MPPT controller for wind turbine

dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
All,

I currently have a 17' diameter axial flux wind turbine very similar to DanB's from OtherPower.com. Capable of 3kw output (his has seen 6kw gusts) has max open circuit volts of 108v @ 255 rpm, using Xantrex XW-6048 into 48v battery bank.

Does anyone yet have an MPPT controller that can be used in wind application? Not sure if the Xantrex XW charge controller can/should be used for wind application.

Any comments/recommendations would be appreciated.

Dan Lenox
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Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    be kind to everyone here and give a link to the turbine so that people don't have to do a search to know what it is you are talking about.
    as far as a dedicated controller for wind, some companies have them specifically for their own turbines, but a general aftermarket one i am not aware of.
  • dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    my build website is http://www.briery.com/wind_turbine it is fashioned after 17' http://otherpower.com/new17page1.shtml

    the question was really meant to be a general one, pertaining to MPPT as applied to wind turbines (not PV)

    Dan
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    I think Solar Guppy is the expert here, but a Solar MPPT unit likely "would work" but I don't know how well it would work. I think it would keep hunting around, playing with the load curves, and then as the wind varys, hunt even more.

    Do you know what the loaded output votage range, and the amp range of it ? That would determine what you do for downconverting it. Also, for overspeed, when the batteries are full, how do you manage that?
    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 ,

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    SMA has a wind version of the SunnyBoy ( windyboy )

    Hook you genny upto that and connect the windyboy to the output of the XW-6048, that would charge the batterys ( backfeed ). you would have to come up with a disconnect of the windyboy to prevent over-charging , but it would work fine.

    Personally, I would suggest you run your wind generator for a bit to see what it really does for harvest before you invest in fancy mppt controllers, your numbers seem a bit optimistic to say the least
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    The biggest problem that MPPT controllers have with wind turbines is that the output of the turbine varies so much and so rapidly that they often cannot find the right max power point, and go into a constant search mode, or never really find the best power point.

    The ones for solar will "work" but not very well.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    you will be looking for Midnite solars new Classic controller and wind clipper combo they will provide you with the Bridge rectifiers to convert to dc. As well as providing full control with a stop switch etc and data logging. as well as many more features.
  • dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    halfcrazy,

    I have been following the progress of the Midnight Solar 'Classic' development, but from what I see they are still awaiting certification.

    I also know of a person called Nando that claims that he has one in prototype as well, supposed to be compatible with wind/hydro/solar no timeframe though.

    No huge hurry here just pinging to see what other items I may have missed.

    Dan Lenox
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    midnites stuff is real close keep an eye on it it is going to be worth the wait for wind or solar or hydro for that matter
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    It was my understanding that Outback was developing something too.
    Anyway, nice wind turbine you have and I'm glad you built your own versus buying a commercially built, overrated piece of crap.
    I truly believe that only the Piggott design for wind turbines is the only one that works for small wind.

    Kim
  • WisJimWisJim Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Midnight Solar's controller was working in a prototype form, I think, at the recent MREA Renewable energy fair, at their booth. I haven't heard much about the Outback proposed controller for awhile--they had discussed it on their site, but not lately.
  • dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine
    It was my understanding that Outback was developing something too.
    Anyway, nice wind turbine you have and I'm glad you built your own versus buying a commercially built, overrated piece of crap.
    I truly believe that only the Piggott design for wind turbines is the only one that works for small wind.

    Kim,

    thanks for the kind words.

    I have learned far more on this project, that I actually intended to, and still am learning!

    The axial flux style of wind turbines are certainly do-able, and initially I looked at the commercial stuff for 2-3kw and almost went with Skystream 3.7 - from what I have heard I'm glad I didn't!

    Dan Lenox
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Outback has developed a MPPT for wind turbines and I have one installed and it works great!! Only problem is that is has been designed to work only with ARE (Abundant Renewable Energy's) ARE 110 low voltage 2.5kw Wind Turbine.

    Outback has modified the FM80 and programmed it with a new mathematical algorithm so that it will work with ARE's wind 2.5 kw turbine. Its called the Windtracker 80. This is the first MPPT for wind anywhere on the planet thats specifically made for battery charging systems, I believe.

    Here is a link to ARE's wind turbine manual that directly references using outbacks FM80. Pretty sweet !!

    Go to page 6 for a picture of the modified FM80 and page 8 for the description about the new FM80 controller.
    http://www.abundantre.com/ARE110-48V_Owners_Manual_Electrical_Ver4.3.pdf

    Here is a link to my website and some pictures of the my new modified FM80 (AKA Wind Tracker 80)
    http://rockriver.us/7.htm

    Recently, I was pulling out about 1500 watts with winds around 18 mph.

    Its really only a matter of adjusting the Outback FM80 algorithm to work with what ever power curve a particular turbine puts out. I suspect that other turbine manufacturers are working with Outback to get an MPPT made for their turbines as well.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 962 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine
    srockriver wrote: »
    Its really only a matter of adjusting the Outback FM80 algorithm to work with what ever power curve a particular turbine puts out. I suspect that other turbine manufacturers are working with Outback to get an MPPT made for their turbines as well.

    Are you able to adjust its curve yourself ?
    Yes, I hear that other manufacturers are working with OutBack on this.

    There actually are other MPPT controllers out there for wind, including a Chinese unit that I know of, but they are far and few between. Also, grid tie inverters, like the SMA Windy Boy and others use MPPT for wind, just not too many battery chargers.

    Did you get ARE's voltage clamp as well ? Now that's something that is rare.
    (edit: Nevermind, I saw your pix. Looks like you did get it)

    And what does "Code: 168 " and "Key: 337" mean in the wind turbine menu ?

    boB :D
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    I am currently pulling about 2900 to 3300 watts from the ARE at this moment. Pretty good winds today.

    The code and key is the password protection to get into the FM80 and change the power curve info. ARE and Outback are the only ones that have the password.

    I do not believe that there is any MPPT controller for wind turbines out there specifically for battery charging applications. If you know of one please send a link. As far as I know Outback has officially cornered the market on this now.

    Yes I have ARE's voltage clamp. Works really well.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 962 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    I will find the web site of the Chinese MPPT charger I've got.
    There was also a guy in south Africa (J.H. Enslin) that had an MPPT controller. I'm sure he had one for wind too but don't know the name.
    I bet those aren't as good as what you have now though.

    Of course, one could take something like a Windy Boy and an OutBack FX or VFX inverter and run that pair together (The FX acting as the "grid") and charge batteries via AC coupling. It wouldn't be quite as efficient as the Wind-X, (that's what I used to call what you have now), but would be MPPT for wind too.

    BTW, I wonder where ARE is getting those Glo-Coils they're using as dump loads ? I had seen that those were no longer being made last time I tried to get some. The company had gotten bought by some electrical company and disconinued them. Maybe their back up and making them again due to popular demand. They are pretty neat devices.

    Hmmm..

    Thanks, :D
    boB
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    > those Glo-Coils they're using as dump loads

    Maybe some 300W quartz lamps ? As long as there is ventilation.
    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 ,

  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 962 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Those Glo-Coils were available in like, 500W, 600W and maybe 750W and
    1000W versions. They were neat looking !
    boB
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Heat is heat, and a fan or something has got to push it somewhere. Floodlights would at least light up a yard !
    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 ,

  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 962 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    OK, it's not much, but I've got one of these here at the house and
    it's real (real small is more like it) but it ~sorta~ works, I guess.
    I wouldn't trade my Wind-X for this though if I were you...

    http://www.tradekey.com/product_view/id/547892.htm

    It comes with a wind turbine too, which I don't have one (of theirs
    anyway)

    boB
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Cool, looks like its good to around 550 watts?

    Not sure where ARE get their elements/heater coils but they must have a boatload. The have been rolling these diversion loads out with all their turbines including the high voltage grid tie ARE 2.5kw 110 and I believe their 10kw 442 turbines as well. Im looking to build a home brew axial flux turbine one day, and hope to maybe use this new Outback fm80 with it.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 962 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    I think it's rated more like 400 watts. Small, but it's ~something~

    boB
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Hello all.
    After burning out another turbine alternator, and doing a few calculations, without going into the maths here, my conclusions as follows:
    Direct connect Off Grid battery charging Turbines
    1. There is always a compromise between low wind performance and rated performance. Thus the theoretical Alternator efficiency at rated rpm may be around only 50%, but at cut-in speed it approaches 100%.
    By "theroetical" I mean ignoring Flux losses, eddie losses etc, and considering ONLY Alternator open circuit voltage and effective Winding resistance (3ph) .
    So a 1000W rated Turbine,in this example, thats outputting 1000W to the batteries, will be itself be dissipating 1000W. Thus the total power extracted from the wind is actually 2000W. 1000W dissipation on a 43°C day will have the turbine running pretty hot.
    2. Now if we half the Alternator number of turns, thus halving the Voc & Rs, the efficiency increases at rated RPM, in theory, doubling the rated output power. But there will be no power output at all low or medium wind speed.

    So to have the Alternator / Turbine delivering its power at peak eff, MPPT is the only way to go.
    Wind Turbine MPPT are hard to design due to the ever changing RPM as the Wind gusts and drops in the real world.
    A true Wind MPPT would need to collect data, and store a table of RPM vs power Output/PWM . The MPPT would need to learn the best power points over a long period.
    It seems to me that the FX80 and other MPPT/Wind Turbine packages are not actually MPP Trackers but MPP Controllers. As they must be programmed with the RPM vs PWM data to suit a specific Turbine Charateristic, and do not Track the Max Pwr Point at all.
    They should be called an MPPC not a MPPT !
    The DIY Turbine maker needs a MPPT that will determine the MPP all on its own, as does a solar MPPT.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Since the main focus of most of the MPPT controllers, is for Solar, and they do an admirable job at it, they ARE MPPT controllers. Primary function is for solar, and in a pinch, they can control wind too.

    There isn't really a "Controller" for a wind alternator, but more like a charge regulator, and load diversion. When the wind is blowing, and the batteries are full, the alternator needs to dump power into a load, to control the prop speed, otherwise, it will fly apart. If the prop is too large for the generator/alternator, it will burn up the unit, and then overspeed. Wind is SO tricky in that respect.
    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 ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    Mike,
    My guess is that everyone here already has a grasp of what a conventional Wind turbine controller or regulator does, Thats pretty straight forward and a standard requirement as you say..
    My discussion was regarding Maximum Power Point Trackers for wind Turbines. The goal is to match the Turbine impedance to the Battery/load impedance as best as possible, at any power point. It is indeed similar to the goal of the Solar MPPT ers. However, one would be brave to attempt to fit a Solar MPPT to a Wind turbine. The WTurbines output changes too rapidly and as you say the Turbine must be loaded. Thats why all existing Wind MPPT devices must be programmed with the RPM vs Voltage (or similar) curve of the WT that is connected to it. My point being that a Solar MPPT is continuously altering its PWM Step-down converter to find the optimum PV power point. Solar Panels being Current sources, not voltage sources. In contrast, the current Wind "MPPT's" dont track the power point but simply output the programmed PWM to the switch-mode converter section coresponing to the measured turbine RPM. This is cool if one knows the Turbine curve, but it is not active "tracking". A trivial point perhaps.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    well the axial flux turbine does work well with the mppt contrller by Midnite solar. I have a thread going on otherpower.com but in a nut shell early testing is showing 2-3 times the power out of the turbine just by following the wind speed with turbine.
    We are in early stages of beta testing with the Classic but it really does rock. and the Classic will be able to learn the turbines curve as well as letting you set it. check out the thread at other power and feel free to ask questions http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2008/12/30/204712/79
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    I have to admit I stay away from forcefield ever since they went "commercial" with all the Google and other ads, so have not been following the wind threads there.

    But that aside, I have never seen much in the way of good results from an mppt tracking a wind generator unless you have a pretty stable wind. that has always been the major downfall of using MPPT on small wind generators - the MPPT tracking cannot track the (often) widely varying voltage fast enough for good results.

    I would be curious what the voltage input range is into the controller with your setup.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 962 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine
    Windsun wrote: »

    But that aside, I have never seen much in the way of good results from an mppt tracking a wind generator unless you have a pretty stable wind. that has always been the major downfall of using MPPT on small wind generators - the MPPT tracking cannot track the (often) widely varying voltage fast enough for good results.

    Actually, it's not all "that" fast... Luckily there is inertia in the turbines and the wind is not 10 MPH to 30 MPH in 1/10 of a second or anything that fast. The electronics can be fast enough for wind speed changes. And it has to follow the wind because wind is never stable (or rarely AsFarAsIHaveSeen)

    If you take a close, zoomed-in look at wind speed vs. time, you can see this with either a small turbine running open circuited or an anemometer.
    However, either one may not spin down immediately (unloaded) when the wind suddenly drops. A smaller turbine with its smaller inertia should show up the fastest response.

    Of course, the real proof would be in the increased kWh over plain old direct to battery connection method.

    boB :D

    EDIT:
    Here is a 1 minute capture of a 200 Watt (rated) Chinook 12V (nominal) turbine free running at my house.
    35 Volts is around 15 MPH and 10V is around 7 MPH (ball park values)... You can see that the wind, or at least
    the turbine's response isn't all that fast and is easily trackable. A larger turbine, like 1KW, would be even slower
    because of the greater inertia.
    boB
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine
    boB wrote: »
    Of course, the real proof would be in the increased kWh over plain old direct to battery connection method.

    boB :D

    And proof there is we have seen 2 to 2.5 times the wattage out of our Hugh Piggot designed 10ft turbine with the Classic
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    here are some youtube videos of my A.R.E. 2.5 kw wind turbine with the modified Outback FM80 as the controller. I recently registered 4160 watts from the turbine in the outback logs. I added some kyocera panels to the mix a while back and am able to keep the backup panel off grid most days.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/srockriver


    So far it's been rock solid with no problems.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭
    Re: MPPT controller for wind turbine

    I see you have a 48 volt battery bank. so you may run up against the outbacks 140 volt limit in theory this wil limit you to about 2.5 times the turbines rating. The thing i noticed with the Classic is i am able to let the voltage really climb which let the rpms climb making the turbine much more efficient.
    I have routinely seen 3 times the power from my turbine and once we get the Clipper installed i am shooting for 4 times. i understand that the rpms will be up there for 4 times the power but they will still be within a safe range. ultimately i will limit rpms with the Clipper to 650 which will give me a boost of about 3.5 times the power.
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