Circuit layout help for charging 12V battery with DC wind turbine generator

rkraemer21rkraemer21 Registered Users Posts: 1
I am new to electronics above the most basic level and I am planning on charging a battery, or powering something else, with a wind turbine.  I constructed the wind turbine myself from scratch and have confirmed that my DC motor can output current when the turbine is driven with wind.  All I have left now is to figure out how to do something with that power.  What parts do I need in my circuit so that the battery doesn't just power the motor, and so that there is enough voltage to power the battery?  Or should I decide to forgo the battery and power something directly?


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,998 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Small wind is a bit of a pain.

    When in the wind the turbine MUST create energy. So you need a charge controller with a diversion load(some place for the power to go once the batteries are charged). 

    If this is just a school project, you could just use a water heater element to heat water...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,327 admin
    edited January 2021 #3
    We generally do not have a lot of detailed discussion about wind here... Here are some wind related links and forums that do discuss DYI wind projects in detail:

    Wind Power Links (good forum for DIY Wind Power)
    Hugh Piggott - Scoraig Wind Electric site for tons of info (from mike90045)
    Scoraig Wind "Recipe Book" for DYI Turbines (from Chris Olson... From his 4/11/2013 post) (added from "russ"--Like here but more wind/less solar)
    Small windpower a scam ? Survey says SO
    Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    Windmax HY-2000 2kW Wind Turbine (apparently, some vendors don't sell spare parts--just new turbines. However, the owner, Edward has been very happy with its performance from 2010-2012--BB. 5/31/2012)

    The problem is that solar and wind power is all about the details... Need to characterize the turbine's alternator/generator (RPM vs voltage vs amperage vs torque) to design the blades to work with your unit--Then how you will connect the alternator/generator (DC) to the battery bank. How to control the turbine (furling, feathering, braking, etc. for high wind). How to limit charging (dump loads/controller, etc.). How much wind at your site--How tall of tower (>10 meters or 30 feet, above obstructions, in "clean air", how to service the unit--Crane/bucket truck, tilt tower, etc.)...

    Wind turbines seem to be one of the areas where Do It Yourself projects can perform better than off the self products--Plus, since you built the system, you can repair it too.

    A big issue what we have with new posters here is that their turbine is not producing any useful power (or not even turning at speed). That whole issue of placing the turbine high enough, in clean air, blades designed for prevailing conditions and turbine torque curve) is not trivial.

    I hate to direct you away from our friendly forum--But we also want you to get the information you need for your project.

    Personally, I suggest that you design and build an off grid solar system first--get that working well, then add wind later (for times of bad solar/weather)... Building a pure wind turbine off grid power system is difficult because of pretty variable in output (some days of high wind, other weeks of poor or no wind), and wind does not (generally) give you consistent/predictable power harvest vs Solar Power. Add the issues of cost (turbines tend to be cheap, but towers, support equipment, maintenance--Tends to be expensive).

    As always, look at your energy needs first... Figure out what your daily loads are (Watt*Hours, Amp*Hours @ xx VDC, etc.)--And review your loads--It is almost always cheaper to conserve energy vs generating it. Once you have your loads as low as practical for your needs--Then look at designing a system that can reliably support those needs.

    Personally, I am not a fan of wind power--So take my recommendations about wind vs solar with a grain of salt. There are folks that live in very windy locations and are happy with their wind systems--They work--But solar tends to be more of an install and forget (little maintenances of solar panels and chargers). But any of these systems, your battery bank is the "heart" of the system--And keeping the battery bank "happy" (within the charge/discharge/etc. specifications, any required maintenance such as adding distilled water, etc.) will help your bank have a long and useful life.

    -Bill "full disclosure" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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