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Old 11-04-2007, 12:03   #31
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Solar MPPT and KISS

I have been reading forever about the solar regulator / wind gen regulator battle. I don't think I have ever seen it realistically solve with out actually linking the 2 regulators simliar to a ganged BlueSky MPPT controller. maybe some day they will build a wind gen regulator to work with the solr controller.

Makai carries 480 watts of solar with the SB50 MPPT controller and an unregulated KISS. Onley one time had we had to turn of the wind gen to prevent overcharging of the batteries. I usually turn on the watermaker or turn the fridge freezer temp down to use the excess power.

KISS doens't recommend a regulator at all as most chop 30% of the power output off. Doug's recommendation is to have a battery bank that will carry a charge up to the expected average output. In our case per trojan 2 1/2% of the total amp capacity can be applied continously to the bank with causing damage. For us that is about 17 amps continous. Most wind gen don't put that out most of the time. That excludes any systems that draw down the bank.

How it works with the MPPT controller. The controller actually senses the battery and the wind gen and adjusts it self according to what it calculates as the current state of the battery and the max charge it can take.

During the morning hours we see the solar panel put out at full power and the wind gen. There is no issue as the total is less than 60AMP/hr and in the morning bulk recharges with the gen the bank will take much more than that with out damage. So we actually get a very fast morning recharge as both unit apply the max in the bulk phase, rather than one or the other cycle up or down.

using 2 seperate controllers they keep sensing each others output and adjust up or down and rechecking. In the airx inpaticular, as we have seen with friends, wind up to charge, sense the over charge and then wind down. This bouncing back and forth between the controllers taking turns doesn't hurt the battery as the max charge is always being controlled, but is annoying and can increase the wear on the airx. Not to mention your neighbors. (I find the airx to be very noisy)

I like our setup and would recommend anyone researching to look at this approach. It makes sense and it works.

Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
The hunt for the next boat begins.
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Old 22-09-2007, 01:04   #32

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Dump regulator

I am going through the same installation. Airx and 4 solar panels. The installation manual for the airx says to use a diversion or dump regulator to regulate the power in hybrid systems. You turn off the regulation in the wind generator by turning the screw counterclockwise to to the stop on the body of the wind gen. The diversion regulator hooks up to the battery with sensor wires and a heavy wire to take the excess load. The excess current is drawn off and sent to another 12v consumer, there are a variety of different ways to do it I chose to install a 12v heating element in my water heater.They also make heaters or maybe you could use 12v fans or something. The regulator senses battery voltage and when it gets to 14.1 it starts diverting to avoid overcharging. Being full time liveaboard and a pretty heavy power consumer, will probably only divert after running the engine for a while when batteries will be fully charged. I got the diversion regulator at Mikes Windmills online. He makes them. The one I got comes fully moisture proof and is marine compatible.

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Old 22-09-2007, 01:12   #33

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Oh by the way, I also installed 4 diodes inline on the pos wire of the solar panels. that should stop power leaks at night and avoid one shaded panel from drawing down other panels. The new airx wind gens claim to be much quieter than older models, now they brake when in higher winds instead of relying on the noisey flutter that slowed them down on the older models.
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Old 22-09-2007, 07:20   #34

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"I also installed 4 diodes inline on the pos wire"
If you install an MPPT (Maximum Power Point) controller on the solar panels, you may pick up 20-30% more useable power from them--and you won't need the extra diodes, which reduce voltage. The key word is useable power, the MPPT controllers (like Outback and Blue Sky) aren't magic, but they actively transform excess voltage into lower voltage at higher amperage, making quite a nice boost. As a side effect, they output pulsed DC instead of plain DC, which can charge the batteries faster, to a higher capacity, with zero electrolyte boiling or gassing.

Quite a nice set of features.
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Old 22-09-2007, 11:49   #35
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You guy's sure you need the diodes?? Most decent panels come with Diodes already. So make sure you are not just doubling up, which will only effect in having a lower output of course.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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Old 22-09-2007, 12:30   #36
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I don't have a boat yet but plan to have both solar and wind gen.

I am reading lots of stuff and amazed that this fighting between the solar and wind has not been solved yet.

I realize there may be more than one way to do it but surely there are only one or two "best" ways.

I am totally confused.

Do the manufacturers of solar and wind not talk to each other?
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Old 14-10-2007, 18:23   #37
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I have been folowing this thread and have questons that I haven't seen answered. I am refiting my boat and have a Aerogen 6 wind generator and the regulator that Aerogen sells for it. It has 2 dump resistors so I guess it is a true generator not a alternator. The regulator has two outputs for 2 banks. I have 2 banks one with one group 27 battery and the other with 2 group 31 batterys. I have a outboard engine so I do not have to worry about engine starting but I also don't have a alternator to charge with.

Right now I have the wind gen wired to the battery switch so that each bank has a lead from the regulator.

I have thought of some options to add solar but don't know what would work best.

I could put both leads from the wind regulator to one bank and the solar to the other. When I wanted to charge both banks from one source I could parallel the batterys with the "both" positon on the switch.

Or I could put the solar and one lead of the wind on the 2 battery bank and the other bank just the other wind but this would let the wind and solar see each other on that bank.

Or I could wire both to both banks but then they would always see each other

Or (and this might not work at all) wire the wind and solar both to the input side of the regulator and let it regulate both of them. If that would work it would save a lot of trouble, another regulator and keep the regulator seeing true battery voltage. Would it not dump the output from the solar as well as the generator when the batterys were up?

I don't have the generator mounted yet and haven't bought a solar pannel I but I do have the boat wired and am working on mounting the generator.
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Old 14-10-2007, 19:01   #38

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The trick seems to be -- and in my limited knowledge I've never heard of one yet -- to build an integrated charge controller than functions as an MPPT charge controller for the solar panels, effectively extracting another 10-30% power from them into the batteries, and still integrating and controlling the GENERATOR power from the wind sets, or using a true alternator (reduce the excite power to reduce the output, intead of dumping it) or feather the blades to prevent excess generation) so as to integrate the two very different power sources without simply dumping perfectly good power. I suppose one way to do that would be to use wind power and turn it into superheated steam (instead of dumping it) and then build that steam pressure as propulsive power for the boat. Steam engines are damned efficient--in modern designs.

For right now, AFAIK you are looking at two different power system paradigms that simply don't co-operate much about anything.
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Old 15-10-2007, 12:21   #39
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The ideal solution seems simple enough in principle, but then again so is sending electricity without using wires. When you get right down to it, a lot of problems present themselves.

A "perfect" charge controller, in my mind, would allow multiple voltage inputs, including AC. You could simulate a 1v load, thereby causing everything to try to dump all its power into the charge. You'd have a lot of heat you'd need to deal with (especially from the AC).

You could prioritize inputs, saying to use all the solar panel output first. Then if needed use the wind generator. Then if needed use the AC.

It would be tricky.

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generator, wind generator

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