Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What the Heck is an MPPT Charge Controller?

Maximum Power Point Tracking, frequently referred to as MPPT, is an electronic system that operates the Photovoltaic (PV) modules in a manner that allows the modules to produce all the power they are capable of. MPPT is not a mechanical tracking system that “physically moves” the modules to make them point more directly at the sun. MPPT is a fully electronic system that varies the electrical operating point of the modules so that the modules are able to deliver maximum available power. Additional power harvested from the modules is then made available as increased battery charge current. MPPT can be used in conjunction with a mechanical tracking system, but the two systems are completely different.

A MPPT, or maximum power point tracker is an electronic DC to DC converter that optimizes the match between the solar array (PV panels), and the battery bank or utility grid. To put it simply, they convert a higher voltage DC output from solar panels (and a few wind generators) down to the lower voltage needed to charge batteries.

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