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Old 12-17-2007
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KISS wind gen - how to auto regulate

Hi, I have a Kiss Energy wind generator.

I noticed another brand of wind gen that has an auto shut down and restart feature, as it is needed. Essentually shutting down when there is too much wind and restarting (say after the fridge kicks in) automatically as needed.

Kiss is non-regulated, whatever that means. The volts come in AC and is converted to DC. It does have a manual off switch but there must be a way to add an auto off/on?

The wind had been blowing here over 20knots for 2 or 3 days. I came back to the boat (even with the fridge on) and the batts showed 16.4volts. I quickly shut it down and it went to 13.2volts. I have two new 4D gel batts. I don't want to damage my $1000 bank of batts. Any suggestions?
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If the Kiss WindGen has a brake input, and you have a regulator on its output, like the FlexCharge NC25A, you can take the divert output on the NC25a and feed it into the brake input and it will slow the Kiss windgen down as well as prevent it from over charging your batteries.

BTW, 16.4 VDC is enough to boil off the electrolyte in a gel-battery IIRC.
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Old 12-17-2007
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Trozden: There's a few ways this is done. First, you can add a simple charge controller that pulses input as voltage approaches a maximum, then cuts the turbine loose -- just opens the circuit. The danger is that small turbines spin pretty fast and need a load to keep their RPMs in check. Left to freewheel, they can tear themselves to bits. Dunno if the KISS is made to survive unloaded operation or not.

Second means is mechanical braking. Fancy turbines may pitch their blades; some manually or automatically turn the rotor at right angles to the tail; but a few have tried actual friction devices to slow or stop the rotor (disc or drum brakes, basically). These last tend to wear out, but they can give you a positive shutdown until they do.

Third means is alternator braking. Basically the controller shorts the turbine leads together, either in pulses (SWWP AirX) or continuously (Bergey XL1). It'll spare the batteries for sure, and it may slow the turbine in medium or light winds. High winds can overpower the braking force of the coils, alas, and the turbine can begin revving up anyhow. Then you are likely in for a fried stator or rectifier. The electrons got nowhere to go, and oooh do those coil get hot!

Final (and best) means is to get yerself a slightly smarter controller ( or a second, dumb one like the Trace C40) that can manage a diversion load. You set it so upon reaching full battery charge, the turbine's power gets shunted to a mighty resistor. Turby's always kept under load, batteries are spared. I use an Outback MX60 as a solar controller, because the Bergey turbine controller's dump load is too stupid for words. When the Outback senses battery bus voltage is about 28.8VDC for a set period of time, a small current is sent to a solid-state relay, which diverts the wind turbine input to parallel water-heater elements. The MX60 is so smart, it knows hysteresis -- that is, it'll keep the diversion load on until battery voltage falls below a value you select.

Some folks use banks of lightbulbs, or air-heating elements, or similar for their dump loads. I don't like the hazard they present, and I find water can soak up a whole lot more watts than air. Plus hot water is always welcome!

ETA: You can't use hardware-store water heater elements for low-voltage DC, by the way. You can buy special DC elements (ouchouchouch, $80 each); or, if you have an inverter that can handle the strain, use cheapo household elements wired for 110V on a dedicated AC circuit switched by the solid-state relay. That's how mine works. My neighbor actually uses a dedicated (manky Harbor Freight) inverter upstream of his water heating element.
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Last edited by bobmcgov; 12-17-2007 at 10:46 PM.
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thanks guys, ok I'm leaning towards getting the flexcharge nc25a-12 although i wonder if another controller would do the job better.

I have an inverter inline with my AC wiring and a AC type water heater. just for kicks i flipped it on for a sec. The amp draw on the batts was in the neighborhood of 135amps. How do you get a 5-15amp wind gen to run an inverter and an AC heating element? will it still heat when connected on a diverted wind gen source, just not as much? I do like the divert to heating element idea. Hot water or even somewhat warm water would be nice. I'm thinking I may want to pull the element from my hot water tank and switch it to 12vDC.
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BTW, kissenergy.com still has the installation manual online. (i installed it on '05) they say, don't regulate.




I'm also wondering how this is going to be incorporated into the kiss wiring with the AC input, the diode block, and the switch.. see thier diagram..


Last edited by trodzen; 12-17-2007 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 12-18-2007
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We need to be careful what they mean by "regulate" here.
They talk about regulation, but do not mention voltage.

They mean charge energy management, it would seem, and are arguing that you can over-supply 6 A continuously to a 250 Ahr battery bank (for example), effectively using your battery as the device to lose the excess energy from an anattended wind generator.

So, that's a 6 A continuous overcharge... 144 Ahr overcharge each day... to the battery bank and there will be no consequence? So the battery is heated by about 80 W day and night and does not object, does not boil off electrolyte, does not dry the battery gel?

Be very wary of technical literature that uses the wrong units. Professional engineers that know their game do not use the term "amps" when they mean amp hour. Also, what are the criteria for the claiml that you you could have a continuous overcharge of 6A on a (say) 250 Ahr battery bank without damage? Presumably 7 A woud damage it, and 6 would not?

Beware.
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