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Old 30-01-2011, 13:33   #16
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To have them charging at the same time you would have to wire the panels via the Rutland regulator (they make at least one that accepts solar panels in.)

Alas, my educated perception is that only the equipment with higher voltage will be charging at times when both wind and sun are available. I have measured the charge on a boat with just such a regulator and the amps were way below the systems total potential - meaning either the solar or the wind charged. In fact, it was the wind. We stopped the windmill and the charge stopped abruptly BUT came back as soon as the voltage dropped - this time (with the milŮl stopped) the charge came from the panels!

So, unless you have some super duper charger that COMBINES the sources, it will be normally either or, not both.

If you have separate regulators then both sol and wind can be connected full time but only the system with higher voltage is charging.

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barnie
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Old 30-01-2011, 14:34   #17
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If you decide on a wind generator, IMO... the "Kiss" is the way to go. It is relatively quiet, reliable, and powerful.

The Air Marine, Air X, and Air Breeze units make a hidious, high frequency, pulsating weed whacker noise. In the first two cases, that noise can be heard for OVER 1/4 of a mile! Really... I measured with a GPS! Even if the noise doesn't bother you, it will make your neighbors hate you...

M.
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Old 30-01-2011, 14:34   #18
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
So, unless you have some super duper charger that COMBINES the sources, it will be normally either or, not both.


Cheers,
barnie
That is why I'm interested in the superduper type controller which is what the Blue Sky 3024il DUO appears to be. The nice thing about these controllers is that they can be networked so that the outputs of up to 8 controllers are coordinated to have them all charging at the same time. I have 4 existing solar panels and would like to add two more as well as an Air-x 400 watt Wind generator. My house bank is 420 AH AGMs and I have 2 100 AH AGM start batteries on a combiner. I'm thinking of buying higher voltage panels for the new ones so they would require a separate controller from the original panels. The Air-x manual says to use a diversion type controller if one is going to use an external controller. They recommend an external controller when using the unit with other power sources such as PVs. Using the networking feature of the Blue Sky controllers I can get maximum amps out of all my systems for the bulk phase with the exception of the engine alternators. Now if Blue Sky would build external regulator for my engine alternators that would tie into their network I'd be all set. In theory my AGMs can absorb a bit over 200 amps and my total theoretical capacity would be about that with the engines running and the alternators at full output. My average of course would be much less.

Maybe I'm way overthinking this, but I really would like to run my diesels as little as possible.
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Old 30-01-2011, 14:37   #19
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The Air Marine, Air X, and Air Breeze units make a hidious, high frequency, pulsating weed whacker noise. In the first two cases, that noise can be heard for OVER 1/4 of a mile! Really... I measured with a GPS! Even if the noise doesn't bother you, it will make your neighbors hate you...

M.
Is that true of the newer models with the so called quiet blades?
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Old 30-01-2011, 14:54   #20
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I fear the biggest problems with the Air series of wind generators are the owners and installers of the systems. In my experience (since 1995) the Air are very quiet when charging. With my old Airmarine when the batteries are charged and the regulator cuts out the blades freewheel at a very high speed causing the admittedly very annoying sound. Which is why the instructions I had called for a shut-off switch, and any skipper with any sense of decency should damn well install one and use it once the generator starts cycling. I too have been kept up at night by such inconsiderates, but the blame is to the skipper not the hardware. I have also been kept up by the whop-whop of the big wooden blades of some systems (and seen some serious damage occur to items that got in the way). I have also known a generator to have vibrated so much that the owners were kept awake by it until the welds on the mount failed and it disappeared, unmourned, into the sea. The Air are the most common for a lot of good reasons, but I do wish people would be more considerate in their operation. I never leave mine on after sunset - I wish others would be as considerate with their engines and gensets...
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Old 30-01-2011, 14:56   #21
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MANY years back, they claimed that the Air X was better than the orrigional Air Marine. If it was so, you couldn't tell. it was such a minor improvement.

It was an "IMPROVED" Air X that I could hear from a measored 1/4 of a mile!

Their latest model, "Air Breeze", has the same annoying, high frequency and rapidly pulsating... WHISSSSCHCHCH, Weed Whacker sound, over and over, but admitedly it is a big improvement in volume. I have walked away from one in a marina untill I couldn't hear it, to see how far the sound travels, and I'd say it was about 250'. I have heard that their are some aftermarket "purple" blades available, that are an improvement on this, but have never heard them. The subject has come up on CF.

The KISS on the other hand, is a lower pitched, steady, non pulsating sound, about like a small window fan. I buddy boated with friends who had one, and if anchored 60' away, I couldn't hear it at all! In fact we had dinner over there, and it was no more anoying that a window fan...

I've gone all solar myself, but if I get a wind unit, the Kiss is the way I would go.

Mark
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Old 30-01-2011, 15:28   #22
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I too have heard of the aftermarket blades; I think they may be from Germany. They are curved (like the propellers on stealthy submarines). If I needed new blades I would look that direction, although I suspect they might not fit the old Airmarine.

Aside from any improvement in noise reduction, the newer Air Breeze units have finally gone away from the silliness of selling wind generators by their maximum output (usually at around 30 knots) and have addressed the issue of efficiency at more typical wind speeds. I find the high output to be as much a disadvantage as an advantage: lower output slowly and constantly drives up the voltage, whereas a gust of wind can create a current spike that drives the voltage higher, causing the unit to cycle and making more noise.

BTW, lest anyone be misled, there are really two noise issues with wind generators: the external sound the neighbors hear and the internal sound that the owner hears. The Air products tend to send out a high frequency sound horizontally which is far more annoying to the neighbors than the owner. But all wind generators create vibration which is conducted down to the deck and can be quite loud down below (well, all but the old units that output an amp or two max, but they just aren't very useful). As a result of the vibration-caused noise I will always shut down the wind generator when I go to bed if I am not in dire need of a charge, even if I am alone at anchor. But it is best to avoid the evening hours too - most cruisers value a peaceful evening at anchor.
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Old 31-01-2011, 05:56   #23
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Good discussion, thanks guys/girls! I thought putting the solar on the rutland conto;;ers would be a great idea, but then started to think about it more. If i split up my solar, 150 watts on one controller, and 160 on the other (each controller also has a wind gen on it), only one controller will work at a time, basiclly reducing my solar power by 50%. I think the right way to go is is have all solar go through the sunsaver, and each wind gen on its own.

Brian
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Old 31-01-2011, 07:49   #24
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I can't hear this conversation! Someone has their damn wind generator on!
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Old 31-01-2011, 08:08   #25
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Is that true of the newer models with the so called quiet blades?
the newer models are far more quiet.
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Old 31-01-2011, 08:13   #26
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Our battery bank won't come up to full voltage with the solar and shut off the wind until it's almost completly charged anyway, so the two work in tandem with the exception of the last 0.6 volts (I have no idea how many AH this equals) but it keeps excess wear off of the wind machine. If the boat had the realestate for it, all solar would be the way to go, unless like Bash you sail in the gray matter.
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Old 31-01-2011, 08:32   #27
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Good discussion, thanks guys/girls! I thought putting the solar on the rutland conto;;ers would be a great idea, but then started to think about it more. If i split up my solar, 150 watts on one controller, and 160 on the other (each controller also has a wind gen on it), only one controller will work at a time, basiclly reducing my solar power by 50%. I think the right way to go is is have all solar go through the sunsaver, and each wind gen on its own.
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Brian


Brian,
This is why I was looking at the Blue Sky networked controllers. After much study it was clear that the way you hook these things up is to hook the wind generators up directly to the battery bank and let the diversion controller regulate the voltage while the MPPT controller for the photovoltaics manages the solar. In this way during the bulk phase and through the absorption phase all of the power the wind genny can put out is put into the batteries unless of course it's very windy and the wind genny is putting out too much for the absorption phase in which case some of the power will be diverted by the diversion controller. In theory you could hook the solar directly as well and let the diversion controller handle all of it. I researched it and this is how one would do it with a unit such as the Xantrex C35/C40/C60 (used to be Trace) that Mark Johnson talked about in an earlier post on this thread. While is a perfectly valid configuration the problem with that is the solar panels are then operating at battery voltage during bulk/absorption phase instead of at their maximum power point. If one has lots of extra capacity available this might not make much difference, but on marginal days it might.

Using a combination controller like the 3024il DUO allows you to take advantage of the full available output of the wind generator(s) while keeping the solar at peak efficiency. If one has two different solar panels with different maximum power points, then the Blue Sky controllers talk to each other over the network and coordinate their output. In actuality one controller becomes the master and the output of all the other is slaved to it so that all of the controllers are charging the batteries at the rate required to maintain the proper voltage for that phase of charging. In bulk phase all of the sources would be putting out maximum power in most cases that I can think of. The 3024il DUO is a bit expensive compared to other controllers in their line, but all of the controllers do not have to be the same model. If all of your panels have the same maximum power point you would only need the one controller. Blue Sky says that if the maximum power point of all the panels are within .5 volts you don't need a separate controller. If you do need a separate controller a less expensive one like the 2512iX can be used for the second controller. There may be other lines out there that talk to each other as well and handle both MPPT and diversion. I haven't found them but I'm still researching. The Xantrax C40/C60 series for instance will actually do this but requires two separate controllers and the outputs depend on the manual adjustment of the two controllers to have the same voltage trigger points. They don't talk to each other so depending on how accurate the adjustment is they may or may not both be charging. They only do PWM and not MPPT so you might as well just use the diversion controller and hook the solar directly to the batteries. It seems to me to be a waste to buy the second controller under these circumstances.

With two wind generators and 310 watts of solar, you may be covered for your power needs with a simpler less expensive setup. I had a look at the Rutland controllers. They are simple PWM controllers with only two phase regulation, bulk and float. Most people these days are recommending three/four phase controllers for maximum battery life and charging efficiency. They don't offer an MPPT controller for solar at all. Since they don't seem to be diversion controllers, it's likely that you would only have an issue as the batteries approached float voltage with respect to controllers shutting down power from their source.

Please let us know what you decide to do and how it works out for you. Real world experience is always worth more than marketing hype.
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Old 31-01-2011, 08:39   #28
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Hello All! I have 310W of solar and a rutland 913 wind gen on board right now. Can both of these be charging tha bateries at the sme time? It appears that the high voltage on the solar regulator is fooling the wind regulator into thinking the batteries are fully charged. Am I correct, does one charging system win out over the over? It there a way to wire the system so that batteriss acn be charged from both at the same time?

I bought another rutland 913 to add, but now thinking it may not do much good during teh day???


Thanks!

Brian
exactly.Don't have em on the same wire as a start.
What you want,is any regulator to taste the battery,not the solar or windgen output.

Sometimes,one or several diodes in series can be a fix too each diode drops line voltage about .6v...one out of an ol' alternator for instance.You could therefore lower output of solar by controlling the output voltage,or - as a very different approach-on the "tasting wire" of a wincharger's "autoregulator" ? which would fool it into thinking Batt voltage is lower...more possibilities are convoluted but cheap and quick to fiddle with.
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Old 31-01-2011, 16:12   #29
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Hi all, I'm not an electrical engineer, however I spent some time looking at this issue of multiple charge sources a year or so ago. what I found out was very interesting, and saved me a lot of money. I will try to summarise:
As a lead acid battery is charged, its internal resistance rises, needing a higher voltage to further charge the battery until it is fully charged. A deeply discharged battery will therefore have a low resistance, and will take a higher amperage of charge. Unless you have available an absolutely huge charge source, what will happen (with a discharged battery bank) is that the charge voltage across the battery is pulled down by the low battery resistance (high current, low voltage) As the battery bank charges, and the battery internal resistance increases, the current drops to the point where the battery bank will only accept a low charge current. This will be around the point where either the solar or wind generator voltage sensing controller will cut out. That is because the remaining charge source is supplying sufficient output to charge the battery bank as quickly as it can absorb the charge.
So don't waste money on expensive "combiners" or whatever, the laws of physics ensure both or either of the charge sources give the max required output at any given charge condition. Cycling is another matter, to overcome this, the switch on/off voltages require to be further apart.
I hope I have explained this OK, and it adds to the debate!
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Old 31-01-2011, 16:58   #30
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Hi all, I'm not an electrical engineer, however I spent some time looking at this issue of multiple charge sources a year or so ago. what I found out was very interesting, and saved me a lot of money. I will try to summarise:
As a lead acid battery is charged, its internal resistance rises, needing a higher voltage to further charge the battery until it is fully charged. A deeply discharged battery will therefore have a low resistance, and will take a higher amperage of charge. Unless you have available an absolutely huge charge source, what will happen (with a discharged battery bank) is that the charge voltage across the battery is pulled down by the low battery resistance (high current, low voltage) As the battery bank charges, and the battery internal resistance increases, the current drops to the point where the battery bank will only accept a low charge current. This will be around the point where either the solar or wind generator voltage sensing controller will cut out. That is because the remaining charge source is supplying sufficient output to charge the battery bank as quickly as it can absorb the charge.
So don't waste money on expensive "combiners" or whatever, the laws of physics ensure both or either of the charge sources give the max required output at any given charge condition. Cycling is another matter, to overcome this, the switch on/off voltages require to be further apart.
I hope I have explained this OK, and it adds to the debate!
I just said this
but yours had more better words
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