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Why so many charge controllers?  RSS feed

 
Joe Wamsley
Posts: 18
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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.
 
Jason Durrie
Posts: 11
Location: Colorado Frontrange
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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.
 
Peter VanDerWal
Posts: 119
Location: Southern Arizona
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bee bike fish greening the desert solar woodworking
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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.
 
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