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EwanB avatar image

Is there a charge controller that can handle both a hydro input and a solar input?

I want to use two power sources to charge a battery, which will in turn power a motor. I need to know how to design the circuit required so I can charge the battery from two sources

Solar Panelcharge controller compatibilityHydro and Wind Power
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3 Answers
WKirby avatar image

You'll need two charge conrtollers. One for each source.

It depends upon your hydro generator, But most charge controllers for solar will need some sort of Voltage clamping at the input to prevent overvoltage damaging the charge controller.

@Markus has done this:

https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2019/01/03/diy-ingenuity-hydro-power-mkii-part-i/

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I see, thank you. Do you know if there is a circuit diagram for Markus' project or how I could get in touch with him?

Bruce A. avatar image

Correction - I should have said: In my experience, a charge controller (CC) is not always appropriate to use between a hydro generator / alternator and a battery.

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Bruce A. avatar image

Hi Ewan,
In my experience, a charge controller (CC) is not always appropriate for hydro. That's because when the battery gets fully charged, the CC stops drawing current from the hydro generator / alternator, which without a load, might run much faster than when loaded, and consequently could wear out quickly or be damaged by excessive vibration.
If that would be the case, then an alternative is to connect the hydro output directly to the battery (with over-current protection of course), and use a CC that can be set to dump energy in to a load (e.g. an open-air resistance coil) when battery charging does not require the full hydro output. In this case the CC, rather than doing the usual cutting off the current when the battery is (nearly) fully charged, needs to do the opposite, and start passing current then. There are CCs available that can be set to operate in this 'inverse' mode.

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