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Old 20-02-2019, 17:39   #1
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Air X silent Wind Generator

Air X Silent wind generator
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Posted By Broadoak
Air X Silent wind generator

Our old trusty Aerogen wind generator has finally given up the ghost. We are looking at replacing it with an Air x Silent model. We are keen to know of anyoneís experiences with this model. It is an Air X Silent wind generator.it is important to us that not only does it perform well, but that it is silent as we are permanent live aboard.
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Old 20-02-2019, 17:57   #2
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

I am unfamiliar with an Air-X silent Wind generator. I do own a Silentwind generator, but itís not connected to Air-X. My previous wind gen was an Air-X. They are definitely not the same beast.

If it is a SilentWind that you are asking about, then I can tell you they are not silent ó no wind gen is. But they are reasonably quiet, especially compared to the old Air-X. I

Ours is located aft of our cockpit. We carry on normal conversations with it running most wind conditions. No need to raise your voice. Mostly we donít even notice it. It is completely silent a couple of boat lengths away.

Iíve found that it performs pretty close to spec., as described in the power graphs.
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Old 20-02-2019, 18:17   #3
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

Pricey, but the best quality wind generator is the SuperWind350. They are the ones that developed the quietest wind generator blades that others have copied. They have beaten the ever lovin begeesus out of them over the years and they still keep on going. These are for the serious sailors that will see all kinds of conditions. When Irma came through we had ten boats that we had to check on after the storm with the SW350. All of them except one were just purring away when we got back to the boat after the storm. The one had a neighboring boats sheet wrapped up in the blade stopping it and yanking on it as the boats rocked. The mast was bent, but once untangled from the sheet the SW350 started spinning and doing what it was designed to do. All wind gens will pretty much give the same output of power at the same speeds. But getting hit with hurricane force winds will set the SW350 miles apart from any other wind gen. You can certainly buy cheaper wind gens, but you can't buy better.
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Old 20-02-2019, 23:05   #4
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

Air X is great, replaced previous model by same manufacturer after 10 years of use with the Air X. Keeps autopilot, fridge and everything else powered up whenever sailing. However you should check wind speed you will have when you need it most. Air X starts producing at higher wind speed and can produce more at higher winds. But if you need it more in lower winds, such as when anchoring the Air breeze starts producing at lower wind speeds. Compare the wind speed output graph of both. If you donít like noise install a switch and turn it off for the 1hr or so a day when no noise is more important than no power. Most comments about noise are nonsense. If the wind is blowing hard there will be plenty of noise from other things.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:27   #5
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

I've only heard/seen AirX on other boats at the dock or at anchor. When I came to buy one for my boat I opted for Air Maax for a number of reasons, incuding performance, price, and construction. I've owned it for over a month, all spent at anchor in the Bahamas. Not a great deal of time, to be sure, but other than a few minor glitches during the installation, I've been very impressed. Those glitches were due to the specific location, not the product, and my desire to have it easily disconnected for hurricane preparation. I understand the manufacturer is making changes to the next model (due out soon) to reduce weight and improve operation.

My wind gen supplements 480w of solar power, and really comes into its own with the recent strong easterly trades, pumping out power day and night. As for noise, it is extremely quiet--a faint hum at most, slightly louder than the solar panels, but never intrusive, including when the wind is over 20 kts. For output specs, please look at the Air Maax website, but so far I have not seen my battery lower than 12.5 volts in the morning.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:35   #6
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

I second Tellie's opinion. I too have owned a SuperWind350. When it came with the original blades is was quiet. There was a slight whooshing sound when I was on the wind. Then Superwind developed new blades that were even quieter. The Superwind is now so quiet, that I have to open the companionway to see if it even running. No vibration either.

When I was refitting Skylark, I knew I was going to take to northern Europe and solar panels weren't going to be the best choice for auxiliary power. I had JSI in Florida build me a mast that would hold the wind generator and the radome on the port side of the transom.

Crossing the Atlantic, the crew flattened the batteries one night using all the systems. The following morning there little wind and the engine wouldn't start. One hour with the Superwind running and we were able to start the engine with the decompression levers off.

Practical Sailor gave the SuperWind350 a good review with the caveat that the firm was new (10 years ago) and located in Germany. Turned out I live 15 minutes from the factory. There is no plastic in the construction of the generator only the blades. On two occasions when I broke the blades, the factory overnighted a new set. I have had no other trouble with the unit in 10 years.

SuperWinds can withstand high winds as the blades feather when the wind is too strong.

I have looked and listened to probably every wind generator in the market and Silentwind is definitely a cheap copy of the SuperWind. I dare say that there is not a more powerful and better built wind generator out there.

As they say...if you buy cheap tools, you buy them twice.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:56   #7
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

I've had bad luck with two SilentWind 400 generators. I never got them to work right even after a factory tech inspected and OK'd them. I was getting lots of vibration and I had the factory installation kit.

If I install one again, I will go with the ECLECTIC ENERGY D400.
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Old 21-02-2019, 12:11   #8
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

Wind generators create two types of noise: the first is the sound off of the blades, which tends to radiate sideways and annoy other boats (the newer silent blades improve this situation), and the second is a rumbling sound aboard the boat that is a result of vibration. The early Air X got a bad reputation because of its quite loud whistling, compounded by owners who did not rig, or at least use, a shutdown switch. I have an early Air Marine (first version of Air X) that wasn't too bad aboard my boat but was more noticeable elsewhere in an anchorage. I shut it down at least for the night, but also for the evening if I wasn't desperate for power. The newer "silent" blades are an improvement but I would still recommend rigging a shutdown switch and using it when others are near.

The worst case is when the battery is charged and the regulator disconnects the wind gen; without load the blades freewheel at a high rpm and create a very high-pitched whistle (I don't know if this is still the case with the newer blades). When this happens the rig should be shut down. Also, when leaving the boat for any time the air gen should be shut down - rely on solar to keep the batteries topped. I spent a couple of winters with a nearby boat's Air X freewheeling (she was plugged into the dock so the batteries were always charged). Every time the wind blew the entire marina was treated to that annoying whistle. Don't be that guy...

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Old 21-02-2019, 13:02   #9
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

Quote:
The worst case is when the battery is charged and the regulator disconnects the wind gen; without load the blades freewheel at a high rpm and create a very high-pitched whistle (I don't know if this is still the case with the newer blades). When this happens the rig should be shut down. Also, when leaving the boat for any time the air gen should be shut down - rely on solar to keep the batteries topped. I spent a couple of winters with a nearby boat's Air X freewheeling (she was plugged into the dock so the batteries were always charged). Every time the wind blew the entire marina was treated to that annoying whistle. Don't be that guy...
This is kinda odd! My Air X (and all the others that are installed per manual), when the batteries are full shuts itself off by internally shorting the output, just like when you shut it off manually. It then will rotate slowly if there is wind, but it makes no noise in that mode.

So, while the Air X isn't as sophisticated as the newer designs, it does not behave as you suggest.

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Old 21-02-2019, 13:14   #10
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
This is kinda odd! My Air X (and all the others that are installed per manual), when the batteries are full shuts itself off by internally shorting the output, just like when you shut it off manually. It then will rotate slowly if there is wind, but it makes no noise in that mode.

So, while the Air X isn't as sophisticated as the newer designs, it does not behave as you suggest.
What Jim describes is also how my old Air-X worked. Shorted out it would continue to rotate, but slowly. Made no noise in this mode.

I think my current Silentwind gen does the same thing with its braking switch.

When I researched wind gens I finally chose Silentwind over the others due to a few factors. Paramount was quietness. Second was power. Third was weight. Fourth was cost.

Itís been a while now, but I recall liking the D400 a lot. But it was quite a bit more expensive than the Silentwind, and it was a lot heavier. I canít recall why I didnít go with the Superwind ó cost perhaps? Availability? This was around seven years ago now.
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Old 21-02-2019, 13:35   #11
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

An Italian friend of mine installed a Silentwind.Bit of a disaster. lots of wind noise but worse was the loud humming that came through the deck into the cabin below. (his cabin) . So bad that he would shut it off at night which rather defeats the purpose of a complementary power generation along with solar. The body of the unit was a corroded mess after 3 years with most of the paint having peeled off to leave white powdery aluminium.

I have a Rutland 1200 from Marlec Engineering UK and v happy with it . No noise at all. the wind in the tress makes more noise. No humming either. I was careful with the installation and have rubber bushed brackets for it.

As for shut-down, is this not controlled by the voltage regulator? I have a MPPT , also from Marlec, which manages the shut-down and balances the requirements from both solar and wind to feed 2 battery circuits (engine and domestic). So if the batts are fully charged or i am on shore power the wind gen is shut down automatically and just turns slowly however high the wind speed.

Calder was very positive about Silent Wind in his "Bible" but i think things have moved on from that time.
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Old 21-02-2019, 13:40   #12
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

As I wrote, I had an Air Marine, which was the predecessor model to the Air X. There are a lot of them out there, and visually indistinguishable from the X. I was unaware that the X properly shorted the windings when charged - a great improvement. Still, best to rig a shutdown switch and use it when others are close and sleeping.


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Old 21-02-2019, 14:10   #13
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

I have owned a Silentwind 400 for 8 months now. The product is ok. I donít think itís too noisy and the power out put us ok. Like other wind generators I guess

The customer service however is horrible. It can take up to 1 week to get an email reply from Edgar the tech support guy. It too over 6 weeks for me to receive a replacement blade. And I have an odd problem.
While the batteries are charged up by the engine the controller for the Silentwind appropriately switches to brake or unload mode. But afterwards it wonít switch back to normal mode and start running again. You can see in the attachment that itís in unload while the voltage is12.6. It set with absorption up to 13.4, so should be running. In order to get it to run again I have put a large draw in the circuit, my water heater, for 2-3 seconds. Then it switches to normal mode and runs again
Iíve had this trouble since my initial installation 8 months ago and I have not received any help to solve the problem. I was told that they would do bench testing and never heard feedback from that. Otherwise Iíve just been told it should work normally. After multiple attempts Iíve just given up on getting help from them
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Old 21-02-2019, 15:45   #14
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

After having tried other "silent" wind generators SV Zero speaks highly about his current "Superwind 350" which he claims is completely silent and vibration free in this episode .
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Old 21-02-2019, 19:41   #15
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Re: Air X silent Wind Generator

It seems I am the only person here who actually has an air-x silent unit. I've had no problem with it. It just came through hurricane Michael with no problems. The blue blades were a bit beat up from projectiles so I bought new ones. These blue carbon blades are what sets it apart from the earlier models, and they reduce noise. It's never been loud, well, at around 20kts everything gets kinda loud and I do hear it. It starts to generate power at 7kts I believe. Above 25 or so they recommend shutting it down (shorting it will put the brakes on it). I found customer service helpful on two occasions when I needed them.
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