As the need for remote operation of electronic devices increases, the challenge of powering these devices becomes one of particular importance. Remote applications are powered mostly by batteries that are either recharged or changed on a regular basis. The more remote the location, the bigger the challenge of replacing these batteries. The modern photovoltaic cell, however, makes possible remotely powered applications that do not have to be serviced.

This application note explains how to get the maximum amount of power out of a solar panel for a remote application. It introduces the Maximum Power Point Converter, which is essentially a DC-to-DC converter in which the DC input voltage is a solar panel and the output voltage is 28 volts. The converter uses the solar panel to generate a voltage capable of recharging a 24-volt battery.