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Connecting small wind turbines in series possible?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Mr Miyagi, Oct 31, 2013.

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  1. Mr Miyagi

    Mr Miyagi

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    Oct 31, 2013
    I've been looking into generating wind power.

    It seems that it is usually a 12 volt battery bank that is what is needed to power a typical household. So my understanding is that a wind turbine charging the battery bank has to reach an output of 12v or more before the batteries can start charging. This usually requires one quite large or very efficient turbine, and a fairly decent wind speed.

    What I have been trying to figure out is, is it possible to connect 2 or more smaller turbines/generators, together in series, in order to get a higher voltage and charge the batteries? The idea being in an area of low wind speed I would much rather have several small low-wind-speed generators than one huge expensive one.

    What kind of diodes or devices would you need to make it work, say to prevent power from going from one turbine and back into the other, or to ensure that it is the voltage that is increased not the amps, etc.

    Answers in layman's English or child-like analogies please!
     
  2. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

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    Feb 9, 2012
    You should look into a Summing Op-Amp setup, putting them in series would likely either lock one or more, or turn one or more into motors so they start spinning as a result of the power applied to them.
     
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Hmmmm....

    In real life, you have controllers which are designed to get the maximum power out of the turbine. The process is similar to what is done with solar panels, however I've not heard of turbines being placed in either series or parallel and I can see problems both ways.

    In general, solar panels get away with it because the sun is generally quite even over the area of the panels and they inherently generate DC, whereas wind velocity can vary more over a smaller distance and the output is either AC or pulsed DC.

    You're probably better off using an MPPT controller (one that works with wind turbines) to provide the appropriate load and to transfer the power efficiently to the batteries.
     
  4. Mr Miyagi

    Mr Miyagi

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    Oct 31, 2013
    Yes I had a sneaking suspicion that it may be tricky, since probably more people would be doing it if not. Just wasn't sure why not.

    But I will look into summing op amps and mppt controllers.

    Much appreciate the help.
     
  5. BobK

    BobK

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    Don't bother with summing op amps, they are for signals, nor for power. I am not sure what GG is thinking in mentioning them.

    Bob
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    I thought the same thing, but then later I thought that he may have been refering to the isolation given by the resistors in a summing amplifier.

    A similar effect can be produced with diodes to isolate several DC generators in parallel.

    However I'm not sure this is optimal (although it might work with a MPPT controller), and it doesn't solve the issue of increasing the voltage.
     
  7. Nick616

    Nick616

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    Apr 28, 2017
    Did you ever figure out this system? I've been having these same thoughts recently.
     
  8. Mr Miyagi 2

    Mr Miyagi 2

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    Apr 28, 2017
    Hi Nick, Im afraid not I haven't thought about it for a while now.

    My knowledge is limited but I think like Steve said solar panels tend to produce similar power under the same light. And you wouldnt hook up a 12v and a 24v panel in series. I suspect its a case of the system being only as strong as its weakest part.

    Voltage I guess is like water, it wants to balance itself out. So if you had a 3 turbines on one side of a circuit all putting out different voltages.... one will catch wind, but the others that arent spinning so much will be putting load onto that one. They are just electric motors being spun after all with magnets and copper coils etc. Introduce a voltage to those coils and it will have an effect on the motor. So unless they all spun/put out power at the same rate like solar it would be a bit fruitless.

    Thats as far as I understood it anyway and didnt go any further. Bought a house in Bulgaria and electric bills are less than £20 a month, so it didnt warrant the outlay. Batteries, inverter, turbines, etc. Perhaps there is a clever charge controller out there whereby you could plug all turbines into and it ups the voltage to optimim battery charging levels. If you find anything please let us know!

    Cheers
     
  9. Nick616

    Nick616

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    Apr 28, 2017
    Yeah I was thinking their might be a way of using a bridge rectifier and capacitor to smooth the voltage and possibly stop current flowing back to any of the turbines. Unfortunately I know very little myself, it'll just take some tinkering. I only really want to charge a small USB powerbank to see if it'll work in theory. Components for that are cheap enough from eBay.
     
  10. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    You will have more success using solar.
     
  11. Nick616

    Nick616

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    Apr 28, 2017
    Yeah but solar is easy. I like a challenge.
     
  12. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
    Should keep you occupied then for like a lifetime.
     
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