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The Projects Forum Working on an electronics project and would like some suggestions, help or critiques? If you would like to comment or assist others with their projects, this is the place to do it.

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2011, 04:24 AM
labhelp labhelp is offline
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Default Wind Turbine Charge Controller

I have a small turbine which is connected to a battery bank and a load. I am looking to add a simple charge controller to charge the battery until full, supply the load, and divert the power to a dump if needed. Most of all I want this to be a simple circuit that can hopefully be implemented on a breadboard. Have an of you done this before or have any ideas?

Also, I have the system relaying information to labview so one possibility that I thought of is to have labview make the decision and control the power flow.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:29 AM
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SgtWookie SgtWookie is offline
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Define turbine; is it a wind turbine, water turbine, jet turbine?

Does it output a relatively constant voltage/current?
What is the minimum and maximum voltages and currents?

How many batteries in your bank, what is their individual AH rating, and what voltage is the bank wired up to be?

What is your load requirement?
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:37 AM
labhelp labhelp is offline
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Sorry about leaving out that information. It is a wind turbine. I have two 12 Volt batteries connected in series in my bank so there is a total battery voltage of 24V. The wind turbine outputs a relatively constant current. The turbine has a max of 400W so max current is around 16.5 A. This turbine is going to be mainly used for educational purposes so it is connected to a 300W load consisting of two 150W light bulbs. There is also pug ins to increase the load size.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:00 PM
wmodavis wmodavis is offline
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How can the output current be relatively constant. Doesn't it vary with wind speed?
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:54 PM
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thatoneguy thatoneguy is offline
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For home small energy projects, I suggest commercial charge control units. They take a good deal into account, can balance multiple batteries, and have protection against fire.

At your power outputs, they can usually be purchased cheaper than built.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:23 PM
wayneh wayneh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labhelp View Post
...I want this to be a simple circuit that can hopefully be implemented on a breadboard.
You're amperage is too high for a breadboard. You could have low current, control circuitry on a breadboard but you'll need to route the power circuits off-board.

I agree that on the make-or-buy scale of things, it'd be easier to just buy what you need.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:03 AM
wmodavis wmodavis is offline
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Some wind turbines such as the Southwest Windpower Air Breeze or Air-X 400 watt units have an adjustable charging regulation circuit built in the turbine. The manual states

"As the AIR wind turbine produces power and the battery voltage rises to the regulation set point voltage, the AIR wind turbine will go into "regulation." At that point it stops producing power and the blade rpm will lower dramatically (almost stopping). The AIR wind turbine will remain in regulation until the battery voltage drops slightly below the regulation set point – this is often referred to as the cut-in voltage. When the cut-in voltage is reached, the blades will resume spinning in response to the available wind."

http://windenergy.com/sites/all/file...e_Manual_0.pdf

A company CirKits http://www.cirkits.com/ has a solar charge controller kit that may help you with some ideas. It is rated at 20 Amps. Though it is specified as a PV charge controller I have used it on the Air-X with good success.

Last edited by wmodavis; 11-04-2011 at 12:13 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:20 AM
labhelp labhelp is offline
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Thanks for the input everyone. Sorry forr the misunderstanding wmodavis, I meant that output curent is relatively constant at a constant wind speed.

I am working on this for a school project so that is why I would rather create the circuitry than purchase somehing already put together. I have done a lot of searching on the web and have found some complicated circuits that act as charge controllers but I was looking for something a bit more simple and was wondering if any of you had any ideas.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:28 AM
labhelp labhelp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmodavis View Post
Some wind turbines such as the Southwest Windpower Air Breeze or Air-X 400 watt units have an adjustable charging regulation circuit built in the turbine. The manual states

"As the AIR wind turbine produces power and the battery voltage rises to the regulation set point voltage, the AIR wind turbine will go into "regulation." At that point it stops producing power and the blade rpm will lower dramatically (almost stopping). The AIR wind turbine will remain in regulation until the battery voltage drops slightly below the regulation set point this is often referred to as the cut-in voltage. When the cut-in voltage is reached, the blades will resume spinning in response to the available wind."

http://windenergy.com/sites/all/file...e_Manual_0.pdf

A company CirKits http://www.cirkits.com/ has a solar charge controller kit that may help you with some ideas. It is rated at 20 Amps. Though it is specified as a PV charge controller I have used it on the Air-X with good success.
Thanks for the links.

As far as the solar charge kit goes, from what I have learned is that there needs to be modifications done to this circuit when connecting to a wind turbine because the solar chare contrroller is set to short the inputs when the batteries are full and if this happened with a wind turbine the output current would spike and cause damage to the system.

The problem with the internal adjustable charging circuit is that when the battery bank is full I don't wan th turbine to stop outputing, I want it to ouput to a load (two lightbulbs) if the are on. If they are off I would have to add a dump to handle the excess power.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:22 AM
wmodavis wmodavis is offline
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Can you tell me what wind turbine you are working with? And I appologize in that I stated wrongly that I used the charge controller with the turbine. Actually it was the Solar Power Center kit. I only used part of the circuit to disconnect the load from the battery to prevent over discharging the battery. I relied on the regulator in the Air-X to prevent overcharging the battery. The charge controller in the circuit I used does not short the input when the batteries are full, rather it disconnects the PV panel input from the battery to prevent over charging. That is preferred with solar panel but if open the circuit from a turbine it will likely damage the turbine if there is a high wind and no load to limit the prop speed.

Good luck with your project.
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