Well I have one up and have heard it in a gust - dont mind the sound. It does seem to produce a lot less then a solar panel and given the cost one could buy a lot of solar for the price of it. However it will charge at night and during inclement weather when the solar will be incapacitated. It seems the toughest part about solar is finding places for them. Nowadays the cost is quite cheap and getting cheaper - someone should market stanchion/ lifeline mounting kits for yachts. I still need a Bimini perhaps I could throw a couple more panels on that and mount a few to the air x pole. Am not sure another is worth the cost yet though I have a line on a whole new air X and pole kit for half price...
Regarding the 914i vs the 913 per Marlec's website:
· Delivers more ampere hours per day. Produces up to 30% more energy than
Marlec's highly successful and market leading 913 model
· Uses the very latest technology and features Marlec's innovative new MPPT
· Same compact size yet almost 3 times more powerful. The first 910mm diameter
Rutland turbine produced 50W @ 10m/s (19 knots) and on the 914i it now produces
a power rating of 140W @ 11m/s.
Our FourwindsII puts out 10 amps in less than 20 knots. I'm satisfied with it's output, but the "average winds" published for our cruising grounds is nowhere near reality. I think they mean "when there's wind, this is the average", which seems about accurate.
I'd stay far away from the tiny ones that sound like a small plane taking off. If you get an AirX, please anchor someplace else!
The ones with bayonet type blades produce more output, they generally have three blades but you better have a power plant on board which is less noisier. The ones with rectangular blades produce less amperes but function nearly in every speed of wind and mostof them are silent. You cannot even remember one is running on your boat.
high capacity = high noise
low capacity = low noise
The Superwind 350 is a 3 blade, high output wind gen that is incredibly quiet. Vibration free as well. You cannot tell it is turning on the boat if you are inside. If you are close enough - 6' - you can hear the air against the blades in 15 knots or so. Quietest I have ever heard. Max output is 25 amps at 20 knots and the output doesn't change as the wind increases from there. A brake is not needed in high wind speeds as the blades are self feathering.
The cheap high output wind gens are noisy. You get what you pay for.
Well so far my first wind generator has produced very little power. Almost none that I can speak of the odd gust or two has had it going but almost trivial. Out on the open seas I'm sure it would be another story but as everyone said solar is far more bang for the buck. I have essentially decided to try not to get a second unit though the mounting place still tempts me for more solar but I agree that having one for a bit wind generators dont do a whole lot... I still like having one but its a waste of money.
A wind gen should have a better output at anchor than at sea. Most of us plan routes to be predominately downwind and the apparent wind is less than it would be if you were stationary. Upwind the wind gen will have a higher apparent wind and will have a higher output but who wants to go upwind by choice.