Monitoring a Wind Turbine with a Raspberry Pi

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As a weekend project I wanted to receive an email if my wind turbine wasn’t generating power when it should. I didn’t want to spend loads of money on fancy new equipment so I hacked it together mostly with equipment I had lying about.

Requirements

– Wind Turbine or Solar Panel (obviously)
– Bridge rectifier (converts the AC from the turbine to DC)
– Some sort of voltage regulator (10-24v –> 12v) (or to 5v and skip below)
– Car cigarette lighter mobile phone charger (£5)
– Raspberry Pi (£35)
– Delta Sigma ADC (£25)
– USB Cable (£1)
– 1 Hour free
– Met Office API Key (free — UK Only)

Steps

– Wire up the turbine and bridge rectifier
– Pop the bridge rectifier into the voltage regulator
– Put the regulated voltage through the car voltage adapter, this will give you 5v out
– Wire the 5v from the turbine into channel 0 on the Delta Sigma
– Pop the ADC into the Pi, follow this guide for setting up the software.

How it works

– The Pi asks the Met Office what the current wind speed is.
– If the wind speed is above a threshold then the Pi checks the turbine
– If the turbine isn’t generating 5v then email me.

Next Steps

– Use Machine Learning to find a better balance on announcements
– Rate limit announcements.
– Measure integer of turbine output instead of boolean state.
– Wire the Owl energy monitor up to the AC output of the grid tie inverter.
– Store value of state in something like Graphite or using Nagios for announcements

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