The Power Advantage 30 is a step-up or boost-type charge controller, similar to boost type DC- DC converters except that instead of maintaining constant output voltage
The Power Advantage 30
is a step-up or boost-type charge controller, similar to boost type DC- DC converters except that instead of maintaining constant output voltage, it maintains a constant current draw from the PV array. This method allows the charge controller to use PV arrays that produce voltages lower than the battery bank voltage. This also decouples the PV array from the battery bank, allowing them to run at different voltages and currents. This decoupling allows the charge controller to optimize charging for both the PV array and the battery bank. In the case of the PV array, the Power Advantage 30 Charge Controller performs maximum power tracking and always draws maximum power from the array for the given environmental conditions. In the case of the batteries, the charge controller will follow a profile specified by battery manufacturer.
The Power Advantage 30 Charge Controller has a data collection computer that monitors PV voltage and current, battery voltage, current, and temperature, load current, and insolation. This allows the computer to keep track of energy usage and production with up to 45 days of data stored in memory. The Virtual Control Panel (P/N 10220), which is standard with this controller, can be used to view these parameters graphically. The data collection system also allows the Power Advantage 30 Charge Controller to perform maximum power tracking to optimize PV array performance. At predetermined time intervals, the computer collects voltage and current information about the PV array and then determines the voltage and current where maximum power is obtained. The computer then instructs the charge controller to operate at this point. The charge controller will maintain this operating point until the next predetermined time interval or until environmental conditions require a change in the operating point. If either of these conditions occur, voltage and current data are again collected and a new optimal operating point is chosen.
The Power Advantage 30 Charge Controller battery charging algorithm consists of three modes: (1) constant current mode, (2) constant voltage mode, and (3) equalization. All of the setpoints are automatically temperature compensated by the temperature probe supplied as standard equipment with the Power Advantage 30. The Power Advantage 30 Charge Controller can also utilize an optional remote LCD Display (P/N 10019) through which all system parameters can be set and system performance monitored. An optional MODEM also allows the user to remotely download data from the sensors, monitor the charger behavior, and modify the charging algorithm.
Fire Wind and Rain Technologies LLC, 3850 E. Huntington Dr., Flagstaff, AZ 86004. Tel: 520-526-1133; Fax: 520-527-4664.