Poor performance so far

zigsterzigster Registered Users Posts: 3
I am new here but done some reading up first.
I have 3 MW&S 48V 2000w turbines on an 80' tower. These are 3 phase and run my cabling 175' to the rectifiers with 12ga wire. Today was the first real wind since installation and with 27mph gusts, I get 3-5amps of charging power and one instance of 13 amps. (I want more)
After reading I see Chris Olsen advises installing rectifiers at the base of the tower and run DC to the charge controller. That would easy for me to change over.
My question is, I am thinking about series/parelleling them to get 200V and use a Midnite CC.
Effectively, this would eliminate 90' of my 175' 12ga wire and be replaced with 85' of 3 phase 12ga and then 60' of DC to charge controller (I can move it some) and use #4ga. I will still need to build a dump power/relay set up like Chris shows on his website (anyone got a schematic of this?)
After reading here, I see I made a poor choice using alternator type turbines (didn't know this till after reading here and installed).
Since I have them I would like to make the most of them to supplement my solar which kicks butt so far.
The tower is 80' motorized fold-over made for ham radio. You can see her in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQe-TcdOT9g
Just wondering if anyone else is in the same boat as myself and to hear your experience.Attachment not found.

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Poor performance so far

    Welcome to the forum!
    Yes, I had a similar wind turbine some years ago. It was real pretty and I loved to lay back in the tall grass and watch it spin against the clear blue sky. Was it of any real use charging my batteries? In a word, no. Only time it produced usable poser was then a tropical storm came up the East Coast in the Fall, but while it produced some power in those near hurricane winds, it also screamed and threatened to explode the blades, sending pieces of them into the next county. After two years I took it down, gave away the blades and have used the alternator for some years now on my micro hydro turbine. And that DOES produce useful power, averaging close to 4 kwh per 24 hour day.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,004 admin
    Re: Poor performance so far

    No, you cannot really connect the turbines in series and produce useful amounts of power... The turbines are independent of each other and will only produce a viable amount of power when the turbines are all turning at the same speed--Doubtful that they will be able to do that.

    Also, I believe the Midnite Classic measures the RPM from the AC pulses (my guess)--And if you put three of them in series (or even in parallel) that would prevent the controller from using the RPM vs Current curve to figure out how to load the turbine(s) for optimum power output.

    I am not quite sure what to tell you. It sounds like they are producing power (nothing broken). And you have a pretty tall tower--Are there tall trees/homes in the area (want the turbines >30 feet above obstructions in area of 500-1,000+ feet radius).

    You can try flying a kite (really)... Fly near the tower (not in the tower/turbines :cry:) and see if you have smooth (laminar) flow air at the level of the turbines or if it is turbulent. If the air is turbulent (kit does not fly steady at hub height), then there is nothing you can do short of moving the tower and/or going higher.

    In general, small wind turbines have been disappointing in their measured (vs marketing) output.

    Small windpower a scam ? Survey says SO

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • zigsterzigster Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Poor performance so far

    Thanks. I live in a pretty good wind zone and just a few miles from several wind farms.
    I have an open field to my west for over a mile, and the tower is about 25' taller than the trees in all directions except my east.
    So I have an opportunity here. Unfortunately, I fell victim to the PMA "living off the grid" line.
    Each of these PMA's are dual 1000W units. So to each PMA, I have two 3-phase cables, for 6 total in all.
    I do get varying voltages as each one does create different voltages by as much as 20-30% simultaneously.
    I am probably just gonna get mad and yank them off the tower and scrap em before this is over.
    Our average windspeed here is 11mph annually, and being this high with open field, I want to take advantage of it.
    Grrrr......
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Poor performance so far

    I too was sucked in by the hype and dare I say lies, about small PM wind turbines. It was indeed a learning experience. Oh yeah, almost forgot, lightening took out the built in rectifier, so I mounted new ones on heat sinks in the battery shed and ran 3 phase from the alternator.
  • zigsterzigster Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Poor performance so far

    This might open up a can of worms, but for the experts in this, "what turbine would you go with"? given my tower I have?
    It folds over with motor and can lift 300 pounds easily and rated for 35sq of windload in 80mph winds, so its fairly beefy. I don't know how to calculate wind stress for turbines.
    I would like 2-5kwh daily in average winds if possible and mostly winter time to supplement the solar, which works well.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Poor performance so far

    I wouldn't get any. As much as we say "don't build your own solar panels" around here, the opposite is true of wind turbines. Weird, but the best ones large or small seem to be homemade.

    You can take those down and test them on the bench using a motor to drive them and see what they are actually capable of. This will eliminate the wind variable.

    Do not try to couple them on the AC side, either in serial or parallel (you can't do both; that is a short). Having the AC feed to the battery site and then be rectified usually works best, although the AC output Voltage may still be too low to travel the distance without significant loss. That is one of the main failings of turbine design. Usually the permanent magnets are just too weak to put out significant power.

    Chances are there's no practical way of getting decent power out of these units. You should probably be looking for one decent Bergey to put up there. Others may have additional recommendations.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,004 admin
    Re: Poor performance so far

    Get your HAM tickets and mount some antennas on the tower?

    -Bill ;)
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AzSunAzSun Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Poor performance so far

    I have a few vintage wind generators of different capacity's. This is what their ratings are versus rotor diameter.
    6 ft., 100-200 watts., 10 ft. 600 watts., 12 ft. 1200 watts, and 14 ft. 1,800 - 2000 watts. These are all direct drive units.
    When I see modern generators with 62 inch rotors advertised to put out 1,500 watts, I start to question
    the ratings. They may be capable of putting out that amount of power but not at a windspeed that is experienced by most.
    A good quality generators rated output will be obtained at a windspeed certainly less than 20 MPH. The most efficient rotor
    for high tip speed generator use is a single blade unit with a counterweight. As this is not practical for real world use, the next
    best is a 2 blade. A compromise which is less efficient, but allows better performance when the wind shifts direction quickly is a 3 blade.
    Most manufacturers of efficient systems use a 3 blade rotor. Any number of blades over that amount is better suited for water
    pumping where high starting torque is required or yard ornaments.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Poor performance so far
    AzSun wrote: »
    When I see modern generators with 62 inch rotors advertised to put out 1,500 watts, I start to question

    I believe they are coming up with those huge numbers is by taking the max unloaded voltage in high winds, then the max possible amperage under any conditions, even if it's only available for 1/100 of a second, multiplying the two and voila, they turn a 50 watt turbine into something that will power a city block.
  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Poor performance so far

    The only ones I've seen that seem to actually perform usably are the homemade axial style units. You can get lots of info about making them at otherpower.com, their Homebrew Wind Power book is quite nice. They also have a forum with quite a few folks who have built multiple units and know all the ins and outs.

    I had a (claimed) 200W Air Breeze (think that was it) for a while. As someone else mentioned, nice to look at but very low output overall. By the time I took it down six months later it had produced less power total than my (then) 1000W of solar panels made in a day! I'd love to make an Otherpower turbine, but since I'm not supposed to fly a turbine anyway by city ordinance I haven't bothered. Maybe someday if/when I buy some land away from town...
Sign In or Register to comment.