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Old 01-02-2006, 23:02   #1
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MPPT solar charge controllers

In the interest of maximizing the efficiency of electrical generation while minimizing the number of solar panels needed along with the associated mounting hardware, weight and space, advanced MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) charge controllers seem to make a lot of sense. By converting excess voltage that is sometimes available into useful charging amps, less is wasted. (See a detailed explanation at

What would make them even more beneficial is if they could perform this same task while simultaneously connected to wind powered or towed hydro generators which can produce wide voltage fluctuations. Is MPPT technology compatible with this? Why are MPPT controllers not discussed in conjunction with other power sources? What am I missing?

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Old 01-02-2006, 23:11   #2
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Location: Vanuatu
Boat: Whiting 29' extended "Nightcap"
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Hi Phil,
I had a serious look at MPPT units both in NZ & the States and was not able to find any that would stand up to the marine environment. There was one brand that was conformal coated (which to me is an absolute minimum requirement) but the cost/benefit ratio was prohibitive. I have already bought a regulator but if anybody knows a marine grade one that won't mean I have to spend another 6 months at work, let me know. A friend of mine recently started running MPPT regulators on his land based, grid tied system and the extra charging has meant he had to buy more battery capacity for his existing panels and no longer (in summer) has to draw from the grid. Nice to hear first hand success stories.
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