Energy Production for all Seasons

If you have a shack, shed, tiny home, caravan, off-grid house or hybrid system that uses battery power then you definitely could do with a wind turbine. 

Micro wind turbines in our view are a much underutilised resource for generating power to charge batteries. Most battery systems that regular people have are not industrial sized and this information is certainly not targeted towards such systems. We focus on more modest sized systems of say less than 100kwh in storage capacity. This is typically more than you would plan for in any smaller dwelling and if you need more than this then you would not be looking at a micro wind turbine solution. The great thing about micro wind turbines is there is no issue with having multiple turbines coupled with solar connected to a single battery bank. Each energy producing source will be regulating its output based on battery voltage.

Initially when we started the learning process at Mannerfarm for our battery storage systems it was a solar only affair. Over time it became evident that we needed to investigate other forms of energy production or think about increasing battery capacity and hence solar array size. The two go hand in hand. If you increase capacity you need to think about increasing your energy production sources. The sun only shines so much per day and varies a fair bit depending on the seasons. We initially purchased a smaller marine grade 250 Watt turbine just over six years ago and immediately we could tell the difference especially on windy nights which are as frequent as windy days. Whilst the turbine was only modest in size it helped support the battery loads over night. With lead acid batteries there is this thing called "Peukert's Law". You can google this because there are plenty of long winded explanations for this so I won't try to insult anyone's intelligence but essentially what it relates to in real terms is the faster you draw energy from a battery the less capacity you have. If you look up your battery specifications from the manufacturer you will always see a thing called the "C" rating, this "C" rating relates directly to "Peukert's Law". This is used along with various other parameters to define your batteries capacity.

A batteries capacity will vary depending on things like temperature, age, depth of discharge, cycles and of course how fast you discharge that battery. So back to the wind turbine. Wind turbines as an energy source when the sun isn't shining can do many things. Like any charging source if your load does not exceed your production then that excess energy goes into your battery. That's pretty obvious right? The other thing that the turbine is going to do if your loads are greater than your production is supplement your battery draw and hence reduce that draw on the battery. In such cases it will help support your battery thus reducing that "Peukert" effect. The way we look at it is its energy production redundancy and this is especially important if you are off-grid. Having two very different means of generating power is way better than just one. In our experience the turbines have worked so well we now have four more that connect to various other battery systems around our property. We will go into these in our blogs.