cant seem to get any amps

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by wind101, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. So I just built my first wind setup (non-grid tied), and I am having some issues with power production. The wind turbine is spinning real well, but only putting out about 12V, and I cant get any amps to register on my meter. In 24 hours of decent wind, I have managed to charge a 12v battery from about 11 volts to 12 volts. The last 8 hours or so it have been moving back and forth between 12.08 and 12.14 volts. I am currently not pulling any power off the system, just trying to charge up the battery. I can throw a meter on the output of the turbine and see 11-15 volts, but cant see any amps, and therefor I am not showing any watts either. My controller and battery is about 12 ft from the turbine, and running through 10/3 wire. On previous days when I have run the turbine without it being hooked up, I have seen up to 33 volts, but never measured any amps. Any idea what my problem could be? Thanks in advance!
  2. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    Not sure what you have for a turbine, but no current (amps) will flow until the turbine is spinning fast enough to create a DC voltage greater than the battery voltage. Once it hits that point, called cut-in, it needs to continue to increase in RPM for amps to increase. Perhaps post a photo of your setup. Amps are measured with your meter in series with the DC lead to the battery.
  3. My setup is entirely homemade except charge controller and dump load, but here are some pics. My meter is in line between the turbine and the battery. Naturally the day I installed my turbine was the only day since I have lived in this house that the wind wasnt really blowing, so maybe I just wasnt pushing enough voltage. I know that when the turbine is free spinning it will spin faster and put out more volts than when it is all hooked up, but I am wondering if I am somehow getting too much resistance and slowing the blades down more than they should be?

    In this first pic, the Meter is down to the right. The current from the turbine hits a brake switch, then a kill switch (just in case), then a diode, then the meter, then the battery.
    2012-07-11 11.46.58.jpg 2012-06-19 14.10.08.jpg 2012-07-11 17.48.51.jpg
  4. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    Thanks for the pics. Right when the turbine is spinning fast enough for current to flow they begin to be impacted by that current flow (acts like it hits resistance). The wind will have to increase for the RPM (and the AMPS) to increase. Hopefully you will get some stronger winds so you can see how well it performs.
  5. Had a decent amount of wind today. Still cant charge over 12.4 volts. If I disconnect from the battery it will jump instantly to 30 volts, but as soon as I hook it up it seems like it just wont turn fast enough. I might need to change to some better blades. Mine are home made and might just not be providing enough efficiency.
  6. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    Yeah, disconnect it and it is called a "free wheeling runaway turbine," just like a pinwheel. In strong wind they can get dangerously fast with no load attached.

    Depending on the state of charge of the battery, it can take a long time to add even 0.1V. Try to hook up a permanent DC ammeter to see really what you are getting for charge current in good wind. If it's under 10 amps, even a handheld multimeter could be used temporarily. What is the diameter of your rotor?
  7. I have a meter permanently hooked up (the one windy nation sells). My blades are 2ft long, there are 3 of them, so the actually diameter would be a bit under 4 ft.

    The wind was blowing really well here today, and I just cant seem to charge above 12V. Max I ever saw was about 50 watts, which just isnt enough for what I need. I was running one conventional light bulb and one CFL bulb (a bit of a long run away), and it dropped to 10 volts in a matter of minutes with 2 12V batteries. The wind was blowing really well during this time too. Clearly I have something going on.

    1. Maybe my wiring was too thin and there is too much resistance? I used 10/3 from the turbine down, and 8awg after that.
    2. Possibly either my blades or the motor simply isnt cutting it. They are home made blades, and although I feel I did a good job, they obviously arent as precise as machined ones I could buy online. The motor was an ebay job that doesnt have a clear brand on it, but it seemed like a promising one. The add even suggested using windynation blades on it and showed some result videos using them.
    3. Not related to charging, but I think my inveter is very inneficient, and I think I might take it back and buy a more name brand one.

    Basically I am trying to power my barn, which has a few light bulbs that burn 24/7, and in the winter a couple of stock tank heaters and heated buckets. I felt like I was on the right track, but I simply am not creating the kind of power I need to be able to do this.
  8. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Hello, sorry to hear about your turbine. Looks like you have a decent system but in a nut shell your turbine is just too small IMO. However we all start somewhere. You may want to consider upgrading to a Windy 750 providing you are convinced you have an ample wind resource. Another option may be a 100 watt solar panel and build from there. From what i have read it seems your system is fine, it is your energy collector that needs some upgrading. Good luck and please keep us posted.:)
  9. thanks for the input. Thats what I was looking for. I know something needs changed, just couldnt decide which component made the most sense. I live in the plains in eastern colorado, so wind is never in short supply (except of course the first day I tried to get a wind turbine working!). Do you think my current blades would still be worth a shot with a larger motor, or do I really need larger blades also?
  10. so, if I change to the 750, do I also need to step up from the C35 to the C60? I am thinking I probably do.
  11. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Yes, i would too. I think for now, upgrade your turbine and see where you are from there. Depending on your site it may be awhile before you see an over charge of 30 amps. That will give you some time to budget for a CC upgrade. If you feel you can pruchase them both at once then do so. Good luck.
    I hope this helps:)
  12. Thanks Larry.
  13. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    I like to look at it from the load side. In the winter, how many watts do you need continously?

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