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Wind Generator

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Richard Muller, Oct 29, 2012.

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  1. Richard Muller

    Richard Muller

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    Oct 27, 2012
    I have been throwing around the idea of a wind generator to power my shop and chicken coop.
    I live in Missouri where the wind is almost always blowing a little. I am trying to figure out how much power I would need to run at least my lighting. I have florescent lighting in my shop now. How would LED lighting do in a shop with 10ft high roof. Would the initial cost of the LED be worth the savings in energy consumtion? I also am deciding which type of generator do I want to use. I have a few car alternators laying around if I wired them up in parallel I could maintain 12V, but my charge time would increase right? What do you guys think?
     
  2. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    Reality is that any alternative (green) home energy schemes will not be viable without batteries included in the system. Most of these systems are devoted to keeping the batteries charged.

    Chris
     
  3. Richard Muller

    Richard Muller

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    Oct 27, 2012
    chris

    What type, and how many would you recommend?

    Deep Cycle batteries or regular car batteries?

    I plan on running my lighting only with this system. If I need to run heat lamps for the chickens I will use my AC power. Just thinking that lighting will run on motion switches.
     
  4. Richard Muller

    Richard Muller

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Does anyone have a good schematic for a controller, and maybe an inverter.
     
  5. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    if you are only going to use lighting, you dont need to bother with an inverter
    you are just wasting power upconverting to 115V just use 12V lighting

    Dave
     
  6. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    Better yet, use LEDs for most of it... You might be amazed at how much 'ambient' light you can create with just some wide angle 5mm LEDs mounted in the ceiling and gridded out every three feet or so... For a few 100mA @ 12V and you can realistically get an ambient glow over an entire garage... And for higher light areas you can consider a grid of LEDs or as Dave said 12 automotive (camper/boat) lighting...

    Now if you want work light, you will of course want MUCH more light... My garage (since it's a workspace) has A LOT more light well beyond what is normal or even practical for 'green' but its like a sunny day in there when I work with no shadows...

    Also although car alternators are the first thing that pops into peoples minds because they are cheap and plentiful are not really the best choice if you want efficiency... They require way to many RPMs to make them practical unless the wind is really blowing and you have a lot of toque to gear upwards of 2000-3000 RPM to be self sustaining...
     
  7. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    I really can't comment on what you should use, there is LOTs of info on renewable energy sites as there are now some cheap windmills that can be hand from China and it's become pretty popular do to small setups like you want to do...

    Most of my 'green' research was on solar as there simply isn't enough wind in my area to make it a viable option... You can get basic lighting with the solar panel kit sold for about $150 on sale from Harbor Freight... It's far from a perfect setup but it's a cheap way to get off the grid lighting...

    In regards to batteries as you asked before, deep cells are ideal but if you have a local junk yard that clearances used batteries it might be beneficial and cost effective to get a bank of common car batteries... I can get them locally for about $20 a pop used, so for the $100 it would cost for a decent deep cell I can get a bank of 5 that will run longer... Of course that is all irrelevant if you don't have the surplus charging ability...
     
  8. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    If you use LED lighting, as suggested by CC, it greatly simplifies your requirements and drastically reduces your power demands. I would think that solar cells alone would be capable of putting enough charge in your battery to maintain intermittent lighting duty throughout the night. I would also think that a single deep cycle battery would do the job. That said, I'm not an alternate energy guru and I live in South Florida USA. We're called the Sunshine State for good a reason. ;)

    Chris

    Edit: I started this reply about an hour ago but being a hurricane observer, for a change, instead of a target, has me distracted by the TV's coverage of the mess up north. Anyway if had seen CC's last post I wouldn't have repeated it,
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  9. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    I know this all too well, it's rare during the day for me to actually get to sit down and type a reply without at least one or two interruptions... Seems like my daughters look at each other every 1.7 minutes and decide who it going to have a crisis or immediate need that minute...
     
  10. Richard Muller

    Richard Muller

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    Oct 27, 2012
    I know about that I have 4 kids all of them think its their turn. 10, 9, 6, 5 yep I'm crazy.
     
  11. Mongrel Shark

    Mongrel Shark

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    I got 500 of these not long ago. They are really bright, hurts my eyes to look into them. Good wide angle. You'd need a lot to light your shop, but they are cheap and don't draw a lot of power. For me they are more cost and power effective than the more expensive power hungry super high intensity ones.

    With a good pulsating driver you could get a night or 10 of light from a charged car battery. Depending on the size of the area, and size of battery.

    If I wanted to do what you want to do. I'd get an 80w (or maybe smaller) solar panel, for around $80-$100. 500-1000 leds for $15-$30 and a few second hand car batterys or one new one maybe $100 MAX. If you take the time to purchase or make a flashing circuit. That flashes over 50 hz (after 30-40 hz your eyes cant see the flashing, it appears to be on solid.) You can save a lot of power. The LED really only needs to be on 1 8th of the time. Ie: on for 2-5 micro seconds, then off for 10-40 micro secs. a few thousand times a second, and your eyes will never notice, and you use an 8th of the power.... You can also "overdrive" the leds for more brightness. As they are not on all the time they don't get hot and die. Mostly. some leds are just rubbish...
     
  12. Richard Muller

    Richard Muller

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    Oct 27, 2012
    I like that idea, but I don't like the idea of installing 1000 LED's in my ceiling. What about grouping in a type of fixture. How do you think that would work say 100 per fixture. I am trying to stay away from a huge grid. My shop is 30ft X 40 Ft. I really like the idea of Solar with a battery bank. The peak of my roof runs E to W so I have a south faciung area aprox. 20 X 30Ft. How much energy could I produce if it was all coverd with solar? Or maybe half so I could make a water heater panel. I have rare breed chickens and the heater bank could heat them and also heat their water in the winter time.
     
  13. BobK

    BobK

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    Those specs cannot possibly be correct: I get (worst case: 3.4V 20ma 160 degrees) 83 lumens for .068 Watts or 1280 lumens / W. The best LEDs do about 200 lumens per watt.

    Bob
     
  14. Richard Muller

    Richard Muller

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Bob are you saying those are not good or they are good. I am really trying to get this whole system mapped out before I start purchasing components.
     
  15. BobK

    BobK

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    I am not saying either way, I am just saying that the specs are not correct. I suspect that the angle is really 60 degrees rather than 160, which would also be more normal and actually more useful.

    Bob
     
  16. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    Straw Hat LEDs like those are 160 degree, the lighting profile is surprisingly similar to an incandescent bulb from the front, no sharp focus or big hot spot... I use them all the time as a bulb replacement, the warm white color also mimics bulbs, instead of the pure white/blue of regular white LEDs that can cause things to fluoresce like they are under a black light...

    **Edit if you are considering them for general illumination, may I suggest your also look at the 8mm straw hat LEDs... They take more current but produce a substantial amount more light, kind of a trade off...
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  17. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    I didn't want to snip any of this because it made me realize how woefully LED deficient I am. I've been using LEDs since their inception but only as indicators. As a lighting source, my knowledge of available LEDs and their lighting characteristics is that of a NUBE!

    Chris
     
  18. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    I 'personally' have found that these warm white straw hat LEDs are the most 'realistic' incandescent light replacement... No they are not a 1:1 replacement and it would take a ton of them to replace a few 100 Watt bulbs, but for general illumination or for small bulb replacement they are IMO a good consideration...

    Chris you should pick up a few (hundred) on Ebay when you get a chance, they are cheap enough and once you have them on hand you can tinker with them... One thing to note the color is all over the place on these cheap Chinese lots of these warm white LEDs, when I have used them for clients projects (when it was obvious) I have had to hand sort them based on color so that all the units looked the same... If they were used behind a lens or what not as a bulb replacement color isn't all that important...
     
  19. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    If it really is 160 degrees. then it can't be anything like 16000 mcd over that angle. From the calculator here:

    http://led.linear1.org/lumen.wiz

    That would be 83 lumens, which is impossibly high in a 20ma white LED. Okay, the calculator does say beware of wide angle LEDs. So the 16000 mcd is probably at the center falling off quite a bit off-axis.

    Bob
     
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