Description: Renewable power systems are becoming more affordable and provide better options than fossil-fuel generation, for not only the environment, but a benefit of a reduced cost of operation. Methods to optimize charging batteries from renewable technologies is an important subject for off-grid and micro-grids, and is becoming more relevant for larger installations. Overcharging or undercharging the battery can result in failure and reduction of battery life. The Arduino hybrid MPPT controller takes the advantage of solar and wind energy sources by controlling two systems simultaneously. The ability to manage two systems with one controller is better for an overall production of energy, cost, and manageability, at a minor expense of efficiency. The hybrid MPPT uses two synchronous buck DC-DC converters to control both wind and solar. The hybrid MPPT performed at a maximum of 93.6% efficiency, while the individual controller operated at a maximum 97.1% efficiency when working on the bench test. When designing the controller to manage power production from a larger generator, the inductor size was too large due to the frequency provided by the Arduino. A larger inductor means less allowable current to flow before the inductor becomes over saturated, reducing the efficiency of the controller. Utilizing a different microcontroller like the PIC16C63A produces a much faster frequency, which will reduce the inductor size needed and allow more current before over saturation.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Assaad, Michael