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Wind Grid Tie - My Story
#1
UPDATED: 2018-03-28

Like my Solar Project (explained here http://www.computersense.co.nz/forums/sh...hp?tid=118) I got stuck in to play with Wind Power Generation in a Grid Tie configuration.
Just like my Solar Project, I decided to dive in and learn from my mistakes - to me, its more of a hobby but with great results and I can easily afford mistakes.

Before I ordered anything, the first decision was to figure out what turbine would best meet my requirements.
While living in suburbia, my first consideration was the neighbors (unfortunately) - firstly the turbine noise and then the aesthetics before deciding what type of voltage I needed (AC or DC and whether to use 12V, 24V or 48Volt).

While the traditional Wind Horizontal Axis Turbines (HAT) you see everywhere are by far the most efficient, they supposably generate a lot of noise and in a built-up area can cause a neighbor-problem while not even mentioning what damage could be caused if the Turbine self-destructed.

I had NO choice other than to choose a Vertical Turbine (VAT).

After weeks of investigating viable Turbines, I chose to ignore the cheap Chinese "Lantern" versions (which didn't come anywhere near my power requirements) and get this 750W Smart Wind Turbine (from eBay and an awesome seller "makemu.eu" with really fast shipping - good seller but the VAT Output specifications proved to be very overrated - read on).
The Wind Turbine came with 3 blades but I opted to upgrade and purchase at the same time another set of 3 blades (6 in total) - I had this "feeling" I would need them.

The Turbine also came with a 3-Phase AC to DC Voltage Rectifier which was neat (and in case I had chosen a DC Input Inverter).

   

The Turbine (like most) uses a 3-Phase (three-phase) Generator.
3-Phase is good for minimal voltage loss over long runs of cable. 
This particular Turbine I chose has a 0-36 Volt AC / 750 Watt Generator.

   

Now, remember, this is a "Grid Tie" Story...

Next on the list was a Grid Tie Inverter.
Because I had opted for a 3-Phase 0-36 Volt Generator I decided to get a decent and compatible 3-phase 1000W Inverter without having to convert AC to DC before the Inverter input (there are various types/models to choose from including DC input from a DC generator).
I elected to add a WiFi Dongle and Dump Load Resistor (although I would not need the Dump Load Resistor in Grid Tie but thought it would come in handy if I wanted to experiment).

   

During testing (at ground level), I found that the Turbine would never reach a speed high enough to generate sufficient voltage to trigger the 3-Phase Inverter (even during a recent hurricane - at ground-level the wind was too buffered and erratic for a VAT).
The "start" voltage to the Inverter was too low and it only triggered when the Generator was turned with an electric drill before it started feeding back to the Grid (this is when I started to realized my worst fears).

I knew from this point on that I had become a victim of all those YouTube videos and Internet hype over how efficient VAT is on a domestic scale.
It's sort of like those BLEEP'ers on the Internet who still believe the World is "flat".

Flat Earthers = VAT Turbines
Normal Folk = HAT Turbines
Real Folk = Solar

I wasn't about to give up on my investment and continued to install this VAT Turbine on a decent mast - I already knew from my electric-drill tests that I had unwittingly become a "Flat Earther". 

Knowing VERY well that this VAT Turbine would NEVER generate enough power (without the help of a powerful electric-drill running at full speed that would destroy the VAT's Blades).
So I had ordered and received a MUCH smaller 300W DC Input Inverter before the Turbine was finally installed on the mast - my heart was already torn to pieces by YouTube crap and I knew that this was bound to be an EPIC failure Sad

With the Wind Turbine permanently mounted (as shown here), I had the 1000 Watt Inverter and smaller 300 Watt Inverter hooked up and ready to generate me some free power. 
As you can see in the image above, I fed the 3-Phase AC from the VAT directly in to the 1000W Inverter then connected the AC/DC Rectifier in parallel.
YouTube told me to do this so I can benefit from lower start-voltages to the smaller 300W Inverter when the wind is not strong enough to trigger the 1000W Inverter Smile

   

With a week of gale-force winds I predicted and confirmed the results:

ALERT: The 1000 Watt Inverter did not triggered once! - It was shortly disconnected because of it's standby power consumption.
ALERT: The 300 Watt Inverter kicks in for a few seconds every few minutes or more.

I must say that the 300 Watt Inverter kicks in VERY quickly (less than a second when its required 11.8 Volts is met - which was advertised as 10.8 Volts).

The problem is that the Turbine will NOT and NEVER reach an adequate rotational speed to either maintain a decent voltage for the 300 Watt Inverter and nowhere near enough to spark the interest of the 1000 Watt Inverter.

Yes, a sad BLEEPing story.
The average Voltage generated is around 6 Volts on a normal day and NOTHING above 12 Volts on a stormy day - very sad for a 36 Volt Wind Turbine rated at 750 Watts!

I spent the next few weeks staring at the Output of the VAT and hoping that something might magically happen - it never did Sad
I hate to be beaten and wondered about trashing the VAT and erecting a small HAT (Horizontal Axis Turbine) and using only the 300W Inverter - maybe I could at least generate a "little" something rather than giving up...

Please learn from my experience and remember that a Wind Turbine is rated by the Generator that it uses. You will only achieve maximum-rated output if you spin the Generator with a powerful electric drill - too fast for wind to turn.

UPDATE:
Yesterday (2018-03-27) the Wind God was on my side and I noted that the small 300W Inverter was triggering quiet often (but getting only 1 bar output of 3 possible bars) but Voltage would not go above 12.5V. The Inverter needs 11.8 Volts to trigger.

I remembered reading about something that José said in his Post Reply about converting AC to DC before the Inverter.
So, while the VAT was generating 10 Volts, I quickly unplugged the AC/DC Rectifier (removing the 300 Watt Inverter) and the voltage suddenly spiked on the 1000 Watt Inverter to 19 Volts and the 1000 Watt Inverter suddenly triggered!
BLEEP I said to myself!

The 1000 Watt Inverter needs exactly 14.5 Volts to Trigger then turns off at 12.5 Volts.
I have not seen the VAT produce anything higher than 20.5 Volts but I am not always looking at it when wind-level is high.

So, at the moment, all is not lost - José has solved my problem and I will NEVER use a AC to DC Rectifier ever again!
Now I am about to buy a smaller 600 Watt direct 3-Phase Inverter from Aliexpress - only problem is that I cannot find a small Inverter that has WiFi like the 1000 Watt Inverter.

I will continue updating this blog... watch this space.
#2
Anyone here in this World interested in asking questions or giving feedback?

Will update the post tomorrow with more info and photos on the Inverters - the Inverts are GREAT!
It's VAT that is totally SH IT!
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#3
(10-03-2018, 02:26 PM)admin Wrote: Anyone here in this World interested in asking questions or giving feedback?

Will update the post tomorrow with more info and photos on the Inverters - the Inverts are GREAT!
It's VAT that is totally SH IT!

I was almost buying this turbine and now I'm totally lost because horizontal type won't work here either.
I think I'd better forget these small chinese vertical turbines. They're just kid's toys, so it seems. 
The real ones, that might work (<I wrote MIGHT) are much bigger and expensive and still we don't know if they will ever produce anything. I can't take that risk.
I'm following your case. you already gave up on your VAWT? Try some diferente blades, flat wing-typed ones! They surelly will produce more rpm, the ones you got produce too much drag!
The new horizontal turbine is on its way or you really got angry with the wind and will stay solar only?
Regards
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#4
HiYa XtraNo

You are probably correct in saying that blade-design is poor.
I am bidding on this 1000 Watt Turbine from same seller on eBay at the moment but with 6-blades.
I could not find separate blades of this design without emailing the seller but I might be lucky to win the bid as it has free international shipping to New Zealand.

   

I will test this design so everyone can learn.

If I have another failure I might take the Generator and put it on an exercise bike Smile

Also, before I give up totally on VAT, I will get a Charge Controller and see if I can at least make use of the little voltage that VAT generates to charge Batteries.
I got some free and good sealed-acid Batteries yesterday and I have a 3KW UPS that I want to experiment with soon.

Welcome to the forum and thanx for your feedback.
We will work on this together Smile

Mike
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#5
Hello.

I will try to explain my story but sorry about my English.

I’m Portuguese and I had the bad idea to buy a 3kw VAWT turbine to the same seller.

At home I have 3,4 kwp of solar, off grid inverter and 48v battery bank.

I had the same idea to complement the system with a wind turbine and choose the VAWT system.

My generator is a 3 phase 48 VAC and never produce a single watt. I buy a several controllers for the turbine, I build a horizontal turbine with the generator to increase the rpm and nothing.

The main problem is the generator when you converte from AC to DC, when you do that the generator stop increasing the voltage.

I forced the rpm with a hand drill and connect direct a grinding wheel between L1 and L2 from generator and the grinding wheel works fine.
If you connect a lamp of 200w between fases the lamp works without any problem.

You need to buy a Grid Tie inverter like this one
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000W-Wind-Turb...jtEZ9zo18Q

Please don’t buy a new wind turbine from that seller because it will not work withou the correct Grid Tie.


You can see my solar system in this page
https://vrm.victronenergy.com/installati...e/c9f5ddac

Regards,
José
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#6
In this topic you can read and see pictures of my aventure on clean energy.

https://www.novaenergia.net/forum/viewto...11&t=19864

Is a Portuguese forum but you can use Google Chrome to translate.
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#7
(24-03-2018, 11:19 PM)Jpcarvalho Wrote: In this topic you can read and see pictures of my aventure on clean energy.

https://www.novaenergia.net/forum/viewto...11&t=19864

Is a Portuguese forum but you can use Google Chrome to translate.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, José.

I have lots of questions that I would like to ask you but for now I just would like to know if your 3KW VAWT is from the very same model that Mike is now trying to buy en ebay? 
Or you bought this older model?  http://www.lmagency.biz/contents/en-uk/p61.html

Thanks
Joao Cardoso
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#8
(26-03-2018, 06:37 AM)XtraNo Wrote:
(24-03-2018, 11:19 PM)Jpcarvalho Wrote: In this topic you can read and see pictures of my aventure on clean energy.

https://www.novaenergia.net/forum/viewto...11&t=19864

Is a Portuguese forum but you can use Google Chrome to translate.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, José.

I have lots of questions that I would like to ask you but for now I just would like to know if your 3KW VAWT is from the very same model that Mike is now trying to buy en ebay? 
Or you bought this older model?  http://www.lmagency.biz/contents/en-uk/p61.html

Thanks
Joao Cardoso

Hi Joao.

I bought the older model Eolo 3 KW , Generator 48 VAC - 220v.

The problem is the type of generator, this one is a standard 220 VAC.
It is impossible to charge batteries directly with a rectifier our charge controller.

Fell free to make questions, I will try to help you.
Joao you are Portuguese or Brazilian?


Regards,
José
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#9
HiYa XtraNo
I lost the auction bid (this often happens because of New Zealand time-difference and when I am sleeping Smile ) - maybe it was a lucky thing because I do not think there would be enough advantage changing blade design.
The Generator needs a lot of sustained RPM to get anywhere near rated output.

I have updated the original post and so far it is looking a bit better.
But I still have negative feelings using VAT and even small-scale Wind Generation in general.

I am hoping that the third smaller 3-Phase Turbine and raising the mast another 2M will make this project a positive one.
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#10
HiYa José

I have been reading your Blog (I am currently on Page 23 :Smile
You have an amazing project going on there!
It's taken me a while to read the Chrome translation (I had to install Chrome).

Sheez! Did you REALLY need Solar Tracking? That hole is big enough to install a 20-30 meter Wind Mast but you use it just for tracking? You are sort of like me in some ways - if you do it, do it properly Smile

I thought about Tracking but I could not cover the cost or location of it.
For me, my roof does not point North (like your South) - instead I installed extra Panels on the North-East side of the roof and a few new ones on the North-West side to maximize afternoon sun.  
 
MANY thanx for pointing me in the direction of the issue with AC to DC conversion loss.
I have updated my main Post to reflect what I did yesterday.

I have a few questions but I will post these in a different forum as they are general questions that are not specific to Wind or Solar.
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