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PWM and MPPT solar charge controller

blue-light / 2011-06-30
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A solar charge controller is attached with all solar power system that utilizes the batteries. The basic principle of the solar charge controller is to regulate the power that is going form solar panels to batteries. Overcharging can reduce the life of battery and also damage it. So try to avoid overcharging because after a short time your battery will be unusable. The basic charge controller simply monitors the voltage of the battery and opens the circuit. It also stops the charging when battery reaches to a certain level to avoid over charging. Older charge controllers are using a mechanicals relay to close or open the circuit, starting or stopping the power going to the batteries.


Moreover modern charge controllers are using PWM technology (pulse with modulation) to slower the amount of power to batteries when it get closer to fully charged. These types of charge controllers fully charge the batteries with an efficient way because it applies less stress on the batteries. It also increases the battery life. The structure of PWM is complex but it doesn’t have mechanical connections to break. The most popular and best type of the solar charge controller is called MPPT (maximum power point tracking). MPPT controllers have the ability to convert the excess voltage into amperes. This has a lot of advantages in different areas.


Many solar power systems use batteries of 12 volt like in cars. Solar panels can supply more voltage than is required to charge batteries. It can easily convert excess voltage into amperes and charge voltage can be kept at a certain level while the charging time of batteries is also reduced. This allows solar power system to operate optimally at all the times.


Loss of power is also reduced by using the MPPT charge controllers. When low voltage is running in wires from solarpanels to the charge controller, result will be the higher energy loss in wires than high voltage. With a PWM charge controller normally l2 volts battery is used, voltage from the solar panel to charge controller has to be 18 volts. But using MPPT charge controller allows high voltages in wires from solar panels to the charge controller. Power loss in wires is reduced when high voltage is running from the solar panels to charge controller.


MPPT charge controllers are very expensive than PWM charge controllers. But advantages of MPPT are worth the costs. If you can afford the MPPT charge controller then definitely you should use it because of its efficient work. To prevent from the reverse current is also done by the modern solar charge controllers. At night, when solar panels are not generating the electricity, actually it can flow backwards through the solar panels from the batteries. You have worked hard to charge the batteries using solar panels and definitely you do not want to waste the power. The modern solar charge controllers can detect when no energy is coming form solar panels and open the circuit and also disconnect solar panels from the batteries to stop the reverse current flow.


           PWM solar charge controller                                                               MPPT solar charge controller


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