How To Install Dump Load Regulator Tristar






etc. You will need larger wire for the longer wire runs in most cases - see page 51. Use fuses that will blow before your chosen wires can overheat. Check their current ratings based on size and insulation type.

Test Alternator Circuit Diagram

in series. Connect the pairs to each other in parallel to add capacity* The circuit diagram shows a typical layout. The positive and negative connections to the inverter, rectifier etc are best connected to different ends of the parallel links so as to even out the wiring resistance between battery strings.

Never disconnect thf battery and leave the wind turbine connected to the inverter or charge controller alone, because the voltage will rise sharply and damage the electronics. The charge controller is unlikely to be able to prevent this voltage rise without the presence of batteries.

All the circuits from the batter) must pass through fuses that are chosen to earn the maximum current in

the circuit but will blow before the wiring gets overloaded. It is normal to put the fuses in the positive wire. Strictly speaking there should be a fuse in each negative wire too unless the negative is earthed.

TfiQ rectifiermdlirake

Where the rectifier is at the battery there will be three wires arriving from the turbine. It s a good practice to bring these three wires first to a brake switch that can be used to park the turbine while you work on the rest of the wiring. Never disconnect the wind turbine without first applying a short circuit to the wires so as to prevent it from running awav, A low-tech way to do this is just to have three wire tails that you connect together when you wish to brake the turbine,

solution is to use a big 2-pole main 1

switch from a household fuse panel.

The rectifier consists of diodes but they are often packaged into bridge rectifiers already. A 3-phase bridge rectifier will have five terminals on it and look something like this:

You should fit lugs to the ends of the wires with a crimping tool and then screw them on to the rectifier.

Group your batteries in series strings that add up to the desired system voltage, In a 24-volt system for example you could use pairs of 12-volt batteries wired

Another solution that is less costly is to use several singlephase' rectifier blocks that look like this:

Axial Flux Alternator

The AC terminals are in opposite corners, and the positive DC terminal is at right angles to the others.

^ mi ran t i mmrl with high quality PIDG crimp 1 receptacles' or solder

Make good connections or they will heat up and the diodes will fail Rectifiers need to be bolted to a heavy aluminium heatsink to keep them cool. Scrap aluminium will do, provided it is clean. Use heatsink compound' under the rectifier to improve the contact.

The single-phase bridge package contains four diodes and you can use it for two of your AC wires, placing the third wire on a separate block. But a better solution is to use three of these single-phase units and to combine the two AC terminals on each unit so as to reduce the current in each diode and prolong its life:

Batten' negative

Batten' negative

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Battery positive


Connect an ammeter in the line from the rectifier to the battery so that you can see what the wind turbine is putting out. A moving coil meter with a needle on a scale is easiest, because current changes so rapidly over a wide range. For more data you may also wish to fit a more sophisticated meter such as the lDr Wattson* amp-hour meters that are now available at low cost-

It is important to have a good battery voltmeter (with its own small fuse for safety), A clear digital display is really helpful when reading battery voltage because small changes are significant

You will need a load controller to protect the battery from over-charge. The Morningstar Tristar 45 or 60 amp controllers can be configured to work as 'diversion load1 controllers and will dump some current into heaters if the wind turbine produces more than the batteries need. 1 use 300 watt resistors from Famell (see suppliers list) as dump load heaters. A

one ohm heater works well at 14 volts, and a ohm heater is suitable for 28 volt operation. These are typical battery charging voltages for 12 and 24 volt (nominal) systems. These heaters will dump up to 14 and 9 amps respectively* Add more heaters in parallel until you have enough load to absorb all that the wind turbine can produce together with any extra solar PV charging current that is not already regulated.

You can also build your own charge controller using circuits available on the web - for example on my own web site at



There are many options for buying an inverter that will give you AC power from your batteries. Choose your inverter before deciding what voltage your wind turbine should be. Bear in mind that higher voltage systems use less copper in the wiring, so try to find a 48-volt or 24-volt inverter unless you have a good reason for wanting a 12-volt system.

Cheap inverters can work very well, but the more expensive sine-wave models are slightly better if you can afford to pay the difference. Buy a big enough inverter to meet your highest demand, bearing in mind that some items (such as fridges) need a hefty surge of power to start up even though they do not use much once running. Keep the inverter close to the battery and connect it with heavy wires but do not sit it on top of the battery in a small compartment or it will corrode. Better to separate the battery from the inverter by a bulkhead or partition wall.

If you are using a 'grid connect' inverter without batteries then take great care that the wind turbine voltage does not rise too high and destroy the inverter The inverter will not load the turbine all the time. You will need a controller that brings heaters un in time to stop the voltage going wild.

Wire up the batteries and controller and most importantly the brake switch before you erect the wind turbine for the first time. You would not test drive a car without brakes. The wind turbine will overspeed if not connected to a load. This will not immediately damage it but it is a stressful mode of operation and can be alarming to watch. If you run the wind turbine without batteries connected ihen the high voltage will destroy any inverter or other electronics that are connected to it

Commissioning the turbine

Get the electrical system completed, and get the tower erected and adjusted and lowered again. Make sure that all the nuts are locked so that they cannot vibrate loose, and the blades are properly balanced. Install it on the tower and check that it spins freely. Then check that the brake switch works by applying it and trying to spin the rotor. Finally erect the tower with the turbine on it fake the brake off and enjoy the fruits of your labours.

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UVrino the tower

The wiring inside the tower needs to be tough and flexible to withstand movement of the turbine on I he tower top. 1 recommend using three single, 4tri rated1, flexible equipment wires. A sheathed cable (with three cores) would withstand more abrasion, but is less able to take hundreds of twists, so overall I prefer using three single conductors. Leave plenty of slack wire. You can slip a large bore piece of plastic pipe over the wires where they emerge at the bottom if it looks as if they will rub on the steel This also protects them against being chewed by livestock But keep it loose and easy to see the extent of any twisting so that you can take action if necessary.

On turbulent sites, fit a plug and socket to the wires at the tower base and untwist them periodically. But on most good sites the twists will build up quite slowly and there will be no need to worry for a few years.

Use 'steel wire armoured' (swa) cable from the tower base to the rcctifier at the battery shed. The copper conductors insidr should be as heavy as possible. You may be able to find length of this in scrap vards. Connect thick wires together cheaply and effectively by pushing them inside 30 mm of copper pipes (small bores such as 8 or 10 mm pipe) stripped and laid side by side, and crimping them thoroughly. You may wish to include three branch wires in the junction at the tower base, for short circuiting the turbine during tower erection.

Current in the wiring to the rectifier will produce a 'volt-drop' in the wires. Here are some wire sizes fin that would be suitabte for 50 metre runs with io% loss of voltage at full power current:

Low Rpm Axial Flux Alternator

Turbine diameter

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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