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Old 02-19-2011
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Choosing a wind generator

On our last sailboat we purchased the Air Marine manufactured by Southwest Windpower from West Marine. The company seemed to stand behind the product and make continual improvements over the years. Now I notice that West Marine is offering in its place a wind generator from Sunforce (SunForce Products Inc. - Wind Turbines - 600 Watt Marine Wind Turbine. Can anyone provide pros and cons between these two competitive products? Thanks
Pete
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Old 02-19-2011
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We try and avoid anchoring near Air Marines because they are NOISY!

Have you looked at a Kiss.
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Old 02-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
We try and avoid anchoring near Air Marines because they are NOISY!

Have you looked at a Kiss.
Thanks. My understanding is that through the years they have made significant improvements which included noise reduction. I don't think one can lump them all together. Of course, the new ones are no longer called Air Marines. We have looked at the one called Air Breeze.

I was also looking at the Sunforce 600Watt unit. Their website makes the statement:
Quote:
Quietest Wind generator in existense

Also, if I read it correctly, the blade diameter is only 26" compared to 46" for the Air Breeze and a whopping 58" for the KISS.
Pete
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Old 02-20-2011
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I still avoid anchoring next to any Air-X Marine and have actually re-anchored due to noise from one of them. I have a D400 which is heavy and expensive - but almost silent and produces (a bit) of power in almost no wind. When I bought my unit about 2 years ago I felt like the odd windgen out, but looking at the cruising boats in the past month in the Leewards and Windwards I see quite a few of them, one cat even had a dual setup.
The KISS is also popular but my subjective feeling is that I don't see many new Air-X ones anymore.
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Old 02-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I still avoid anchoring next to any Air-X Marine and have actually re-anchored due to noise from one of them. I have a D400 which is heavy and expensive - but almost silent and produces (a bit) of power in almost no wind. When I bought my unit about 2 years ago I felt like the odd windgen out, but looking at the cruising boats in the past month in the Leewards and Windwards I see quite a few of them, one cat even had a dual setup.
The KISS is also popular but my subjective feeling is that I don't see many new Air-X ones anymore.
Thanks for the feedback. I've been googling and surprisingly can't find any up to date comparisons between marine wind generators. Also, interestingly I found several references that stated Southwest Windpower builds the wind generators for Sunforce. Wonder what that's all about? I would sure appreciate a link to a good review of these machines.
Pete
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Old 02-20-2011
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Also, if I read it correctly, the blade diameter is only 26" compared to 46" for the Air Breeze and a whopping 58" for the KISS.
Pete
Simple physics dictates that a bigger blade = more output..

Practical Sailor Tested them in the June & July 2007 issues & the Superwind 350 was the overall winner... They additionally tested the updated Air Breeze in May 2009 and still declared the Superwind 350 the winner.
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Old 02-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Simple physics dictates that a bigger blade = more output..

Practical Sailor Tested them in the June & July 2007 issues & the Superwind 350 was the overall winner... They additionally tested the updated Air Breeze in May 2009 and still declared the Superwind 350 the winner.
Thanks. If I had to spend that kind of money for a wind generator, I'd definitely go with solar For comparison, West Marine sells the Sunforce 600W for $799 and the Superwind 350 for $2299; a pretty remarkable difference. Is it justified?
Pete

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This looks interesting. Wonder if they will make a smaller version.

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Old 02-20-2011
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Cheap = noisy. Having installed a Superwind 350 I can attest to its lack of noise and vibration. You get what you pay for. Remember, the units that bother others will bother you more.
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Old 02-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Cheap = noisy. Having installed a Superwind 350 I can attest to its lack of noise and vibration. You get what you pay for. Remember, the units that bother others will bother you more.
I guess I'm an optimist. What about this statement concerning the Sunforce 600Watt unit sold by West Marine. Sunforce's website makes the statement:

Quote:
Quietest Wind generator in existense
Sounds pretty good to me. I'd sure like to hear from anyone who's tried one.
Pete
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