**ABSTRACT**

Every solar panel has a maximum operating power. However, when solar panels are directly connected to a battery, the panels are usually forced to operate at the battery voltage. This is almost always below the maximum power point of the panels, thereby causing panel under-utilization. To overcome this problem, maximum power point trackers (MPPT) have been developed. In this thesis, a technical comparative analysis is done between two commonly implemented MPPT (Perturb & Observe and Incremental Conductance) algorithms to ensure efficient maximum power point tracking. This is done by modelling a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) and integrating it into a PV system in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment. These two direct MPPT algorithms are then implemented under changing solar irradiation and load conditions. From the simulations, when starting from 0 second, the P&O algorithm reaches the P_{mpp} of 1969 W at 26ms, while INC reaches the P_{mpp} of 1965 W at 49ms. In addition, when there is a change in the AC loads connected to the PV system, it took exactly 35ms for both algorithms to reach the P_{mpp} of 2488 W. However, when both algorithms reached their P_{mpp} values, INC shows more stability than the P&O. The P&O shows ripples even at steady irradiance states, although the ripples are more evident when the irradiance is changing. From the results displayed, it can, therefore, be concluded that the P&O algorithm will be more suited to applications where attaining the P_{mpp} within a relatively short time is a necessity, while INC should be applied where performance is of great importance.

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