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richard46 09-08-2003 07:42 AM

wind generator
 
I would like some in put on wind generators.
It seems I use up around 53amps + per 24hr. I''d like not to run the generator to charge up the batteries.

mcain 09-08-2003 08:23 AM

wind generator
 
Wind generator power is directly related to the "swept area" of the blades, or to blade diameter. While efficiency does play a part, nothing beats swept area to increase the output. The "large" ones are, for example, Windbugger, Four Winds, KISS. The smaller ones are Aerogen, etc. Practical sailor tried to do a study at Miami boat show this last winter, where all the wind generators were on display and connected to Link 10''s, but there was insufficient wind. However, Practical Sailor is now doing a survey, which should be out soon, and should shed some light.
The biggest issues are reliability, power output, customer service, and especially noise. Only the Air-X was real noisy in Miami. Output of all of them in less than 10 kts is dismal. Of the small units, I liked the Aerogen 6. Of the large units, the KISS looked good and the 4 Winds.

I have a Windbugger, which came with the boat, on a post aft. It is a large unit, so power output is reasonable. However, customer service is dismal--I had it in for repair and was not happy. I would think hard about buying another one. KISS gets generally good reviews and they now have a bearing that allows full 360 degree rotation, which they didn''t have before.


camaraderie 09-09-2003 08:23 AM

wind generator
 
Rich... I have a fourwinds by everfair and it has given me excellent service over the last few years as well as being nice and quiet (which also has a lot to do with how it was mounted). In 10-15 knots of wind you should be able to generate all the amps you need and then some...but in less than 10 knots you''ll have to run the engine a bit. Remember that many people pick anchorages that are out of the wind. My own solution was to add solar panels (2x80watt) which give me 40-50 amps most sunny days...the combination of wind and solar power works for me.
Best...GB

sherbet 09-10-2003 07:24 AM

wind generator
 
Just a point on terminology. Two of these posters used the term "amp" when they really meant "amp-hour". You cannot generate an amp of electricity in a given amount of time, since an amp is not a quantity of electricity - it is a rate of current.

It''s kind of like a land-lubber saying "we were going 10 knots/hour". Any sailor knows that "knots" already contains the notion of "per/hour", so adding it to the end doesn''t make sense (actually it does if you''re talking acceleration, but that would be a pretty unusual discussion).


richard46 09-11-2003 06:39 AM

wind generator
 
thank you for your in put, I''ll check out the KISS., as well as Aerogen. What about the high winds (50mph and above) is there a break needed?
Rich

richard46 09-11-2003 06:45 AM

wind generator
 
thank you for your reply. re. the mounting, I have a 46''6" catamaran (25'' beam), any recomened mounting to keep it quiet?

Rich

mcain 09-11-2003 11:58 AM

wind generator
 
In high winds, each unit has its own method of handling the additional power. Some recommend you secure the unit (i.e. tie up the blades) for wind above 35 kts--OK when you are on board, not good if you have left and a thunderstorm comes up. Some units have actually run through very high winds--gales and near-hurricanes. Others have some kind of brake. On one unit, I believe the Air X, the blades "stall" (meant in a aerodynamic sense) thereby creating a very loud and obnoxious sound. One element I do like, that some units have, is an "off switch" that applies an electrical brake to the unit and stops the blades. It always seems a little chancy to turn the unit around and stop the blades with the wind. You pays your money and takes your choice.......

For mounting, some recommend a layer of heavy rubber under the mount to dampen noise and vibration, and rubber under the side-support mounts where they attach to the pole. Mine is right above our heads over the aft cabin and you can hear it, but its not too bad, and like anything else, you soon get used to it.

WHOOSH 09-12-2003 03:45 AM

wind generator
 
A couple of additions:

Some wind gens have more than one way to eliminate overspeeding. The Air-X will shunt its output back into the stator and stall the wind gen provided a switch is installed for this purpose. The blades also begin to stall out as wind speed accelerates but that''s to keep the amps being generated low enough not to damage things (e.g. when ashore and the switch is not left thrown).

Re: the KISS, keep in mind it''s built by Trini teens down in Chaguaramas. There''s been a lot of griping over the years about the build quality...tho'' it''s hard to know what to do with this info since obviously this isn''t an issue for every single unit sold.

I couldn''t agree more with the comment about customer service. When our earlier model AirMarine burned out (the overload switch was overcome by extremely high winds in a convective blow in the Caribbean), it was a joy to have an 800# to call, a tech who could answer my questions, an inexpensive electronic upgrade offered, and the whole thing taken care of in a week - from the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, actually). I think the larger AeroGen units look very nice...but wonder what kind of customer service a U.S. customer can expect.

Jack


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