Power supply systems using photovoltaic or wind energy converters are the most promising sources of electricity for remote areas. Most of the smaller systems use direct current with the charge controller being the central component and the key to the quality of power supply and the lifetime of the battery. Due to the many battery and generator types a large variety of charge controllers is necessary. This leads to small production volumes and inhibits further price reduction. This project aims at the development of a charge controller with a large range of voltage ratios and an automatic battery detection useful for a wide choice of PV modules, small wind generators and batteries. The implementation of a "plug and play" concept provides ease of use. The expandability of regenerative power supply by combined operation of charge controllers leads to easy system design.
By means of a market survey the range of applications for the flexible charge controller will be established. Based on this information useful combination of charge controllers will be established. The functions of communication and battery management will be defined. The algorithms for maximum power point tracking, battery management, communications and the diagnostic system will be developed and tested by means of a laboratory circuit. Algorithms for the optimised control of small wind turbines will be established. Different power electronic topologies for the use in this device will be evaluated by means of simulation with special regards to high efficiency. A laboratory circuit will be constructed and optimised through extensive EMC and thermographic measurements. The laboratory circuit will be transferred to a prototype ready for extensive tests. All efforts concentrate on high reliability under all operation condition and production cost which will be accepted by the market. The prototype will be tested indoor at the laboratory and under outdoor condition.
EXPECTED ACHIEVEMENTS AND EXPLOITATION
A prototype of a flexible charge controller for the use with wind and solar power will have been developed and a small number of these pre-industrial devices will have been manufactured. Results and experiences obtained during the development and evaluation phase as well as the results of the market survey will be made available for dissemination. The flexible charge controller will allow an easy design of small stand alone power supply systems and therefore can reduce the costs of these systems.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
RG27 0PR Hook Eversley,hants