Hello Mark and David,
Thank you both very much for your interesting answers which I appreciate very much.
I do not know Raspberry PI very good and besides information on the internet, I liked to know the ideas and opinions of people here who have experience with Raspberry. What got my interest in the first place for Raspberry was the fact I can program it with Xojo. For the Arduino I use the C like language.
The project is not a secret, so I can perfectly share that information. On this moment I am planning a generator which can provide a normal home of electricity. Taxes and energy here in Belgium are very high, even when I am not here for a longer period (some periods of the year I am in Botswana, other periods I am in Belgium but my home is in Botswana). I want to find a clean, cheaper and safe solution for the moments I am not here. So I am designing a completely autonomious generator which is driven by a fast DC motor with a slow rotation speed DC generator. We like the generator to produce around 7000 KWH a year. We intend to use a gear train of 2:1 or (better 4:1). By operating at 48V DC we reduce the currents and by using the gear train we reduce the power the DC motor needs to drive the generator. We will use two true sinus invertors to convert the power from 48 VDC to 230 VAC. There are starting batteries (two blocks of 2 batteries each) which provide the starting energy and when the generator cannot keep up. Also the batteries are loaded when their energy fall below 40% of their capacity. When one block is loaded, the other takes over. I have to point out that this is not an unlimited free energy solution like those magnetic motors seen on websites like YouTube which are all a hoax. In our design we respect the natural law who says that you cannot get out more energy than you put in.
There are in fact two microcontrollers present with each their own sensors. The Arduino Due will do the complete process controlling while a second smaller controller is concerned with safety and checking the values of the main microcontroller as detecting fires, gas levels (coming from the loading of batteries).
On this moment the project is in a preluminary design stage, on which we did not make much calculations. On this moment we are checking if our theories will work like we expect. In other words if there are no flaws in our thinking. When we have done all the calculations and the result is positive, we will start building the generator.
Based on the replies I tend to use Arduino. A startup or restart time of 30 seconds is too long for our application. From the moment the system gets its power back, those microcontrollers have to be ready. For whatever reason the generator stops working, those microcontrollers has to find out how they can safely restart again. For that reason when the main power is off, they will automaticly be powered by the batteries. The generator can stop for several reasons :
- they are overloaded
- the motor, generator or invertors get too hot
- there is a short circuit, in that case the system has to check if there is a route to provide power again to the most important lines (heating in winter time)
There is no need of a graphical interface or controls on the generator itself. Access over the internet is enough so it can be checked and in case of a failure to intervene over the internet. Here in Belgium I have a fast DSL connection which is always on.
It is a project I am doing with a friend. I am responsible for the electronics and programming the solution, my friend takes the mechanical part for his account. I find this a very interesting project because besides of incubators, I did never do a project of this scale and I believe in it.
I asked for advice here on this forum and I am happily surprised about the replies I received. Be assured that I appreciate the efforts of all people who contributed here very much. I want to say a BIG BIG THANK YOU to everybody for your input. To show ypu all my appreciation, I decided to share the project with you. It is in a very early stage but I will keep you informed here about the progress we made. When we have our theoretical results (positive or negative), I will give here the details too. I believe in this project that it can work out. I have to make clear that this is not a commercial project, so there are no secrets. When it is working on a small scale, we will happily share it freely.
I wish you all a very nice day and all the best.