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3 Phase AC in small wind turbine generators

Posted by Anthony Jones on Jan 04, 2019

A common question we continue to get is about the 3 phase AC in the wind turbines and permanent magnet alternators and generators we use. The 3 phase alternator is the basic nature of many of the alternators and generators on the market. It is a common misconception that car alternators are DC by nature. In an automotive application rectifiers are built into the back of the alternator. We and many others chose the run the "wild" 3 phase AC out of the alternator for a few reasons. One being that taking the rectifier out and away from the alternator takes heat way from the alternator/generator. Secondly rather than the power being carried DC in 3 phase applications the power is carried though 3 transmission wires. While this does not directly correlate to using 1/3 thinner wire their is some efficiency gain involved. At Hurricane we sell a full range of rectifiers in our rectifiers and diodes section. Be sure to make sure the current is sufficient for the application you have in mind. 

Unlike the 3 phase power many are familiar with the wild 3 phase power generated in a small alternator is not like the industrial power many of you are familiar with. The frequency is not stable and the voltage is variable with the rotation of the alternator therfore the AC wind turbine cannot be tied into the grid without the use of an acceptable grid tie inverter. sorry folks but when you see AC on a wind turbine it does not mean you can hook it into the wall.