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More watts from PV panels.

  1. Oct 21, 2009 #1
    Im wondering if its possible to 'pull' more watts out of PV solar panels as to charge batteries quicker.

    The maximum watts from the panels must depend on the load its given. So what if we find the optimum load draw, and create some kind of modified DC-DC converter which cleverly controls the voltages input drop (eg. 8v) as to draw the maximum watts - as well as holding a steady output voltage. (eg.14.5v)

    Would this work? or, has this been done already?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2009 #2

    Mech_Engineer

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The power output from the solar panels is dictated by the amount of incoming solar energy and the panel efficiency. If you want more power available you need to increase the size of the array or concentrate more light on the panels, but you can't magically increase the efficiency of the array.
     
  4. Oct 21, 2009 #3

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    You can tune your DC-DC converter to have the solar cell operate at it's Maximum-Power Point, but that's about all that you can do beyond what ME is saying. See the Maximum-Power Point info here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell#Energy_conversion_efficiency

    .
     
  5. Oct 21, 2009 #4
    Been researching all evening. It seems it has already been done.

    These are called http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mppt" [Broken] which apparently can get up to 30% more power out of your panels. These modules are usually combined with a well controlled 4 stage charger. Though these are much better than a normal controllers, they are expensive.

    I moved on to a better idea, as each panel is performing slightly differently, it would be better to have one for each panel and output at a much higher voltage as to reduce the power loss in the cables. Then I found that a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microinverter" [Broken] already does such a job! converting directly to AC domestic voltage. I would never have guessed that converting to AC is actually the most efficient method of getting power from PV panels!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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