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How to get Maximum Power from your Solar PV Panel

Normally a solar PV cell operates at per the following curve.

a solar PV cell operates at per the following curve. Pic-1 You add more load to

Pic-1

You add more load to it ; the voltage reduces and the power output also reduces. Same way you reduce load ,the voltage increases and you lose

output again. Open circuit voltage is about 20.5 to 21 volt.

Pic-2

Practically the power output is maximum at 25 Degree Centigrade (Since 0 Degree Centigrade is not always possible) . The power output reduces @ 0.47% / Degree Kelvin rise.

The maximum power point is shown in blue shade in Pic-2. Maximum power

is available when the solar panel is giving output power at 17 volt (at point

A ;Pic-4).

Therefore, in the morning when you connect your flat battery to the panel the Panel instead of giving full power to the battery it will supply much less (almost 30% less) power to the battery and again in the afternoon when the battery voltage goes up , the panel output too goes up which is contrary to the

requirements.

For small capacity panel like 40 watt or less MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking ) charger is available in the market which are basically a kind of DC-DC converter. The Panel side it tries to maintain maximum V*I flow by adjusting impedance.

But for higher capacity panel the MPPT charger is not practical. There this problem is solved by throttling the panel output in the following way. It acts like a water faucet which gives maximum water only when it is opened right amount.

That's a 60 watt Panel ; Power is drawn from morning till after noon . Throttling of power is done by two ways; 1) The long wire that brings power from roof panel to the battery; It acts as normal resistance. In my case it causes a drop of 3 volt. 2) By adding high power scotky diode with sufficient heat sink attached. 1D = One Diode , 2D = Two Diode etc. Each doide acts as a 390 OHMS resistor to the panel. The voltage drop is about 0.7 volt / Diode.

Chart paper:

Diode Vs Power

11 AM 12 AM 6 0 When is never recommended as 50 during the battery
11 AM
12 AM
6 0
When
is never recommended as
50
during
the battery is directly connected (Which
night the battery power will rush to the
panel and
damage it) the
power
output is minimum (13 watt , 17 watt ,28 watt, 50 watt
at different
time of the day) . Similarly at two diodes in series
40
or 3 diodes
in series or
4
diodes
in series the power output is further less but
at one diode
series the
power
output is maximum. Actually when only
one diode
connected
in
30
series at the battery terminal the panel output becomes 17
volt (including
line
loss from roof to battery) which is the maximum operating point.
7 AM
6 AM
20
are available
in the
market
in the name
10
Schematic Design:
0
Direct
1D
2D
4D
5D
Direct
1D
2D
4D
5D
Direct
1D
2D
Direct
1D
2D
3D
4D
Power

Diode

 

Solar Panel

Point A: Panel output

Point A: Panel output

 
 
 
 
 

Wiring from panel to Battery

 

Fuse

 

Battery

Switch

Point B:

Diode Bank

   
 
   
   
 
   
from panel to Battery   Fuse   Battery Switch Point B: Diode Bank      
 
 
 

Pic-4

Power is measured at battery terminals. diode banks are fitted at point B. At 6AM , 7AM , 11 AM and at 12 AM power flow was maximum only when one diode was fitted in the line. When more diodes added in series the voltage increases but power output reduces. When only one diode is in series the voltage at Point A reaches to 17 volt and the power flows to the battery is maximum.

When I reduce the wiring by half I had to add two extra diode in series to get the maximum power. The voltage at Point A becomes 17 volt again.

Also to be noted that my battery voltage is never below 11 volt. If the battery voltage is less than 10 volt you may have to add additional diodes in series.

VMP (Voltage at Maximum Power ):Normally up to 115 watt panel it is 17 volt. From 175 watt to 200 watt it is 26 volt and from 210 watt up to 225 watt it is 29 volt.

Conclusion:

Therefore , we can conclude that to operate a higher capacity solar panel at maximum power point you have to throttle the power flow such a way that

becomes 17 volt (or the rated voltage at

maximum power; vmp). Scotchy Diode with heat sink can be added as the throttling device. Also never connect the panel output directly to the battery

the panel output voltage

(at point A)

as the power from battery will flow to the panel at night, causing damage to it.

The detail power chart

Voltage at Voltage at

Panel

Point-A

outlet

Point-B

 

Configuration

Volt

Volt

Ampere

Power

06:00 AM

Direct

15.72

12.52

1.04

13.02

06:00 AM

1D

16.12

13.12

0.99

12.99

06:00 AM

2D

17.1

14.1

0.91

12.83

06:00 AM

4D

18.5

15.5

0.7

10.85

06:00 AM

5D

19.03

16.03

0.62

9.94

07:00 AM

Direct

15.8

12.8

1.22

15.62

07:00 AM

1D

16.64

13.64

1.16

15.82

07:00 AM

2D

17.26

14.26

1.1

15.69

07:00 AM

4D

19.05

16.05

0.86

13.8

07:00 AM

5D

19.46

16.46

0.76

12.51

11:00 AM

Direct

16.28

13.28

2.14

28.42

11:00 AM

1D

16.93

13.93

3.96

55.16

11:00 AM

2D

17.68

14.68

3.46

50.79

12:00 PM

Direct

17.06

14.06

3.5

49.21

12:00 PM

1D

16.94

13.94

4.1

57.15

12:00 PM

2D

18.3

15.3

3.2

48.96

12:00 PM

3D

19.89

16.89

2.2

37.16

12:00 PM

4D

20.6

17.6

1.91

33.62

To control battery charging we have to go for different types of bypass arrangement which is not in the purview of this article.

S. Bera Powai-Mumbai