Do you want to know can solar panels and wind turbines be used to charge one battery? Do you think that both wind and solar power will keep your battery more efficiently charged?
Using both wind and solar as renewable energy resources to charge a battery sounds brilliant. Using the solar panels on sunny days and during the summer for sunlight collection. And the wind turbine at night, in cloudy conditions, and during the winter seems like a dream.
So let’s take a look and see if it is possible, or is it just a pipe dream?
Can Solar Panels And Wind Turbines Be Used To Charge One Battery?
“Yes, they can, so it’s not just a pipe dream. Marine applications are a good example of solar panels and wind turbines charging one battery. Kits can be bought on the internet that charge a single 12V 100Ah deep cycle battery. Eco-Worthy sells a kit with a 100w solar panel, a 400w wind turbine, and a 20A hybrid controller. I guess such a small system could be adapted for use with a static trailer or outbuilding like a shed.”
How Does A Wind And Solar Hybrid System Work?
Wind turbines and solar panels used together are called hybrid systems. If you are a boat owner and you have a hybrid system fitted. You will already know, the system provides a sustainable power supply during the day and all year round.
The idea being when the sun is out during the day, the solar panel will provide charging and load power. During the night and in cloudy conditions, the wind turbine produces the power.
Other solar hybrids include solar-wind systems. The combination of wind and solar has the advantage that the two sources complement each other because the peak operating times for each system occur at different times of the day and year. The power generation of such a hybrid system is more constant and fluctuates less than each of the two-component subsystems
What Are The Basic Components Of A Hybrid Wind And Solar System?
The essential components you need to install a hybrid system to an outbuilding, garage, or workshop are;
- Solar Panel
- Wind Turbine
- Charge Controllers
- Dump Load Resistor
Mounting The Solar Panel And Wind Turbine For One Battery
There shouldn’t be a problem mounting the solar panel on a sloped or flat roof. It would be best to mount it on a flat roof in a frame that can tilt for seasonal sun angle variations. The wind turbine might prove a little more problematic because of local height restrictions.
If you live in an area with many single-story buildings, check locally for height restrictions. Because a small turbine to charge one battery would have to be mounted on the roof.
I can hear your brain ticking away, thinking, why on the roof? The answer is the turbine needs an unrestricted 360° for the blades to capture the most wind. Mounted at ground level surrounding buildings and trees would prevent maximum performance.
Batteries Need To Be Charged With Direct Current (DC)
Direct current (DC) is used to charge deep cycle batteries, but the wind turbine produces alternating current (AC). The wind turbines controller converts the AC-generated power to DC. The solar panel provides DC power off the bat, so there is no need to worry about that.
Which Charge Controllers Should Be Used With One Battery?
There are two ways you can go with the charge controller for use with one battery. You can use a separate solar charge controller for the solar panel and a separate controller for the wind turbine. The other option which is probably better is to use a hybrid charge controller.
The hybrid charge controller makes life a little easier because it means fewer components and wiring. Plus, charge controller readouts, data, and control are all in one place. It would be better to use an MPPT charge controller for maximum efficiency.
Dump Load Resistors Or Dump Load?
Once a battery finishes charging, the solar panels’ charge controller will automatically stop charging. Any excess charging power will be sent directly to power a load, such as an inverter or appliance. If there is no load in use, the energy dissipates back into the solar panel.
With no load in use, the wind turbine will be unable to disburse the energy it is producing. There will be only one place for it to go, and that is back into the turbine. The excess energy will burn it out, so the extra energy needs to be sent to a dump load or dump load resistor.
An excellent way to use a dump load is to send the excess energy to a heating element. The heating element could be used to generate hot water. The dump load resistor works just as well, but you might feel it wastes generated energy.
You could also make the system grid-tie where the excess energy diverts into the domestic electricity grid. But the power diversion has a disadvantage if there is a power outage. Because there is no power coming in, you would be unable to send it out—result; fried wind turbine.
What Type Of Battery Can Be Used With A Wind Turbine And Solar Panel Hybrid System?
There is no restriction concerning battery types that can recharge with a hybrid system. So a lead-acid AGM. Gel or flood or Lithium-based battery is just fine. If there is more than one battery, You must use a hybrid charge controller with the same voltage battery bank.
For example, a 12V battery bank goes with a 12V controller, and a 24V battery bank goes with a 24V controller. Suppose a 12V controller coupled with a two battery 24V system, for instance. If one of the batteries goes bad, it could lead to the whole battery bank getting fried.
If you would like to know more about batteries. You can take a look at my Renogy LiFePO4 review here;
What Size Inverter Can Be Used To Charge One Battery?
When it comes to inverter sizes, people can get pretty confused because sizing is down to load wattage. To run a power tool off an Ac inverter, you need to know if the inverter can handle its continuous power usage.
The total watts of appliances to be powered at the same time need to be added together. For example, you want the inverter to simultaneously power a drill, a radio and boil a kettle. The surge/ peak power usage needs to be taken into consideration as well.
Lets tot up the wattage usage for these three appliances:
- Drill 650w
- Kettle 1200w (Surge 3000w)
- Radio 10w
The total watts required for all three devices is 1,860w of continuous power. It means a 3000w inverter with a surge capability of 6,000 watts would do the trick. It is always better to overestimate the watts required for inverter use. As underestimating might cause the inverter to cut out.
To find out more about AC inverters, follow this link;
Is Installing Large Hybrid Wind And SolarPanel Systems In The Burbs Just A Pipe Dream?
Fitting larger wind and solar hybrid system to power your house in the Burbs is a long way off. Mainly because of local height and noise restrictions. You probably don’t know those wind turbines can produce a bit of noise.
But if you live in a more remote area, you can go off-grid using a hybrid system. But for now, smaller systems are the way to go in towns and cities until the government says different.
The systems do cost a bit, and much bigger hybrid systems may be out of reach for the average pocket. But as the climate crisis deepens, governments around the world may start providing more monetary help.
Removing height restrictions may pave the way for the more affluent among us to take advantage. Many people say that giant windmills are an eyesore; I can see it happening anytime soon.
But the people that say it may change their minds when it comes to having electricity or not. A few prolonged blackouts due to climate change might change opinions. It is only then the pipe dream will become a reality for the average person.
My Closing Thoughts
There is no need to imagine having a complete off-grid power source using renewable energy. The reality is here using a hybrid wind turbine and solar panel system charging just one battery.
Wind and solar are in abundance right across the planet. Yes, there will be times when both wind and sun are absent at the same time. But if you live in the northern hemisphere, it doesn’t happen much; that’s why there is a battery.
A small hybrid generator providing power to outbuildings, garages, workshops, or sheds on your property is a real possibility. And may save money in the longer term and help reduce your carbon footprint immediately.
If you want to find out more about wind turbines and solar hybrid systems take a look at my article;
I hope you enjoyed this article and have found it helpful. If you have any questions about wind turbines and solar panels hybrid systems. Or want to leave your own personal review, please feel free to leave a comment below.