On the issues of global environment protection, the renewable energy systems have been widely considered. The photovoltaic (PV) system converts solar power into electricity and significantly reduces the consumption of fossil fuels from environment pollution. Besides introducing new materials for the solar cells to improve the energy conversion efficiency, the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms have been developed to ensure the efficient operation of PV systems at the maximum power point (MPP) under various weather conditions. The integration of reinforcement learning and deep learning, named deep reinforcement learning (DRL), is proposed in this paper as a future tool to deal with the optimization control problems. Following the success of deep reinforcement learning (DRL) in several fields, the deep Q network (DQN) and deep deterministic policy gradient (DDPG) are proposed to harvest the MPP in PV systems, especially under a partial shading condition (PSC). Different from the reinforcement learning (RL)-based method, which is only operated with discrete state and action spaces, the methods adopted in this paper are used to deal with continuous state spaces. In this study,DQN solves the problem with discrete action spaces, while DDPG handles the continuous action spaces. The proposed methods are simulated in MATLAB/Simulink for feasibility analysis. Further tests under various input conditions with comparisons to the classical Perturb and observe (P&O) MPPT method are carried out for validation. Based on the simulation results in this study, the performance of the proposed methods is outstanding and efficient, showing its potential for further applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Information Systems
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering