In regard to an optimal aftertime hydroponics setup, I've recently been toying with the idea of hooking up an array of
windmills directly to a bank of LEDs. This way, we could skip the charging of batteries for this important use of electricity.
Batteries have many problems: they're way too expensive, charging them wastes energy, they're difficult to maintain, and
they have a relatively short lifespan. In my opinion, keeping a bank of expensive batteries is not a solution for growing
plants in 20+ years of gloom. Furthermore, skipping the batteries makes the system less complex and less prone to failure.
So here's what I'm thinking, and by the way, I'm not too familiar with the stuff, so please correct me where I'm wrong.
Say you have a bank of LEDs that require 1amp at 12volts for an optimal lifespan of about 11 years. First you would hook up the windmill output to a regulator(?) to get your clean 12volts. then you would hook it up to a device that would take any current over 1amp, and direct it to an excess load (ie water heater, battery bank, etc). This would theoretically run the LEDs at their optimal level. And I'd imagine that when the output current is less than 1 amp, the LEDs would just be dimmer. But would not be damaged. This way, light output would be directly related to wind-speed. So is this setup even possible? What are the problems with such a setup? Can anyone with LED experience approximate the number of windmills required to run such a setup?
Offered by Gabe.
Power is a problem I am yet to consider in depth, however, you may find your plants sitting in the dark if the wind stops blowing. To rule out batteries, I'd guess you may have to consider multiple concurrent power generationsources. A water turbine ala the Rainbow Power Company is my personal favorite at the moment, but this requires you have a continuous flow of water nearby. My uncle has configured a solar and wind power generation set-up on his plantation and used 2 heavy duty truck batteries (24 V I think) to store his power. He then stepped that down or up dependent on the respective circuit requirements. He enjoys an uninterrupted power supply, running electric lights, TV and video, washing machine, refrigerator, tools and other electrical things. Not all at once though, he is forced to manually manage the loading. It is worth noting that this has been operational for about 6 - 8 years and he has endured multiple cyclones with this configuration. I haven't heard him complain about replacing components yet, but as I say, I will be quizzing him further.
Offered by Gino.