Mains battery charger that accepts alternator, solar, wind inputs ?

Boo2

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Hi,

Question as title : are there any mains powered chargers available that accept alternator, solar, wind inputs so as to give the same charging regime (maybe at a lower max current) as when charging from mains ?

Have been looking st Sterling, Vitron etc but can't find one.

Thanks,

Boo2
 

winsbury

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Been around a similar loop myself recently and eventually decided on the following: Mains charger and Alternator paralleled to charge starter battery. Victron MPPT solar charger connects to House battery. The two batteries are then connected together via split charge VSR relay. To add wind into the equation too, put the solar and wind feeds in parallel into the solar charger BUT ( very importantly ) they must be connected via individual high power Schottky diodes ( one for each source ) to prevent power from solar heading up into the wind generator and visa versa. Don't use normal diodes as you will lose more volts across them. An MPPT controller will do its best to maximise the charge from whichever ( wind / solar) is providing the higher volts.
 

PaulRainbow

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Been around a similar loop myself recently and eventually decided on the following: Mains charger and Alternator paralleled to charge starter battery. Victron MPPT solar charger connects to House battery. The two batteries are then connected together via split charge VSR relay. To add wind into the equation too, put the solar and wind feeds in parallel into the solar charger BUT ( very importantly ) they must be connected via individual high power Schottky diodes ( one for each source ) to prevent power from solar heading up into the wind generator and visa versa. Don't use normal diodes as you will lose more volts across them. An MPPT controller will do its best to maximise the charge from whichever ( wind / solar) is providing the higher volts.

You cannot connect a wind charger to the Victron MPPT controller.
 

BabaYaga

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Hi,

Question as title : are there any mains powered chargers available that accept alternator, solar, wind inputs so as to give the same charging regime (maybe at a lower max current) as when charging from mains ?

I also do not think you will find all of the above in a single unit.
CTEK makes this one
https://www.ctek.com/products/on-board/d250sa
which takes input from alternator, solar and wind and supplies domestic batteries through a multi step charging regime, similar to that of a modern mains charger. There is also a separate feed for the starter battery, so replaces diodes or VSR. Max current is 20 A, though.
To make full use of alternator current you would have to combine it with this one
https://www.ctek.com/products/on-board/smartpass-120
All i all that would mean three separate units for the required tasks (plus some additional ones).
 
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winsbury

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You cannot connect a wind charger to the Victron MPPT controller.

Why ? I did it successfully for 4 years on our previous boat ... using diodes will sum the current without worrying which is the higher voltage. The controller has no idea what its connected to or any method to control the input, it just sees varying Volts and Amps.
 

PaulRainbow

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Why ? I did it successfully for 4 years on our previous boat ... using diodes will sum the current without worrying which is the higher voltage. The controller has no idea what its connected to or any method to control the input, it just sees varying Volts and Amps.

Wind gen controllers work differently to solar controllers. Lots of info regarding how they work on the web.
 

lw395

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Wind gen controllers work differently to solar controllers. Lots of info regarding how they work on the web.
True enough, but....
You can extract power from wind generators using a simple diode, PWM, MPPT, whatever.
Proper wind controllers generally include some sort of shunt load to prevent over-voltage and over-speed of the turbine. That function might be already in the wind generator or could be added separately.

Whether simply diode-combining a bunch of power sources will work well depends on the VI curve of each of them. If the solar's peak power is at say 15V and the wind's at 20V, it won't be optimally efficient.

But presumably the aim of the game is to have one controller which won't overcharge the batteries.

People do play this kind of game, for instance you may have noticed roadside displays with both wind and solar.
 

PaulRainbow

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True enough, but....
You can extract power from wind generators using a simple diode, PWM, MPPT, whatever.
Proper wind controllers generally include some sort of shunt load to prevent over-voltage and over-speed of the turbine. That function might be already in the wind generator or could be added separately.

Whether simply diode-combining a bunch of power sources will work well depends on the VI curve of each of them. If the solar's peak power is at say 15V and the wind's at 20V, it won't be optimally efficient.

But presumably the aim of the game is to have one controller which won't overcharge the batteries.

People do play this kind of game, for instance you may have noticed roadside displays with both wind and solar.

I've noticed lots of boats with both too. But there are controllers that accept both and won't risk damaging the wind gen.
 

winsbury

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I've noticed lots of boats with both too. But there are controllers that accept both and won't risk damaging the wind gen.

Ah, so your original statement is not that the charging wont work but a specific wind generator might not like the load it sees and can over speed ... that is an entirely different issue. Of course, if the wind genny needs a specific charger to work without breaking or excessive voltages etc in high winds then that is what should be used, that doesn't negate the validity of summing of different sources via diodes when push comes to shove.
 

PaulRainbow

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Ah, so your original statement is not that the charging wont work but a specific wind generator might not like the load it sees and can over speed ... that is an entirely different issue. Of course, if the wind genny needs a specific charger to work without breaking or excessive voltages etc in high winds then that is what should be used, that doesn't negate the validity of summing of different sources via diodes when push comes to shove.

Of course you can connect multiple devices to the controller, provided those devices are compatible with the controller, i've got four solar panels connected to my controller. For various reasons, wind gens are not usually supposed to be connected to solar controller though.
 
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