MPPT SOLAR CHARGE CONTROLLER

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This section covers the theory and operation of "Maximum Power Point Tracking" as used in solar electric charge controllers.

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.

Panel tracking - this is where the panels are on a mount that follows the sun. The most common are the Zomeworks and Wattsun. These optimize output by following the sun across the sky for maximum sunlight. These typically give you about a 15% increase in winter and up to a 35% increase in summer.

This is just the opposite of the seasonal variation for MPPT controllers. Since panel temperatures are much lower in winter, they put out more power. And winter is usually when you need the most power from your solar panels due to shorter days.