Rutland 913, Air Breeze, or KISS wind generator? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 07-19-2010
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Rutland 913, Air Breeze, or KISS wind generator?

My wife and I are planning our get away down the East Coast and the Eastern AICW. We would like to know if you have a preference among the three wind generators we've listed and why that one is your choice.

Fair winds & Smooth sailing,
Lawrence Leonard
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2010
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I have an Air Breeze unit and am not impressed with it after a winter in the Caribbean. It is noisy and does not produce a whole lot of power in my opinion. The Rutlands are very quiet but apparently produce even less. I guess that leaves the KISS which I have heard good things about.

We also installed two Kyocera solar panels (125w and 85w as I remember) and they worked wonderfully. If I was doing it all again I might get more panels and forget the wind generator.

To be fair, the support from Southwest Windpower (makers of Air Marine) has been good. The unit went back to be checked over and I noticed that they have replaced some parts. Won't know how much better it will be now since the boat is in Florida and I am Canada and we are not going back until October.
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Old 07-19-2010
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While not one of your three options, the Superwind 350 is highly rated by Practical Sailor, very quiet if not the quietest high output wind gen and extremely well built and engineered. I am installing one this week.
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Old 07-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elleandi355 View Post
We would like to know if you have a preference among the three wind generators we've listed and why that one is your choice.
Unfortunately there is always a trade off with wind gens. You can have high output or you can have quiet but in my experience you can't have both.

Also when your in an anchorage, by design you'll be in the quietest spot wind-wise and thus you want something that will spin with a minimum of wind and that's where, once again in my exoperience the high output ones seemingly don't do that well.

I have only ever owned one wind gen and it was a Rutland 913. I was expecting a lower output and I was thus not disappointed. I was expecting very quiet and again, I was not disappointed. I was expecting to get little operation in an anchorage and also, I was not disappointed.

But when I was at sea with decent wind, the Rutland kept my batteries up and never drove me dilly with the banshee imitation. I will have another Rutland 913 without question.

But like most things, it's not for everyone
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Old 07-20-2010
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I'm installing a Fourwinds-ii. It has large blade diameter and a speed brake that automatically deploys in high winds. They have good output.

I made my choice by motoring aroound the harbor in Block Island and listening to the different wind generators. Also we need one that will protect itself in high wnds when we aren't there. 2 years ago a friend measured the wind at 73 knots at the anchorage when a storm (not a named storm) went over. A little (noisy) generator could electrically short-circuit and shut itself down. A big one would need mechanical braking or it would destroy itself IMHO.

Until we start seeing variable pitch blades, speed brakes are essential unless you are always on the boat or tie it off when you are away.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 07-20-2010
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I'm installing a Fourwinds-ii. It has large blade diameter and a speed brake that automatically deploys in high winds. They have good output. Good customer support too.

I made my choice by motoring aroound the harbor in Block Island and listening to the different wind generators.

Also we needed one that will protect itself in high winds when we aren't there. 2 years ago a friend measured the wind at 73 knots at the anchorage when a storm (not a named storm) went over. A little (noisy) generator could electrically short-circuit and shut itself down. A big one would need mechanical braking or it would destroy itself IMHO.

Until we start seeing variable pitch blades, speed brakes are essential unless you are always on the boat or you tie-off the generator when you are away. (If you aren't getting a mini-noisy one, you might want to ask the companies what wind speeds are included in their warranty.) Again, IMHO.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 07-20-2010 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 07-20-2010
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I have KISS

I installed a KISS about 6 months ago, and am happy with it.

I like a couple of things about the design: no brushes; diode block is a standard automotive part.

I have some info about wind-generators, including my own KISS experience, on a web page: DC Electricity Generation on a Boat

Bill
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Old 07-20-2010
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Have had a KISS for 6 years. Very simple unit and parts are available at any automotive store. Very happy with this unit. Used to have a Windbugger (they're out of business now) Bugger Bob used to wipe all the identifying marks off everything so you had to get the spares from him. KISS gives you the part numbers and they're easy to get. I'm still running on all the original pieces, bought a spare set of bearings but so far no need to replace them yet. John and Libby at Hotwire (KISS dealer) are very helpful.
: Hotwire
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Old 07-25-2010
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DO NOT BUY A RUTLAND 913 "Windcharger"!!!! Mine cost $1600 NZ, didn't last that long when the hub magnets "warped" out of the hubs! A 22 ton press was used to push them back only to have them warp out again and rub on the stator. Local agents in Auckland (Able solar) wanted over $600 for a new set of hubs! Marlec in the UK wanted nothing to do with it! I now have a cheap jaycar supplied chinese 300w wind genny and it goes great.
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Old 07-25-2010
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Omatako
You can get both high output and quiet but it is not cheap - the third factor.
superwind Gmbh
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