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MPPT Charge Controllers for Off Grid Living

MPPT charge controllers employ DC to DC conversion, which allows the solar array voltage to be higher than the voltage required to charge the batteries. Many years ago solar modules were designed to charge 12 volt batteries. These solar modules were built with 36 cells in series to have a peak power voltage of 16- 18 volts. Two of these modules could be wired in series to charge a 24 volt battery and four could be wired in series for a 48 volt battery. Modules with 72 cells were also available for 24 volt charging. When all modules were made this way, the simple PWM charge controllers described previously worked fine. As connected off grid solar power systems became the prominent use for solar modules, cost became the most important factor in module design and off the grid homes.

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