# MPPT Solar Controller Working principle

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) solar charge controllers are crucial components in solar energy systems. They maximize the power output from solar panels by ensuring that they operate at their most efficient voltage and current levels. Here's a detailed explanation of how MPPT solar charge controllers work.

## MPPT solar controller basics

Solar panels have a non-linear power output curve, which means that the power output depends on the voltage and current, and it varies with environmental conditions such as sunlight intensity and temperature. The point on this curve where the product of voltage and current (i.e., power) is maximized is called the Maximum Power Point (MPP). The role of an MPPT charge controller is to continuously track this point and adjust the operating conditions of the solar panel to ensure it operates at or near this point to maximize the energy harvest.

## Working principle of MPPT solar controller

Input from solar panels:

The solar panels generate DC electricity, but their voltage and current can vary significantly with changes in sunlight and temperature.

Voltage and current measurement:

The MPPT controller continuously measures the voltage and current output from the solar panels. This allows it to calculate the instantaneous power output.

Algorithm to determine MPP:

The controller uses algorithms (like Perturb and Observe, Incremental Conductance, etc.) to determine the Maximum Power Point. These algorithms involve slight adjustments to the voltage and current to find the point where the power is maximized.

For example, in the Perturb and Observe method, the controller slightly perturbs the operating voltage and observes the effect on power output. If the power increases, the adjustment is continued in the same direction; if it decreases, the adjustment direction is reversed.

Once the MPP is identified, the controller adjusts the duty cycle of a DC-DC converter (typically a buck or buck-boost converter) to match the panel’s operating voltage to the battery’s charging voltage.

The DC-DC converter steps down or steps up the voltage from the panels to match the battery’s voltage while optimizing the current flow, ensuring that the solar panels are always operating at their MPP.

Battery charging:

The output of the MPPT charge controller is used to charge the batteries efficiently. It ensures that the batteries receive the maximum available power from the solar panels. The controller also manages the charging process to protect the batteries from overcharging, undercharging, and other potential issues.

## MPPT solar charge controller features

The main functions of the MPPT controller: detect the DC voltage and output current of the main circuit, calculate the output power of the solar array, and realize the tracking of the maximum power point. The disturbance resistor R and the MOSFET are connected in series. Under the condition that the output voltage is stable, the average current passing through the resistor is changed by changing the duty cycle of the MOSFET, so the disturbance of the current is generated.

At the same time, the output current and voltage of the photovoltaic cell will also change accordingly. By measuring the change in the output power and voltage of the photovoltaic cell before and after the disturbance, the disturbance direction of the next cycle is determined. When the disturbance direction is correct, the output power of the solar panel increases, and the lower the cycle continues to perturb in the same direction, on the contrary, perturb in the opposite direction. In this way, the perturbation and observation are repeated to make the output of the solar photovoltaic panel reach the maximum power point.