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houser avatar image

Could Victron do wind too in the future?

Hello,

Could Victron relatively easily add wind modes for the current crop of MPPT smart controllers?

As companies like Midnite Solar have added useful wind and water modes to their regular solar controllers, I was wondering if Victron might consider doing the same in the near future?

I would assume I am not going to get any clear answers on this, but have been building a regular solar system with Victron mppt controllers and VRM and am very happy with it.
In adding a wind turbine the obvious path would be something that ties into the same system flawlessly. Grateful for any hints ;)

MPPT - Solar Charge ControllerVRM
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5 Answers
WKirby avatar image

I agree, they should have a product to tap these types of generation.
There are lots of wind controllers out there, but as far as I can tell, only Midnite currently offer the system integration which I also think is quite valuable.

I think that they could add more features than the Midnite offering, easier configuration just one of the things that come to mind including Venus and VRM integration, of course.
There are probably a lot more features they could add to make a really good wind / hydro unit.

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Thanks WKirby,

Good to know others are thinking along these lines.

I am buying a wind controller soon regardless. But maybe the next one..

Personally I'd be interested in such an option as well, able to program in an arbitrary profile and feedback ouputs so they can essentially be interfaced to virtually any generator. In an ideal scenario, even the algorithm can be tweaked (obviously that would have go in as non-official mod).

ripper avatar image

I would assume the load output couldt be programmed as a dump load or as a driver of say a battery protect as relay to short cut the generator and thereby brake it? Isn't that almost everything necessary to drive a tiny generator?

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houser avatar image

Just a friendly bump if there is anything at all on the horizon regarding this..
Still looking for this gear for our existing Victron GX solar setup. Many thanks for any hints or feedback if there is anything on the market that fills this void yet?

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Wildebus avatar image

I am interested in Wind like others on this thread and as a forerunner have installed a local IP-enabled weather station so I can monitor and see if it could be a viable option at my location (it certainly seems windy enough!)


This is really just an observation ... I used to use a product called the Power Integrator PI25C, made by Amperor Associates, a small company based in Scotland. This was a combination B2B Charger and MPPT Controller.

This device supported up to 200W of "renewable" power via two separate inputs, one dedicated to Solar, and one dedicated to Wind (both used simulaneously)

However ... the Wind input could just as easily be used for another Solar Panel (and that is how I used them both on Campervans - one 100W PV Panel into each connection).

This product used to retail at around £160 (and I used to get them trade at under £100) for a Combo B2B/MPPT/Solar Charge-Controller (a super price!)

So my point really is that it cannot be that complex to add Wind Support on to an MPPT controller and it also must be able to be done at minimal cost if this company could do it at such an affordable price.

Sadly, Amperor Associates are not around anymore, but their product WAS good and I never had issues with them.



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So when the batteries were full and wind speeds were high, was this particular charge controller able to 'dump' the excess power somewhere to limit the wind turbine from over-speeding and/or prevent over-voltage?

This is the more dangerous aspect of wind / hydro and the more difficult aspect to deal with and regulate.

Also during charging the charge controller ideally needs to keep the turbine operating in the peak efficiency region to get the most out of it.

Once this is done the final conversion to the correct battery charge voltage and profile is the final and easy part.

As I said, I used both connections for PV, so I wouldn't know from personal experience, but as it was designed to work with Wind, I would imagine they had considered that aspect, no?

Well the excess power needs to 'go somewhere', even if converted into heat. With a mini wind turbine (100W) this aspect might be overlooked / neglected all together.

When you start talking about the need to burn up and control 1000W+ it gets a bit more difficult.

Also, a 2m+ diameter wind turbine blade over-speeding during a freak 100km/h+ wind and distorying itself and anything around it also becomes a bit more serious / dangerous.

Markus avatar image

Hi @houser,

if Victron was to make such a product, what features should it have, how much should it cost?

Would you mind and share some of your thoughts here?

Best Regards,

Markus

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Hello Markus,

Well I of course have no deeper understanding of what would be possible to do with software only on current hardware, but if possible, just adding wind and perhaps water modes to the current line of smart solar chargers would make sense as an entry point? If possible, "just" add smart wind power curves and allow editing in the VRM so they appear in the VRM as non-solar sources.
That would have been sufficient for me at present, just using a diode to convert the AC to DC and then use it as is. This already works, but is not terribly efficient so far in my current setup.

The benefits for integration and charge synching and such are probably obvious.

The next level would perhaps be new units that allow physical direct AC inputs and also standard things like RPM, windspeed, braking and perhaps dumploads and such. But I am sure others would have more specific ideas about what would make sense from a market perspective.
The price points would perhaps be similar to the solar version for small to medium wind turbines. Larger stuff is well beyond my area of knowledge.
Hope this helps.

@Markus

Since I am searching for possible options to add windpower into a Victron based system, I offer some "wishes" on what a product line could look like:

- Different models of MPPT for power up to 400w and up to say 3kw wind turbine

- 12/24/48V capability

- Physical Dumploads

- Connectivity into GX/Venus/VRM.

- The key part is intelligent integration with Multi/Quattros and other charging devices on the system. It should be a trivial setup to configure a prioritization of charging like "Consumption loads -> charge battery 100% -> enagage external trigger (heater core until tempsensor reaches threashold) -> engage dumpload". Today - my understanding is that such a configuration is border line possible without using external automation outside the realm of Victron VRM.

- The price point should ideally be slightly less than comparable power for solar MPPT, due to the higher cost of windturbines vs solar panels over the life span and the lack of simple expansion. Adding a few more solar panels when the economy allows is something different than getting another big turbine. The cash up front is significantly higher for wind power.

Cheers!