Panels and dump loads

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trumpets3u
trumpets3u Solar Expert Posts: 35 ✭✭✭
With solar panels do you have to have a place for a dump load like with a wind mill?

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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,476 admin
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    Re: Panels and dump loads

    No, Solar Panels are more like batteries--they supply a max voltage and that is it. A standard battery charge controller for solar panels can just "open the switch" to the panels and stop the charging. Some folks have connected an electric water heating element to their solar panels and dump excess available solar panel power into something useful--like heating their hot water.

    With Windmills, the blades turn in the wind--and if the unit is not producing power that is consumed by a load (battery charging, lights, appliances, etc.), in high winds the unit can overspeed and actually self destruct.

    There are several ways to keep a windmill from overspeeding-- One is to dump excess power (over that needed to charge batteries and such) by connecting an electric heating element. Other types of wind generator can do this by pointing out of the wind, shorting the generator output, changing blade pitch, mechanical brake and such... You will need the specifications for the specifics for any particular model/brand.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset