Powering Arduino Uno with small generator

Hello All,

I am working on a project that will use a small hydro-electric generator to power an Arduino system. The generators that I have been able to identify provide either 10.5-22.8 VAC at 18-42mA or 3.6-6VAC at 36-100mA. I'm thinking that I will need to go from the generator through a bridge rectifier and the to a battery charger/controller and from the battery to the Arduino. What is the best way to use this AC voltage to charge a battery which will provide stable power to the Arduino project? Are there any single boards that can do the job in a small footprint or as a shield?

Thank you,
Peter

Hmmm, interesting.

My first thought is use the higher voltage one to trickle-charge a SLA or NiMH 12V battery
via rectifier (and perhaps current limiting resistor), then power the Arduino from
a DC-DC converter (so that you use the power effciciently - 40mA at 12V should
provide upto 80mA at 5V with a good DC-DC converter. I'm not sure what a bare
Uno takes but its probably in the 30 to 50mA range.

What kind of battery? What voltage? What Ahr are the cells? How much power is the Arduino circuit going to need, and how often?

Is the hydroelectric generator always running?

You might get away with trickle charging a battery. But a true trickle charge is barely enough to keep the battery charged without a load. And a continuous charge can damage rechargeable cells.

The generator is not always running, maybe only 30 minutes to an hour per day. I have not specified my mattery storage yet. I am still discovering my needs. I expect the system to draw about 100mA when in use. It may only operate while the generator is active. Is the issue that the generators are not providing enough current? Or is the generated AC itself an issue? Might solar be a better choice because the panels produce DC?

Thanks,
Peter