• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

Why so many charge controllers?

 
Posts: 26
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi,
Trying to put together my own system on a budget. The power company literally is not interested in even quoting getting power to us... I am in Michigan so I will use more wind than solar and I am looking at what other people are designing and I wonder why so many charge controllers? I am generally seeing 1 per power supply type. I do not get it.

Question:
Post turbine controller/surge suppression/wave rectifier/power diode, If I were to then bus bar that "clean" DC voltage with a few solar panels which are also diode protected, assuming I will have less capacity than a charge controller limit, why would it be a problem to connect this bus bar to a charge controller?

Unstable DC voltage, could I just add a few farads of capacitance?? I still have a few supercaps from college. I've wanted to make some more since I saw Mr. Teslonian's Whimshurst machine...

Thanks for the feedback in advance.
 
Posts: 18
Location: Colorado Frontrange
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You could theoretically do that, but you'd need to match voltage and impedance between the each power source connected to the bus bar. That's essentially what pika energy does with their DC bus.
 
pollinator
Posts: 596
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
75
fish bike bee solar woodworking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The reason for multiple charge controllers is because if you only use one, then you only collect energy from the source with the highest voltage under load.  So, for example, if it's really windy then you'd lose all the energy from the solar panels.  One charge controller per source means that you collect all the energy from each of your sources.

Also, before you waste a lot of time and money on the wind turbine, I'd recommend you set up an anemometer at the same height and location as you plan to put the turbine and log wind speeds for a year to find out the true potential for that location.  People tend to think it's windier than it actually is.  Most turbines only produce their rated output power in 25 mph winds.
Also several studies have shown that turbines less than 20 feet in diameter never produce enough energy to justify the cost of installation.  
Small turbines put to the test

Solar panels are cheap these days, much better return on your investment, even if you have to use a lot of them.
 
Joe Wamsley
Posts: 26
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's right. We always dealt with perfect power sources in circuits. I'd have to do some power factor work to make them work together like that. Thanks

I'd put something up for a year but the power company isn't interested in bringing us power. I found a lower cost turbine with 9 blades that is supposed to kick on at 2-3 mph. I will put up the mast and turbine and see how it goes with a wattmeter.
 
Peter VanDerWal
pollinator
Posts: 596
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
75
fish bike bee solar woodworking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joe Wamsley wrote:I found a lower cost turbine with 9 blades that is supposed to kick on at 2-3 mph. I will put up the mast and turbine and see how it goes with a wattmeter.



Sounds like a scam.  There simply isn't any energy available in low speed wind, and the turbine isn't going to be very efficient at that low a speed.  If you start with almost nothing and only convert a tiny amount to electricity, how much is that?
At 2mph, if it can even produce an output, it's going to be milliwatts.

Unless you have a huge turbine(20+ feet in diameter), even at 12 mph, you're only going to get less than 100 watts output, probably a lot less than 100 watts.
 
Joe Wamsley
Posts: 26
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well wasn't very expensive and I got a wattmeter, so we'll find out.
gift
 
Rocket Mass Heater podcast gob
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic