Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014, Article ID 350345, 9 pages
Research Article

Faults Detection in a Photovoltaic Generator by Using Matlab Simulink and the chipKIT Max32 Board

1Ferhat Abbas University and Laboratory LAS of Sétif 1, 19000 Sétif, Algeria
2Electromechanical Engineering Department, El Bachir El Ibrahimi University of BBA, 34000 Bordj Bou Arréridj, Algeria

Received 25 January 2014; Revised 5 April 2014; Accepted 8 May 2014; Published 28 May 2014

Academic Editor: Mahmoud M. El-Nahass

Copyright © 2014 Riadh Khenfer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a laboratory with equipment and an algorithm for teaching graduate students the monitoring and the diagnosis of PV arrays. The contribution is the presentation of an algorithm to detect and localize the fault, in photovoltaic generator when a limited number of voltage sensors are used. An I-V curve tracer using a capacitive load is exploited to measure the I-V characteristics of PV arrays. Such measurement allows characterization of PV arrays on-site, under real operating conditions, and provides also information for the detection of potential array anomalies. This I-V curve tracer is based on a microcontroller board family called chipKIT Max32 which is a popular platform for physical computing. A user program can be developed visually on a PC side via the graphical user interface (GUI) in Matlab Simulink, where the chipKIT Max32 of Digilent which is a low-cost board is designed for use with the Arduinompid software. The obtained results from the partial shade default showed the effectiveness of the proposed diagnosis method and the good functioning of this board with the Matlab/Simulink environment.