2 wind generators instead of 1? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 34 Old 07-02-2011 Thread Starter
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2 wind generators instead of 1?

Am about to put up a southwest windpower 3 blade generator thats been laying about my boat for a year. It seems if I'm going to install one I may as well install 2 while I'm at it. I could connect the two poles with a crossbar and put another solar panel on it. The model I have is the air 403 perhaps I could get one optimized for lower wind conditions with more blades for the best of both worlds? Also perhaps having different models will create a sort of din of white noise that would be less annoying then a single unit? Or should I just have two identical ones for symetry? It seems like there are few drawbacks to having two instead of one as all the compromises I am making to have one - mainly mounting a pole and stays can be extended to two for little additional cost... Another thought is the air breeze which would have better low wind performance then the 403. Anyone here run 2 and if so is it a good idea? Boat is a 33 footer...


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post #2 of 34 Old 07-02-2011
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That's a lot of stuff on the stern.

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post #3 of 34 Old 07-03-2011
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That's a lot of stuff on the stern.
AND you will be losing a lot of solar panel output due to shadowing by the wind generators.
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post #4 of 34 Old 07-03-2011
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I have seen several boats with two wind generators but as far as I can remember almost all of them were catamarans and had a lot more territory to decorate with gadgets
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post #5 of 34 Old 07-03-2011
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I have one now, but wouldn't add a second. I don't feel they generate enough power for the expense of adding a second. I look at one as being good for keeping the batteries up if there's enough wind for sailing. To recharge, I think solar is a better way to go.

I've thought about adding a second pole, as either a radar mount and/or motor winch, and then running a crossbar for a panel, but haven't wanted to go to the expense, at this point.

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post #6 of 34 Old 07-03-2011
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Rather than 2 mediocre wind gens add 1 good one and get a high output.

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post #7 of 34 Old 07-03-2011 Thread Starter
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what would you consider a good one? I would want one that starts in extremely light airs have read the rutland 913 from England starts up at very low wind speeds. My thought was the tower hardware would be identical if I had an air breeze and an air X one would do better in light airs the other would shine in a blow and they would look similar so less of a frankenstein effect. I would love to have an arch for a large stern panel and getting a used second generator with a pole kit would actually be the cheapest way to pull this off compared to hiring a welder - also now that I will have one tower a seperate arch wont fit so this may be the only way to pull it off. I dont have high expectations from the wind units but I love alternative energy. Currently have 325 watts of solar broken up into 25 small panels of different types tucked away in strategic spots. I would love to add a 100 watter or 120 on the transom or maybe two smaller ones to counter the shading from the air X... What combination of wind generators would you go for and if someone could try to talk me out of this I might appreciate that too...


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post #8 of 34 Old 07-03-2011
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Good and inexpensive seldom go together.

As far as I know the units like the Rutland will start producing power in light winds but their output never amounts to much. I think you are better with good solar for windless or light wind days and a wind gen that really puts out when it blows - quietly.
I helped a friend install a Superwind 350 and its output starts at about 12 knots and maxes out at about 20 knots - 25 amps output. Self feathering blades so you don't have to worry about high wind speeds. And the quietest I have ever (not) heard. Absolutely no noise or vibration on the boat and its mounting pole is not soft mounted. superwind Gmbh

It's not inexpensive though.

25 panels - I would be interested in the controller and wiring used for that array!

I would go for 2 panels mounted on poles that allow tilting at the stern, 80 watts or larger each and a good MPPT controller. Add a good wind gen and you should be good. Here's a pic from James Cameron's site showing good simple mounts - instructions are here. Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom - The Atom SolarTracker adjustable solar panel mounts for sailboats
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1.jpg  

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post #9 of 34 Old 07-03-2011 Thread Starter
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The controller is just a morningstar sunsaver duo. Just wired it all up myself the main reason for having so many panels is to combat shading. It seems to work out that I get a pretty decent steady output during the day as the shadows migrate across the deck some of the panels are always unshaded. I think tilting is too much work given how boats swing about at anchor better to go horizontal and forget about it I dont want to keep playing with panels all day long as the conditions change or worry about them being shaded. Some of my panels are flexible and walkable some are woven into canvas on my dodger and others are just regular mono panels mounted to my hatches. The tiles of small 5 watt panels work well on hatches under the boom and still deliver output as the shadows move across the clusters. The wind seems an untapped resource and I'm out of places to mount more solar though I'm pondering the stanchions. I still can only run my engel fridge a few hours a day. Its about 100 degrees here these days so I want more power for refrigeration and cooling fans...


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post #10 of 34 Old 07-03-2011 Thread Starter
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Another thought is that I could liven up the frankenstein effect of having a cluster of windmills by painting them in some sort of colorful fashion that would make them less of an eyesore - am pondering what this might be but something that makes people go oh cool instead of what a monstrosity - am finding very few examples of wind generator art though in browsing the web seems this hasn't caught on yet for some reason


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