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PV Toolbox: A Comprehensive Set of PV System Components for the MatlabŪ/SimulinkŪ Environment

Farah Sheriff and Dave Turcotte
CANMET Energy Technology Center-Varennes (Natural Resources Canada)

Michael M.D. Ross
RER Renewable Energy Research

Full text article
Link to SESCI (Conference)
Link to CETC-Varennes


This article by the Photovoltaics and Hybrid Systems Program at the CETC-Varennes (Natural Resources Canada) concerning a project that received partial funding from the Panel on Energy Research and Development (PERD).


Sheriff, Farah, Dave Turcotte, and Michael Ross. "PV Toolbox: A Comprehensive Set of PV System Components for the MatlabŪ/SimulinkŪ Environment". Presentation at the 28th Annual Conference of the Solar Energy Society of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, August 18 to 20, 2003.


PV Hybrid system performance is closely tied to the control strategy employed. To develop integrated optimal control strategies, a better understanding of component and system behaviour is required. Natural Resources Canada has developed a comprehensive set of PV component models for system simulation, called PV Toolbox. These models will help researchers find ways to reduce the life-cycle cost of remote photovoltaic/genset hybrid power plants and improve their over-all performance. PV Toolbox is built under the MatlabŪ/SimulinkŪ environment which offers an open, flexible and extensible architecture to create complex system models by interconnecting individual components. This tool performs continuous-time simulations of electrical, thermal, environmental and financial parameters in order to draw conclusions about system operation and to facilitate system analysis and optimisation.

Extensive theoretical and practical validations have been performed on PV Toolbox. Individual components were examined and whole PV systems were compared against literature, against monitored data from real sites and from CETC-Varennes hybrid test bench and against other simulation tools to verify that their behaviour was sound. Results show that PV Toolbox appears to meet the expectations of a flexible tool for R&D purposes, which can suit research requirements in terms of input data, types of load, types of output, components included and their configuration.