Solar arrays provide power to loads and are operated at their maximum power point (MPP) to optimize the power output from the solar arrays under various environmental and operating conditions. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) techniques control operating conditions so that the solar arrays are at or near the MPP. However, MPPT techniques search for the MPP by repeatedly changing the voltage/current load of the solar array, until an operating point is determined that produces the maximum power at a given time. However, the process of repeatedly changing the voltage/current load for the entire array results in the entire array operating inefficiently during the search for the MPP. This disclosure describes a configuration to apply the MPPT technique to a single test cell in a solar array, rather than to all of the cells in the solar array. The MPP is determined from the single test cell, and the operating point for the entire array is adjusted based on the MPP determined from the single test cell.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.