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Wind Generator 12, 24, or 48 volt

Windy

New Member
I want to purchase a wind generator but do not understand the advantage of 12 volt vs 24 vs 48 volt. The battery bank I currently use for my solar system, consists of 4 - 12 volt batteries joined in parallel.

Can a 24 volt wind generator be used to charge that battery bank? :confused:

Or would I be better to stick with a 12 volt wind generator?
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
What are you powering with the four batteries?
What does your system use now?
 

Windy

New Member
Currently run 12 volt lights (6), 1400 watt invertor: tv, satellite reciever, 2 50 watt halogen lights, and 2 9 watt lights. Not all devices run at same time of course.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
So your inverter is 12 volt only assume.
If so I would say your best off staying with the 12 volt system. The batteries them selves can be connected in series for 24 or 48 volt charging easily enough but since the power drain is 12 volt I would just stick with a full 12 volt system. That way the wind generator can put charge in while your taking charge out.

Your generator to battery wire will be bigger with the 12 volt system but thats about the only difference you would have in the set up costs.

What generator system are you looking at?

We have a load of alternative power people here that would love to see a full description of what your setting up! We love pictures too! Start to finish details and reasons for why you chose what will get you loads of interest and help too!
 

MikeMl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Unless you are willing to reconfigure all of your loads to operate on 24 or 48V, then you might as well stay with the 12v system voltage. The efficiency of a 24V or 48V 1400W inverter is likely better than a 12V one. OTOH, your lighting loads operate directly off 12V; so if you switched to 24 or 48V, you would have to run them on a switching step-down converter, which would offset any gain in efficiency on the big inverter.

As long as the batteries to be charged are wired in parallel for 12V, then your wind charger would need to deliver about 14.5V to charge the batteries. Look at specs for charge-controllers. It is possible that a switch-mode charge controller is more efficient starting from 24V or 48V even when charging a 12V battery. In other words, the answer to your question is likely determined by the selection of the charge controller.
 
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smanches

New Member
I would go with the 48V wind generator, then get a 12v step-down charger. This way you have expansion room if you ever want to upgrade to a 24V or 48V system.

Higher supply voltage to your loads means higher efficiency. Although it would be a waste to just throw away what you have already.
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
I second (third?) that.

The power line cable losses are the inverse of the square of the generator voltage, so a 12v windmill loses 4x4 or 16 times more power through the same cost of cables over the same cable run, and windmills tend to be a fair distance from your house unlike a solar panel which might be only a few yards away.

Also if you use a 48v-12v switchmode converter you will put SOME power into the battery even at very low windspeeds unlike a 12v windmill which will produce no power for most of the day.

If you read the blurbs for some of the new high tech windmills for boats they feature integral "power converters" to do just that, the generator is a higher voltage type into a SMPS that allows it to start generating power at very low wind speeds and then adjusts the voltage "conversion" for all wind speeds.
 

maxrep99

New Member
This is a good thread. I want to charge a few 12v batteries for later use. I'm not sure if low wind speed will generate lass than 12v, or less watts. My average wind is 5 m/s. Should I go with a 12v system and make sure to use heavy gauge wire ? Or 24v/48v with step down converter ? Hoping low wind is still 12v and less watts and high wind is 12v and higher watts. Thanks
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
If any and how much charging power you get out at what speed is determined by the generators design. If its not rated to put out at least 14 volts at the wind speeds you have then you won't get anything useable to charge your 12 volt battery.
 

AnalogKid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Something I've wondered about - are the blades on a relatively small system like this fixed pitch or variable? If variable, and a controller varies the pitch based on load and output voltage sag, that would remove one layer of output over-voltage risk.

ak
 

maxrep99

New Member
A charge controller should work, correct ? It would take the 12v input and raise it to 13-14 volts as necessary, right ?
 
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Kachi

New Member
Please is it possible to use a 48v charger control on any wind turbine generator, BC I have a 48v inverter system.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Please is it possible to use a 48v charger control on any wind turbine generator, BC I have a 48v inverter system.
As long as the generator is designed for that voltage, then yes. Obviously any such generator (solar or wind) needs to be as efficient as possible, so all parts have to be designed to work together.
 

Kachi

New Member
I bought a wind turbine generator that is labelled 24v but I have an inverter system that is 48v and am thinking of changing the charger control to 48v please can it work, if not what must I do
 

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