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Old 11-10-2009, 16:32   #16
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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
... i still haven't made the choice between windgen and solar panel (can only afford one or the other) so i'm still in research/listening mode..
Wind vs. solar is like oranges vs. apples - they are not 'either/or' sort of choice.

Example - I have a 75 W solar that was our only (other than the alternator) power source for circumnavigation. And we made it OK. Would I go for a windgen? Off course, on top of the panel ... not instead!

The point is there are many sunless days, there are many windless days, but there are few windless and sunless days. And the kind of sailing you do, the conditions in your location -marina/anchorage will dictate your choices - it can be just the windgen or just the solar in some locations, but in most places of the world and in the kind of sailing I did (long ocean crossings) a mix of both seems the only way to go.

NB If going for solar it makes a lot of sense to go for a bigger panel and stick to a simple regulator - I know there are some good regulators that will do wonders, but they are pricey - probably the same dollars spent on a bigger panel will pay back in more AMPH and fewer things to go wrong. An adjustable support also makes a lot of sense - you can get a good couple of extra amphs by adjusting the angle just 2-3 times a day.

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Old 11-10-2009, 16:33   #17
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Sorry to stray off track but does anyone use or have an opinion on the Fourwinds? Dave
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Old 11-10-2009, 16:45   #18
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The Fourwinds have never seen on a boat.

But by now I recall the German gizmo was the D400 windgen and the owners raved (available in the US). (Just note its weight before you jump, click & buy ;-)).

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Old 11-10-2009, 17:00   #19
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ask yourself why it's more quiet

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I believe the report I linked to is from Practical Sailor, or a true copy of it. It ranks Air Breeze noise level (scale 1-5) at 3 vs. Rutland's 1 (I bet then Aerogen would fall at zero on this scale).
.
I don't dispute the fact that the Rutland 913, a 90-watt machine, is more quiet than the Air Breeze, which produces 200 watts. A 90-watt turbine should be more quiet than a 200-watt turbine.

Six-blade turbines, as a general rule, tend to be more quiet than three-blade turbines, and tend to operate in lower wind conditions. The problem is that they don't handle higher winds as well.

I own an Air Breeze, and find it noisiest when it's generating at the low end of its range, especially if the breeze is swirling. Get it going in a steady 15-20 knot breeze, however, and you can't hear it above ambient noise more than a boat length away.

I have discovered, additionally, that installation matters. I first installed my Air Breeze on a transom mast with temporary supports because I was waiting for a fabrication shop to build the structure for a solar panel array to which the wind generator mast would ultimately attach. Once the permanent structure was installed the generator was less noisy by a factor of two. Since then many people have expressed astonishment at how quiet the unit is. Indeed, yesterday I rafted up with three other boats to watch an air show, and the people on the farthest boat were amazed that they couldn't hear my generator at work. That's with just two 14-foot-beam sailboats in between our respective cockpits.

Finally, the claim that a "wind generator" isn't properly called a "wind turbine" if it only has three blades is preposterous. Those giant three-blade turbines that generate power in wind farms are universally called "wind turbines."
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Old 11-10-2009, 17:12   #20
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Boy, that's a self-centered statement. And one with no valid data input, I'll bet. I don't know of a single boat owner without an Air-X who is used to the sound of them and doesn't mind them. In fact, all non-owners I know groan when a boat with one moves into an anchorage.
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Agree

I have upped anchor on many occasion to get away from these things, noisy as.

I will have a honda or kipor geny on the boat, figure its noisy as well, but less so than airmarine and probably need to run for less time to get the same power.

$$ cost would be similar as well AND I get 240volt when required.
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Old 11-10-2009, 17:16   #21
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inticing, but...

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Originally Posted by DaveOnCudjoe View Post
Sorry to stray off track but does anyone use or have an opinion on the Fourwinds? Dave
I was impressed with the D-400 I saw at a boat show, although concerned about the weight. I wanted to see/hear a working unit in operation, however, and wasn't able to find one anywhere in the SF Bay area, even after contacting the US distributor, who if memory serves correctly was in Oregon. I ultimately convinced myself that I did not need 500 watts of wind power, since I already have 260 watts of solar. I basically went with the Air Breeze because it provided the amount of energy I'd need during an all-night passage with radar/fridge/freezer running.

Had I not been opting to go with a combined solar/wind system, I'd have found the D-400 more attractive.
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Old 11-10-2009, 18:03   #22
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My Air-X has been back to the factory twice in 5 years almost doubling the original cost. I never run it late as it will keep us up. Its primary use is on long passages to keep our 12v. system charged (which supplies the elctronics).We run the genset twice a day to charge the 24v. house system, cool down the fridge/freezer, and make water when needed. As far as cost is cocerned the pole its mounted on cost more than the generator.
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Old 11-10-2009, 19:24   #23
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Hi,
besides plenty of solar power, I have a Rutland 913 for 10 years constantly running, no great output but also no noise.
If I have to decide it again to buy a windgenerator...... probably not. I love my solar panels.
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Old 12-10-2009, 16:41   #24
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I don't dispute the fact that the Rutland 913, a 90-watt machine, is more quiet than the Air Breeze, which produces 200 watts. A 90-watt turbine should be more quiet than a 200-watt turbine.
Well, yes, but Aerogen makes 200 Watt turbines that are silent, and D400 is silent too, so it not the mater of the power.

It is the matter of design.

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Old 12-10-2009, 17:25   #25
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Well, yes. However...

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It is the matter of design.
...there's more to design than just noise reduction. The Aerogen weighs almost three times as much as an Air Breeze, and costs more than twice as much. Plus, it needs an external regulator that will cost half again what an Air Breeze costs.

Part of the elegance of the Air Breeze design is that there are only two moving parts. Add to that the fact that it's self regulating and that it handles high winds better than most other turbines, and you'll understand why so many cruisers are attracted to these units.
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Old 12-10-2009, 19:24   #26
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...there's more to design than just noise reduction. The Aerogen weighs almost three times as much as an Air Breeze, and costs more than twice as much. Plus, it needs an external regulator that will cost half again what an Air Breeze costs.

Part of the elegance of the Air Breeze design is that there are only two moving parts. Add to that the fact that it's self regulating and that it handles high winds better than most other turbines, and you'll understand why so many cruisers are attracted to these units.
I am afraid cost is not any part of design equation, as I see it. Neither is the elegance of two, nor of any other number of moving, or not moving parts. Aesthetics and price are important, but are not design issues.

Handling high winds better - can you PLS point to any examples / experiences? My experience is that a crew of a cat coming Gibraltar to Gomera in 2003 had a pretty close shave when one of Air-X blades decided to part ways with the hub in high winds of Canary Islands. I must admit, I have not seen nor heard of any other maker's units doing this. But I am aware my experience is limited.

Weight is a design issue. I think Air-X weight/output is unmatched. But how much does it matter to an average cruiser? Cruising boats are pretty big today.

To my understanding, the relatively high popularity of Air-() units are:

-low price,
-high output (not anymore - with Air-Breeze puting out only half against Air-X original specs),
-thus: high output/price ratio.

I said it before and it looks I have to re-state it once again - I love the Air-() and I think they are great windmills - my only reservation is the level of noise they make (and I am ready to admit this may be less of an issue to people with less sensitive hearing aids).

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Old 13-10-2009, 03:41   #27
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Arrow Previous discussion...

...can be found on CF here.

Osiris is correct - The bottom line is those w/the Air-(Noisy) Breeze, need to get the replacement blades (made in Spain?). I do not know how/if these blades affect the output performance of the Air-Noisy, but any other claims of "quiet" stretches the definition.

The D-400 is made by an English company, Eclectic Energy. Our unscientific research shows it is the quietest AND produces the most power. Unfortunately, it is also among the heaviest and ain't cheap.

We will be installing our D-400 in the next few weeks and will report back on our results.

Fair Winds,
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Old 13-10-2009, 05:49   #28
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So Air-X is the noisy one? Have to look into one of them. The biggest noise issue we face now is the idiots who insist on blaring their music or carrying on a loud party into the wee hours. We run fans inside the boat not so much for cooling as for providing white noise to cut the intrusion of some ass's loud music, or what masquerades as music. Maybe an Air-X would do that job and produce some power at the same time. I'd far rather listen to someone's wind gen than their bloody boom box or loud voice.
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Old 13-10-2009, 08:41   #29
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Here's an experience.....MY Air X survived hurricane IKE even though the boat was washed up on shore and spent several hours slamming against the dock it was still attached to. The blades didn't come off or do anything else untoward and much to my surprise(as Im the one who built it) the mount didn't break . I will bet in that much wind the damn thing WAS noisy though. The leading edges of the blades looked as if they had been gently sanded. Hopefully this won't add to the "noise" some of you seem to be able to hear. I live within 20ft of mine and cannot for the life of me understand how y'all can hear it and I can't. I can/do however hear the "music" some have refered to so maybe it's all what we perceve as intrusive. I just ignore it and don't get too worked up about it. I certainly don't allow it to spoil my day..............m
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:09   #30
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...I can/do however hear the "music" some have refered to so maybe it's all what we perceve as intrusive. I just ignore it..............m
[SARCASTIC]Funny![/SARCASTIC]

One person's "music" is another's "dentist drilling without novocaine" - for hours and hours and hours -

PLEASE MAKE IT....STOP!

Fair Winds,
Mike
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