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Does anyone know how to make a 3-phase wind power generator interface with a home's electric system? Answered

I have a project in which I want to hook up a 1000Watt wind power generator to a home, but I don't know how. What systems are needed?


I had a water treatment plant out in the middle of BFE America. We tried some 10HP single phase 240v pumps and they just couldn't give a good reliability. The farmers electric coop wanted $27,000 to run 3 phase to the pumphouse. So, for the following 20 years, we ran a large box called a 3 phase emulator. It was basically a big box full of large a/c motor starters. It was solid state and worked quite well. It had one flaw we eventually fixed with a controller unit. If there was a lightning strike or other interruption in the 240v service, it shut down and would not restarted unless someone drove out and restarted it manually. We put in a special sensor box that would do a re-start on its own after a 5 minute wait. It would just keep restarting if there was a storm in the area. When that motor finally burned out enough where we could not rebuild it, we went with two, 10hp single phase 240v motors.

One more thing, do youself a favor and instead of beating your head off your keyboard trying to find how to make one to fit your needs, goto your library and find the book called Homebrew Wind Power by Dan Bartmann and Dan Fink. its chock fulla good info.

i know i'm late to the party, but if someone stumbles up this i figured this might help. If you rectify with bridge diodes to DC current, you may wish to consider finding schematics for capacitor filtering of your bridge rectifier to ensure that this won't harm sensitive electronics (i have found wifi routers very sensitive to this). If it just to charge a battery bank from a charge controller, don't worry about it since you would be charging your battery bank the same way a car uses its alternator to charge its battery.

Another thing, you can find cheap grid tie inverters on ebay that ARE Underwriters Laboratories listed, and if you have a capacitor-filtered bridge rectifier powering it, it would cheaply and effectively put power into you homes mains. It works by taking your DC voltage and current from your rectifier, converting to AC (that matches its output phase with the exact phase of your house mains by using complex micro-controller(s) that constantly monitor and adjust the phase of its output). But before people get all worked up about how "Dangerous" this is, know this; from an engineering standpoint you CANNOT build a grid tie inverter without making sure that the system will fault itself in the event of a power outage. Even if it didn't, you would be supplying power to your ENTIRE neighborhood. In theory it would work, but the only place that will ever get the 1kw of power outside of your home would be the transformer on the power-pole (and since these things are not 100% efficient, its doubt full that any power would leave it). Its also bad for your system, its like if you were to hook up your trailer to your bicycle and trying to tow it around town, you will probably die from exhaustion just trying to move it, that is; if the trailer doesn't break the bike first.

if the generator outputs 3 L directly from wind - rectify to batteries as said before if you have 3 L after the inverter - divide the loads of the home between the phases. N of the inverter is connected to Ns of all the loads in the home. each L of the inverter takes some of the Ls in the home

Have you ever work with 3 phase power before? There a slight phase shift between phase. If you connect up the inverter like that you could risk damage to yourself and your equipment. AC has a sin wave. Right but the three phases are out of sink with the main sin wave. The shift from memory 120 degree. Your idea will not work. Anyway most wind generator has a low voltage which is three phase, so the question was how to convert this low voltage back into mains voltage not three phase voltage. Like I said if you want to convert single phase into three phase you need a convert.

you connect each L to a distinct group of loads and try to make the groups about the same size you dont connect all Ls together to all loads. thats gonna be a short circuit

Well here a site that will explain what three phase power and how it work. I know what you mean. I work with three phase power long enough to understand what it does and I know your idea but it wont work. Wikipedia

plz explain yourself why it won't work i know how 3 phases work. i did not find anything new in a fast scroll thru the article

Evidently none of you guys know how a 3 phase generator works.  It isn't the generator with the problem it is how you connect the outputs.

You can check out the different configurations of a 3 phase generator, i.e., a star connection, a delta connection, or a "Y" connection.  Each has it own unique method of producing the output but the end result is the same.

A 3 phase generator puts out 110/120 vac (depending on the type) and the driving force to produce electricity on each separate phase of the generator at 120 degrees apart from the other two phases.  If you want to use a 3 phase generator then hook up each separate phase to a different circuit breaker panel with only one common and there you have it.  Each box will have 110/120 volts ac acting on that particular box alone.  The one common will give you the proper return needed for each phase.

Nothing different that using 220vac.  You have two hot leads and one common.  You can take each hot lead and have 110vac output with a common ground or neutral.

Well you wont have a phase shift. So if you connect a three phase motor up to your idea, it will not spin because your phases will be the same not a 120 degree apart.

we are talking about the opposite here - how to connect a bunch of 1L loads to 3L source

I'll offer a different perspective, as in my opinion much of the information above is inaccurate and misleading. dacotti hits it pretty close. The three-phase output of a wind generator isn't the same as three-phase commercial power, such as 120/208 vac. It's called "wild AC" and refers to the fundamental structure of the generator's windings. If it's intended to charge batteries, it needs a regulator to turn the wild AC into regulated DC. If it's intended for grid-interactive use (not likely at one kW) it has to be used with a grid-interactive inverter. Basic rules: 1. Use the controller supplied by the manufacturer of the generator (which isn't stated). As this is a site for do-it-yourselfers, you can make a rectifier and controller to charge batteries, but it's much more sophisticated that just diodes. You also need proper voltage/current/time-based regulation appropriate to the batteries you are using, and maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to get the most power out of the unit. Consider www.otherpower.com as a DIY resource. Based on the phrasing of your question, you may be challenged simply to find the correct brand-specific controller and wire it safely into an independent battery-based system. 2. Under no circumstances should you try to connect this bird to the utility, unless you're a licenced electrician who knows what you're doing and you're using the specific UL-listed interactive inverter for that bird. Grid-tied wind isn't for DIY.

If you ask me, and you didn't, I would say you are way over your head here.  You don't have to make things so complicated.  Electricity is really easy to understand and control so you don't have to have a license, just know what you're doing.

The "Wild AC" as you put it isn't wild at all.  The output of a 3 phase wind generator is the same output as in commercial applications, the same electricity, just controlled by the wind which gives you a variable in any case.

It is a simple matter to use a 1kw wind generator to run your entire home or even a 400 watt wind generator would do the trick.  you just have to know how and understand electricity.

It is a simple known fact that you can hook up to the grid but with the right equipment which is sold commercially for the DIY'r and with instructions for the homeower.

SOLARDAD All I have to say is come on dude this site is for DIY'ers and UNLICENSED PEOPLE TRYING TO FIGURE STUFF OUT!!!!!! That is the mind set and the reason for this site if you can't do anything with out a LICENSED Professional why are you even here?

Mr. Stevens_Carl,
You can do anything you want as a do-it-yourselfer, except connect to the grid. As long as the consequences of what you do - whether successful or not - are confined to your home, I'll support and encourage you. As soon as you interconnect with the grid you're playing in the big leagues. By law, if you send power into the grid you need to be licensed, permitted, inspected, Code compliant and safe. An unsafe installation may not shut down when the grid goes down. You hurt a line worker and all of us in the renewable energy field get hurt by the bad publicity. I'm very protective of my work as a solar professional, and there's a lot of very misleading hype out there - just search for books on $200 solar power systems, or rooftop wind turbines, to find plenty.
Check this site and you'll see that I'm not alone in this: http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/showthread.php?t=4524. This is the kind of do-it-yourself work that we professionals fear.
I'm here, sir, because I found the Instructables site while building a Van de Graaff generator with my 11-year-old for his school's science fair. That's a perfect do-it-yourself project. Nobody will get hurt if we mess up.
Thank you for posting your opinion.

SolarDad, I agree that it can in deed be very dangerous... This is why I put in my reply, " Further you MUST create some sort of isolation system that will separate you gen from the grid in the event of a grid power failure... That way during a power failure you will still have power but you wont be sending that power back through you grid tie UF or THHN feed through the utilities step down,( but buckable) transformer and into the grid somewhere between 6-25 KV and then into the poor unsuspecting lineman trying to give your neighbors back there utility power......" Pardon the spelling of "your" I must not have realized that I was Not typing in the "R" in "your" several times. No your not alone in this... Also you cannot simply connect your Gen to the grid. Your power meter will typically not allow this sort of thing as it is not made to allow power to go through it backwards with out a special meter supplied by your utility provider. During the installation of this meter the tech will test your system to verify that it does separate your gen from the grid in the event that grid power fails. No you are ABSOLUETLY Correct that it can be dangerous but that's why the laws are in place to force utility companies in most locals to allow "net metering" that way the utility company will come out check and install the correct meter and test everything to ensure the safety of their linemen, as well as the general public that may be affected by your installation. I was simply bothered by the , "Under no circumstances should you try to connect this bird to the utility, unless you're a licensed electrician'" Comment I continually run into very competent people who do not have their electricians license not because they are not Knowledge or skill qualified but because they do not have "Time-In-Grade". Never mind they past the very same test that we may have passed but they don't get their card until they have worked under a licenesed Contractor for a specific number of years. They just simply worked just that much time in this field unlicensed, committed to safety, and having their work inspected just as we do. So I get very defensive when people begin the "LICENSED" rant when that really doesn't mean much. I know I've seen, hired, and fired plenty of "licensed" electricians for lack of quality. I sure you've seen them as well. I can understand that your hard pressed to believe me... But I wasn't trying to degrade you personally but defend ONLY those qualified, and safety committed individuals that only lack their "LICENSE" due to Time-In-Grade. My apologies

Ok simple.... All you need is to rectify ,(Full wave bridge rectifier x3) the 3ph ac from your gen. Then use a simple time base controller to control the proper number of transistors,( must do some math... lots of math) to again get A.C.(ie alternating current at the proper 60 HZ thats the math) then use voltage regulators to maintain the proper voltage from the transistors somewhere less than 220VAC 1ph then Step that voltage up through the proper size Transformer. If you are trying to power your entire house with 200 amp service @ 220VAC 1Ph then you are looking at approximately a 600KVA transformer... Very expensive. Further you MUST creat some sort of isolation system that will seperate you gen from the grid in the event of a grid power failure... That way during a power failure you will still have power but you wont be sending that power back through you grid tie UF or THHN feed through the utilities step down,( but buckable) transformer and into the grid somewere between 6-25 KV and then into the poor unsuspecting lineman trying to give your neighbors back there utility power...... So in general not for a novice DIY'er But none less possible with plenty experimentation before grid tie. never mind the utility will do plenty of testing before they let you do grid tie... or "net metering". But to Solar dad All i have to say is come on dud this site is for DIY'ers and UNLICENSED PEOPLE TRYING TO FIGURE STUFF OUT!!!!!! That is the mind set and the reason for this site if you can't do anything with out a LICENSED Proffessional why are you even here?

Oh forgot there are plenty of resources out there to figure out how to build this type of rectification /regulation/ inversion system. just look up power transmission, regulation, and check out some books at the library there are great resources out there... Incidentally I spoke with a licensed commercial electrician that has been in the commercial industry for twenty plus years and he had no idea how to do this with out the manuals from the equipment necessary to do this... Not a clue how it works or how to make it himself. But he is studying up on it now.

Why do you need 3 phase power for? Most homes just use 1 phase electrical system. From my understanding the best way of doing it is to charge up battery by using a low voltage ac generator. Because when the wind dies you lose all your power. So you need to charge batteries then convert the dc volt to ac volt by using a inverter. There is a special inverter that will convert 1 phase into 3 phase voltage but it very expensive. Hope this helps.

Sparkington Reread the question. The question is about going from a 3 phase generator to a single phase home. As Dacotti said it would be best to rectify the 3 phase AC to charge a battery and then invert the DC to single phase 120v.

I know I read the question wrong, so i revise my answer :) From my understanding the best way of doing it is to charge up battery by using a low voltage ac generator. The ac voltage is convert into dc voltage by rectifier diodes. Then this energy is stored into a battery bank so when the wind dies down you have energy store in the battery bank. From the battery bank you convert this dc back into ac by a inverter, so you get mains voltage. I under stand the question now hope this revised answer is better.

I think the best way to design a wind/solar system is to look at your home first. The zoning of your home's electrical system is by far the most economical way of powering it from green energy. One very important thing you will want to do if you have the experience is look at your electrical bills and see how many kWh (kilo-Watt-hours) that you used over a 12 - 18 month period. Also find the 3 highest months usage. This is where you should start. 1,000 watt generator is not going to get you very far. The great thing you can do is turn that generator into a charging system for an excellent battery system. Then invert that to AC. You will also need a transfer switch if you are planning to Switch from your Utility power to your Green Power. These are not cheap. The other thing you will need is an auto switch to dump your generator loads into something like an electric Hot Water heater or hottub heater because you don't want to run the risk of overcharging your batteries. The battery system is probably the single most important part of any system. Because the storage of the mechanical/kinetic (wind) energy into the batteries (electrical) will be your single highest cost.


9 years ago

You need a 3 phase rectifier, which converts the output to dc, and a grid interactive inverter, which takes the dc, and converts it to mains ac. Possibly also require a battery and an wind suitable charge regulator - check with the inverter manufacturer.


Three-phase alternators are the norm for any kind of generator. Your car's alternator is three phase, but a series of diodes inside it turn that into DC power. What you need first is a couple of bridge rectifiers. You will hook two of the phases to the AC terminals on one and the other pair of terminals will put out DC. The other phase needs to go to the other rectifier. The DC leads will go to your battery charger or an inverter that up-converts it from about 48VDC to 110AC for the house. You don't have to have a battery bank, but electric utilities make it nearly impossible to feed your excess power back into the grid, so you either have to have batteries or loose it. Check out the site Otherpower.com for lots of good info, including how to build your own wind generator out of scrap.