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  #11  
Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Wind generator

Actually, I thought the forum members pretty much addressed the OP and most pretty much said forget the wind generator and stick with solar.

Cheers,

Gary 8)
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Wind generator

I would call BOTC Wind & Solar 10 Best Items needed for Cruising | Galveston Island, TX 77551 409-457-2049
they have a great 400w wind generator with controller and the Owner is very straight shooter
and they have solar panels
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSickFish View Post
this site also does not give a review of the sun force 600w


Thanks for the critique of our replies.

If you carefully read what he posted, he in fact did NOT ask only for a review of the sun force 600w. He said he is about to buy one and wanted advice on OTHER alternative products as well. I have no experience or source of info to share about the sunforce but I can share info on other products that he asked about. So I think I answered his question.

Here is what he wrote (emphasis is mine)
-------------------------------
"I am about to buy a wind generator Sunforce Marine 600W.
I also want to install two 85W solar panels.
Anyone has opinion or alternative product I should use?

Thank you."
----------------------------
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Wind generator

OK, I bought a sunforce 600w. There are a few bad reviews from impatient owners who probably wired it in wrong. I am putting mine up soon, when the welder finished my stand. They are big for a wind generator, but will start at 4.5 knots and max output is 17 knots (ish).

My suggestion for electricity if you plan to cruise and be independent of the dock (and don't have a built in generator):

have a wind generator, solar panels, and a 1000watt or preferably 2000 watt little generator.

Sometimes you have wind and no sun, sometimes you have sun and no wind, most of the time you will need a little boost from the generator.
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Wind generator

If you get a generator, remember the gas cans.

A friend loaned me a Honda 2000 generator for a few weeks over the summer. I was surprised by how little charging I got on a tank of gas/on a few hours of charging, when compared to the output of the solar panels. IIRC, I got 20 amps of charging for a couple hours run (not the full tank, by the way), run through a Xantrex 2000 inverter charger into 330 amp hours of gel cells. That's 40 amp hours a day. I'd get about the same amp hours with another 100 Watt solar panel, without the hassle and noise. (Even the Honda makes some noise at it's slow speed. I ran it in the evening, and sound carries over water, especially on still nights, so I didn't run it when the stern was facing the closest shore.)

Yes it helped, but really the benefit was when the kids wanted to watch TV or I was using the microwave. This was also the time of the evening when all the interior lights were on. (And I did turn the freezer to a colder temperature to take advantage of the extra amps.) It got so I'd start it until dinner was over and the movie was over.

Don't get me wrong, it was great to have, expecially as a battery-drain preventer. It simply got me wanting more solar instead of a generator. For the price of the generator, I could get more solar panel charging (including the cost of some mounting hardware), and never have to carry any gas. This might be different if you have AGM batteries that can take a quick charge really well, or if you are using a different charger (the Xantrex 2000 was only pushing 13.6 volts, while the engine's alternator pushes 14+ volts during charging). But if you were putting more amps in, the generator would probably not be running at the low rpm setting but at the higher, noisier rpm.

Regardless what you do, get a Victron battery monitor. Without it you don't really know what's going on with your electricity.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 09-20-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post

Solar is the best way to go, and even in marginal light conditions they still provide some power, though not much. When the wind's now howling, a wind generator, IMO, it just about useless.
As with most things, it largely depends upon where you're sailing...

In a place like the Chesapeake, for example, a wind gen will be pretty useless a good deal of the time...

Down south in the wintertime, however, it's a whole different ballgame, one can be very nice to have...

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  #17  
Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Wind generator

My two cents on the wind generator noise, I anchored next to a boat with one and it was loud on my boat. My cabin fans were on because it was hot, and they cancelled out the sound because they are from the 80's and friggin loud. When I turned them off though I could still here the other guys wind generator, I couldn't imagine having to live with that.
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Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Wind generator

too true for most wind generators the bearing and the blades used on most units are basic for the bearings and the blades are just not balanced right .
The bearing has to be for low/high speed and a radial lip seal .....and the blades have to be composite material
Thats why I tell everyone call 409-457-2049 he is one of the smartest engineers around and has great products BOTC Wind & Solar 10 Best Items needed for Cruising | Galveston Island, TX 77551
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
As with most things, it largely depends upon where you're sailing...

In a place like the Chesapeake, for example, a wind gen will be pretty useless a good deal of the time...

Down south in the wintertime, however, it's a whole different ballgame, one can be very nice to have...

Well, I started the day not jealous. I guess that's something.

Regards,
Brad
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBones View Post
My two cents on the wind generator noise, I anchored next to a boat with one and it was loud on my boat. My cabin fans were on because it was hot, and they cancelled out the sound because they are from the 80's and friggin loud. When I turned them off though I could still here the other guys wind generator, I couldn't imagine having to live with that.
Well, as usual, "it depends"...

Some are not bad at all... Unfortunately, the primary offenders in the Screaming Banshee category also are among the most numerous out there, the earlier 3 bladed versions from Air Marine... Newer versions are said to be quieter, but in my observation, this style still has the tendency to produce the most annoying pitch...

Most of the larger, single piece 2 blades like mine, produce a far more "natural", less offensive noise...(it also helps that mine is suspended in the rigging, so minimal vibration through a pole mount is transmitted to the boat) You might be surprised how quickly you'd get accustomed to it, and I've gotten to the point where when lying in my vee-berth, I can generally guess the wind speed to within a knot or two, based on the sound. On many occasions, I've been alerted in the middile of the night to a building breeze, or an approaching squall, solely by the change in the note of my wind gen...

In my observation, the quietest one out there right now - by far - is the D400 from Duogen... It's almost spooky how quiet those things are... Downside is they are very heavy and bulky, and very expensive...
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