I've got a cabin that I visit on weekends and because I need to charge my computer and tools there, I decided to bring an old car battery and bought a solar panel to charge it. Right now I use a cheap regulator and there's enough energy to power the lights and charge a laptop twice a week but I'm planning to expand the setup to achieve greater input and battery capacity and more effective charging. I'll probably have multiple solar cells and multiple batteries.
Starting from the solar panel, I'll probably need a MPPT regulator to harvest the maximum power available from the cell. I think that I'll have to use just one regulator even if I buy more solar cells, since most regulators aren't waterproof, I guess, and I've got only two wires to the roof. Does this mean that I'll have to buy solar panels with similar V-I curve and connect them in parallel?
I'm not really sure about the next part. If my understanding is correct, I get some power from the MPPT and I need to convert it to a form that is best suited to charging the battery using some kind of an intelligent step-up convertor. How does that work exactly? I guess it's not enough to use this thing set to 14.4 V output, or is it? What exactly do I need to do with the voltage?