Maximum Peak Power Tracking (MPPT) | Cypress Semiconductors
Cypress's PowerPSoC family incorporates Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) technology with the best-in-class power electronic controllers and switching devices to create easy to use power system-on-chip solutions for lighting applications. It is an ideal platform to create lighting solutions and is designed to replace the microcontroller, system ICs and discrete components required for driving high brightness LEDs. This device has on-chip current sense amplifiers (CSA) and ADC for current and voltage measurement. Cypress provides a smart maximum peak power tracking (MPPT) algorithm that tracks the peak power point of a solar panel. It charges a lead acid battery using an optimized charging algorithm that improves battery life. It implements a low battery disconnect feature to prevent the battery from discharging below a certain charge state. It provides protection from panel reverse and battery reverse conditions. Also, PowePSoC implements a floating load buck and a boost driver to drive LEDs.
Solar panels are being increasingly used in street lighting applications to make for environment friendly designs by reducing the dependency on conventional energy. The use of High Brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs) for illumination in streetlights further increases their energy efficiency. Figure 1 shows a picture of a solar panel powered street light with high brightness LEDs. These systems employ lead acid batteries that get charged by solar panels during the day. The energy from the batteries is then used to drive the LEDs in the night.
Solar panels consist of photovoltaic cells that use light energy from the sun to generate electricity through photovoltaic effect. Maximum Power Point Tracking, referred to as MPPT, is an electronic system that operates the photovoltaic modules in solar panels to produce maximum power. MPPT varies the electrical operating point of the modules and enables them to deliver maximum available power. MPPT can be used in conjunction with a mechanical tracking system, but the two systems are completely different
Cypress’ MPPT Solar Charge Controller is a battery charger and load controller with integrated LED driver, which features a smart tracking algorithm that maximizes energy harvest from solar panels. It is designed using Cypress’ PowerPSoC and uses the device’s integrated hysteretic controllers, its dedicated modulators, and PSoC core to implement the MPPT smart tracking algorithm, as well as the constant current LED driver circuit.
Integrated MPPT Solar Charger plus LED Driver using Cypress' PowerPSoC (Third Party board)
The Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm is used in solar applications to track the peak power delivered by a solar panel and maximize the energy harvested by the panels. AN56778 describes the use of PowerPSoC® for an integrated solar charge controller based on the MPPT algorithm with LED drive functionality.
PowerPSoC is the world’s first embedded power controller with integrated high quality power peripherals that simplify design and reduces BOM costs, provides reconfigurable power levels for unparalleled flexibility without modifying hardware and its powerful PSoC® architecture provides additional hardware integration.
This article discusses the implementation of Integrated MPPT Charge Controller and LED driver using Cypress’s PowerPSoC devices to yield an efficient, compact and low cost system solution.
Software and Drivers
- PSoC Creator
PSoC Creator is a state-of-the-art software development IDE combined with a revolutionary graphical design editor to form a uniquely powerful hardware/software co-design environment.
- PSoC Designer
PSoC Designer is the revolutionary Integrated Design Environment (IDE) that you can use to customize PSoC to meet your specific application requirements. PSoC Designer software accelerates system bring-up and time-to-market.