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Old 06-13-2006
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Wind Generators... Looking at Air-X

I am looking at adding two Air-X wind generators to my sailboat. I have a 24V bank of AGM batteries as well as a 12V bank. My refrigeration runs off the 24V and I have a 2800 watt inverter on each bank. I am told I can expect to get about 100 amps a day off each generator with 15 mph average winds. I am also considering adding a 130W solar panel. Any thoughts on the Air-X generators would be appreciated.
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Old 06-13-2006
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What boat are you intending to install the Air-X wind generators on? That would help considerably in helping us advise you.

130W solar panels are fairly large in size, being about 28" x 60" or so. The solar panels can complement the wind generators quite well.

Wind generators are fairly noisy, so it might be a problem, especially if you have two of them on-board.


Also, more details on the size of your battery banks and the typical electrical loads you normally have in use would probably make giving you advice on your electrical system much more feasible.
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Old 06-13-2006
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There was some discussion on this a while back if you look at some of the older posts. I bought the Air-X myself, but haven't yet installed it. Suppose to be fairly quiet, though some have said it's loud if you're behind the blades. 50 amps a unit seems a bit optimistic though, even in 15 mph winds. I think you would be better off setting up your system with lower expectations, then if you do get that much, you've got some reserve capacity. According to the literature, it puts out 33.3 amps @ 28mph. Doesn't say if that is for the 12 or 24v though.

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BTW, the Air-X specs lists 400W, so at 12v that would be 33.3Amps... half that at 24v.
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Old 06-14-2006
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Yep, what Sailingdog says is correct and remember that when you're sailing off the wind your apparent windspeed is down so to get a consistent 15 knots into your fan will need a fair blow. Hopefully your anchorages will be protected and you won't be sitting in 15 knots there either.
I reckon 50 amps from a wind gen is optimistic. I believe the output from these fans to be linear so if 33 amps is produced at 28 knots, then 15 knots is likely to produce about half of that.
In my experience, the more blades you have the less noise they seem to make, the three bladed units can set up quite a howl. I've never owned one but have had the mispleasure of being anchored near them and they're pretty intrusive even on your neighbor's boat.
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DSBENTLY...Before you put two of those on your boat...you may want to consider just how noisy just one is...They have a bad reputation for being among the noisiest generators. See thhe following SSCA thread:
http://ssca.org/discus/messages/1/65.html

For what it is worth, I was very pleased with my Fourwinds, living aboard for several years with one and have heard many cruisers rave about their KISS generators.
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Old 06-14-2006
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Kiss

I had a Kiss generator on my last boat . It is deviously simple , quiet, and well engineered. It also generates AC and is rectified to DC at the battery bank. thus very light wiring.
check it out
eric
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Old 06-14-2006
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I am quite tall and the whole open blade thing kind of freaks me out. I prefer Solar. Plus, no moving parts to break in the middle of nowhere!
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dsbentley...SSince your location is in the USVI, you are in prime territory to make the most out of wind generators. Nevertheless, it would be most unusual for you to assume 15K of wind since most of us try to anchor out of the heavy wind and waves. My own experience would suggest that even 10 knots average in most anchorages is optomistic. So from most wind generators, the best you will consistently get is about 5 amps which will still get you over 100 AMPS a day. We had 160 watt solar panels and at best got 50 amps a day from them but they were a useful supplement to the wind generator. Still had to run the engine every few days to top up. Of course you need to divide the above by 2 for 24V performance.
So...I encourage you to look at the output of various wind machines in 5-10knots of wind as a large % of your charging will be done under these conditions AND there seem to be significant differences between the big blade models and the little blade models in the lower wind ranges.
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check practicalsailor.com ; they have done various test of the output - both electrical and noise - of most wind generators on the market...
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