Series Capacitors and the Wintura 500

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by TomT, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Just installed those series 2500mF 200v Electrolytic caps.
    WOW !!!!! :eek: Boy is the thing flying. I have seen 30 volts on the cap side and 8 amps into the battery at 12.5 volts.
    Sure is humming a lot.

    So I guess Caps do work and we don need massive amounts as I was told for ours. :roll: ... 999uF.html

    This is where I got them $12.00 a piece. You need 6. 3 pairs of 2 back to back. Negative to negative.


    Been 2 hours no heating up yet.

    Attached Files:

  2. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    8 amps at what wind speed? I wonder if you are building very simplified MPPT for the Windtura 500 power curve :D
  3. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Or what are the amps with and without the capacitors?

    Note to anyone reading about what Tom is doing:

    Do NOT try this unless you have a firm understanding of electricity. If unloaded I think those capacitors could charge up to several hundred volts which is potentially VERY lethal.
  4. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    Can someone explain what the principle behind this is as I dont know what a capisitor can help, These are used for starting of large motors thats all I know.Kind of like a mini battery that stops large current draw.correct???. :?:
  5. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Hard to tell cause this speed gauge updates every 5 secs and averages wind speed. It seems to be following the 24v graph.
    Will have to see when I get some higher wind over the next day or two. Right now wind is going from 2 mph up to 8 mph so not a really good test.
    The most I saw today was the 30v at the caps at approx 15 mph. Was not downstairs at the time. Yes I am just checking for now to see how this works out. Read about it at
    I worked as a Electronics Tech in the Air Force.
    Will not be getting near any bare terminals. These will be put in a PVC box and a fan added later.

    Will keep updating......... :geek:

    Do not try at home yet. If these caps short at high wind. There will be a lot of noise in my attic. :(
  6. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    The capacitors isolate 2 voltages while passing an a/c signal. So the turbine does not see the load of the battery and allows the voltage to rise above battery voltage. It also passes power.
    Power in equals power out. 30v 5a in from turbine 12v 12.5a to the battery.
    This is about as simple as I can put it. They call it the POOR MANS MPPT.
  7. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    so beside being careful in the wiring what are the dangers? :?:
  8. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Not much . That is why you have to use a min 200v cap. due to voltage and possible spikes in voltage so the caps do not pop.
    The spikes can be much higher than the voltage. Spikes in voltage can damage and short them out.
  9. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    so being 200v I am going to assume thats the voltage you dont want your turbine to go over..I dont think the windy pma can hit those voltages..These things put out more amps than higher voltages due to the guage of wire used in the stator..
  10. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Tom, those caps can charge up to several hundred volts if the turbine became disconnected from the battery bank (an unloaded situation). I think you would have to bleed out that charge with a resistor or something because those caps could stay charged up for a while.

    If you touch a couple hundred volts, at the very least, it is going to make you dance like a chicken with its head cut off. Now if there is no current around, you will probably just do your dance and live. If there is current available, and you are sweaty and ready to conduct .... you could potentially get a deadly zap.

    Tom knows what he is doing but I would not recommend playing around with high voltage caps if you are not comfortable and knowledgeable with high voltage.

    I might be acting over cautious here but it is better than seeing someone get hurt.
  11. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Well going to have to test some more. High gusting winds last night and today. Ran it both ways and

    w/o caps
    It is slow to respond to gusts but makes a lot less noise. Current readings are all over the place. Also at around 10-13 amps it jumps right up to 20+ amps. :shock:

    It runs reeeeal fast and even the blades make noise in higher gusts. Seems to make a little more than the 12v scale at the bottom end but at the top it is right in line with it. Highest voltage was last night 45 volts at the turbine side.

    Also 48+ Gusts last night went up to check and wall was moving at least a inch during gusts. :( :eek: :shock: Shut it right done till this morning. Have put up bracing and working good so far. :)
  12. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Interesting. Tom, keep the data coming!

    Once the tracker is completely finished I will play around with some different cap configurations on the test truck.
  13. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    I made a graph with what I could record before I had to shut it down for the night during the storm.

    [attachment=0:24bsw0r4]Power Chart 002.jpg[/attachment:24bsw0r4]

    Attached Files:

  14. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    A weird thing happened the other day while I was testing. While changing jumper wires I only had 1 set of capacitors in series and the other 2 wires connected direct. The turbine took off and started spinning like all 3 had capacitors in series. :eek:

    So this weekend while I do not have a lot of wind will see what output I get with just 1 set then with 2 sets installed.

    Got any ideas? :idea:
    Is it back feeding and raising voltage higher on the other 2 legs.
  15. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Not sure. After talking with John, it seems that the 3 phase is being modulated by the caps. If I understand it correctly, you are smoothing out the 3 phase AC (3 wave functions) which allows you to "float" to a higher voltage. The higher voltage gets changed to more amps by the battery. If the caps are correctly fitted (correct faraday rating) to let the turbine "float" at its maximum power rpm, then you can suck more voltage and amps out of the turbine. I might be writing that incorrectly but I think I have a vague idea of what is going on. I will read up on this over the weekend.

    Tom, do you an idea of how you think the caps make more amps?

    Your results are absolutely amazing.

    I ordered a dozen high voltage caps today. Those things ain't cheap. I thought about doing this 6 months ago. You actually took the initiative and did it and you motivated me to get off my butt and do it too. Good work Tom!
  16. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer was the cheapest place I could find for my capacitors.

    The capacitors work by blocking the DC from the turbine when it starts turning. Then the ac from the turbine pulses the capacitors passing the charge thru to the battery. Blocking the DC from the battery lets the turbine volts rise and not load the turbine down.
    From what I was reading from Flux and Gordons posts at Forum. The thing should stall out at a certain frequency but I furl before I see that frequency.

    That is the theory.......But why does it unload the turbine with only 2 caps in series with one wired direct? :geek:
    I will try it over the next few days and when I think I got it. I will post some more info.
  17. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Tried it both ways 1 or 2 capacitors in series and it unloads the turbine a bit but no extra power.
    So that will not make any difference.
    So now I hooked up the other set of capacitors I have in parallel to see if that makes any difference.
  18. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    The parallel caps I used were only 230mF and did not make any difference. Might not have been big enough.
    Tried the bigger caps in parallel and did not do any better than no caps.
    So now have the 1250mF caps back in series and due to the turbine making so much noise and sounding like it was in a run away mode. I added 100ft of 12ga in series between caps and turbine and amps fell back to no cap range.
    Now trying 25ft 12ga wire and it is running about 1 amp lower than without the wire and the turbine is quieter and does not sound like it is in run away mode. Will stick with now till I hear more from Windy Guru.
  19. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Got bored the other night and installed this circuit. It is supposed to help with low end and help the power curve. :(


    Well it works up to about 5 amps then it falls below the direct connect curve. So guess can not use this either.
    Back to the last setup again.

    Attached Files:

  20. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Burning the Midnight Oil on this one... :idea: :idea:

    This will the best way to explain this and will try it as soon as I can. The series caps ran too fast and noisy. I was trying to find a way to limit the voltage at the turbine since the caps do not. Series resistor helped but only at the very bottom range.
    By adding a second rectifier and series resistors to the turbine side. I hope to lock the turbine at 24 volts while the resistors will limit current to the garden tractor batteries working as a trickle charger. While sending the rest to the 12 volt battery.
    Basically loading the turbine at 24 volts and sending current to the 12 volt battery.


    Attached Files:

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