Proceedings of 2018 ASEE Northeast Section Conference

Solar UPS for Home Router
Jan Ghalib

Renewable energy sector relies heavily on solar energy. Most solar users are aware that solar panels currently are not efficient but there is not much awareness regarding the charge controller’s efficiency which plays a major role in the output of the panel. For this project Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controllers were researched in depth. The conclusion was that MPPT charge controllers are much more efficient. The MPPT charge controller designed for this project incorporated a micro-controller typically used in Arduino. The micro-controller also enabled us to have a User Interface (UI). After designing and implementation stages, the MPPT charge controller was tested against a PWM charge controller. The analysis revealed that MPPT charge control yield much more power, especially during low light condition. A battery was charged using the designed charge controller and a 100 W solar panel, to power a home internet router. After thoroughly testing and investigating the MPPT charge controller, the conclusion was that the 100 W solar panel and a 25 Ah battery could keep a home internet router powered for close to 12 hours during low light conditions and up to 16 hours on a bright day. The similar configuration of solar panel, home internet router and battery were tested with a standard PWM charge controller. The PWM charge controller could keep the home internet router powered for up to 12 hours on bright days but in low light conditions only up to 5 hours. It was very clear that MPPT charge controllers are the future of the industry. The major reason that PWM charge controllers are still being sold is because MPPT charge controllers are slightly more expensive. Because of careful component selection for this project, the MPPT charge controller designed for this project cost close to $43 which is very close to the price of a similar specification PWM charge controller. This project was successful on many levels in terms of making an efficient charge controller using readily available inexpensive components, simple design, providing a user interface and keeping the cost low.

Last modified: 2018-04-26
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