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MPPT Solar Charge Controller
Nov 06, 2018

This Solar PV Charge Controller is the key component in off-grid or stand-alone solar power generation systems.


Due to the nonlinear characteristics of solar array, there is a maximum energy output point (Max Power Point) on its curve. Traditional controllers, with switch charging technology and PWM charging technology, can’t charge the battery at the maximum power point, so can’t harvest the maximum energy available from PV array, but the solar charge controller with Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Technology can lock on the point to get the maximum energy and deliver it to the battery.


The MPPT algorithm continuously compares and adjusts the operating points to attempt to locate the maximum power point of the array. The tracking process is automatically processed by a microprocessor and does not need user attention.


 Off grid solar system Charge controller

MPPT technology


MPPT( Maximum Power Point Tracking ) technology converting DC to DC optimizes the match between the solar array (PV panels), and the battery bank or utility grid. To put it another way, they convert a higher DC voltage which from solar panels down to the lower voltage which needed to charge batteries.


MPPT of solar array


The build-in MPPT microprocessor enables the Solar Charge Controller to increase the energy conversion efficiency by up to 30% compared to PWM charge controller. Easy installation with parallel connection capability makes the right solution for homes as well as any large solar system applications.


Power gain by using MPPT solar charge controller


Figure above is the maximum power point curve, the shaded area is charging range of traditional solar charge controller (PWM Charging Mode), it can obviously diagnose that

Power point tracker is a high frequency DC to DC converter that takes DC input from the solar panels, then converts the DC into high-frequency AC and, again the AC will be converted back into a different DC voltage and a current to accurately match the batteries and panels. Generally MPPTs operate at frequency ranging from 20-80 kHz (very high audio frequency range). Hence, very high efficiency transformers and small components can be used to design these high frequency circuits.


Key Features of MPPT Solar Charge Controller


MPPT solar charge controller is used for correcting and detecting variations in the current-voltage characteristics of solar panel and as shown in the above figure.

It is necessary for any solar power systems required to pull out a maximum power from PV module as it forces PV module for operating at voltage close to maximum power point to withdraw maximum available power.

By using MPPT solar charge controller, we can use solar panel with a voltage output greater than the battery system operating voltage.

System’s complexity can be reduced by using MPPT solar charge controller as it has high efficiency.

It can be applied for using with multiple energy sources such as water turbines or wind-power turbines, and so on. The solar panel’s output power is used for controlling DC-DC converter directly.


Where to Use a MPPT Solar Charge Controller

At present, solar controller have MPPT and PWM. According to application data, conversion efficiency of the PWM controller normally less than 70%, MPPT controller conversion efficiency is about 95-97%. MPPT solar controller is expensive than PWN solar controller, but the price of solar module are more expensive. Using MPPT controller, you can reduce the solar module, save the cost of the entire system

MPPT's are most effective under these conditions:

Winter, cloudy or hazy days or partly shaded area - when the extra power is needed the most.

Cold weather is most likely in winter - the time when sun hours are low and you need the power to recharge batteries the most.

Low battery charge - the lower the state of charge in your battery, the more current an MPPT puts into them - another time when the extra power is needed the most. 

Long wire runs - If the panels are 100 feet away, the voltage drop and power loss can be considerable unless you use very large wire. But if you havemore panels wired in series to get higher volts, the power loss is much less, and the controller will convert that high voltage to the right volts for the battery.

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