Thursday, February 23, 2012

Are MPPT Charge Controllers Really Worth the Cost?

From guest blogger Dale Marshall......

I would say that MPPT charge controllers are really worth the cost. The overall gain of harvesting more power with MPPT will make up for extra panels you would have to buy to make up for the losses. So far my gain has been around an average of 40%. I would have have had to spend twice the money to make up for those losses in extra harvesting power.

Once you get past the 250 watt mark MPPT is your best friend when it comes to power harvesting. I will give you an example. I have been doing some testing.

I used just 1 of my 125 watt panels. I used a regular PWM controller full sun, I was lucky to pull 4.3 amps. Voltage of course stayed at battery level. Max power at top charge charge was 14.4 volt at 4.27 amps. Rounded off math say 61.5 Watts, half of the panels rated output.

Now with MPPT I have a Solid 18 volts even coming in at 6.1 amps. MPPT Boost amps because it tracks voltage at VMP. But because of the way MPPT works I am getting a 14.4 volt charge at 7.5 amps at 109 watts. That's a gain of 3+ amps going into your battery bank. And it would take another 125 watt panel to make up for those losses. This is where MPPT shines like a star.

I hope this helps, take the time and weigh the cost. I do use a MPPT charge controller it is a Rouge MPT-3024. But there is other models out there. You just have to be careful on which ones to buy.

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1 comment:

  1. A sound rational argument, but don't forget the emotional attachment people have to their particular cars. They're not just seen as machines for transport (or else Top Gear etc would not exist) so people are willing to pay to own one, even if they don't maximise its usage.