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Performance of MPPT Charge Controllers - A State of the Art Analyses
M. Müller, R. Bründlinger, O. Arz, W. Miller, J. Schulz, G. Lauss
Subtopic: Balance of System Components
Event: 28th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4CO.12.6
2919 - 2925
ISBN: 3-936338-33-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/28thEUPVSEC2013-4CO.12.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controllers have recently become increasingly popular not only for off-grid PV applications. MPPT Charge Controllers not only promise to increase the energy yield of the PV generator, they also allow to use low cost PV modules designed for gridconnected applications (between 40-70 cells) which normally could not be used in off-grid installations due to their high MPP voltage. Therefore DC-DC converters (typically step-down converters) are used to match the output voltage of the PV generator to the battery voltage. Those products commonly use MPPT-algorithm to track the maximum power point (MPP) of the PV generator. According to recent estimtations, about 30 to 50 MW of MPPT Charge Controllers are installed per year. Among the variety of products 60 A MPPT charge controllers dominate the market? In the absence of standard testing procedure dedicated to DC battery charging MPP-trackers only part of grid connected PV-inverter tests can be applied1. However, due to expensive and complex test requirements it is not possible for customers to evaluate the actual performance and quality of a certain product. This paper summarizes the results of the TESCABI2 project which is part of the EU DERri initiative (www.der-ri.net). Within the project, a set of test procedures for performance characterization of MPPT charge controllers have been defined. Using the procedures, extensive laboratory tests were made at the AIT PV inverter laboratory with a world-wide market representative set of 9 different MPPT devices. Based on the results, recommendations for manufacturers as well as customers have been formulated to select the appropriate product for a certain application.