Recently, usage of Solar Panel become widely and common for everyday life. Energy that harness by solar panel is in form of direct current (DC) and it still raw, because of the unstable Voltage and Current. Solar Panel produces electricity depends on the availability of sunlight. The position and the intensity of sunlight that reach the solar panel cannot be steady. That is why we need Solar Controller.
There are two type of Solar Controller in the market, PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking). As in Energizer Portable Power Station, MPPT is used to convert energy from Solar Panel and store it in the battery inside. MPPT has more efficiency comparing to PWM, faster the charging of the Energizer PPS.
MPPT is one the module that build in the power stations, It help to track maximum power so all the energy comes from the Solar Panel can be used to charge. The voltage that come from Solar Panel 100 Wh is about 18-20 volt. Let’s assume the voltage is 18 V, and the sun is shine for average day produces 3 amps. If the voltage of the battery is 12 V, current that flow to the battery is 3 amps, we will have only 36 Watt of power, the rest, about 24 W is wasted. MPPT function is to avoid this power lost, try to convert most of the power produce by the solar panel become an input to the battery.
So how MPPT can fix this? As the current and voltage flow through the MPPT, it will convert DC current become AC current, (because using a high frequency, the components of the transformers are small, so it fits inside the Energizer PPS). From the AC current, it then converts back to different DC voltage and current to maximize the output. Therefore, it needs some time for the MPPT start working to find the best output point. When there is change of amount sunlight that fall on the panel surface, MPPT will soon try to find the best output point and so on.
There are several conditions to achieve best performance from your solar panel and MPPT. These conditions are:
Both solar panel and MPPT work best in cold weather, even when you have a good sunlight, but the temperature of surrounding is hot, the output of the solar panel will decrease. Put your MPPT device and the battery avoid from direct sunlight.
- Voltage of the battery
MPPT will work best when your battery voltage is low because it can push maximum current into battery so the power output from solar panel will convert almost maximum.
- Wire condition
Select appropriate wire and reasonable length to avoid resistance along the wire that will reduce the output. (type of AWG cable can be determine which cable you need to choose to match the solar panel specification)
Normally, MPPT size will larger when you need to convert higher voltage and current. They will be equipped with heat sink to keep the temperature low. MPPT build in should have limit for the current because of the size and the battery specification. Let’s help your environment become better by using green energy.
Reference ( solar-electric.com )