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Wind Generator Regulator Design

Thread starter #1
The wind generator that I am trying to regulate is a 3-phase 1000 watt 120 volt unit. The generator is used to power a submersible pump. The problem is that the generator produces more power that the pump needs when the wind gets up above 15 mph or so. If the voltage rises above 300 volts the pumps electronics goes out ruining the pump motor. I installed a wind switch that controls a relay when the wind is greater than 15 mph that adds a 1000 watts of load to the line to help control the voltage.

What I think is needed is a PWM regulator that could sense when the voltage rises above 120 volts and begain to pulse the additional load to control the voltage. Is there such a device already and if so what is it called? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.



Well-Known Member
Hello Walt,
Basically what you have setup is a dumpload and that is the best scenario you can get. With solar it's a simple case of shorting the panels but with a wind generator when it's windy the power must go somewhere. 1Kw of power to dump is pretty big so the best thing I can think of is using a domestic hot water tank and element as the dumpload. Just dont have the temp regulator setup and if there is that much power going in for the water to boil it will just boil away happily and make sure you include a float switch so the tank wont run dry.

Hope this helps

Regards Bryan
Thread starter #3
I will try to explain, the turbine is a Southwest Windpower H80 and the pump is a Grundfos SQFlex 11 gpm. The pump has a controller with rectifiers and a shut down switch. The pump only pulls 180 to 350 watts depending on how much back pressure there is on the discharge. When I purchased the system it was what Grundfos recommended. It is my understanding that they have had problems with this setup.

The load that is attached to the wind switch relay is two 500 watt heating elements and it does work. The problem with wind switch setup is that the wind speed varies between 10 to 20 mph most of the time and when the extra load comes on line the pump will shut down. After the pump shuts down it starts back up but only draws 10 to 20 watts for a few seconds, then the watts come back up to the 180 to 350 range.

I would like to have something that could monitor the voltage, when it started to rise above 120 volts then the device would bring the extra load on linearly. Something like the EnerMaxer regulator but it was for 12 to 36 volts DC.


Well-Known Member
It sounds simple enough, since your load is fixed (more or less) at 120v and 1 to 3 amps you basically need a voltage regulator.

You could build a switching regulator very simply. Use a high power transistor to connect the windmill to the load, any h-out transistor from a big old TV set is good for 1500v and 5 amps. Connect it so the switching transistor is normally on, then when the load voltage rises above 120v something turns it off. It will oscillate on/off about 120v as a natural PWM so it maintains that voltage. I would put a large cap on the output to reduce output fluctuations but your SMPS pump controller will be quite tolerant of supply fluctuations anyway.
Thread starter #7
The pump is a Southwest Windpower Whisper 200. I have considered adding another pump to the system but no sure of the size.


Well-Known Member
Using a Comparator chip, Like an LM393, it is easy to create a circuit to trip one or more relays to add additional loads as the voltage rises. But a linear responding load would be very difficult.

Even Better would be a Speed Brake on the Generator.
If you have access to the Opposite end of the generator shaft, this is relatively easy to do, using a DC motor as the brake.

You can Email me for info, if needed.

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