Charge Controllers for Wind Power
I will start off with a quick explanation of what a
charge controller actually does for you.
Secondly I will answer the commonly asked question; "why can I
NOT use a Solar or PV charge controller with my wind
What is a charge controller?
It is a devise that regulates the current and or
voltage that you can put into your battery or batteries.
It will not allow you to over charge and ruin your battery or
batteries by controlling the voltage at the battery level. Once
your battery or batteries are charged the controller kicks in and
opens, diverts, or shunts the generator circuit.
Why you cannot use a Solar or PV Charge
Controller for Wind.
For the sake of ease we are going to talk about a 12
volt system for this next section.
As I am sure you have noticed Solar and PV Charge Controllers come
in 12, 24, 36, and 48 volt ranges, and you must match the range with
your battery bank.
Here's why. Most Solar and PV controllers have circuits that
will only work within a certain range of voltage and
For example: Lets say you have a 12v solar panel. It
will put out between 0-18 volts DC and up to 3.5 amps (or 50 watts).
Most 12 volt Solar charge controller are designed to handle up to 20
volts and 50 watts, or 3.5 amps of input power.
Most Solar controllers cannot comprehend voltages outside their
range of input power, meaning if they get more than 20 volts of
input they go nuts, crazy, wacko, screwball, etc.
A wind Generator can (easily) have a range from 0 to more than 100
volts, and amperage of 0 to 50 amps (on average 2 to 30).
Now if your Solar controller is designed to handle 0-18 volts what
do you think it would say (if it could talk) when it gets hit with
25 to 100 volts of DC power from your Wind Generator with amperages
up to 50 amps?
Here's my guess at what it would be saying.
1. What in the hell is this?
2. What am I supposed to do with this?
3. And last but not least,,, OUCH!
One other factor to look at on Solar charge
controllers is most of them shunt when the battery is charged and
that may not be the right solution for your generator. Others
open the circuit and let your generator run wild.
You still have to get a wind generator charge
controller for the correct battery voltage. And a wind
generator charge controller will be designed to handle the wide
range of input voltage and amperage from your generator.
Important note: Electronics work by
"smoke". If you let the smoke out they will not work
anymore. An OUCH from a Solar charge controller or your
generator would indicate
a loss of smoke. ;) Not good!
See the Charge
Controllers available from TLG Windpower Products.
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