Wind Turbine Question

RedNeckSolarManRedNeckSolarMan Solar Expert Posts: 34
Hello, I have wind turbine question. I want to get small wind turbine to help power my solar system. I have my solar system on a balcony and during the winter months, I don't get alot of sun. The solar system is running several DC rope lights. I am running three solar panels (60, 30 & 15 watt panels). Plus, since I got good idea on solar panels, I thought I would jump on wind electricity, and learn about wind power. My question is I am looking into small wind turbine, about 10 - 30 volt motor to give my system a little boost in winter time. I have been thinking how to wire it up and my thought be wire it up like I have with my solar panels. All three solar panels have separate charge controller going to battery. I was wondering if I can do the same thing for wind turbine, put it on its know charge controller. (I know I could wire all them on one charge controller, but all charge controllers have amp readings and would like to see what each one is doing.). Let me know what you guys think and thanks.

GET-R-DONE!!!!

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,875 admin
    Re: Wind Turbine Question

    Generally, you would connect the wind turbine (through a rectifier) to the battery bus. And then use a diversion/shunt/dump controller and a resistor bank to dump excess current from the turbine.

    Program the solar charge controllers for 14.7 volts or so, and the turbine for 14.9 volts (example--depends on battery bank) to dump power in the (relatively rare) times that your wind turbine generates excess power.

    And, you would turn off the dump load (for a few hours) when you equalize the battery bank (with solar, generator, grid, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Turbine Question

    We don't have any info re what you have for batteries, how big your proposed turbine would be, or how high above surrounding objects within 500 feet, it would be located. Still, it would be a good learning experiment. Beyond that, and trying to imagine what your idea would be, I seriously wouldn't expect it to produce enough power to require connection through a controller. However, more info on your proposal could possibly change my mind on that.
    I had a "proper" commercially made 5 foot diameter turbine that was hyped to produce 750 watts. In reality the only time it ever produced any useable power was during those tropical storms that come up the East coast of North America from time to time in the Fall of the year. And it was during those times I considered building a bomb shelter for self preservation in case the USA bombed me for sending turbine blades across the border and into their cities at lethal speeds. Fortunately for all, I took it down before that happened.
    In my case, with the turbine on a 30 foot tower at the edge of a lake to catch the prevailing wind coming on shore, very few and far between were the days when the turbine produced any useable power at all. On the other hand, very few were the days when my solar panels didn't produce at least some useable power.
    But all that aside, it was of value as a great stress reliever - - - - there are for me, few things in life as relaxing as laying back in the tall grass, looking up at the spinning turbine against a clear, blue sky, even if there was no power being produced :)
    Still, it was an awesome learning experience, so go for it. Just don't expect a lot, and if you do get any useable power, consider it a bonus.
    By the way, in my earlier days, I built a 2 blade 14 foot, high speed turbine. That thing WOULD produce power! And the roars of it could be heard half a mile away. Not kidding. Unfortunately, it self destructed during a wind storm, shattering the blade, part of which was driven through the barn roof like a giant dagger. Most of the rest of the blade was never seen again. Thank God no one was around when it happened of I could yet be in prison for criminal negligence causing death - - - - :D
  • RedNeckSolarManRedNeckSolarMan Solar Expert Posts: 34
    Re: Wind Turbine Question

    Hello, the diversion/shunt/dump controller is not bad idea at all. I did some research on those kind of controllers and they can work for my system. I may wire a fan to run when the volts get too high to air out the box and drop the volts down little bit.

    The battery I am using is a marine deep cycle battery for my solar system.

    As for idea of what kind of wind turbine I am going to use, I will use as example from ebay auction.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Small-Wind-Turbine-Generator-/140904242173?pt=Educational_Toys_US&hash=item20ce8c1bfd

    Would be nice to have big wind turbine but I live in apartment complex and having three solar panels on balcony to power rope lights on balcony. I had to really talk to my landlord about it. So putting a small wind turbine on balcony will not be a big deal. It may look like a lawn ornament instead of small wind turbine.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Turbine Question
    It may look like a lawn ornament instead of small wind turbine.

    If it is on your balcony, it will produce slightly less power than a lawn ornament. It will not act like a small wind turbine. :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • RedNeckSolarManRedNeckSolarMan Solar Expert Posts: 34
    Re: Wind Turbine Question

    Ok, I take it small wind turbine will not be good idea for me then.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,875 admin
    Re: Wind Turbine Question

    I would recommend that you not do this... Attaching a wind turbine to a building can be noisy and physically shake the building's fasteners apart.

    It is very nice that your landlord would be willing to do this for you... But even mounting turbines 10 feet above the roof line will collect very close to zero amount of power per year.

    In the link you supplied--The turbine is so small, that it probably will not bother the apartment or the landlord--However, it will probably not produce any useful amount of power either.

    Recouping cost of wind turbine may take more than a lifetime
    A tool on Windtronics' website had calculated we'd get 1,155 kWh per year at the 12-mph average it predicted for our area of Yonkers, New York. And the authorized installer, during his initial visit, didn't say the roof of our headquarters might generate any less, but that rating is at a height of 164 feet, not the 33 feet WindTronics requires for rooftop installations.
    In the 15 months since the turbine was installed, though, it has delivered less than 4 kWh—enough only to power a 12,000 btu window air conditioner for one afternoon. A company representative in charge of installations worldwide recently visited our offices and confirmed that our test model was correctly installed. What's more, he told us that while the WT6500 should start generating power at about 3 mph, the initial juice goes just to power the system's inverter, which must be running before it supplies any AC power elsewhere. The true wind speed needed to start producing AC while the inverter is on is 6 mph, not far from the 7.5 mph needed by a traditional gearbox wind turbine.
    The Honeywell costs $11,000 installed...

    I was avoiding the lets have Bill dump on small wind--But...

    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

    The above are a mix of pro-wind sites/forums (first four links), and the last two are a couple of links that highlight the downsides of small wind.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Turbine Question

    here is a link for small turbines mentioned in another thread that are reported to produce as advertised

    http://www.usawindgen.com/ see the 30 watt model
     
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  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind Turbine Question
    westbranch wrote: »
    here is a link for small turbines mentioned in another thread that are reported to produce as advertised

    http://www.usawindgen.com/ see the 30 watt model

    Pretty, and would be interesting to watch on a windy day, when the wind is hitting it, - - - - - but beyond that - - - - sorry.
    Would perhaps qualify as a child's toy. That is if the blade edges aren't too sharp.
    "value priced so that anyone can afford to explore wind generated power." At least with this statement, they're not saying it actually produces useful power.
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