In this paper, sliding mode control (SMC) direct power controller (DPC) based active and reactive power controller for three-phase grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system is proposed. The proposed system consists of two main controllers: the DC/DC boost converter to track the possible maximum power from the PV panels and the grid-tied three-phase inverter. The Perturb and Observe (P&O) algorithm is used to transfer the maximum power from the PV panels. Control of the active and reactive powers is performed using the SMC-DPC strategy without any rotating coordinate transformations or phase angle tracking of the grid voltage. In addition, extra current control cycles are not used to simplify the system design and to increase transient performance. The fixed switching frequency is obtained by using space vector modulation (SVM). The proposed system provides very good results both in transient and steady states with the simple algorithms of P&O and SMC-DPC methods. Moreover, the results are evaluated by comparing the SMC-DPC method developed for MPPT and the traditional PI control method. The proposed controller method is achieved with TMS320F28335 DSP processor and the system is experimentally tested for 12 kW PV generation systems. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.