Viewing posts with searchterm: MPPT Control

Which solar charge controller: PWM or MPPT?

Which solar charge controller: PWM or MPPT?

What follows is a summary of our white paper with the same title.

For the full white paper, see: Which solar charge controller: PWM or MPPT? in the White papers section of our site.

1. What they do

The PWM controller is in essence a switch that connects a solar array to a battery. The result is that the voltage of the array will be pulled down to near that of the battery.

The MPPT controller is more sophisticated (and more expensive): it will adjust its input voltage to harvest the maximum power from the solar array and then transform this power to supply the varying voltage requirement, of the battery plus load. Thus, it essentially decouples the array and battery voltages so that there can be, for example, a 12 volt battery on one side of the MPPT charge controller and a large number of cells wired in series to produce 36 volts on the other.

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Intersolar 2014

Intersolar: New MPPT Solar Charge Controllers on show

It has been a busy week at Intersolar Europe. In fact word from Matthijs, at the show in Munich, tells me there have been more customers visiting the stand than the the expanded sales team at the show could handle! In Matthijs’s words: ‘a super success’. The headline image shows the new stand, which has also gone down very well.

Clearly a great success for all concerned.

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Matching solar modules to MPPT charge controllers

Life used to be so simple; in a 12V battery system you took a ‘12V’ solar module, watched carefully that the maximum PV current would not exceed the charge controller maximum current and the system would work.

Unfortunately due to the fact, that with PWM controllers the PV module is not feeding the battery from its maximum power point (MPP), the system loses a lot of energy. In the following diagram you can see, the area of the MPP in blue  (Vmpp * Impp) is up to 30% larger than the PWM area (Vbatt * ~Isc) within the IV curve. IV curve So, with the advent of the newer Victron Energy Blue Solar MPPTs, things changed for the better when compared to PWM solar charge controllers.Continue reading