I have a 12V solar panel setup currently and would like to add a bike generator to it. I've created the bike generator and have it also producing 12V direct current. I've seen some other post where a separate charge controller is suggested, but if it's all 12V, can't I just add it to the series? I've tried hooking the bike and the panels into the same charge controller and with a diode on the positive wire I was still pulling power from the panels to the generator. (though I may have put it on the wrong direction, I've been tinkering on it for a while now)

  • \$\begingroup\$ You need diodes in both the generator and solar panel wires, e.g. in both positive leads. The diodes allow current to flow from the source to the sink, but not to the other source. Hint: the arrow in the symbol points to the "conventional" flow direction, i.e. from + source to - . \$\endgroup\$ May 4 '20 at 1:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Where do you plan on 'adding' the generator. You can't add it in series. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    May 4 '20 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DrMoishePippik I'm pretty sure the panels have diodes in them individually. \$\endgroup\$ May 5 '20 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VoltageSpike that was my thought. I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that if the panels are all 12V, I should be able to add the generator since it's also 12V. \$\endgroup\$ May 5 '20 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.Milliscone That would be true if the current from both panel and motor were the same, but the sources are mismatched, so in parallel or in series you could have problems. In addition a solar panels voltage varies by how much light is received, and the load that is attached, so they need special controllers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    May 5 '20 at 15:06

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