Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hooking up the other stuff

Today, I will briefly touch on how to hook up a battery bank, fuses, load dump controller, and inverter. The following example in the picture isn't the only way to do it, but it is a good "poor man's" alternative. You could just hook up the battery straight to the windmill with just a diode in line. Then the battery could have a inverter hooked to it and no dump load controller or charge controller of any kind. In that case you would have to watch and make sure the batteries don't overcharge and you might have to turn on some more lights, tv, etc. to put a load on the inverter.

Another extreme entails all expensive equipment from the charge controller all the way to $6,000 inverter banks. I have chosen for my example a more simplistic and cheaper alternative.

In the above picture there is wire going from the windmill to the battery bank. The thickness of that wire depends on the length of wire and how many amps it is to take. This gauge number can be calculated by the "DC Motor Analyzer" software.

The shunt is a piece of stainless steel. This is described in my book Poor Man's Guide
to Homemade Amp Meters and also shown in the Shunt Designer software. By flipping the toggle switch to the right, the meter reads the battery voltage. If you set the meter to milivolts and flip the toggle switch to the left, then every milivolt is equal to 1 amp. For example, 5.4 milivolts would be 5.4 amps.

The breaker is there to protect the generator if furling doesn't happen at the right time. It should be rated at about 3 to 4 times the amp rating for the generator. The inverter has to be connected with very thick cable and never longer than 10 feet. I use 10 feet at double 0 gauge. The fuses for the inverter and the dump load controller should be mounted as close to the battery as possible. The size of the fuse just depends on how many amps you expect to draw. For example, if I had a 1500 watt inverter and I expected up to 2400 watt surge when starting a motor, then 2400 watts divided by 12 volt battery would be 200 amps. If it were a 24 volt battery, then that would mean 100 amps.

The dump load controller can be found here.


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