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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Solar vs. Wind Turbine.
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Thread: Solar vs. Wind Turbine. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-03-2013 01:55 PM
Bene505
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedoman View Post
I've had a wind generator on my Gulfstar 37' sloop since 1991 and wouldn't consider doing without it. I have 3 group 31 Defender batteries (130 a/h each and they stay topped off most of the time. The unit is a Four Winds that is so quiet people come by and find it hard to believe how quiet it is. I bought it with a control unit that measures output and state of charge of the battery. It also has a bump start to get it going in light air, a reverse switch which reverses the field to stop the unit so I can put a lanyard on it when I leave. Similarly it has a spring load governor that deflects when the wind speed gets too high and slows the unit down; and finally it has a 3 stage regulator that keeps the batteries from overcharging. If we're on the boat for days with slight wind I simply leave it running when I go home and the batteries are topped off when I get back. I'm not at all against solar, I just love my Fourwinds which is mounted on a 9' SS pole.
I have a Fourwinds also, with the speedbrake too. Just took it off the boat in favor of solar. We cruise in the summer months due to school schedules, so solar makes the most sense to us. I glued folded towel fabric to the frames of the panels and set them right on top of the bimini for now. They are tied down firmly. (We have 130x3 + 120 + 40 watts, a total of 550 watts. On cloudy days I still get a few amps of charging.)

The Fourwinds is back at home, gethering dust, so to speak. We have an extra swivel-connection-thing for the top of the pole too. (Can't get those anymore, I think.) I chose the Fourwinds by motoring around Block Island harbor listening to all the wind generators. I believe I intentionally anchored near a fourwinds, as the winner of that "competition". There are other quiet wind generators out there. My mooring neighbor had a different one that did ok.

Whatever you do, don't buy one of those little-bladed wind generators. In a wind they sound like a Cessna airplane taking off -- for hours on end!

Worth repeating just in case you ever anchor near us...

Whatever you do, don't buy one of those little-bladed wind generators. In a wind they sound like a Cessna airplane taking off -- for hours on end!

Regards,
Brad
Instrument rated pilot -- credential provided to back up the (repeated) Cessna comment above.
07-03-2013 09:21 AM
norsearayder
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

i have both,get the solar first,but in the winter its nice to have wind also.solar is plug and play,set it and forget it almost...when there is a near gale outside i have measured up to 24 amps in a good gust of wind.on a normal day ,bank is full and wind is shut down and solar is taking only 1 or 2 amps at rest..
07-02-2013 09:20 PM
xort
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

Windgen...D400, VERY quiet and good output. Otherwise go solar
07-02-2013 02:18 PM
freedoman
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

I find that one of he advantages of a wind generator is that the batteries are charging overnight while we sleep. No sun needed.
07-02-2013 02:13 PM
freedoman
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

I've had a wind generator on my Gulfstar 37' sloop since 1991 and wouldn't consider doing without it. I have 3 group 31 Defender batteries (130 a/h each and they stay topped off most of the time. The unit is a Four Winds that is so quiet people come by and find it hard to believe how quiet it is. I bought it with a control unit that measures output and state of charge of the battery. It also has a bump start to get it going in light air, a reverse switch which reverses the field to stop the unit so I can put a lanyard on it when I leave. Similarly it has a spring load governor that deflects when the wind speed gets too high and slows the unit down; and finally it has a 3 stage regulator that keeps the batteries from overcharging. If we're on the boat for days with slight wind I simply leave it running when I go home and the batteries are topped off when I get back. I'm not at all against solar, I just love my Fourwinds which is mounted on a 9' SS pole.
06-22-2013 07:26 AM
PBzeer
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

I figured if I was sailing, I'd have wind for the wind generator, and if I was motoring (no wind), then I was charging anyway. If I was starting over, I'd get solar first. As for hot water, I have a large SolarShower that I tie down on top of my dodger (it has a hard top).
06-21-2013 10:51 PM
aeventyr60
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

Before we left somebody said " solar for Mexico, wind generator for the So. Pacific. I'd add the solar first. Then get the wind generator.
06-21-2013 09:59 AM
redline
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

When I added the radar/dinghy arch to Redline a few years back, I ordered both the solar panel brackets and a post for a wind generator at the same time, planning to add those later. We ended up installing two Kyocera 130W panels right away, and adding a third the following year (after learning that the particular panels we had were being replaced by another not-quite-identical model, but were still available). From day one, we're thrilled by the solar. The (mainly fridge) overnight consumption was typically replaced by early afternoon each day, and if I had room to expand our house bank (of 3 Group27 batteries) I would, as the panels can generate more than I can store, and this at 46 degrees North.

Now we sometimes need to run the engine for hot water, as we no longer do for battery charging. It was a surprise the first time we ran out, now it's just a reminder of how little fossil fuel we're using ;-)

As for the support post... it's holding up our WiFi and its antenna, and lately the HF antenna and its tuner. No plan to change those, either. I'm sure wind has it's place, but as long as we can get by with silent, vibration-free, no-moving-parts solar, we will.
06-19-2013 06:31 PM
Rasputin
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

Huge thanks for the input.
06-19-2013 10:58 AM
SimonV
Re: Solar vs. Wind Turbine.

If its one or the other it has to be solar. But both are better and even then you may still require to run your motor to top up the batteries occasionally.
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