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Author Topic: Adding a grid tie turbine to an off grid setup  (Read 3409 times)
woodi
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« on: February 19, 2015, 03:54:41 PM »

At the moment, I am running 4kw PV, all in little 80w panels that someone was replacing, running into 3 Victron controllers, that feed 500ah @24v of batteries - soon to become 1000ah@24v. A Multiplus 24/3000/70 feeds the house, we keep track of it all online via Victron's VRM datalogging thing, which is a good toy, and all is generally well.
I have got hold of a used Bornay 3000 grid tie wind turbine, that has come with an Aurora inverter, and Bornay controller. I've found a 9m tower for it to go on, and it will replace our old Chinese 400w machine that has run for 3 years charging a set of batts only.
The Bornay kit seems well made - it's a 2 blade machine which I'm not overjoyed about, but it was a good opportunity.
Any thoughts on the best way to integrate and use the power most efficiently?
We have 2 little cottages, our electrical kit is on the end of one of them and I'm doing it up, so now is a good time to think about how best to use the power. We run just about within our means on the PV, but its dicey in the depths of winter up here in the North of Ireland so this should fill in the gaps.
All ideas gratefully received,
cheers
Steve

Here's our PV setup -




inverter and controllers - (AGM batts since replaced with something larger)





and here's the turbine head, controller and inverter, which I've been looking all over for docs for - its a PVI3600 -












« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 04:12:35 PM by woodi » Logged

8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
Ted
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 04:25:22 PM »

So is the turbine the 3-phase 150VAC model which is regulated to 120VDC rather than the 24V or 48V model?  I can't see that you would be able to use the inverter that comes with it if you are completely off-grid and just using PV/batteries at present.

If this is replacing a 400W turbine then your problem will be having too much power!  Get 120VDC immersion for water heating or lots more batteries/dump loads.
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billi
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 04:35:14 PM »

woodi,   how much watt , is the turbine  delivering (max) ?, you can just connect the aurora winturbine GTI  to the AC-out of your Victron multiplus , and (depending on software of the Victron Multiplus )  regulate the windturbine  , to grant no overcharging , or just switch on  an AC heater  automatically controlled by the Victron  at certain Voltage of the battery  (but this depends on the  Windturbine s  output )

Surely a dump load controller idea connected to the battery , to shift all surplus power  away from the battery into a DC heater is another  way

Billi




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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
camillitech
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 05:03:58 PM »

Hi Woodi,

you can 'grid tie' your turbine into your own grid created by the Victron using the Aurora no problem. I have done it for years with an 800w hydro turbine designed for grid tying via a Sunny Boy inverter https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/commissioning-the-powerspout/. I have also just installed a Proven 2.5kW grid tied turbine via a WB6000. Things to be aware of are that you will need some form of regulation to stop your batteries cooking and never to exceed the charging capacity of your inverter. However, be aware that if you do loose your power from the Victron for even a few milliseconds then the Aurora will drop out https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/a-close-shave/ , I had a 'brown trouser' moment on Sunday by actually flicking the wrong MCB. This could lead to one of two things, the turbine going into 'over speed' and doing damage to itself or more likely frying the inverter due to 'over voltage'.

'AC coupling' a grid tied wind turbine is a great way for 'off gridders' to acquire a quality turbine for a fraction of the cost of a battery charging version. However, it is not for the feint hearted and some kind of safety mechanism needs to be put in place. The Proven turbine is quite happy to 'free spin' so will not come to any harm itself, the inverter on the other hand will if do not switch off the DC quickly enough.

Cheers, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
Ted
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 05:17:55 PM »

However, be aware that if you do loose your power from the Victron for even a few milliseconds then the Aurora will drop out

Exactly why I wouldn't recommend it.  I don't know enough about this model of turbine to understand its control method and whether such a cut could be fatal for it so far safer not to rely on it.

Even if you do not leave the property for extended periods you still want to be able to sleep soundly on a stormy night knowing that everything is fail-safe.
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woodi
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 05:22:00 PM »

Thanks folks..
Presumably I could program the Multi to open/close the relay at an upper voltage setpoint, and connect to an immersion (or whatever) once the batteries are full, and disconnect once the voltage has dropped for a reasonable length of time? Our Multi acts as the grid here, and everything is wired as normal, so hooking the Aurora in shouldn't be a problem. Is it likely to accept the Multi's AC as being 'the grid' without any extra tweaking, do you reckon?
In theory the turbine is 3000W, and its the 120V version. It  came with a dump load which (I assume), is there in case the grid isn't available? Presumably (if it were running on a proper grid install, in case the grid were to go down?)
Come the summer months, we may have enough from PV, but this being Northern Ireland, we aren't exactly guaranteed blistering heat so I'm not sure what surplus we will have in the longer days. Currently our useage is very much geared to living from the PV, so pretty minimal, but we've 2 cottages to heat - water and space heating if necessary, so I reckon we can find a use for it all. Something we've never had is too much power..
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8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
camillitech
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 06:55:54 PM »

However, be aware that if you do loose your power from the Victron for even a few milliseconds then the Aurora will drop out

Exactly why I wouldn't recommend it.  I don't know enough about this model of turbine to understand its control method and whether such a cut could be fatal for it so far safer not to rely on it.

Even if you do not leave the property for extended periods you still want to be able to sleep soundly on a stormy night knowing that everything is fail-safe.

If you want it 'fail safe' then fit one of these http://www.criticalpowersupplies.co.uk/SMA-Protection-Box-600-With-Load-Resister but not at that price. I've seen them for £350 without the resistor or you could fit a voltage clamp http://scoraigwind.co.uk/2012/01/grid-connected-homebrew-wind-turbines/ Like I said, I've done it for years with a hydro turbine and Heather Hopper with a Proven 6kW. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using grid tied anything with an 'off grid' system, it certainly won't stop me going on holiday or sleeping. I'd be more concerned if I'd an 'off grid' turbine that I had to lower every time it got windy. You have a grid tied Proven yourself Ted, exactly the same criteria apply to that, do you go on holiday?? What happens if YOU have a power cut? Presumably that Bornay of Woodi's was installed professionally and judging by all those capacitors and hardware above the Aurora then it has some voltage clamping device or safety feature in the event of grid failure. From my experience 'off grid' systems are far more reliable than SSE in this part of the world.
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
camillitech
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 07:03:24 PM »

Thanks folks..
Presumably I could program the Multi to open/close the relay at an upper voltage setpoint, and connect to an immersion (or whatever) once the batteries are full, and disconnect once the voltage has dropped for a reasonable length of time? Our Multi acts as the grid here, and everything is wired as normal, so hooking the Aurora in shouldn't be a problem. Is it likely to accept the Multi's AC as being 'the grid' without any extra tweaking, do you reckon?
In theory the turbine is 3000W, and its the 120V version. It  came with a dump load which (I assume), is there in case the grid isn't available? Presumably (if it were running on a proper grid install, in case the grid were to go down?)
Come the summer months, we may have enough from PV, but this being Northern Ireland, we aren't exactly guaranteed blistering heat so I'm not sure what surplus we will have in the longer days. Currently our useage is very much geared to living from the PV, so pretty minimal, but we've 2 cottages to heat - water and space heating if necessary, so I reckon we can find a use for it all. Something we've never had is too much power..

That should work just fine Woodi, but what happens when the thermostat shuts down  the immersion when the water gets too hot? I'd suggest doing as you say but also fitting a PWM controller in diversion mode, set it slightly higher than EQ voltage.

Cheers, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
woodi
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 07:24:49 PM »

Ok. I'll also see if I can get some info from Bornay. As the board above the Aurora has 3 phase DC in; AC out and dump connections, I am assuming that it is there to clamp voltage and/or control the turbine with the dump that came with it. The whole lot is in a huge Bornay branded cabinet, and is well installed so I had assumed that the setup would take care of grid failure (or multiplus failure in this case). Can't find any information on tinternet anywhere, which is unusual. Hadn't considered the whole hot water tank getting up to cutoff temp, so thanks for that Camilltech. My failsafes will have to have failsafes. Even the 2m 400w turbine is quite lively when things get out of hand and this is twice the size so I dread to think what it'd be like if it gets away.
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8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 07:54:56 PM »

Quote
'AC coupling' a grid tied wind turbine is a great way for 'off gridders' to acquire a quality turbine for a fraction of the cost of a battery charging version.



....   , na , this is not generally true  !

direct Battery charging is  fine and and achieved with a lower budget , surely a MPPT charge -controller  to improve the performance and able to cope with higher voltages to track the turbines voltage down to battery voltage is  more costly , but generally not more costly than 'AC coupling'


Billi

« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 04:32:05 AM by billi » Logged

1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
woodi
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 08:56:37 PM »

I got some response from the company. Basically yes if the Aurora stops sensing the grid - whether its the mains grid or one created by the Multiplus then that Bornay circuit and supplied dump load is there for just such occasions and the inverter won't melt, so I can go on holiday and sleep at night Smiley
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8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
camillitech
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 09:20:34 PM »

I got some response from the company. Basically yes if the Aurora stops sensing the grid - whether its the mains grid or one created by the Multiplus then that Bornay circuit and supplied dump load is there for just such occasions and the inverter won't melt, so I can go on holiday and sleep at night Smiley

Good news indeed Woodi, I have a 2.5kW Proven and 6.0kW (minus the actual turbine), both were fitted professionally by reputable installers and neither has any protection as regards 'over voltage'  Shocked I removed both installations from public buildings and can only assume that the installers were looking for another inverter sale in the future  facepalm I've always liked the look of that turbine from Bornay and will be interested to see how you get on. The way I see it, more and more of these grid tied turbines will be appearing on eBay shortly as a result of poor siting and maintenance costs exceeding FIT revenue. No one on the grid wants to buy a second hand turbine they can't claim FIT and a reliable wind turbine makes a perfect winter companion to shed loads of PV. Sure it's a little more complicated than a battery charging turbine but they're much more efficient due to the higher voltage and programmable power curve. I've seen 3.3kW on mine and it starts producing in the lightest of breezes on it's 11m tower.

Good luck, Paul 
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
Billy
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 10:02:06 PM »

Is this another potential "Yorkie" or am I getting mixed up?   Grin
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woodi
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 10:03:21 PM »

Ah, a bit of a search and I see what you mean. Hopefully not, it shouldn't allow overspeed in theory but easy to test by spinning up the generator and then taking out the multi to see if the Aurora kicks in its own dump load, I would have thought. I imagine the whole thing will be a bit of a  clencher  when it first goes up...
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 10:11:48 PM by woodi » Logged

8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2015, 05:10:19 AM »

Woodi ,  i am only concerned  about , your Victron s inbuilt  charger   being too low in wattage , to cope  with a 3000 watt  rated turbine

Thats why , i would contact Victron , if your Multiplus  can  handle that or is able to communicate with the Aurora GTI and the breaking /dump idea of the turbine .....

Here is a quote  from Victron (from the "solar switch"  leaflet )
Quote
pV power range
The peak PV power (or wind or other renewable power) fed back into the MultiPlus or Quattro should never exceed the maximum charging power.
In case of a MultiPlus 24/3000/70 for example, the maximum charging power is 24V x 70A = 1680W. If the grid inverter “tries” to feed more than 1680W back into the MultiPlus, not all power can be absorbed and the system will shut down.

So , make sure that in case of high wind , that some  power is diverted away from the Victrons internal charger ! (or find out  if your Victron has  communication skills with the Aurora ,...... my old Victrons  would not )

But .....Even if you have a dump  connected  (that works in relation to battery voltage) , that does not mean that your turbine cant achieve 3000 watt at low battery voltage (and therefor no dump connected)  and then  , as written above  .... it could mean trouble

Billi

« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 05:17:35 AM by billi » Logged

1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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