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Quantum Algorithm for Photovoltaic Energy MPPT

A paper recently published in the journal Systems and Soft Computing developed and evaluated a quantum algorithm for the photovoltaic energy maximum power point tracking (MPPT) problem using quantum particle swarm optimization (QPSO).

Quantum Algorithm for Photovoltaic Energy MPPT
Study: Quantum Algorithm for Photovoltaic Energy MPPT. Image Credit: anatoliy_gleb/Shutterstock.com

Quantum Computing for Energy Maximization

Solar energy is a key player in advancing green energy solutions, crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering an environmentally sustainable future. A significant challenge for solar energy producers is optimizing generation while accounting for various factors such as shading and solar irradiation.

The MPPT method addresses this challenge with various algorithms, including particle swarm optimization (PSO). While MPPT algorithms have seen extensive improvements and widespread application, emerging technologies like quantum computing are drawing attention for their potential to elevate performance levels, particularly for real-time MPPT implementation.

Quantum computing leverages quantum-mechanical phenomena such as quantum tunneling, entanglement, and superposition to accelerate computations. This capability allows for a significant reduction in energy consumption and execution times compared to classical computing. Currently, quantum computing surpasses classical computing in several applications. Notably, the Quantum PSO (QPSO) algorithm employs quantum computing to tackle diverse optimization challenges.

Typically, the quantum version of the QPSO/PSO is designed to enhance the traditional algorithm's convergence and computing speed, taking advantage of the rapid processing capabilities of quantum computing. Despite extensive research into quantum-based PSO algorithms as potential solutions for photovoltaic systems' MPPT issues, previous studies have not addressed the impact of temperature as a critical performance parameter nor specified the maximum number of iterations for their algorithms.

The Study

In this study, researchers advanced a quantum algorithm to solve the photovoltaic energy MPPT problem using QPSO, aiming to enhance solar energy production efficiency.

The researchers fully implemented the quantum aspects of the solution, utilizing qubit states instead of classical particles. The manipulation of qubit states was achieved using y-axis rotation gates, which allowed for the identification of the optimal solution for MPPT.

QPSO operates on the principles of quantum mechanics, drawing from the foundational theories of particle swarms. This approach hypothesizes that particles at the microscopic level exhibit quantum behavior markedly different from macroscopic objects and introduces quantum computing to particle swarms.

In QPSO, the state of a particle is defined by Schrödinger's equation and represented by a wave function rather than by velocity and position as in classical PSO (CPSO). This representation leads to dynamic behaviors in particles that significantly deviate from those observed in the classical model. According to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, it is impossible to determine exact velocity and position simultaneously, which means a particle's location in QPSO is instead described by its probability density function.

The study examined the effects of several variables, including the maximum number of iterations, changes in temperature, population size, and shading, on the accuracy, convergence of results, and overall effectiveness of the MPPT solution.

Performance comparisons between the quantum and classical MPPT algorithms were conducted under three distinct operating conditions—partial shading, high temperature, and normal conditions. These conditions represent a range of environmental scenarios that can significantly influence the efficiency of solar power generation, showcasing the potential of QPSO to optimize energy capture in varying and challenging environments.

Research Findings

The study compared the performance of CPSO and QPSO algorithms in managing the MPPT problem under various environmental conditions. CPSO began its search from higher initial power values and showed robustness and fast convergence in duty cycle management, particularly effective under high temperatures.

In contrast, QPSO initiated its search from lower power values and exhibited a slower progression but ultimately achieved better steady-state power output. This behavior suggests a more explorative search approach, which is advantageous for achieving global optimization in complex scenarios.

Both algorithms demonstrated rapid convergence to a steady state, a critical attribute for time-sensitive applications. These results highlight the importance of choosing optimization algorithms tailored to specific environmental conditions and application needs.

Under normal operating conditions, the classical algorithm produced slightly more power, outperforming the quantum algorithm by 0.15 %. However, the quantum algorithm excelled under partial shading and higher temperature conditions, generating 0.89 % and 3.33 % more power, respectively.

Furthermore, the quantum algorithm consistently recorded lower duty cycles across all tests, with reductions of 0.162 % in high-temperature conditions, 0.54 % in partial shading, and 3.9 % under normal conditions.

Despite the classical algorithm's marginal advantage in power output under normal conditions, the quantum algorithm displayed superior performance in more challenging conditions, achieving lower duty cycles and higher power outputs, indicating greater overall efficiency.

In conclusion, the findings affirm the effectiveness of the quantum algorithm in solving the MPPT problem. Future research could explore adaptive algorithms that dynamically adjust to changing environmental conditions, potentially enhancing both reliability and efficiency in solar energy systems.

Journal Reference

Feraoun, H., Fazilat, M., Dermouche, R., Bentouba, S., Tadjine, M., & Zioui, N. (2024). Quantum maximum power point tracking (QMPPT) for optimal solar energy extraction. Systems and Soft Computing, 200118. DOI: 10.1016/j.sasc.2024.200118, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772941924000474 

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Samudrapom Dam

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Samudrapom Dam

Samudrapom Dam is a freelance scientific and business writer based in Kolkata, India. He has been writing articles related to business and scientific topics for more than one and a half years. He has extensive experience in writing about advanced technologies, information technology, machinery, metals and metal products, clean technologies, finance and banking, automotive, household products, and the aerospace industry. He is passionate about the latest developments in advanced technologies, the ways these developments can be implemented in a real-world situation, and how these developments can positively impact common people.

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