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-   -   Whispergen Generators? anyone using/know about? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/18135-whispergen-generators-anyone-using-know-about.html)

georgebanker 07-11-2006 08:19 PM

Whispergen Generators? anyone using/know about?
 
The Whispergen website, www.whispergen.com, shows a new to me power source for heating, generating electricity and making hot water. It sounds too good to be true! So, does anyone have experience with these units? Thanks

redcorvette1995 07-12-2006 06:40 PM

No it's not to good to be true.

It's based on the Stirling engine, which has been around for more than a 100 years.

It is great technology, lasts a long time and is very quiet, BUT it is more expensive than traditional means.

As a rule Stirling applicatons tend to cost two to three times traditional solutions. So if a generator solution is $5K - $6K I would expect to pay $10K - $12K for a Stirling based solution.

From a physics standpoint, it is good, reliable, long proven technology.
Regretabley it is more expensive, primarily because of supply and demand i.e. scale. If we all started buying Stirling products the price would drop pretty fast.

Cheers,

Todd

ChefRobert 07-16-2006 08:13 AM

Whispergen Generators
 
Whispergen Generators are made here in New Zealand. I have installed several in houses throughout the country. The clients have have found them to be a reliable unit.
I personnnally know one of the developers.
I know of several installations in super yachts that have been and are being built here in New Zealand.
I would love to install one on the 'Gypsy Rover', but lack of space is my problem even though the unit is very compact.

theodora 07-18-2006 12:40 AM

Whispergen units
 
I have looked at this unit. It's well made and runs quietly. However, the Stirling cycle converts most of the energy in the diesel to heat and a relatively small amount goes to electricity.
If you have a big need for hot water and/or cabin heating and can handle only 800W of charging capacity, it's OK. If, like me, you live in the tropics, you'd be better off with an AC generator running through an inverter and I'd recommend a Whisper 3.5kW from Mastervolt.
The Whispergen unit retails for NZD19,000 approx.

dawndreamer 07-18-2006 02:11 PM

I am seriously considering installing a Whispergen in my new sailboat. The DC buffer and inverter method of electrical management seems ideally suited to its 750 Watt/hour output and my needs. Being able to automatically replace up to 18 kW per day is well in excess of any forseen electrical use short of offering to do laundry for the entire anchorage, while I microwave a hip of beef. :D And its heat output will be well-suited to my mostly non-tropical cruising plans. Since I am planning on installing a diesel-fired hydronic heating system, the Whispergen will eliminate my need for a furnace. Thoughts...?

Surfesq 07-18-2006 03:03 PM

I looked at the Whispergen and decided that in the Annapolis area a traditional generator might better suit my needs since I would want to run my AC on really hot nights. (My engine will produce more than enough hot water in a relatively short period of time).
Daydreamer: I installed an Espar Diesel Heater which I would highly recommend.

dawndreamer 07-18-2006 03:26 PM

Surfeit,

I have used Espar and other diesel heaters on some of my previous boats, and I am well familiar with them. The WhisperGen would make one redundant.

Surfesq 07-18-2006 03:36 PM

Ddreamer: I noticed that you mentioned that you are considering a diesel fired hydronic heating system. That sounds interesting. What about weight considering you will need water to heat the boat? What's the brand so I can check it out?
As for the generator issue, my needs are really limited to the summer time when its just too hot and there is no wind.

dawndreamer 07-18-2006 04:08 PM

Espar makes both hot air and hot water systems. Here's a link to one of their hydronic models: http://www.espar.com/htm/Specs/water/hydro5.htm

Tree_hugger 01-08-2010 06:48 PM

Has anyone (or do you know anyone that) has actually installed and used a Whispergen aboard a boat? I am considering one for use aboard a liveaboard in Alaskan waters. A continuous source of low cost, quiet heat and battery charging sounds great.

Tom


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