A simple method for detecting partial shading in pv systems

Waleed Al Abri, Rashid Al Abri*, Hassan Yousef, Amer Al‐hinai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Partial shading conditions (PSCs) can significantly reduce the output energy produced by photovoltaic (PV) systems. Moreover, when such conditions occur, conventional and advanced maximum power point tracking (MPPT) systems fail to operate the PV system at its peak because the bypassing diodes may cause the PV system to become trapped at a low power point when they are in conduction mode. The PV system can be operated at the global maximum power point (MPP) with the help of global peak searching tools. However, the frequent use of these tools will reduce the output of PV systems since they force the PV system to operate outside its power region while scanning the I‐V curve in order to determine the global MPP. Thus, the global peak searching tools should be deployed only when a PSC occurs. In this paper, a simple and accurate method is proposed for detecting PSCs by means of monitoring the sign of voltage changes (positive or negative). The method predicts a PSC if the sign of successive voltage changes is the same for a certain number of successive changes. The proposed method was tested on two types of PV array configurations (series and series–parallel) with several shading patterns emulated on‐site. The proposed method correctly and timely identified all emulated shading patterns. It can be used to trigger the global MPP searching techniques for improving the PV system’s output under PSCs; furthermore, it can be used to notify the PV system’s operator of the occurrence of PSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4938
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2021


  • Cloud shading
  • Global MPPT
  • Object shading
  • Partial shading
  • Partial shading detection method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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