Wind power

Rocket T

New member
Has anyone used the Eco-Worthy 400W 12/24 wind generator in a hybrid combo with solar? If yes, can you share what your set up looks like. Thanks! Roc
 

borabora

Active member
On boats people mix wind generators and solar frequently. There should be no problem in general mixing the two technologies.. I don't know how familiar you are with wind power but most places don't have enough wind for useful power generation. Exceptions are some shorelines and some mountains. You really need a sustained ~18 mph and more wind speed for power generation purposes. Theoretical power generation grows with the square of the wind speed. In general, I don't think a wind generator makes sense for a van or RV but you may have special circumstances where it does...
 

Rocket T

New member
Thanks so much for your thoughts. Looked more closely at the power v wind speed charts and you are correct. At 7 mph < 50W are generated, and it’s not until 25mph that you get 150W. Too bad, I though or hoped it would be better.
I appreciate your time.
 

monoloco

Member
Also be aware that small wind turbines can be quite noisy, not a problem for a residential system where they can be remote from the home, but could be an issue if mounted to a vehicle.
 

Rocket T

New member
The other issue that I’ve failed to appreciate is the potential for vibration. Found one that has a fairly robust damper plate, but who really knows until you try it. Noise estimates seem to be 40db, I’ll have to check and see what that is equivalent to.

What is also hard to tease out is how well these things are made. Review numbers are low and there are not many to judge from.

From a cost standpoint, all else being equal, if I could generate 50W that should pay for itself in a year.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
One of the purpose of owning RV is to drive away from areas with heavy winds.
So what's the point?
 

borabora

Active member
The other issue that I’ve failed to appreciate is the potential for vibration. Found one that has a fairly robust damper plate, but who really knows until you try it. Noise estimates seem to be 40db, I’ll have to check and see what that is equivalent to.

What is also hard to tease out is how well these things are made. Review numbers are low and there are not many to judge from.

From a cost standpoint, all else being equal, if I could generate 50W that should pay for itself in a year.
You are not thinking of mounting a wind turbine on your Sprinter, are you?? My assumption was that you have some land or a semi-permanent spot where you put up the turbine feeding your van power but not mounted on your van.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
A turbines efficiency is a factor of blade area and tip velocity. Small turbines just don't make much power at any speed you would want to park in. This is especially true near the ground. Your better off with a portable solar panel or two, better use of space and weight. Boats have trouble with solar power due to shading and orientation variance. But are often exposed to high winds.
 
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Rocket T

New member
Yes, wind would be supplementary to solar on van. Generator would be about six feet off roof, attached via pole to a baseplate with articulation that would allow generator to kneel onto roof after blades are removed.
 

colddude

New member
I was thinking the same, mounted on van while driving...low profile scroll cage style? Not meant to create a perpetual motion debate...just thinking while driving or stationary (and no sun, no alternator charging), the wind generator can charge the house battery if it has decent output. I planed to have 2x 180W solar panels, so on paper a 400W wind gen would be nice.

I say on paper, because I actually planned to use an aux 600W inverter to top up the house battery while driving if necessary. Youtube has some 400W wind gen reviews and it appears to to never achieved such output...boating wind gens appear to be very common, but not ideal for moving van unless you are parked and setup a pole.
 

Rocket T

New member
I was thinking the same, mounted on van while driving...low profile scroll cage style? Not meant to create a perpetual motion debate...just thinking while driving or stationary (and no sun, no alternator charging), the wind generator can charge the house battery if it has decent output. I planed to have 2x 180W solar panels, so on paper a 400W wind gen would be nice.

I say on paper, because I actually planned to use an aux 600W inverter to top up the house battery while driving if necessary. Youtube has some 400W wind gen reviews and it appears to to never achieved such output...boating wind gens appear to be very common, but not ideal for moving van unless you are parked and setup a pole.
Yeah, I’ve given this a lot of though and reading time. The people at Missouri Wind advise against the investment saying the return will be disappointing unless you can get the turbine high up (50-60’). Most of these horizontal turbines have a start up speed of around 70mph which will generate about 30W. They don’t reach full potential until about 20-30mph, and even then many of the makers overestimate output.

I’ve been thinking recently of a horizontal turbine which would spin up when you drive. Top out put would be achieved easily but you would have look at top speed rating and automatic breaking in what would amount to Gail force winds.

You would have to make sure that the turbine had an MPPT controller on board as Ive been told that the Victron products won’t seem the turbine. I’m still intrigued and would love to be able to make it work. If I can find one that’s reasonably priced I might give it a try.

Let me know if you come up with anything cool.
Roc
 

colddude

New member
Correction: it’s the ‘vertical turbine that has a start up speed of around 7mph.’
Wind gen should be similar to solar in terms of variable output voltage and current, I imagine one could feed both solar and wind output into the same MPPT charger to the house battery. MPPT would regulate its output voltage to say 12V.

With zero true wind, as one drives at 50MPH, that's 50MPH apparent wind and should work? I'm over simplifying but those who sail would know what I mean...You are right the turbine would need braking to protect from overdrive, I do see one such traditional wind turbine on pole review with braking on YT...might be a nice GoFundMe project:

Output: 100-400W range (comparable to having solar)
Operating range: 10-80MPH, with braking (slow to freeway speed)
Diameter x Height: 6" x 4" (small), one can install several on a van :cool:
Onboard rectifier: convert sinusoidal output to rectified sine wave
 

borabora

Active member
Wouldn't it be simpler to just get the energy directly from the alternator or if you are ambitious a second alternator? The source of any energy generated is the diesel you are burning. I'd be surprised if the efficiency of a wind turbine mounted on a van as expressed as energy out versus extra fuel burned is better than 5-10%. Hybrid vehicles retrieve extra efficiency from the car's kinetic energy because the extra resistance can be turned off during times when slow down is not desired. Even if you could selectively let a wind turbine free spin when you don't want resistance, the blades and the structure that holds the turbine will have significant effect on MPG. It sounds like a fun project for a tinkerer to play with but from an efficient energy generation point of view it's whack-a-doodle (no offense).
 

colddude

New member
Wouldn't it be simpler to just get the energy directly from the alternator or if you are ambitious a second alternator? The source of any energy generated is the diesel you are burning. I'd be surprised if the efficiency of a wind turbine mounted on a van as expressed as energy out versus extra fuel burned is better than 5-10%. Hybrid vehicles retrieve extra efficiency from the car's kinetic energy because the extra resistance can be turned off during times when slow down is not desired. Even if you could selectively let a wind turbine free spin when you don't want resistance, the blades and the structure that holds the turbine will have significant effect on MPG. It sounds like a fun project for a tinkerer to play with but from an efficient energy generation point of view it's whack-a-doodle (no offense).
Yeah totally a paper exercise, no offense taken at all...in practice I opt for a small 600W aux inverter while vehicle is running as backup to solar, which is still inefficient but less hassle running small AC wires to the house inverter/battery bank, and using common low-cost components rather than installing aux alternator with specialized DC-DC charger with long thick 12V cables. For the odd times I need it, I'm ok with the tradeoff.

Back to wind, the thought is it would be generating while vehicle is moving. Desired for lower profile likely means insufficient output and/or not much output from natural wind while stationary. From fuel to electric output point of view, it is going to be poor...but you are driving to some where anyway, and the slight drag increase would not be much more than say the roof top AC, the large side mirrors, or various accessories we have on the van.

IMO the most challenging issue is package size. Given what I see online of pole-mount home turbines making 100-150W on a good day, scaling down for vehicle applications would be the physical limitation...money, research and development may solve that problem?
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Wind gen should be similar to solar in terms of variable output voltage and current, ...
Tiny nit-pick ... Solar tends to be within a very narrow voltage range (close to one half volt per cell and then a bit higher).
Wind generators (at least the simple ones) will have voltages from zero on up.
Solar MPPT controllers don't expect to see panel voltages less than battery voltage ... they usually have a spec that pretty much demands panel voltage be perhaps 5 volts above battery voltage before they'll even wake up.

--dick
p.s. if you're planning on using it while in motion (driving), the wind system will knock an mpg or 3 off your mileage numbers.
A 2nd alternator would be a far more efficient producer (in many ways).
 

rollerbearing

Well-known member
p.s. if you're planning on using it while in motion (driving), the wind system will knock an mpg or 3 off your mileage numbers.
A 2nd alternator would be a far more efficient producer (in many ways).

That made me remember these:


Always was quite a bit harder to pedal with the light on. They probably would work a lot better with an LED bulb these days. However, still very hard to top LED and battery combo for the application.
 

Rocket T

New member
Nice discussion. I loved the wack-a-doodle comment. Very funny.

Your right, it is a fools errand to try and spinup a large horizontal turbine when you can use alternator charging while driving. I just keep thinking there has got to be something out there that allows the harvesting of wind to fill in on those gray days or during winter when you have low angles of incidence of sunlight. I’ll keep looking.

Thanks for engaging!
 
I had a wind generator aboard a sailing catamaran which we lived aboard full-time on for over 11 years, the biggest wast of $ was on that generator, much better investments would be a second alternator and solar.
 

tinman

Active member
How about a small steam turbine using waste heat from the exhaust? Should be able to use up a few trees with that as a paper exercise.
 

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