Complete newb question

icabodicabod Registered Users Posts: 2
Recently purchased a small wind turbine (600w). I have it installed at 30 feet, it works well. Here's the question: I'm still waiting on my charge controller to arrive....and this thing is spinning away not hooked up to anything. Could I be damaging it?

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question

    Welcome to the forum.

    Just from spinning? No, that won't damage it.

    But when the wind does kick up and really sets it turning don't be surprised if it flies apart in a thousand pieces, with or without the wiring connected.

    Yeah, they don't ever tell you about that possibility do they?

    How do you know it "works well" if it's not connected?
    And if it's connected to batteries without a charge controller there's always the possibility it may produce enough current to damage the batteries (unregulated charging).
  • icabodicabod Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Complete newb question

    Not understanding why it would fly apart? It works well in the fact it tracks the wind direction well and appears stable in moderate wind. I was concerned that I haven't yet hooked it to my battery bank. I've been a solar guy up till now and thought I'd play around a bit. Living on the coast of Nova Scotia we sometimes get more wind than sun.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question
    icabod wrote: »
    Not understanding why it would fly apart? It works well in the fact it tracks the wind direction well and appears stable in moderate wind. I was concerned that I haven't yet hooked it to my battery bank. I've been a solar guy up till now and thought I'd play around a bit. Living on the coast of Nova Scotia we sometimes get more wind than sun.

    It's called "overspeed". No load or braking on the turbine and it can spin freely, well above its design limits. That's when it comes apart because it was never meant for that much stress.

    Wayne lives in NS too. He can tell you in graphic detail just how this happens. It has to do with that "more wind than sun" condition.
  • ramlouiramloui Solar Expert Posts: 104 ✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question

    Here is a video of a windmill destroying itself due to over spinning. While this is a much larger windmill, the same principle applies: there is a maximum speed over which your wind mill will break apart.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ
    Off-grid cabin in northern Quebec: 6 x 250 W Conergy panels, FM80, 4 x 6V CR430 in series (24V nominal), Magnum MS4024-PAE
  • nasamobilenasamobile Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Complete newb question

    hI I M INSTALL A 1KW WIND BUT 48V OUR LOCATION AIR PRESS ONLY IN THE 3HR IN THE DAY WE PUT THE BATTERYS 50AMP 4 PICE BUT ITS NOT CHARGES MORE TIME ITS OUTPUT 30TO38VOLT I WANT TO CHANGE VOLT CAN POSABILE WE CONVERT 24V
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,027 admin
    Re: Complete newb question

    Yes--Basic electrical rules require that the charging source needs to have a higher voltage than the load.

    If your turbine output is 38 volts, that will not recharge a 48 volt battery bank (which needs ~52-60 volts to properly recharge).

    You can try using the wind turbine on a 24 volt battery bank and see if that works. If it does and you are happy--No problem.

    However, it is possible that the turbine is not generating enough voltage/power/current because:

    a) not enough wind
    b) turbine is not high enough/in "good wind" (>10 meter tower, away from buildings/trees)
    c) turbine alternator is not spinning fast enough (poor wind, poor blade design, etc.)
    d) turbine alternator is not working/designed correctly/failing rectifier (diodes)

    Finding a good wind turbine is difficult. Most brands designed for small systems appear to be poor designs/bad construction. And even those few (if any) good brands/models still require maintenance (you have to take the turbine down once a year for inspection/maintenance).

    At this point, for most people, we like to recommend a good/well designed solar power system (assuming you have good sun and no shading on the array) first. Get that going, then experiment with wind power.

    Good luck,
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question
    BB. wrote: »
    Yes--Basic electrical rules require that the charging source needs to have a higher voltage than the load.
    There is a small group of specialized charger controllers, marketed primarily for use with golf carts, that will boost instead of bucking the input DC. Those units can charge a 36V battery from a 12V-24V source. But, on the other hand, they cannot accept a DC input which is higher than the battery voltage.

    A unit which can both boost and buck is very limited in application, and I have not yet seen one commercially.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • kenputerkenputer Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: Complete newb question
    icabod wrote: »
    Not understanding why it would fly apart? It works well in the fact it tracks the wind direction well and appears stable in moderate wind. I was concerned that I haven't yet hooked it to my battery bank. I've been a solar guy up till now and thought I'd play around a bit. Living on the coast of Nova Scotia we sometimes get more wind than sun.

    I am also in Nova Scotia and have wind and solar , they compliment each other. For the time being just short the wires together til you get your controller . I may even have some here.
    DON'T expect any help on this forum if you use wind to generate power as most do not seem to be skilled in this department.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question
    icabod wrote: »
    Not understanding why it would fly apart? It works well in the fact it tracks the wind direction well and appears stable in moderate wind. I was concerned that I haven't yet hooked it to my battery bank. I've been a solar guy up till now and thought I'd play around a bit. Living on the coast of Nova Scotia we sometimes get more wind than sun.

    Some turbine units are designed to automatically "furl" or move out of the orientation perpendicular to the wind if the wind speed goes too high and there is a risk of damage. If you do not know in advance that is the kind of turbine you have, or if there is a chance of gusty wind building the turbine speed up before the furling mechanism can come into play, you are risking catastrophic damage to your unit.
    Shorting the downleads to provide a mechanical load until the CC arrives will prevent that, although you may not get as much entertainment from the turbine "just spinning" in light winds.

    Some turbines cannot tolerate being shorted indefinitely either, if they are counting on furling or a mechanical brake (dead stop) to reduce power input to the generator.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,363 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question
    kenputer wrote: »
    .....DON'T expect any help on this forum if you use wind to generate power as most do not seem to be skilled in this department.

    And yet, help has been offered several times. What you won't find is wind being promoted as much as solar, because there are many mechanical issues, and wind is so overhyped and cannot meet the promises made.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
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  • 2twisty2twisty Solar Expert Posts: 199 ✭✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question

    Is there a forum where wind is the primary focus but has the level of expertise that this (mostly) solar forum has? I don't want a forum that is full of hype and BS -- looking for people with electrical backgrounds who have actually tested these products and can comment on them with the same level of intelligence that the solar people do here.

    Where I am (West Texas desert) we have lots of good sun, but we almost always have a 10+ MPH breeze. Sounds to me like wind is an untapped resource out here, and I'd think that towers don't have to be as high since the tallest vegetation out here is Creosote Bush which grows to about 24", and the occasional mesquite tree. If I got my tower away from my building and out into the field, I bet I could go with a 30' tower or maybe even a bit lower since there are few buildings out here taller than one story -- and they are far enough apart that the air can settle a bit before it hits my turbine.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,027 admin
    Re: Complete newb question

    From our FAQ thread:

    Wind Power Links
    www.otherpower.com (good forum for DIY Wind Power)
    Hugh Piggott - Scoraig Wind Electric
    Scoraig Wind "Recipe Book" for DYI Turbines
    www.greenpowertalk.org (Like here but more wind/less solar)

    One poster had a "windy season tower". Read through Bob Mcgovern's posts:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?4540-Pictures-forum&p=27291#post27291

    One quick test for the minimum height of the tower--Go fly a kite. The elevation at which the kite is in non-turbulent air (laminar flow)--That is the minimum elevation you want the blades of the turbine to run in.

    Wind Turbines is actually one of the few Renewable Energy projects where Do It Yourself can actually be better than off the shelf/commercial product (See "Scoraig Wind" links above).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question

    A 10+ MPH breeze may seem like it is pretty good, but the power output of a wind turbine increases as the cube of the wind speed.
    So a 10MPH wind will produce 1/8 of the power that you would get from a 20MPH wind. You may only get a useful amount of power during the times that the speed is well above average.
    Look at the nominal output specifications for wind turbines and you will find that they deliver their rated power at wind speeds above 20MPH (and the "standard" speed used will vary from one manufacturer to another.

    One of our long time wind experts has said basically that if the wind does not blow your cap off every time you go outside, you are not a good candidate for wind.

    As for the tower height, even without obstacles there will be a boundary layer near ground level where the wind is turbulent and moves at a lower average speed.
    A 30' tower might work for you, but you can get a wind speed gauge (anemometer) and check the wind speed versus height above the ground to confirm that.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Complete newb question

    I have two small turbines up. In a zone 2 wind area I get nothing in summer and a bit more then nothing in winter. When the wind really blows the incoming power is harder to control. The turbines, due to the towers, cost much more then solar. I have one now that is shorted out at the top of the tower. If these things don't bother you, then wind turbines are cool. As a hobby I am still glad that I have them. I may make more.
    Thanks
    gww
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