Ed Begley's vertical windmill

SolarJohnSolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭✭✭✭
I watched "Living with Ed" on Monday and decided that I must have one of those vertical windmills.

See www.pacwind.net

Since I already have some PV (an off-grid system with 340 watts of PV and 420ah of batteries), and I'm planning to get a new charge controller anyway, perhaps an MX-60, my question is:

What do I need, and how do I wire it, to make the PV array and the windmill charge the SAME SET of batteries?

I may be able to use the Morningstar 20a charge controller that I already have as a diversion load controller, but I believe the windmill comes with a TriStar charge controller.

John

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    that type of controller you can downconvert with so it is possible for you to match the output of the present system's battery voltage while inputting a higher pv voltage to the controller. the wind genny is usually fixed for xx volts so when getting a wind genny you must be sure of the battery system voltage you wish to use and buy the corresponding wind genny that will suit for that battery system voltage.
    did this answer your question?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,027 admin
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    Check the specs. closely... When a couple of us looked at their site a few months ago--there was not too much in the way of specifications...

    If their newer systems perform, roughly, the same as their older systems, they don't handle higher voltage battery banks as well as the plain old 12 VDC bank... The higher the voltage bank (i.e., 24 or 48 VDC), the higher the wind speed has to be before generation can begin--Which, depending on your local conditions, can knock quite a bit of kWhrs per month from the average capacity of this wind turbine system.

    Example, SeaHawk cut-in wind speeds (PDF file--I think Jim/Crewzer suggested this link originally):
    The SeaHawk vertical axis wind turbine system is a state of-the-art small generator designed to charge batteries and supply electrical loads in a 12, 24 or 48 V D.C. bus based remote power systems. The voltage system you choose is based upon your average wind speed according to the following chart:

    Average Wind Speed / Optimum System Voltage
    0-5.4 m/s (0-12 mph) / 12 Volts
    5.4-10.8 m/s (12-24 mph) / 24 Volts
    10.8 m/s (24 mph) and greater / 48 Volts

    A 12 VDC battery bank at 24 mph will be generating ~400 watts.... A 48 VDC system at 24 mph will just be breaking about 0 watts.

    As Wind-Sun posted on another thread, around 26 mph or so, is when wires start to "sing" and buildings start to whistle. That is quite a bit of wind and I would, based on the specs. of the older system, would find it difficult to recommend anything over 12 VDC battery bank for this system/controller combination unless you live/install in a very windy location.
    The SeaHawk wind turbine must be placed on a tower that is tall enough to give the cage proper exposure to the wind. Putting a wind turbine on a tower that is too short is like installing a solar system in the shade. As a “rule-of-thumb” the SeaHawk should be 9 m (30 ft) above obstacles within 50 m (160 ft), particularly in the prevailing wind direction. So, the minimum recommended tower height is 9 m (30 ft.). For most situations, a tower of at least 18 m (60 ft.) is recommended for this unit.

    [Tower height (meters) vs Wind Speed (mps) vs] Energy Production
    9 m 4.8 100%
    13 m 5.2 121%
    19 m 5.6 147%
    25 m 5.9 165%
    32 m 6.2 186%

    Table 2: Variation in wind speed and expected relative energy output with tower height.

    I would presume too, that with this (and probably any) wind system--installing has high of tower as financially possible would be a good idea too.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill
    What do I need, and how do I wire it, to make the PV array and the windmill charge the SAME SET of batteries?... I may be able to use the Morningstar 20a charge controller that I already have as a diversion load controller, but I believe the windmill comes with a TriStar charge controller.
    You’ll need three controllers: one between the PV array and the batteries, one as a diversion-type controller between the wind generator and the batteries, and a third controller as a back-up to the second (the back-up is an NEC requirement). The diversion controller will also need a load. This is typically a resistive element in a water heater tank.

    The 20 A Morningstar controller you presently have is a series PWM controller. It’s not intended for diversion control applications. The Morningstar Tristar controller’s manual contains very useful information about configuration for diversion load control for wind and hydro applications.

    See: http://www.morningstarcorp.com/products/TriStar/info/TS_Manual.pdf

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • SolarJohnSolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    I suspect that in my location I would go with the 12 volt windmill configuration. Winds are not strong here. But that's alright, my battery bank and inverter are 12 volts.

    I have 4 pv panels, so I am free to wire them for 12, 24, or 48 volts if need be, but my inverter operates at 12 volts and I hope to avoid the additional expense of replacing it.

    My question was, and still is:

    What do I need, and how do I wire it, to make the PV array and the windmill charge the SAME SET of batteries?

    John
  • SolarJohnSolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    Thanks Jim

    I was composing my post and didn't see yours at the time. You've answered my question, although I don't really understand the need for the backup controller.

    John
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    NEC 690.72(b) requires a back up controller to prevent battery overcharge/damage should the diversion load fail. The NEC language suggests this requirement is applicable to PV energy systems only, but it appears to be applied to wind and hydro systems as well due to the same risk issue.

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer

    P.S. This previous discussion might be useful: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=676
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    Following up…

    You might want to investigate whether wind energy is even practical in your area. Here’s a link to general on-line wind energy resource infomation, and here’s a link to a wind power classification map for Illinois. Note that the wind resource potential for the area east of St. Louis is rated as “Marginal” or “Fair” at 50 meters (164 feet) above ground level. The potential closer to the ground is lower, and it drops even further if there are nearby “obstructions”.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • SolarJohnSolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    Thanks Jim,

    Additionally, my neighborhood has lots of mature trees. I probably can't get the windmill highe enough to do much good. I guess I'll have to stick to PV, or move.

    John
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    What's with Ed Begley anyway? Isn't he still involved with the Citizenre' fiasco? Sometimes a personality for the right thing can have the wrong impact.

    Icarus
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,027 admin
    Re: Ed Begley's vertical windmill

    I notice that this thread comes up a lot when people are looking at the archives... So an update regarding Ed and Citizenre:
    July 1, 2008 – Citizenrē Corporation is the first to bring “solar for rent” to a national residential audience. Ed Begley, Jr., an Emmy-nominated actor, environmentalist and host of the Award-winning “Living With Ed” series on HGTV, has served as Citizenrē’s media spokesperson since the Company launched its innovative REnU Solar Solution in 2006. Today these two solar pioneers announced their decision to move forward separately.

    “Ed has been an activist and crusader since the earliest days of environmental awareness”, said Citizenrē founder and CEO David C. Gregg. “His own passion for the environment in general, and for affordable solar energy in particular, made him a perfect initial spokesperson and marketing partner for Citizenre in our first years. We are very pleased to have worked with him and wish him all success in his next endeavors”.

    The licensing agreement between Citizenre and Brentwood Communications International, Inc, (BCII), representing Ed Begley Jr. and his wife Rachel Carson Begley, has expired as of June 30 by mutual agreement of the parties. The parting is amicable and both parties remain fully supportive of the other’s mission, objectives and activities.

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