Rick avatar image
Rick asked

Where do I connect my AC hydro generator power in to my Easy Solar 48v, and what voltage range does it accept?

We've been enjoying using our Easy Solar 48v/3000, charging BYD lithium batteries for the summer with solar panels, waiting for my hydro system to be up and running for the winter. Can someone please point me in the right direction for plugging in the AC power from the hydro turbine - I'll need to set up a dump load or two to my hot water cylinder and heater, but what voltage range, AC/DC format, and frequency can the Victron unit accept? And where do I connect this?


Hydro and Wind Power
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Rick avatar image Rick commented ·

OK, so could I use the circuit set up for my AC generator? The guys who set up my system gave me an AC power plug and cable, that when plugged in to my generator begins to draw 2 kW from it. Or would you have a better suggestion?

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sean avatar image sean Rick commented ·

Can you provide more details as to the nature of the AC output from your hydro unit ?

Is this wild AC direct from the windings ?

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stokie77 avatar image stokie77 sean commented ·
Hi Sean, the turbine has 3 phase output, no neutral, not sure what voltage it'll produce yet, but I was planning to rectify to bumpy DC and transform it down to the ideal voltage at the Victron end of the cable. My 48v BYD lithium battery box looks pretty complex, and I don't want to mess that up.
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Grant Cleveland avatar image Grant Cleveland commented ·

Hi Rick

I'm trying to do the same thing, and seem to be having limited success in getting help from anyone with this challenge. Could let me know if you managed to find a solution? I'd be most appreciative if you could let me know.

Many thanks!


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stokie77 avatar image stokie77 Grant Cleveland commented ·
Hi Grant, Sorry about the slow reply - I've just seen your comment - it's now mid 2021.

I haven't found a solution yet, but I met a Victron installer / field repair guy who told me I'd be able to use the built-in relay to switch on dump loads when the battery bank was fully charged, and he thought my rectified DC from the turbine would be ok to include as a solar DC input, provided I adjusted the turbine speed / motor windings to give the right voltage.

Sadly, he was recently killed in a tractor accident, so I'm none the wiser.

Any advances at your end?

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lief ryan avatar image lief ryan commented ·

hi, don't know if you managed to get your system running or not but a few ideas are

1 rectify the ac from your hydro turbine and then use a grid tie inverter ac coupled to the victron ac out (assuming the easy solar supports frequency shifting, check with victron)

2 rectify the ac from the hydro turbine and connect directly to the batteries and use a dumpload controller (morningstar Tristar) with a resistor big enough to absorb the max power output from the hydro turbine

Full system specs would help.

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stokie77 avatar image stokie77 lief ryan commented ·
Thanks Lief, I really appreciate your suggestions.

I'm also thinking that another possible way (less automatic, of course) would be to simply treat my turbine as a diesel generator, and manually turn it on (it's 110m away from my Victron system) with a slow-acting 220v motorised valve (27 mA motor) on the water pipe, triggered to open/shut by a signal from the ethernet cable I'm planning to lay beside the power cable from the turbine and the 230v cable from my Victron unit.

I only need the turbine in the winter anyway, as in the other months there is ample solar energy available. It hopefully won't be any more bother to turn on and off when required than my diesel generator.

The tricky bit would be to rectify the 3 phase to bumpy DC, and adjust the voltage of the turbine (by either winding modification, turbine water pressure adustment, or transformer at the top of the cable, to get the Victron system to accept it as a solar panel input.

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mt-geek avatar image mt-geek stokie77 commented ·

What is the wattage of your hydro system and type of generator. if it a small system I would go DC. If it over 2000 watts go AC with a frequency regulating dump load like a humming bird. If it is a induction generator I do not know if your inverter can act as an exciter. or use a frequency regulator made for induction generator put on the AC input of the inverter / charger. or just a charger.

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2 Answers
wkirby avatar image
wkirby answered ·

There is nowhere to connect hydro or wind directly to an Easysolar. The MPPT controller inside is designed for solar only.

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Grant Cleveland avatar image
Grant Cleveland answered ·


I did finally manage to get this working, and have been pretty happy with the result.

So my incoming supply from the hydro generator is AC. I used a full wave bridge rectifier to convert this into DC. I then used a Midnite Classic 200 charge controller to get a 'clean' power supply coming in and stable at 48v (to match my batteries). I then connected that DC supply directly to the battery unit, in parallel with the Victron EasySolar connections. I have the BYD B-Box battery unit, so there are multiple terminals on the battery connection plate. (This unit also has a battery management unit which is helpful). Then on the EasySolar System, I enabled the config option for DC supply unit. This allowed the incoming supply from the hydro to show on the colour control screen.

All in all I have been pretty happy with the performance so far.

Some background to this:

I had initially wanted to avoid buying the midnite solar classic charge controller. It's expensive, and reasonably it should be possible to make do without it. However, to avoid having this you need: 1. to rewind your turbine head to get your voltage to match your battery specs. 2. the water supply through your turbine needs to be pretty stable. I wasn't willing to rewind the turbine head, and our water supply is highly variable. So the midnite charge controller was a necessary purchase. That said, I've been very happy with it.


nite time, and summer so our river is low, so not much coming in right now. But I usually get stable 520w from the hydro turbine.

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shahn avatar image shahn commented ·
Thanks for posting this Grant! Such a great help.

What turbine are you using?

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Grant Cleveland avatar image Grant Cleveland shahn commented ·

You're welcome.

I'm using a ME1603 generator:

With a blue turbo runner from here:

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basil katakuzinos avatar image basil katakuzinos commented ·
Could you do this with a victron MPPT instead of the Midnite Clasic?
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markus avatar image markus ♦♦ basil katakuzinos commented ·
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Grant Cleveland avatar image Grant Cleveland basil katakuzinos commented ·

Yes I think you could use whatever charge controller suited your purpose.

The point is just to provide stable current into your batteries. At the risk of reiterating my original comment: It's worth noting that the incoming supply from my hydro did not connect to the EasySolar unit directly. I connected to my battery bank in parallel to the EasySolar unit.

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