ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2019 - 30

LE THBRIDG E COLLEG E

Comparative Study of Maximum Power Point Tracking and Pulse-Width
Modulation Solar Charge Controllers
D I S C I PL I N E :

Engineering Design and Drafting Technology

TEAM MEMBER:

Ben Gregorash

In His Own Words...
Ben: My hometown is Coaldale, Alberta, and I've been living
in Lethbridge for almost 20 years. I am a journeyman electrician by trade, and chose to return to school as a mature
student with the goal of becoming a C.E.T. specializing in
electrical drafting.
My hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, gaming, photography, astronomy, and spending time with my wife and
two children.

My Capstone Project
The purpose of this study is to determine which method of
charge controlling is most efficient and provides the highest current when charging a deep-cycle battery using solar panels, maximum power-point tracking, or pulse width
modulation. The tests were conducted using a switching
system to alternate between maximum power-point tracking and pulse width modulation, while using the same solar
array and battery, all while recording solar panel surface
and ambient air temperatures.
The experiments were run over three different days under
three different types of weather conditions, and data was
collected by using a multi-meter to record voltage, current,
and power at the battery.

30 | WINTER 2019 | TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA

Test #1. I discovered that the maximum power-point
tracking was 13.6% more efficient than the pulse
width modulation over 20 minutes under lightly overcast sky and below an ambient air temperature of 0°C.
Test #2. I also found that the maximum power-point
tracking was only 1.4% more efficient than the pulse
width modulation over 60 minutes under clear skies
and with an ambient air temperature of 0°C.
Test #3. The final test allowed me to determine that
the maximum power-point tracking had an efficiency
of -5.7% compared to the pulse width modulation under clear skies and with an ambient air temperature
above 10.
The tests concluded that efficiency is based on weather
conditions and the properties of the solar panels, but that
overall, the maximum power-point tracking provided extra
power when possibly most needed under cold and cloudy
condition. I would recommend that maximum power-point
tracking be installed in applications where batteries are being charged by solar panels. Be sure to purchase quality
panels and charge controllers for best results.



ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2019

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ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2019 - AD
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2019 - Table of Contents
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https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_dec2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/aset55anniversary
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2015
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com