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Author Topic: wind turbine NOOB  (Read 1158 times)
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Hi Guys

New to the forum and new to ARDUINO.

Currently doing a project in which im building a model of a wind turbine(no problems with that bit ) that will follow the direction of the wind via anemometer or other sensor that will simulate an anemometer.

Is it possible with ARDUINO to control a dc motor to turn the turbine to follow the wind in which ever direction it is coming(this will be simulated with a fan) to demonstrate closed loop control.

Also ill need a visual interface and data acquisition,e.g temp,wind speed,power generated.

Is this all possible with ARDUINO and what kind of interfaces,controllers,DAC would i need.

I would appreciate any help or advice
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 03:03:02 pm by robertwebb2010 » Logged

Topsham, Vermont USA
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Hi Robert,

Arduino could do this.. Your biggest challenge is the sensors and actuator that would be part of your system.

Many commercial wind direction indicators have a rotary potentiometer. Easy to connect to +5V and an Arduino analog input.

Commercial anemometers are either pulse-output (typically hall-effect chip) or AC signal whose frequency is related to rotation speed. The pulse type can be directly interfaced to a Digital Input, but the generator type would need a comparator or operational amplifier to condition the signal back to a pulse similar to the pulse type.

An actuator to orient the wind turbine is more complex. You need some kind of position feedback, or you need to use a servomotor with a mechanical coupling like gears or cord/pulley that translated the servo motion of 180 degrees or less to 360+ degrees. Here's a servo example: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/SHED-Article2SOFTWARE-ServoPotPosition  (This also shows reading a potentiometer).

Temperature is pretty easy with DS18B20 sensor. Example: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/Brick-Temperature-DS18B20

All these rotary systems are faced with the "360 degree problem". Continuous motion with electrical connections gets complex with "Slip rings" etc.  Some systems reorient after going through "zero-360" position by going "back around".

Lots of general Arduino information on the http://ArduinoInfo.Info WIKI

If you're totally new to Arduino this (under construction) may help: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/Arduino-What-IS-it

Let us know how the project goes along....

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Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

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Hi Terry thanks for the reply,good to hear it is possible

would controlling the speed that the turbine spins be easier than yawing the turbine do you think
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Ill be experimenting with this concept. I have a wx station that died, ice fell from roof and struck rx / tx unit and broke it. I still have wind speed / direction unit on roof with cables leading down from it.

Id like to hook it up for now and rx values and play with it a bit, but in the end i want to make a setup that will orient a small wind turbine into the wind based on 1 minute averages from wind direction sensor. (or 2 -3 min avg... whatever makes sense) ...

Also want the windspeed to add values to the equation so that if the wind gets too strong, it will orient the turbine out of the wind as to slow it down. Or if there is no windspeed it could orient to a home position. The 360 positioning could get interesting, but i think it can be figured out...

Solar tracker is on the list as well, reading from TLE files generated from tracking software like www.stoff.pl 

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Any particular reason for trying to steer it electronically rather than just arrange it to steer itself into the wind aerodynamically?
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