Monday, May 11, 2009

Wind generator monitor

Wind generator monitorI've been at the electronics again....

Recently I've been working on my wind generator, and wanted some way of telling just how much power it was producing.

When it's windy, this simple display will replace hours of messing about with a multimeter checking out just how much free power I'm getting!

Although it still needs a bit more work, I can now see the average amps/second in the last minute, last hour or last 24 hours, while the bottom line shows the average voltage and average amps in the last second.

I'm showing average amps per second in each timeframe, rather than amp hours, because it seems easier to mentally translate this back to the power (in amps, and therefore watts) various things, such as lights, the fridge and central heating system, run at.

I'm planning on getting myself some solar panels at some point, and can extend this amps monitor to encompass solar energy production monitoring as well.

As it turns out, a relatively small addition would also allow this monitor to perform the function of a regulator. Something I'll bear in mind if/when I start producing my own power at home.

This was done with a PIC16F88, an LCD display, some resistors and a few other bits and bobs I'd never even of until a few months ago.

6 comments:

  1. Good stuff!

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  2. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Curious: are you using a shunt or some other current sensor?

    Does your wind generator circuit have a diversion/dump load? If so, are you looking at the energy fed into the diversion load as well as charge current?

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  3. Hi Anonymous

    I'm using a shunt (50mv at 20A), seemed like a minimal power loss for the value I get.

    I have a separate regulator which does that job.

    As things are setup at the moment, it's the charge current that actually gets measured.

    Regards

    Tim

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