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Using wind power to recharge batteries, laptop, phones etc ..

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Posted by tony on April 4, 2006, 8:53 am

Hi all,

I live on an exposed hill in north Essex, UK, and the wind is forever
howling round my house - I'd like to put it to some use. My idea was to
put a small turbine (maybe a boat/caravan one, about 1 meter diameter)
on the end of the house, and run the power into my office. From here,
it would plug into an invertor, and into the invertor I would plug my
4-way adaptor that has all my rechargers on - the phone charger, the AA
battery charger, the toothbrush etc.

Given that most of my rechargeable equipment is always plugged into its
charger and only taken off to be used, I hoped that even if the turbine
didn't provide enough current, everything would charge *eventually* (if
something takes 8 hours instead of 1, I'll live!).

However, I know nothing about electricity, so I don't know if this will
work. If a rechargeable battery (like the one in a phone) doesn't get
the current it needs, will it just charge slower? Or do I risk damaging
it? If there's no load (ie. everything is charged), will this pose a
problem? (I read somwhere that turbines always need some load).

Many thanks in advance for your help,


Posted by meow2222 on April 4, 2006, 11:09 am

tony@mixodia.com wrote:

Batteries can be charged quite happily with below rated or intermittent
current. The main problem here is your loads are probably well below
the turbine's output, plus of course the batteries will get charged, so
most of your wind output wont get used.

Theres also the question of what the invertor would think about
unregulated varying V_in. It might not survive it. It would not be
difficult to make a regulator to sort out overvoltage, and using
switched mode chargers would help with undervoltage, but you've still
got the fact that most fo the power wont be used.


Posted by Jim Baber on April 4, 2006, 8:02 pm

Do not listen to meowwwww, instead, follow up this reference
<http://www.green-trust.org/wind.htm>  to Steve Spence's wind based
information.  He uses what he proposes.

meow2222@care2.com wrote:

......................................   Not immediately, but it will be
used from those batteries eventually (where you stored 80% of it)

.....................................................I do not understand
meowwwww here, since if you use a mppt charge controller for the
batteries, the inverter will only see either the batteries current
charger voltage or the battery voltage if the battery is only
discharging into the inverter.  In either case it will not hurt the
inverter, because that is how it is intended to work.

overvoltage, and using switched mode chargers would help with undervoltage,
(that's a mppt style charger)

I disagree, you will lose 20% in the inherent charging and discharging
losses of the battery, and most modern inverters will lose 5% in
internal heat losses.  Therefore, you will have lost a total of about
25% that the wind machine actually produced, but that sure is a long way
from "most".

Jim Baber
Email jim@NOJUNKbaber.org
1350 W Mesa Ave.
Fresno CA, 93711
(559) 435-9068
(559) 905-2204 (Verizon IN cellphone (to other Verizon IN accounts))
See 10kW grid tied solar system at "http://www.baber.org/solarpanels.jpg"
See solar system production data at "http://www.baber.org/solar_status.htm"

Posted by George Ghio on April 4, 2006, 11:31 pm

Are you talking about the steve spence who has publicly stated that his
wind gen is next to useless. The same wind gen that is below surrounding
obstacles and has almost no useful output as a result?

Jim Baber wrote:


Posted by wmbjk on April 5, 2006, 12:42 am


It's the Steve Spence who isn't ashamed to show photos of his own
projects, and who puts together web pages with many useful links. Such
efforts are much more helpful than say, the bitter ramblings of a
nitwit who got caught publicly claiming that an Air X puts out 400W,
and who tried to discredit reputable test results in a lame attempt to
hide the fact that he's the Rip Van Winkle of wind power.

BTW, where's *your* wind power page Rip? Oh that's right, you're the
guy who doesn't have any web pages, yet is nonetheless clumsily
seeking to charge others for web page writing. Doctor, heal thyself!
Customers are sure to line up for that level of hypocrisy and
marketing ghinius. <snorf>


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