Using the Dump to heat water?

Discussion in 'Dump Loads' started by Megawatt, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Megawatt

    Megawatt WindyNation Engineer

    Hello All,

    I am the new guy here and am very excited about my new project with solar and wind power. I just ordered a WN wind generator and the charge controller assy (100 amp with dump). I am also putting together a solar array of about 600 watts, 18 volt system. I heard that you can use the dump to heat water. How much dump wattage do I need? I ordered a 300 watt, 12 volt water heating coil. I am looking at a 600 watt 12v element that would give me 900 watts total for the dump. I live in about a 10 mph average wind speed area. Although sometimes it is alot more. As you can see I'm a newby to all of this. Any advise would be a big help on how to set it up.

    Thank you in advance,
  2. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Soory megawatt, this isnt really an aswer for you, but i am also interested in heating domestic hot water with extra unused watts. I have been flying the windy 500 since march with no dump load or any control for it. Of course it was only 5 feet above my roof. I just extended my tower by at least 10 feet and im starting to see some real power from it. Before fall and winter get here I think I will have to have a dump load of some sort and I am looking into heating water also. Just wondering why no one else on forum seems to be doing this when heating water is supposed to be the biggest energy consumer in the home. Sounds simple enough, replace the drain on the bottom off the tank with a coil and hook to dump controller.

    Hoping Windyg, murray, or beach would have some comments. Later guys and thanks for all info. This forum rocks.

  3. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

    Guys you are right! It kills me to see any power go to the dump load. It's a total waste. I thought about using to a grid tie inverter or the hot water heater, as you said but didn't know where to start on that one. Offgrid, I don't think I would install it in the drain port because there is so much sediment down there. I have another house in Tennessee, and we have a Titan "tankless" hot water heater there. I have a well on this property, and had to replace the hot water heater already because sediment bonded to the heating element. I used a prefilter just before the new water heater to address the problem. I wonder if you could piggyback the dump load circuit onto the existing heating element in the hot water heater. Would there be enough current to create sufficient heat in the water, with such a huge resistor? This sounds like a great project. I'd like to pursue the concept with you both. Thanks MegaWatt for another great discussion topic. Hopefully more people will jump in with experience on this.
  4. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    This guy sells one: ... 45f4486d6e

    I hate to send any business his way because the guy is unprofessional and immature. He went so far as to buy our blades on ebay just so he could leave negative feedback.

    I can not speak for the quality of that heating element as I have never seen nor tested one. It could work absolutely great or it might break the first time current runs through it.
  5. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

  6. murray2paddles

    murray2paddles WindyNation Engineer

    Way back when the world was created I used a light bulb as my dump load. Got a kick out of it starting to turn a dull orange in big winds. ( using an ametec 40 at that time. Then I realized what if the dam bulb burns out, how will I know, then I started to search for what else to use. I was interested immediately in a water heater coil to dump the load but was not really worried about heating water, just using it as a reliable dump load.

    This is why,, When using the light bulb my experience of watching it come on was about 2 to 3 times in total !
    I do use a dump load on my Windy 500, in fact I have two 300 watt coils. I live in a fairly decent wind area but to tell you the truth the only time my controller has dumped to those coils is when I put a battery charger on it to set the controller settings.

    Reason is I use my batteries to run household items and to provide stand-by hydro in power outs.
    So if I am using my collected power there is really not much chance in me heating any water if I were to use a water coil. Possibly when I am sleeping and not using my batteries and a huge storm through the night. How many times would this happen.

    Don't want to sound like the grinch but if any of you are going to heat water, What are you using your battery power for in the first place. I just might have a big load to learn here..

  7. murray2paddles

    murray2paddles WindyNation Engineer

    Talk about dump loads, well I am going to use this forum as mine.. LOL

    What upsets me is the amount of sellers on Ebay such as the one that Josh provided as a link for the
    12 volt 600 Watt Low Voltage Submersible Water Heater 2

    Over the years they have over priced everything they offer and if the price is not outragous the shipping fee is a joke.
    On this item that dude wants $49.54 shipping to send a water heater coil to my address. What a dumb shit he is !

    In the past when I was first trying my hand at wind energy I was going on Ebay and was so excited because there were sellers offering me just what I needed.. or wanted. Over time I learned the hard way that they were selling junk to people like me who did not know squat about what would work and what did not ! I remember paying high shipping cost on most everything and just thought that is the way it is !
    Then along came Windynation. I think I must have been one of their first customers and from the get go I noticed small items that they were willing to sell for less than a 1/4 of what others were asking. Not only that the shipping costs were reduced to next to nothing in comparison to those others.

    As Windy grew and sales climbed I then witnessed some of those other sellers lowering their prices and sometimes even posting a somewhat fair shipping rate. (some of them, some even disapeared ) It was a laugh also because some of those same sellers started to make sales comments against products that require high rpm and such to provide useful Volts etc,, for christ sakes you dumb ass, you just finished selling me that same item you decided this week to slam...

    No wonder there are many sellers on Ebay and else where that will be pissed with Windy cause some of us became smarter and when we started to figure out what we really needed vrs what we wanted and found a fair seller that also took the time to offer a good product we recognized it immediately.

    I know our own local economies must be supported but to tell you truth I no longer worry about where it is made as long as the product is good and the price is fair. For me this is 2010 and I see a global world linked to a global economy.

    This is a dump I needed to share for a long time,,, now don't I just feel better.
  8. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

    Well put.
  9. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Hey murray, Im pretty new to wind and ebay for that matter, but in the short time that I have been I think your comments are right on. Windy seems like a very fair and reputable company, from what I can tell, thier products have the most bang for the buck, and this forum rocks. Ive been busy latley so Ill try to cover all the bases real quick. About my guy wires after raising my tower 10-12 feet. I have none, my tower is the triangle type and it goes up the side of my 2 story house now about 12- 15 feet above the peak and what a difference its making, its been spinning on days with almost no wind, cant wait for this fall and winter, Im expecting to see some real amps. Now for the topic of heating water with the dump load. After some more research and reassesing my own power use, its just like your situation, I use most of my batt power for household use, lights tv and during storms for the sump pump and just the same I use it all and dont really need a dump load at all right now. The water thing is a nice thought though, maybe some day ill mess with it when I get everything else perfected. Enjoying everything im learning. Keep sharing the info .

  10. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

    Do you have any pictures of your tower? Do you have any vibration issues with this mount on top of your roof? Did you do anything special to reduce any noise or vibration into your house? Did you get my private email?
  11. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Hey beach hows it going? About the tower and vibrations, so far i have not tried to isolate the tower with bushings or rubber gromets or anything. When it was only about 5 feet above the roof, if i walked to that end of the house I could hear a slight hum, like some one mowing the yard down the street or across town. I tried to get my wife to listen for it to see if it would bother her but she cant even hear it. For the first month when the mount would turn in to the wind say more than 90 degrees it would make a deep rumbling sound. My mount has no bearing to pivot on, just a plate of steel with a large pipe I welded to the bottom and that slips down over the pipe on my tower. Its now wore smooth and no more rumbling. As for the hum when the tubine is spinning, I still hear it slightly and I like it, it saves me from walking out the door or running down stairs to check gauges to see whats going on. Ive pretty much learned from the pitch of the hum as to what its doing up there. Like I said, no one else in the house can even hear it, so it works perfect for me. Im not real good at the computer thing so i will have my wife help get some pics on here if we can figure out how. I know this isnt really the place, but i have to ask. Does anyone have experience heating domestic water with an indoor wood burning furnace. Well i hope I answered all your questions and if not ill be back tomarrow. Got at least 4 large properties to mow today so i gotta go. Good luck everyone.

  12. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Almost forgot, about the private email, I dont know if i got it or not, Im not sure if i remember my password. um.. what was the subject?
  13. murray2paddles

    murray2paddles WindyNation Engineer

    when you mentioned that you do not have a bearing of any kind for your mount to swivel on the pole.
    send me info on your pole size and mount pipe size and I will cut you a few nylon type bushings to install for when ever you take your turbine down next time.
    You will be surprised at how fast your turbine will be able to find the new wind direction at lower winds.
    Send my your mail address if you are interested, No cost on the bushings, just glad to help out.
    Hmm but it may eliminate the noise you like the sound of .. lol

  14. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

    I don't remember the subject name, but it was about DC water heater elements. At the top left of your screen, just below "Windy Nation Forums" click on "User Control Panel", then click on "Private Messages", then click on "Inbox" to read the message. You can send private message to other forum members here too.
  15. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Okay I think this is a pic of my tower.

    Attached Files:

  16. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Finally I was able to get a picture uploaded. Murray I am totally interested in the bushings that you cut, even if it means loosing my favorite sound, lol.
    Hopefully within the next week I will be climbing up there to adjust my wire and I will take some mesurements. It turns fairly well now but better is better and would love to try bushings. How long do they last, and is it what you still use today or have you upgraded to bearings ?

    Wow, after uploading that picture, I can see why the wife has been on me to paint the house this summer. I better get on that. Especially because she bought my turbine for my birthday.

    Beach: I hope the pic helps, I know its not very good. I have "u" bolts going thru the 2x4s holding the tower tight against the house, only 4 of them now but will be adding 2 more to the top board before winter. Right now the top board only has a piece of metal strap screwed to it and around the tower. Seems sturdy but I will be watching it closely tomorrow during the 14 mph wind, and I'll let you know how it goes.

  17. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

    Very cool, thanks for sharing that with us!
  18. murray2paddles

    murray2paddles WindyNation Engineer


    Those lattice style towers usually had a 1 1/2 inch top pipe. If you have a cut off piece of the pipe you used as your mount pipe, take a measurement of the inner size. Due to this style of tower there is no inner pipe to feed the wire through so I will leave the bushing with no inner hole. I will cut two for you so they can turn on each other if you like. You can send my your mailing address through private messages or send to

    What I use is a piece of UHMW Polyethylene, It is used for making jigs for table power tools. High resistant, water proof. I wrote about it in another thread but gave wrong info on it. Friction does not bother it that is why it is used as jig material for woodworking.
    I have been using some of those up for over two years and not a sign of wear. ( Don't know if it needs it but I grease them also when installing. )
    I chose to use that style over bearings due to less moving parts that could jam / rust or what ever and I did not have to have it sealed water tight.
    You will notice on Windy's update on their new mount that they also will be using a nylon insert bushing rather than a bearing.

  19. BeachBum

    BeachBum WindyNation Engineer

    I ran across this video and thought of you and your August 2 question about burning wood to heat water. Watch this video, it's really on topic and may be what you're looking for:

    This link is to the manufacturer:

    If you need to, cut and paste the link into you web browser.
  20. offgridsomeday

    offgridsomeday WindyNation Engineer

    Hey everyone, been super busy, just got time to sit for a min. Murray, I think you are right about the small pipe diameter, I will try to get those mesurements this after noon. Hey beach, thanks for the link, I have a few buddys that have outdoor boilers, but what I have is an indoor wood burning furnace called a "Fire chief" made by victorian sales, purchased at farmking. Its in my basement only 5-6 feet from my water heater. Victorian sales, sells a dhw tube for the unit. What I was wondering is if I needed a preheat tank, and wondering about thermosiphon verses a pump. To me the pump is just one more thing that can wear out or break, rather not use a pump if I dont have to. Just hoping someone has experience doing somthing like this. I love my Fire chief, always more heat than I need, ole lady usually has the front door open.


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