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Are Vertical Axis Wind Generator worth it?


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10 hours ago, Muchachos said:

Can I add 1 Extra Panel to each the existing 4x405W String to max out the charge controller?

No, you will exceed the voltage rating of the MPPT if it gets cold.

10 hours ago, Muchachos said:

As a start what is the difference between normal slope E/W and vertical or near vertical East-West arrays?

Normal slope I am referring to your roof pitch slope, vertical is self-explanatory. Not many people go vertical.

10 hours ago, Muchachos said:

This sounds like the easiest option. Is it safe to assume that if I get 4x405W E and 4x405W West I should expect an additional 700W for my 6-10am and 2-6pm window?

This would also mean an additional 700w*5% for overcast days? 

Probably in this ballpark, but I think you are being slightly optimistic with these numbers.

 

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Just to throw another idea into the pot,..... what if you got a second charge controller strictly for East/West facing arrays? In my own solar setup I have three controllers. Two 40A controllers are for my North facing array and one 60A controller is for East/West facing arrays. I now have three solar peaks during the day. (Thanks to phil.g00’s wisdom 😁)  

If you had just one more charge controller you could have three solar peaks during the day. It doesn’t have to be a big controller. For example a 40A controller (costing around R5k) could possibly have a 2000W East facing array as well as a 2000W West facing array. 

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17 hours ago, Solaris said:

If you had just one more charge controller you could have three solar peaks during the day. It doesn’t have to be a big controller. For example a 40A controller (costing around R5k) could possibly have a 2000W East facing array as well as a 2000W West facing array. 

Hmm. This is sounding like a possibility. Just a few questions

If I have 4x400W East and 4x400W west would these generate 2000W at peak? 

Do I have to use the same panels as the north facing array or can I get cheaper different ones?

When would the east facing start generation power, what time do they peak and when do stop generating? Same for the west?

 

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3 hours ago, Muchachos said:

 

If I have 4x400W East and 4x400W west would these generate 2000W at peak?

It is possible, but depends on too many factors to say for sure. At noon the separate arrays will be producing less than optimal power so having a combined total wattage of 3200w which is now producing half/half at a reduced rate could equal around 2000w on some days. 
 

3 hours ago, Muchachos said:

Do I have to use the same panels as the north facing array or can I get cheaper different ones?

Not at all. It is a separate solar system on a separate MPPT which can have any panels of your choice. On my own system I have three MPPT’s. I have one with 150w panels (North facing), another with 305w panels (North facing) and the third one with 330w panels(East/West facing).
 

3 hours ago, Muchachos said:

When would the east facing start generation power, what time do they peak and when do stop generating? Same for the west?

Once again, too many factors to give exact numbers. This morning when I left home at 6:30 my east facing array (6 x 330w panels) was already charging at 1.5A and while this is very small and seems insignificant, the sun had only just come up... By around 9am I am charging at around 23A. I peak at around 10:30am at roughly 28A. Then my north facing arrays start to peak at 12pm, while the east array tapers off. In the afternoon, things are less productive as panels are warmer and produce less. So by around 3pm the west array (4x 330w panels) starts peaking at about 18A. The west array stops producing power at around 5:30pm. Sadly on the west side I have no more roof space for additional panels, but I am planning a ground mount to cover the rest of the afternoon sun. 
Also remember that the sun moves more to the south side of the sky in summer, so your East/west array will produce more in summer than in winter.

Many solar enthusiasts have several arrays of different orientations and facing different directions so as to optimize throughout the day and throughout the year.

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hmm.. I have 16x405W panels all north facing and the idea of E/W facing panels is growing on me. I do not want to spend more that R30k.

 

image.png.6ce6375c00a21be7ad5f8fa482740a6b.png

Looking at the above graph, I am thinking of moving 4 of the current N facing panels to be E facing . The getting an additional 4 panels to be east facing. without getting a new charge controller.

@phil.g00 and @Solaris could this configuration result me getting close to the 5500W rate peak of the controller? 

Would my peak move from 10 - 14 at 5100 to maybe 9-16 at 5300?

If this can work I can get away with adding more panels and an extra battery for R30K instead of a Wind Generator.

 

6 hours ago, Solaris said:

Once again, too many factors to give exact numbers. This morning when I left home at 6:30 my east facing array (6 x 330w panels) was already charging at 1.5A and while this is very small and seems insignificant, the sun had only just come up... By around 9am I am charging at around 23A. I peak at around 10:30am at roughly 28A. Then my north facing arrays start to peak at 12pm, while the east array tapers off. In the afternoon, things are less productive as panels are warmer and produce less. So by around 3pm the west array (4x 330w panels) starts peaking at about 18A. The west array stops producing power at around 5:30pm. Sadly on the west side I have no more roof space for additional panels, but I am planning a ground mount to cover the rest of the afternoon sun. 

Do you have a graph that shows this? Pictures are much more easy for me. 

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14 hours ago, Muchachos said:

Looking at the above graph, I am thinking of moving 4 of the current N facing panels to be E facing . The getting an additional 4 panels to be east facing. without getting a new charge controller.

Moving some of the north panels and facing them East will definitely lower your midday peak. By how much once again depends on too many factors to give exact amounts .. As an estimate you are going to loose one quarter of your midday production and move it to earlier in the day. Therefore you will have a lower midday peak of around 4200w (at a guess), but make more production time. So on a graph it will be a flatter, longer curve.

If you plan to add another 4 panels, I would rather face them west, making the solar day longer. However, east facing panels will be cooler and more productive. I would estimate your peak to start at around 9am and end at around 3pm depending on the gradient of the East/West facing panels. 

Even with these changes I don’t see the solar production getting anywhere near your 5500w peak. 

14 hours ago, Muchachos said:

Do you have a graph that shows this? Pictures are much more easy for me. 

Sorry I don’t have a monitoring system hooked up, I purely look at what my charge controllers say. I make my system as simple and straightforward as possible without fancy gizmos. I will take pictures of the controllers over the next few days and post them for you to see. 

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1 hour ago, Solaris said:

I will take pictures of the controllers over the next few days and post them for you to see. 

Thanks this would be cool to see. 

 

1 hour ago, Solaris said:

Even with these changes I don’t see the solar production getting anywhere near your 5500w peak. 

Is there a chance that I might get to the voltage limit when it gets cold?

I am getting excited about this configuration change. Seems like I am going to be a solar addict quicker than I expected.

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21 minutes ago, Muchachos said:

How does coldness affect voltage of a system?

Read the specs of your panel, there is a temperature coefficient for voltage, meaning the Voc will rise as it gets colder.

If it gets cold enough the Voc will exceed 50V, meaning that 5 panels in a string will exceed 250V.

You may get away with it on the coast, but generally in the low minuses it exceeds 50V.

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1 hour ago, Muchachos said:

Is there a chance that I might get to the voltage limit when it gets cold?

As this has not happened before, I don’t see it happening just because of changing the orientation of some panels. 
 

1 hour ago, Muchachos said:

Seems like I am going to be a solar addict quicker than I expected.

Believe me, solar power is like a drug!! 
After you are done these proposed changes to you system, you will be looking for more ways to be adding panels. You will constantly be checking your roof, to see how you can squeeze another few panels into what little space is left over. If the roof is full, you will want to build a carport and use solar panels as a “roof” so that you can have more panels. At some stage you will probably want another charge controller. Then the battery bank will need to grow... You mentioned earlier that you don’t want to spend more than R30k on this. There will be more.... 😂😂😂😂 

Most people on this forum has been through this. Many are still going through this. 
All I can say is: “Welcome to our world!” 😁

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1 hour ago, Solaris said:

All I can say is: “Welcome to our world!” 😁

Thank I do feel welcome. This community is alive.

To my new changes. My current panels are 4 series and 4 parallel.

 

I will move one parallel series from the north to the east.

Is adding the west 4 in series as simple as adding a fuse for them on the DB and I am ready to go.

 

One thing important to mention, my cable to the batteries was over heating after a few days of the installation. The charge controller has an error #26 charge terminal overheat. The guy that installed the system then double up on the charge cables. Is this something I need to be worries about with these changes?

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33 minutes ago, Muchachos said:

One thing important to mention, my cable to the batteries was over heating after a few days of the installation.

Overheating generally happens for 2 reasons:

1. The cross-section of the cable is too small for the amount of current you want it to carry.

2. A loose connection.

For 1.) There are a host of current capacity tables on the www.

for 2.) It is normally localized heating at the poor connection. ( It's always nice if someone can lend you a Flir).

Edited by phil.g00
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On 2020/09/12 at 11:50 PM, Muchachos said:

Hi, 

I leave in the city and I am considering getting a wind generator to augment my solar capacity.

I ideally need a wind generator that would be installed on the roof and not make much noise.  The vertical axis wind generators seem to be the best fit for this. 

Looking around I found the ATLAS2.0 Wind Turbine 2KW.   ATLAS2.0 2000W Wind Turbine (Fully optimized for ground conditions)

Is there anyone using this wind generator or similar and what is your experience?

 

I can't comment on the brand name my response would be baised but vertical axis wind turbines especially cheap china models are know to break appart under high wind speeds due to the high inertia on the outside of the rotors there are very few successful vertical axis wind turbines available in SA the reasons for that is the high cost and maintenance required.

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23 hours ago, Muchachos said:

Thanks this would be cool to see.

I took this pics this morning from 6:30 onward. Roughly every hour thereafter I took the next one.. 

6:30 the sun had just come up.

image.thumb.jpeg.1b15f57935e1ee8888fcffc18d1a4b01.jpeg

7:30
image.thumb.jpeg.4f20daa137349866261d729432eaff5b.jpeg

8:30

image.thumb.jpeg.67ed645a43da290dcb191705a50c1e19.jpeg

9:30

image.thumb.jpeg.3071bebbb7b1e5496ed65f61903e0bfa.jpeg

 

Then at 10am I had to go to town and couldn’t take more pics.  By 10:30 it was probably around 1500w to 1600w. 

Never mind the battery voltage at 8:30, that was when the kettle was on.

What I am illustrating here is that this East facing array (6x330w) starts charging from quite early in the day. You want to avoid midday peaks as we are all limited to a certain number of watts. Rather keep that number lower for a longer time than have very high charge rate for 2 hours around midday. 

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1 hour ago, Muchachos said:

What does it look like now? For both east and west?

It is quite overcast now, so I am only getting 450w from the east/west arrays. Although this 450w would be mostly from the west at this time of the day.
Because these two arrays are on the one MPPT, there is no way of telling how much each side is producing separately. It just peaks at roughly 10:30am and 3pm.

I would definitely recommend going for a combination of east, west and north arrays and keep the charging current down. 

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On 2020/09/18 at 2:07 PM, Muchachos said:

Thanks this would be cool to see


12:30

image.thumb.jpeg.42a9405c08f1c86989bb301df1a20f0f.jpeg

 

As can be seen, the 10:30 pic gives the highest production for this East/West array. By the time 12:30 came along this east side of the array was tapering off and my North arrays were peaking (at around 3000w). Then the clouds came along and my afternoon peak never happened. I think the highest I saw was 400w or so.. 

This is the best configuration for me. Having at least 1000w, or more from 8am all the way until 4pm is better than having 5000w of unusable power at midday. 😁

 

 

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Great,

This does help. I will update my model for the expected East West arrays that I am planning.

The East modelling seem to be going well. The current assumptions are 20,40,50,60,80,80,70,60 at 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 respectively. I just need to do the same for the West. Expecting it to carry the peak production till 15h00 and then drop.

 

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20 hours ago, Muchachos said:

20,40,50,60,80,80,70,60 at 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 respectively.

These figures seem a little optimistic if you only have 4 x 400w panels  facing East. 
I have 6 x 330w panels facing East, and only get 28.5A at 10:30. Unless you plan to add more.....

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