Any comments on the new Air Breeze vs the AirX - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Any comments on the new Air Breeze vs the AirX

We are trying to decide on wind generators. I know this is an old topic. Practical Sailor did not actually rate it as it was a prototype at the time of the test, but the Air Breeze did come in second in amount of energy produced and was said to be quieter than the Kiss....These are my two choices, but I would appreciate hearing from those who have experience with either of the above generators. Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-04-2008
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We Have an Air-X,
Just so you know you can take the ratings charts and throw them out.
It will make power but not until the wind is steady at fifteen knots. At lower wind speeds you dont get enough voltage to drive the amps into the batteries unless they are close to dead. I think I would rather optimize my boat with solar first then add the wind gen. Our air-x is noisey. The sound sets me on edge, it seems like the wind is blowing twice as hard as it is. You do get used to it after a while. kind of like living close to the train tracks
I'm sure the Kiss is quiter, It also has longer blades which as far as I know would give it more power at lower wind speeds.
Just my thoughts on it, and I have not seen or heard the air breeze yet.
I did sand my blades down to 400 grit paper trued my pole up and and made sure that there was no metal on metal contact in the mounting hardware. This cut the noise down considerably.
Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-04-2008
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Had a neighbor at a raft up with the air breeze, and a neighbor with a KISS.

I agree, optimize with solar first and only if you can't carry the panels go with a wind gen. They are down right disruptive.

Solar panels don't have moving parts and are therefore quieter, and last longer with no maintenance except an occasional hose down.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-04-2008
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Solar works well on a catamaran where you have acres of real estate for panels. From your moniker I assume you are headed to trade wind territory where the wind gen is a significantly better producer of amp hours than the panels that can be fitted to most monohulls. Having both is better.

I would encourage you to stick with big blade units and the KISS has been well rated over time as has the 4 Winds. I have NO hands on or other info on AirBreeze but I can say that their power curve graph output is grossly overstated vs. the PS test results. I guess that is to be expected. The SSCA rates the Kiss and 4 winds the best in their equipment surveys from actual users...but of course the Airbreeze is not included. The AirX does not fare so well so maybe the AirBreeze is designed to remedy that. I realize this does not answer what you asked...but perhaps it will give you some food for thought.

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-04-2008
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One more thought on wind generators.
the highest percentage or your time cruising will be spent at anchor.
If you pick good anchorages you are protecting yourself from the wind.
so the wind gen becomes less desirable than more solar.
When you are underway the gen is good until you go past a beam reach.
once you get on a broad reach to a run they are handicapped by the apparent wind being far less than the true wind.
For us sailing on a broad reach in 15 to 20 knot winds we didn't have enough apparent wind to get many amps out of it.
What I'm trying to get across here is that they just don't work as good as you think they will. at least ours didn't.
That being said we still have ours and probably will always have one.
If they could get the price of the KISS down a couple hundred bucks I would get one in a heart beat.
Ketch rigged boats that had their generators mounted up high on the mizzen probably get a lot more amps from theirs. there were times this winter that I looked around in the anchorage and every one that had theirs on poles the blades weren't even turning but the ketches were spinning right along.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-04-2008
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Matts comments are right about anchoring in shelter....That is why big blade units are a must...you HAVE to get output that is usable at 8-10 knots or you are wasting your money. 2or 3 amps at 10 knots will get you 50-60ah's a day. Less than that and you will be wishing you spent your $$ on panels!!

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-04-2008
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I looked at both the Air Breeze and the Air-X. The folks at Southwest Windpower told me that the Air Breeze needs a minimum of 400 amp-hours of battery capacity, while the Air-X needs just 200 amp-hours. John
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-05-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I can say that their power curve graph output is grossly overstated vs. the PS test results. I guess that is to be expected.
I'm shocked -- shocked! SWWP is legend in this regard. Right in there with shopvac manufacturers -- wow, 6.5 hp from a simple 110V device, how DO they do it?

Might consider Ampair, also. Small swept area, but higher solidity than the AirX and a reputation for robustness. Frequently seen on ocean racing boats. As my home system installer wisely said, "The power curve of a broken turbine is flat." Rigorous axiom testing confirms:




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post #9 of 10 Old 03-05-2008
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That's a really big sailboat you got there Bob. Where's the mast though??? And you really need to clean the decks off better—they look like they've got grass growing on them.




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post #10 of 10 Old 03-05-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
That's a really big sailboat you got there Bob. Where's the mast though??? And you really need to clean the decks off better—they look like they've got grass growing on them.
Shhhh -- secret dryland testbed. Can't just launch into the Volvo Ocean Race with a dodgy power system can we? S/V Prairie Schooner gonna wipe the floor with them Frenchies. Soon as I learn to weld aluminum....

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