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Topic: Buck converter for small wind turbine project (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

Apr 14, 2012, 03:11 pm Last Edit: Apr 14, 2012, 03:17 pm by Burnit0017 Reason: 1
Greetings, I fabricated a Vertical Axis Wind turbine(VAWT) and Permanent Magnet Alternator(PMA). I have road tested the prototype and the max output was 9 amps @ 40 MPH while using 12 volt deep cell as a test load. Basically the faster you spin the PMA the more it acts like a electric brake and most of the energy being produced is lost at the stators as heat. I recently learned that Maximum Power Point Tracking(MPPT) will help solve this problem and allow more of the energy being product to be transferred to the load.  

I have fabricated a Buck Converter(DC to DC Step Down Converter) which is the core circuit of a MPPT without the microcontroller and have verified the benefits of adding such a circuit to the system.  The video shows manual operation of the PMA using the Buck circuit to drive a 50 watt 12 volt light. Max current was about 4 amp.


To produce the same results without using the Buck converter required a 30 MPH wind speed.

I am new to Uno, but have limited experience with other microcontrollers and software.
I am starting to develop the micro interface so a basic MPPT algorithm can be added.

Basic circuit requirements for Uno interface are:

1. Read voltage and current at the output of the Buck converter.

2. Output PWM signal to FOD3180 gate driver to control frequency and duty cycle of the IRF540 N channel mosfet.

Once the Input and Output circuits for the Uno interface are developed then a basic MPPT software algorithm can be written. If possible the Inputs and Outputs should be buffered to protect the Uno. I found a similar project that I am trying to use as a guide.

Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time a efforts.

Video's of VAWT with no load, just for fun... 



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