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Old 03-08-2023, 10:21 PM   #1
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Alternate battery charging besides solar

This summer I'm gonna be at a festival that has a really good river running beside where I'm gonna be parking my trailer.
Wanted to know from some of you who are more versed in solar and the corresponding equipment and controllers if putting a water based generator tied onto the solar controller would make things go funky or a brilliant idea.
No I'm not 100% on the controller it comes with just yet. My walk through is the following weekend.
Just spit balling to see if it's worth looking at doing or not
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Old 03-08-2023, 10:35 PM   #2
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I've seen floating water wheels that spin an a wind turbine motor but they've all been pretty large with the flotation part and wheel.

The water wheels all had large pulleys with belts that spun the turbine motor. For the amount of power they produced it seemed like a large undertaking.

Inflatable pontoon drift boats were the most common with wood support structures added for the wheel.

Anchoring so the wheel is in the faster current looked like a big undertaking.

I personally would only consider this if I owned a cabin on a river so I could get years of use rather than just a few months.

There have been youtube videos in the past showing these setups with some entrepreneurs offering DIY kits. A google search should yield more info.

If your "generator" is producing DC power within the working voltage level of your solar controller you should be able to connect without problems. Just install a blocking diode on each input if you are connecting both solar output and your "hydro power output". Batteries will be charged from whichever source is feeding highest potential.
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Old 03-08-2023, 10:49 PM   #3
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seen some youtube videos of people using little turbines
LONG PVC pipes that decreased in diameter which increased the water speed

in a creek running down a fairly steep hill . They got some pretty good charging



would be easier to take some 200w or larger panels with you and make a ground array
(if allowed, and there is room)
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:59 PM   #4
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This would be a little 12 VDC submersible prop turbine. Something small that nobody is really gonna see or possibly mess with. Where I'm gonna be camped at is on an outside bend and beneath a somewhat still living tree on the bank. Just enough of a trickle charge to keep the batteries (x2 6vdc AGM golf cart batts) trickle charged and no worries about running out of power while at that festival.

Problem where I'm at is the trees. 30-40 foot tall and tightly packed. Great for the shade and keeps things cool, not so much for charging the batteries
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Old 03-09-2023, 01:13 AM   #5
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You might be better off with a wind turbine. This one is pretty easy setup for $175 for 800watts

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mNEnAHs
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Old 03-09-2023, 02:31 AM   #6
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I will have to see if I'm allowed to put something like a wind turbine up from the property owner. He does have some restrictions as to what can and cannot go up. But the price isn't too bad
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Old 03-09-2023, 02:14 PM   #7
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I will have to see if I'm allowed to put something like a wind turbine up from the property owner. He does have some restrictions as to what can and cannot go up. But the price isn't too bad
You might have better luck installing a wind turbine than sticking something in the river. There are tons of government regulations involved with rivers. Wind turbines are about as benign as a pole filled with flags.
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Old 03-09-2023, 03:02 PM   #8
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Bicycle power? Just hamster wheel it for an hour a day.
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Old 03-09-2023, 03:28 PM   #9
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You might be better off with a wind turbine. This one is pretty easy setup for $175 for 800watts

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mNEnAHs
I trust you will be in pretty windy location. This turbine requires 4.5mph wind to start turning the blades. Max wind rating is 39mph. The site doesn't say what wind speed is required to deliver 800 watts, but it is probably substantial for that amount of energy, especially if you will be under some trees.

I would think buying or making suitcase solar panels to place in the sun would be a better short-term aid and a welcome long-term investment.

Just sayin'...
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Old 03-09-2023, 05:49 PM   #10
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https://www.waterlilyturbine.com

Something like this? Lol
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Old 03-09-2023, 05:58 PM   #11
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https://www.waterlilyturbine.com

Something like this? Lol
Yeah, but will it work with the on board charge controller?
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Old 03-09-2023, 06:18 PM   #12
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Yeah, but will it work with the on board charge controller?
It says it’s regulated at 14.6V charge and does not need a charge controller. For what little it produces I wouldn’t be too worried about over charging if you hooked right up to the battery.
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Old 03-09-2023, 06:49 PM   #13
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lets get real... water lily

might produce enough power to charge a phone
nothing else though


didn't see a lot of protection from water weeds and the occasional fish decapitation.


Leave my fishies alone!







or was that suppose to be elevator?
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Old 03-09-2023, 06:56 PM   #14
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A "festival" that doesn't allow generators? How are they gonna power all the lights and amplifiers?

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Old 03-16-2023, 06:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DjPolar View Post
This summer I'm gonna be at a festival that has a really good river running beside where I'm gonna be parking my trailer.
Wanted to know from some of you who are more versed in solar and the corresponding equipment and controllers if putting a water based generator tied onto the solar controller would make things go funky or a brilliant idea.
No I'm not 100% on the controller it comes with just yet. My walk through is the following weekend.
Just spit balling to see if it's worth looking at doing or not
You are better off putting you money into more solar and battery storage. You can take that anywhere. How many places are you going to be able to use a water based power generator? And, you better check with fish and game to see if it’s even legal.
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Old 03-16-2023, 08:43 PM   #16
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Noise pollution

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You might have better luck installing a wind turbine than sticking something in the river. There are tons of government regulations involved with rivers. Wind turbines are about as benign as a pole filled with flags.
I used a wind gen and solar for years on cruising sailboats but some protested the white noise of the wind gen blades in marinas. Never bothered me. As regards water power there are marine generators to drag behind a boat that be an “off the shelf” answer. Here is an article: https://www.sailmagazine.com/.amp/di...dro-generators
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Old 03-16-2023, 09:58 PM   #17
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...clip
might produce enough power to charge a phone
nothing else though
clip...

Totally agree. Slightly more than 1 Amp of output, my cell phone charger puts out 2 Amps.

This think is a toy, not sure what it's intended for, certainly not battery charging.

Best to look at marine (sailboat) generators.
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Old 03-17-2023, 08:31 AM   #18
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...clip
might produce enough power to charge a phone
nothing else though
clip...

Totally agree. Slightly more than 1 Amp of output, my cell phone charger puts out 2 Amps.

This think is a toy, not sure what it's intended for, certainly not battery charging.

Best to look at marine (sailboat) generators.
The tow behind generators I've seen are like a "Taffrail Log" that's a propeller towed behind and connected by a stiff rope to the actual generator mounted on the "Taffrail" (rear railing at transom). They work fine if you have deep water but in a river or creek? More likely the propeller will just lay on the bottom unless it's in a shroud. And remember, anything from the boating world means it's going to cost at least twice as much. I learned that lesson while owning a twin engine, displacement hull, cruiser. Of course we didn't need to tow anything to generate power. Just two huge alternators, one on each engine, to charge a half ton of lead acid batteries
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Old 03-17-2023, 10:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DjPolar View Post
This summer I'm gonna be at a festival that has a really good river running beside where I'm gonna be parking my trailer.
Wanted to know from some of you who are more versed in solar and the corresponding equipment and controllers if putting a water based generator tied onto the solar controller would make things go funky or a brilliant idea.
No I'm not 100% on the controller it comes with just yet. My walk through is the following weekend.
Just spit balling to see if it's worth looking at doing or not
If I were considering alternate power, my choice would be about 1 kW of wind power plus 2 x 100AH AGM batteries. Wind doesn't involve any chemicals, such as those used in solar panel production. It is available 24 hrs/a day, unlike solar which is only available a limited number of hours per day. Of course, it would require some assembly and disassembly when moving around, unlike solar which is typically mounted to the roof. Not excluding those portable solar setups which do require some assembly and disassembly.

A 1 kW wind power system is relatively inexpensive and reliable. And there is nothing like generating power while I sleep.

Bob
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Old 03-17-2023, 10:52 AM   #20
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A "festival" that doesn't allow generators? How are they gonna power all the lights and amplifiers?

-- Chuck
Perhaps it is a Bluegrass festival........all acoustic.


Bob
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