wind gen history


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MacGyver

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Joined: 12/05/2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1329
Posted: 09:03pm 14 Nov 2011      

Crew

From memory, Jacobs Wind Electric used a 32-volt system as well. As to why 32, I have no idea. My hunch is it rode in on the coat tails of an existing industry, such as the automotive industry, but that's just a hunch.

Early car batteries, like the one in my 1930 Model A Ford coup were 6-volt, so there again, 32 is not divisible by 6 without a remainder, so like I said, maybe the auto industry wasn't the one upon which wind generators were based.

EDIT: I called a couple battery manufacturers asking about 32-volt systems and the concensus seems to be as to why 32 volts was chosen is the initial application was likely that a 32-volt 4-pole engine starter motor was used as a generator. This thought would fall in line with the founders of wind power bringing in something already in production rather than reinventing the wheel, as it were.

I asked how 32 volts came to be used and again, the concensus was it was from a starting motor. By using 32 volts, it was easier to up-size the amount of amps the thing could take. Apparently, gasoline engines back in the day were a lot heavier than those of today's cars and trucks and the engines needed more "umph" to turn them over at start up. Using 32-volts instead of 24 or 12 apparently workd better.

On a similar note, all the manufacturers I called said each cell puts out 2 volts, so getting a 32-volt platform was merely a task of putting 16 cells in series. It was my thought that cells put out typically 1.5 volts, so I was having a hard time trying out how to configure the right amount to make 32 volts.

Hope that helps.


. . . . . MacEdited by MacGyver 2011-11-16
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