Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
I have a 48V solar set up, with 8 6V 225 amp hour golf cart batteries. I would like to add some small wind generators into the mix specifically some I saw on the USA Wind Generators website, linked here.

I haven't fully dived into this project yet, but I have a general question. Is there any way to use one or more smaller wind generators for charging my 48V bank or will I need to step up to the larger and more expensive generators to be able to get enough voltage up to charge the bank? Could I use 4 of these generators?

Thanks!

EDIT: I am not looking for big power gains or to spend a ton of money, but more looking to get into a small to modest setup to try and get some charging in inclimate weather/winter.

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    imo there isn't any such thing as a small turbine installation cost and maintenance wise. if the turbine actually works and the company is reputable then you would have need to mount this at at least 30ft above all surrounding obstructions with the understanding that just because a turbine may carry a wattage rating on it that this is somewhat of a maximum figure and not the norm as that would be determined by the winds that you actually get. often times in semi-decent locations a turbine may give about 10% of its rating and i'm just reiterating what others have said in the past.

    many feel the cost and maintenance is excessive and that adding more solar would make better sense, but i have always felt wind and solar are a good theoretical combo as nice days aren't usually windy and non-sunny days usually has some wind.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    So what your asking is: are there any small turbines that produce enough Voltage to charge a 48 Volt bank? Maybe somewhere. Most are 12 or 24.
    The other "hidden" question is: could you put four 12 Volt units in series with each other and charge the 48 Volt bank?
    Well you could, but it probably wouldn't work very well.
    If you connect up to 12 Volt "segments" of the battery bank you'll get uneven charging of the whole bank. If you try to literally series-string the turbines you'll be forcing 48+ Volts through wiring that was meant for 12 (each successive turbine). And since the turbines will inevitably put out varying amounts of current each at any given time, the output will be all over the place.

    You'd really need a 48 Volt turbine for this to work. Offhand I don't know of any, but perhaps someone here does?
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Cariboocoot, yeah, that's basically what I am looking for. I can see that there are large wind generators that produce at 48V (a Google search turns up a lot of good hits) but I was hoping to try something small out. Easier to mount, less expensive, etc. I do have a sufficient solar install for our needs but our winters are long in Michigan where I think I could get SOME power from wind to help out. We also recently had nearly a week of rainy weather -- solar did well in the periods where there was sun but we had quite a bit of wind.

    I see your points on stringing them together in a series. Might work but it would be a ~$750 experiment that would most likely go run. Plus I have to mount 4 of them.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    sorry for my not fully answering your inquiry as it may be difficult to find one, as you said, that high in voltage without getting into the higher power/cost ranges.

    do not put them in series as this could present problems and may not actually work under some circumstances. example may be wind hits turbine 1 and turbine 2 is behind turbine 1 and not receiving the same power as turbine 1. sudden wind changes and eddy currents will change individually for each turbine and will create a less than desirable output.
  • DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Yes there is! I just received my Kestrel e300i directly from http://www.kestrelwind.co.za/ . I also have a 48V battery bank and ran into the same problem. I was unable to find any "small" turbine made in the US that would be able to charge a 48V battery bank. The e300i is a 1kW unit. They have an 800W, 600W, and a larger 3kW version as well. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the e300i I received. I can post pictures if requested. All of those turbines are available in 12, 24, 48, 110 and 200 Vdc versions!. I paid about $3500 for the e300i which included air freight and a voltage limiter from South Africa. You will also have to pay customs and additional shipping charges from Atlanta GA. I was EXTREMELY impressed with the quality of even the voltage limiter. It rivals the Outback inverter I have in quality if that makes any sense. I have the 110V version so the voltage limiter will limit the voltage to a maximum of 135V. I will then use a Midnight Solar Classic charge controller hooked up to the voltage limiter.

    David
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I would be interested to hear why you purchased one from S.A. and not one made within the US. Are they that much better? $3500 puts me into a different price range. I am trying to experiment with wind generators before I shell out big money. I was hoping to try one for <$1,000 mounted -- the power it produces isn't my main focus. I'm not looking to power my whole offgrid home, just supplement. Looks like 48V limits me to either larger generators one a custom one that I haven't found yet.
  • DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I was unable to find any US manufacture that produced a 1KW or smaller turbine that could charge a 48V battery bank. That is why I purchased from South Africa. Hugh Piggott installed the e400i at his location and has commented on the quality and reliability of it. The $3500 I quoted was for the 1kW version. You would most likely be interested in the 600W version which should be a lot cheaper. I will check the price.

    Bergey has said for years that they were going to make a 48V version of their turbine but it still isn't available. Even then the 48V version would be somewhat limiting for a 48V bank. The 110V or 200V version of the Kestrel allows me to place the tower pretty far away without having to resort to large gauge cable and plenty of voltage overhead to make sure the bank can always be fully charged. If there was a quality US manufacturer for 48V+ turbines at 1kW and less I would have purchased from them but there doesn't appear to be any. But then after seeing the Kestrel turbine it would be hard to top the quality and attention to detail I have seen so far of it.. even included small syringes of grease for the pitch control.

    By the way, my system is nearly identical to yours (use sealed batteries and Kyocera panels instead) but everything else is identical.
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I would be interested in hearing the pricing for their other turbines. Do you have any pictures of yours installed? I am still trying to figure out where mine would go and I think I need to bite the bullet and buy an anemometer to figure out where I get the most wind.
  • DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I checked on pricing and you are still looking at close to $2000 for the 600 watt version when you include shipping, Kestrel charge controller, and diversion resistor.
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Yikes. This may be insulting to some of you but I am thinking of chancing it with one of the sub $700 48V ones I see on Amazon. This is once I can justify the purchase with an anemometer. I am looking for something to generate power in lower speed conditions. Look like the 48V bank is what is holding me back. Funny, it has really helped with solar because of wire resistance, distances with minimal losses, etc.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    If you're comfortable with the price and product, that's all that matters. Let us know how good/bad it turns out to be.
  • DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?
    Yikes. This may be insulting to some of you but I am thinking of chancing it with one of the sub $700 48V ones I see on Amazon. This is once I can justify the purchase with an anemometer. I am looking for something to generate power in lower speed conditions. Look like the 48V bank is what is holding me back. Funny, it has really helped with solar because of wire resistance, distances with minimal losses, etc.

    Just remember the wind turbine market is completely different then the PV market. The PV market has a standard test that all panels are tested against. With wind power there are no standardized tests and in most cases you get what you pay for. The turbine is going to be subjected to a very abusive environment and consists of moving parts under a lot of stress. Generally reliable quality turbines cost a lot because there is a lot involved to make one that will work well.

    I'm not sure an anemometer would be worth it for a individual site for a small wind turbine. The biggest factor is to make sure it is out of any turbulence from nearby obstructions.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I've been looking for an excuse to buy a 48V wind turbine for some time now... but I just can't turn the rational side of my brain off long enough to buy one :P Have you run some simulations to see how you'd do with $1000 worth of extra PV ? Bear in mind that PV is an: install and forget for 30+ years investment. Wind is: install, then take down every year to check it's ok- then wake up during storms to check that it's not overspeeding- then replace the bearings every few years- then repaint the housing- etc.
  • DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Wind and PV generally compliment each other. Where you live and your average wind speed makes a big difference in whether or not it makes sense for you. In my location when the sun isn't shining it is more than likely windy. And in the winter you could go for a couple weeks with no useful solar energy on top of the sun already being so low in the sky but the wind howling for most of that time. So in my case wind makes a big difference. The problem is is the small wind turbine market has been flooded with mis-information, poor installations, deceitful marketing, lack of knowledgeable people who can actually install them for others, and generally turbines that are cheap and don't last.
  • newmeilwindturbinenewmeilwindturbine Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I have a 48v, 600W small wind turbine(X600 wind turbine ), its weight is around 16kg, most impressed, it is very simple install. Output is fine, there is nearly no noise when it is running. At the same time, I can have it installed for battery charge, or connect to grid through grid inverter. You can try if interested.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,361 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Are you seller or user?
    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
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Seller out of China... You can find "his" home page under his user name, or just search for user name.

    Hoping the seller will engage in useful discussions--If just dropping name/links for advertising, the post will disappear....

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Is there no Controller / Batt Charger for Wind Turbines that accepts 12 volts or 24 volts IN and then outputs 48 volts to charge the batteries? Adding such a device ( extra $'s ) would then increase your Wind Turbine selection to low voltage models.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?
    NEOH wrote: »
    Is there no Controller / Batt Charger for Wind Turbines that accepts 12 volts or 24 volts IN and then outputs 48 volts to charge the batteries? Adding such a device ( extra $'s ) would then increase your Wind Turbine selection to low voltage models.

    Pretty much a bad idea: 12 Volts in, 48 Volts out. That's a lot of up-converting at the cost of a significant amount of power which turbines tend to be short on to begin with. It's not just current divided by Voltage multiplier.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?
    I have a 48v, 600W small wind turbine(X600 wind turbine ), its weight is around 16kg, most impressed, it is very simple install. Output is fine, there is nearly no noise when it is running. At the same time, I can have it installed for battery charge, or connect to grid through grid inverter. You can try if interested.
    To imply this wind turbine would actually be useful for more than making a profit through sales, strikes me as kind of far fetched. I have personal experience with small wind such as this one. I learned the hard way.
  • WillWinstonWillWinston Solar Expert Posts: 45
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    http://www.windenergy.com/products/air/air40


    I had a 12 V model for years -- quite reliable -- it did throw a blade once -- I think related to the headless bird found nearby

    they have 48 V models --you should be able to get this up and running for a kilo buck or so -- check ebay -- I bought a couple for under $500
  • louielouielouielouie Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    as i am a nooby i don't want to violate any forum policies.
    there is an outfit named "wildnaturesolutions" that advertises a 48v wind turbine.
    i'm not giving the link.
    i don't know anything about them as i am just beginning to "grow" my solar system.
    and if this violates forum policy please delete this post.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?
    louielouie wrote: »
    as i am a nooby i don't want to violate any forum policies.
    there is an outfit named "wildnaturesolutions" that advertises a 48v wind turbine.
    i'm not giving the link.
    i don't know anything about them as i am just beginning to "grow" my solar system.
    and if this violates forum policy please delete this post.

    No, it's fine. You can include the link if you like.

    Links to relevant manufacturers are not a problem. (Unless it's one of those subversive spammer links. ;) )

    Links to retailers may be a problem if they are a "direct NAWS competitor". :cool:

    Anyway, some of us read every post and will fix anything we find that isn't kosher.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I assume this is the company?

    www.wildnaturesolutions.com

    If so, those are vertical axis wind turbines... So far, I am not sure that there is one that will work/perform to specifications (from what I have read so far about VAWT in general). They tend to to produce very much power (unless it is blowing a gale), they require about 2x the swept area of a HAWT (horizontal), and require a lot of maintenance.

    Note, the only "good thing" about VAWT units is they should not over-speed in high winds (HAWT need brakes to prevent over-speed in high winds and/or if they become "electrically unloaded").

    Please note, I am not a big fan of small wind anyway--So take what I say with a grain of salt. Some other information about small wind:
    BB. wrote: »
    Add links about wind power:

    Wind Power Links
    www.otherpower.com (good forum for DIY Wind Power)
    Hugh Piggott - Scoraig Wind Electric site for tons of info (from mike90045)
    www.greenpowertalk.org (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)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Looking deeper into the site, I see they have HAWT too... Don't know anything about them--but should be better than the VAWT.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?
    BB. wrote: »
    Looking deeper into the site, I see they have HAWT too... Don't know anything about them--but should be better than the VAWT.

    Their VAWTs look identical to the Missouri Wind and Solar ones which have had "interesting" feedback from some users: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?10670-Missouri-Wind-and-Solar-Turbine-anyone-try-them/page1
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Bumping this up because I found out some new info. This company will make a 48V version of the turbine if you ask them to. $350 plus shipping. My biggest challenge would be mounting it -- a tall tower with guy wires is out for aesthetic reasons.

    http://www.mikeswindmillshop.com/LowWindGenerator.html
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    If you end up using them--Let us know how they work out--Always looking for good recommendations for wind power.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    Will do. I have a generator purchase I have to put ahead of this but it would be nice to get something like this installed this winter since we traditionally have higher winds in the winter and less sun. Don't know about anyone else (most likely do you BB. :)) but I am struggling with the overcast days here in the Mid-West.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: Small Wind Generator for 48V battery bank?

    I wish had a stash of magic answers--I could use them at home raising kids. :cry:

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