ognized by the MCU. In the field test, sixteen PLC modules can
the capacitive coupling circuit. By comparison with the signal communicate normally.
amplitude of the open circuit of the coupling circuit, the signal When the number of PV modules in the monitoring system
attenuation of the capacitive coupling circuit is larger. Com- is increased from 16 to 20, the corresponding communication
pared with the capacitive coupling circuit, adopting the parallel signal waveforms are shown in Fig. 18. Fig. 18(a) shows the
resonant coupling circuit can effectively decrease the load of the waveforms of the communication signal without adopting the
et al.: RESEARCH ON POWER LINE COMMUNICATION BASED ON PARALLEL RESONANT COUPLING TECHNOLOGY IN PV MODULE MONITORING 2661

IV. CONCLUSION
Intelligent PV module monitoring can automatically locate
the position of panels and monitor the status of PV modules,
which is of great significance for PV plants operation and main-
tenance. In this paper aiming at the problems of existing PV
module monitoring system based on PLC technology, an intel-
ligent PV module monitoring system based on the parallel res-
onant coupling unit was proposed. A set of experimental tests
have been conducted on the proposed PV module monitoring
system, which is installed in a real PV system composed of 16
255 W PV modules and one PV inverter. By comparing the per-
formance of the proposed coupling circuit with the capacitive
coupling circuit of [15], the superiority of the proposed tech-
Fig. 19. Relationship between BER and the number of PV modules.
nique in improving the system efficiency and anti-interference
ability was confirmed. In addition, experimental results also
adaptive level decision circuit. As the number of PV modules demonstrate that the flexibility and reliability of the commu-
increases, the amplitude of the received communication signal nication system can be effectively improved by adopting the
becomes smaller. When the amplitude of the received signal proposed adaptive level decision circuit.
becomes smaller, the fixed decision level almost reaches the
peak of the signal envelope. The result is that errors occur in the
output of decision circuit and the data in the baseband cannot REFERENCES
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[16] H. Nosato, Y. Kasai, E. Takahashi, and M. Murakawa, “A very low-cost Renxian Cao was born in Zhejiang, China, in
low-frequency PLC system based on DS-CDMA for DC power lines,” in 1968. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees
Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Power Line Commun. Its Appl., Beijing, China, in electrical engineering and automation from
2012, pp. 398–403. Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China, in
[17] E. Roman, R. Alonso, P. Ibanez, S. Elorduizapatarietxe, and D. Goitia, 1990 and 1993, respectively.
“Intelligent PV module for grid-connected PV systems,” IEEE Trans. Ind. He is currently the General Manager of Sun-
Electron., vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 1066–1073, Jun. 2006. grow Power Supply Co., Ltd., Hefei and a Pro-
[18] F. J. Sánchez-Pacheco, P. J. Sotorrio-Ruiz, J. R. Heredia-Larrubia, fessor in the School of Electric Engineering
F. Pérez-Hidalgo, and M. Sidrach-de-Cardona, “Low cost DC lines PLC and Automation, Hefei University of Technology.
based photovoltaic plants parameters smart monitoring communications His main research interests include photovoltaic
and control module,” in Proc. Int. Conf. Power Eng., Energy Elect. Drives, generation technologies, wind power generation
Malaga, Spain, 2011, pp. 1–6. technologies, and distributed generation system.
[19] P. Jonke, C. Eder, J. Stöckl, and M. Schwark, “Development of a module
integrated photovoltaic monitoring system,” in Proc. 39th Annu. Conf.
IEEE Ind. Electron. Soc., Vienna, Austria, 2013, pp. 8080–8084.
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line communication on DC bus with photovoltaic strings,” in Proc. 3rd
Renewable Power Gener. Conf., Naples, Italy, 2014, pp. 1–6.
[21] C. Herndon, Y. Erkaya, C. Xin, I. Flory, S. Dhali, and S. X. Marsillac,
“Smart combiner for fixed commercial photovoltaic systems using power Fusheng Wang (M’13) was born in Anhui,
line communication,” in Proc. IEEE 40th Photovolt. Spec. Conf., Denver, China, in 1976. He received the B.S. degree in
CO, USA, 2014, pp. 3114–3118. electric engineering and automation from Hefei
[22] J. Han, C. S. Choi, W. K. Park, I. Lee, and S. H. Kim, “PLC-based University of Technology, Hefei, China, in 1998
photovoltaic system management for smart home energy management and the Ph.D. degree in nuclear science and en-
system,” IEEE Trans. Consum. Electron., vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 184–189, gineering from the Institute of Plasma Physics
May 2014. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, in 2005.
[23] S. Winder, Analog and Digital Filter Design. New York, NY, USA: In 2006, he joined the Faculty of the School of
Elsevier, 2005. Electric Engineering and Automation, Hefei Uni-
[24] Y. Chen, Y. E. Yu, Y. C. Lin, C. H. Hsieh, M. T. Shiue, and C. F. Wu, versity of Technology, where he is currently an
“Design of digital baseband inner receiver for PLC system based on IEEE Associate Professor. His current research inter-
P1901 specification,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Consum. Electron., Taipei, ests include control of multilevel converters and photovoltaic generation
Taiwan, 2015, pp. 210–211. technologies.
[25] S. Y. Hung, K. H. Chan, and C. C. P. Chen, “A high dynamic range
programmable gain amplifier for HomePlug AV powerline communication
system,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Circuits Syst., Beijing, China, 2013,
pp. 2715–2718.
[26] S. Tsuzuki and Y. Yamada, “Feasibility study of ubiquitous sensor net-
works by inductively coupled PLC over PV power systems,” in Proc.
IEEE Int. Symp. Power Line Commun. Its Appl., Austin, TX, USA, 2015,
pp. 274–279. Tao Zhao (S’17) was born in Henan, China, in
1991. He received the B.S. degree in electrical
engineering and automation from Xi’an Techno-
Wang Mao (S’17) was born in Anhui, China, logical University, Xi’an, China and the M.S. de-
in 1992. He received the B.S. degree in elec- gree in power electronics and power drives from
trical engineering from the School of Electrical Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China, in
Engineering and Automation, Anhui University, 2014 and 2017, respectively. He is currently
Hefei, China, in 2013. He is currently working working toward the Ph.D. degree in electrical en-
toward the Ph.D. degree in electric engineering gineering at Hefei University of Technology.
and automation at Hefei University of Technol- His current research interests include the
ogy, Hefei. modeling and control of power converters, and
His current research interests include power multilevel converters.
line communication technologies, the modeling
and control of power converters, and photo-
voltaic generation technologies.

Xing Zhang (M’13–SM’14) was born in


Shanghai, China, in 1963. He received the B.S.,
M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineer- Linchong Xu was born in Anhui, China, in 1983.
ing and automation from Hefei University of He received the B.S. degree in electronic in-
Technology, Hefei, China, in 1984, 1990, and formation engineering from Anhui University of
2003, respectively. Science & Technology, Huainan, China and the
Since 1984, he has been a Faculty Member in M.S. degree in control science and engineering
the School of Electric Engineering and Automa- from the University of Science and Technology
tion, Hefei University of Technology, where he is of China, Hefei, China, in 2006 and 2014, re-
currently a Professor. He is also with the Pho- spectively.
tovoltaic Engineering Research Center of the He is currently an Electrical Hardware Engi-
Ministry of Education. His main research interests include photovoltaic neer at Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd, Hefei.
generation technologies, wind power generation technologies, and dis- His current research interests include wired and
tributed generation systems. wireless networks in the field of distributed generation systems.