Help with Wind Energy and Batteries

Thread Starter

rlyn09

Joined Jul 15, 2019
4
Hi guys! I am a student and we need help for our project. Our goal is to make a Micro Wind Turbine which can power up a 5V 2A raspberry pi 3. Our problem is that we need to make the Rpi to run for many hours and with that, we decided to use a micro wind turbine for energy harvesting. We think that we need to connect the wind turbine to a battery then the batteries to raspberry pi. We dont know what circuit would we need. I know we need some kind of protection to protect the batteries from overcharging while using it to continuously power up the raspberry pi.

So the main idea is,
Micro Wind Turbine -- Battery -- RPi

Thank you so much!!
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,852
Seems like you have some research to do -- that's part of the point of it being YOUR project.

Have you investigated "Micro Wind Turbine" beyond coming up with a name to throw about?

Have you investigated the total energy that can realistically be harvested over the course of, say, a day?

Have you investigated the total energy actually needed by your Rpi3 doing whatever it is you plan on having it do?

Have you investigated what kind of battery technologies are reasonable choices for your project?
 

Thread Starter

rlyn09

Joined Jul 15, 2019
4
Seems like you have some research to do -- that's part of the point of it being YOUR project.

Have you investigated "Micro Wind Turbine" beyond coming up with a name to throw about?

Have you investigated the total energy that can realistically be harvested over the course of, say, a day?

Have you investigated the total energy actually needed by your Rpi3 doing whatever it is you plan on having it do?

Have you investigated what kind of battery technologies are reasonable choices for your project?
Yes we already have a diagram for our wind turbine. We plan to use a dc motor and use a dc to dc boost converter for stable 5V 2A output.

For the batteries, we're thinking of lead acid batteries rather than li ion.

The only problem we have is to connect turbine to batteries then to rpi. Thank you so mucu
 

Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
81
Yes we already have a diagram for our wind turbine. We plan to use a dc motor and use a dc to dc boost converter for stable 5V 2A output.

For the batteries, we're thinking of lead acid batteries rather than li ion.

The only problem we have is to connect turbine to batteries then to rpi. Thank you so mucu
As WBahn has noted, you have some research to do.

You must start by finding out how much energy your Raspberry PI will consume. You've thrown some numbers out but you've given no indication that you've measured how much the PI will actually use. This will figure in to how much energy storage you will need as well as the size of the wind turbine.

Have you researched the capability to extract energy from wind. There is a lot of information out there. You'll need to know how much wind there is in the location where you want to use this device. Once you know that, then you can size your wind turbine such that it will supply enough energy. My guess is that it will be bigger than you are currently thinking.

Wind is intermittent. That's why we use battery storage. Your battery will store energy when the wind is blowing for periods of time when it's not blowing. You'll have to factor in the length of no-wind time, along with the Raspberry PI energy usage, to find out how big a battery you'll need. My guess is that it will be bigger than you are currently thinking.

Remember, as well, that there are inherent losses in all of the equipment. Energy out is never equal to energy in due to energy lost in inefficiencies.

Once you know all of that, you will need a charge controller to charge the battery. It will be defined by the size of the turbine and the battery. Also, given the usage that you measure from the PI, you'll be able to come up with a DC to DC converter that will supply enough power to the PI with the battery as its input.

The folks at otherpower.com have a lot of experience building wind turbines and they've got a great website for information about wind power. I'd suggest you start your research on wind turbines there:

https://otherpower.com/otherpower_wind.html
 

Thread Starter

rlyn09

Joined Jul 15, 2019
4
As WBahn has noted, you have some research to do.

You must start by finding out how much energy your Raspberry PI will consume. You've thrown some numbers out but you've given no indication that you've measured how much the PI will actually use. This will figure in to how much energy storage you will need as well as the size of the wind turbine.

Have you researched the capability to extract energy from wind. There is a lot of information out there. You'll need to know how much wind there is in the location where you want to use this device. Once you know that, then you can size your wind turbine such that it will supply enough energy. My guess is that it will be bigger than you are currently thinking.

Wind is intermittent. That's why we use battery storage. Your battery will store energy when the wind is blowing for periods of time when it's not blowing. You'll have to factor in the length of no-wind time, along with the Raspberry PI energy usage, to find out how big a battery you'll need. My guess is that it will be bigger than you are currently thinking.

Remember, as well, that there are inherent losses in all of the equipment. Energy out is never equal to energy in due to energy lost in inefficiencies.

Once you know all of that, you will need a charge controller to charge the battery. It will be defined by the size of the turbine and the battery. Also, given the usage that you measure from the PI, you'll be able to come up with a DC to DC converter that will supply enough power to the PI with the battery as its input.

The folks at otherpower.com have a lot of experience building wind turbines and they've got a great website for information about wind power. I'd suggest you start your research on wind turbines there:

https://otherpower.com/otherpower_wind.html
Sorry i forgot to say, we'll be using the wind turbines on fishing boats with RPi and AIS. What we thought of is that there'll always be wind. Thank you so much for your reply
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,852
Sorry i forgot to say, we'll be using the wind turbines on fishing boats with RPi and AIS. What we thought of is that there'll always be wind. Thank you so much for your reply
There will (always be wind)?

What kind of fishing boat? Why can't you use ship power?

How much wind do you need to get the energy you need from your turbine? How realistic is it that you will have at least that much wind?
 

Thread Starter

rlyn09

Joined Jul 15, 2019
4
There will (always be wind)?

What kind of fishing boat? Why can't you use ship power?

How much wind do you need to get the energy you need from your turbine? How realistic is it that you will have at least that much wind?
we cant use ship power because we proposed efficiency in energy because not all fishing boats have AIS. The only problem that we have is hooking up the wind turbine to the raspberry pi.
 

Lo_volt

Joined Apr 3, 2014
81
Look around for charge controllers. You'll need one to charge your battery.

You still have not given us any info on average wind speed or how much power the Raspberry PI will draw. That will factor into the size of the battery.

Measure the amount of power your Raspberry PI draws. We don't know what peripheral boards, displays, or other devices you'll be running with the PI off of the power from the turbine and battery. Once you measure the power with all peripherals active you can choose a DC to DC power supply that will regulate the voltage to the Raspberry PI and give you ample power.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,601
At the risk of being repetitive, you really need to get your cart behind your horse.

You need to know what the ACTUAL availability of wind will be, not just a guess.
You need to know how much power that much wind can produce with a turbine the size that will work for your application.
You need to know how much power the RPi will consume in the operation you intend, not a guess, a real number in Watt-Hours.
You need to determine what the shortfall will be that the battery will make up.

Additionally:
You need to ensure your RPi application will operate properly from a cold start should the battery power run out.

The research into power capacity and consumption is the difference between doing this correctly and failing. Take that part seriously, it's more important and difficult than wiring the parts together.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,073
But, the wind does not always blow so I would look into solar as well as wind. Usually, you have a better chance of one or the other being available. Your battery needs to be sized for at last a full 24hrs running without charging. Maybe longer.
And as has been stated a number of times, you do need to research real numbers on power usage and wind supply.
Also, look at running a brushless motor with rectifier for your generator. Then you do not need to worry about the brushes wearing out.
Maybe as a start, set up a small test unit, using an old stepper motor, and log the power generated over a week or so. It is possible you may be able to find weather bureau figures on wind in your location.
It is always a good idea to make your unit bigger than needed then there is power reserve to spare for dark, calm times.
 
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