Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-10-2009, 15:36   #1
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
The Newer Air-X Wind Gen - Still Too Noisy!

Hi,

Today I passed by a boat with the newer Air-X (Air Breeze). It is believed to have half the power of the original unit and make less noise too.

Well, the one I passed by was VERY noisy ...

If you want a silent wind gen - steer away from Air-X.

Comments?

b.
__________________

__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 16:13   #2
Registered User
 
S/V Willow's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Working on the new boat getting ready for first shake down cruise. Currently on the east coast of the US.
Boat: Peterson 44.
Posts: 131
Images: 1
Oh thanks for that - we are currently looking at Wind generators and comparing noise levels. There are many Air X models here in the marina and well quite frankly I would be embarrassed to have one. We have looked at the new Air Breeze model in the box and the seller said that it is in fact "alot quieter" but not having seen one we weren't prepared to go ahead until we got feedback. So you have helped us alot with your feedback and we will knock that one off the list. We keep coming back to the Aerogen6 model. The ones here you can be standing next to and you can barely hear them at all. Don't want to offend people in anchorages so the volume is a big factor. Thanks again
__________________

__________________
S/V Willow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 16:35   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Boat: R & C Leopard 38 (2001)
Posts: 148
I installed an Air Breeze this past season and sailed with it for 6 weeks. True it is only a 200 watt generator compared to the Air X which is 400 watts but note that it starts generating at a lower wind speed. Most sailors look for somewhat sheltered places to anchor so a lower startup threshold equals more electricity in light wind locations. Depending on your sailing grounds and anchorages the air breeze may, in fact, generate more than its bigger brother.

Regarding noise mine has a slight whishing sound as it comes up to speed and thereafter it virtually silent. I would not hesitate to mount another one on board.

Dollar for dollar you will have a hard time finding a better unit. Internal regulation and speed control, on/off switch etc. etc.

Damaged blades can cause excessive noise, but that applies to all brands of wind turbine. I suspect that if you heard one, then it was damaged.

I have a friend with an Aero6gen and it is also terrific, twice the price.

The Air X series were very noisy and earned the brand a bad reputation. The air breeze is an excellent unit and will not offend in any ancorage.

Dave Ross

Happy air breeze owner
__________________
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 19:13   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
With all respect,

I do not think the unit was damaged - it looks brand new. I will ask the owner to stop it tomorrow - if there is any damage to the blades I will report here again.

I know the old Air-X and it would take a side by side comparison if the Air Breeze is less noisy or not. But this is not my point.

My point is - it is VERY noisy.

Everyone of us has different tolerance to noise, and I love the Air-x for how light, reliable and powerful it is.

Still, I would not buy one for my own boat - I would 'waste' the extra couple of hundreds and buy one of the Superwind, Ampair, etc. or a Rutland.

There is also a very powerful, virtually silent German unit in the market (do not recall the name but can dig it out if somebody really wants it). It is on the heavy side (to heavy for my little shooter anyway). Expensivish, too.

Some good reading here:

http://www.naviclub.com/Test_compara...nes_marine.pdf

Cheers,
barnie
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 20:13   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Boat: R & C Leopard 38 (2001)
Posts: 148
Quoting from your source material:

"Pluses for the Air Breeze prototype include high output (second overall), light weight (lightest overall), quiet operation, easy installation, excellent construction, and a low price."

As an owner, I agree with all the above.

The Air Breeze has white blades with a slightly wider tip than the Air-X's Black blades. I've anchored beside enough Air-X's to know how noisy they are. I agree with you when you suggest steering away from the Air-X. I would never buy one.

I also have a low tolerance for noise. When I installed my Air Breeze it initially had a slight vibration in the nosecone and made a small ticking sound at certain RPM's. It drove me nuts until I pulled it off and added a small piece of sticky-back foam under the cone. Since then It has been quieter than the wind that turns it. Your description of the air breeze as "very noisy" is inconsistent with my experience.

Also respectfully,

Dave
__________________
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 20:19   #6
Eternal Member
 
Chief Engineer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North of Baltimore
Boat: Ericson 27 & 18' Herrmann Catboat
Posts: 3,798
Beats listening to a genset all night.
__________________
Chief Engineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 23:03   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Actually there are several ways to make the Air-X and other Air-Marine windgens quiet but most folks don't want to take the time and effort. The easiest is to buy the after market replacement blades for the unit.
Usually which unit you buy is determined by the cost versus power output of the device. If you are a sloop and intend to pole mount the wind generator than I serious suggest that you look at wind "turbines" rather then wind generators - turbines have more than 3 blades, usually 6 or more while wind generators have 3 or less blades. The turbines will start spinning and output usable power at lower average wind speeds than wind generators.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 03:39   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Burraneer Bay, Sydney.
Boat: Fountain Pajot, He'lia 44
Posts: 325
Images: 1
Send a message via Skype™ to Gordon
Has anyone any information on the D400 wind generator?
__________________
Gordon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 03:53   #9
Registered User
 
SVKokopelli's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: On the boat...east coast
Boat: Lagoon 37 (TPI) - Kokopelli
Posts: 18
We had the Air-X on our previous boat and installed the Air Breeze last October on our new boat just before our trip to the Bahamas. The Air Breeze is significantly quieter. I agree that the Air-X is noisy but that does have it's advantages. It was a great indicator that the wind had picked up when we were down below.

We have the Air Breeze now and almost miss the noise. We have had people sitting on our boat and comment that they couldn't hear the wind generator. We are very happy with the Air Breeze. Most importantly, the ability to control the wind generator from inside the boat is priceless. We have seen too many instances where people have had trouble trying to manually feather other models.

I would not be too worried about too much noise for your neighbor and certainly don't recommend that you base your decision on this factor. We have several friends we have cruised with over the years and none of them complained about the noise from our old wind generator (we asked because we were concerned about the noise). We simply didn't anchor close enough to our neighbors to bother them. On the very rare occasion that you are so close to your neighbor that the noise is a problem, you can turn it off to be a good neighbor. Also, there are lots of boats out there with Air-X wind generators and most cruisers are used to the sound. One more isn't going to make that much difference (I know some will not like this last part but it's the reality).

One word of caution if you do get or have an Air Breeze. The white blades do not last in the sun. Please inspect your blades if you already have one. Ours deterioriated after less than one season in the sun. Southwest Windpower is fully aware of this and will replace the blades with black ones.
__________________
SVKokopelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 09:31   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVKokopelli View Post
...

One word of caution if you do get or have an Air Breeze. The white blades do not last in the sun. Please inspect your blades if you already have one. Ours deterioriated after less than one season in the sun. Southwest Windpower is fully aware of this and will replace the blades with black ones....
I read it earlier in their materials that the new blades were - redesigned - as one of the steps in effort to make the unit quieter. So why go back to the older and posiibly worse design? Why not go right ahead and buy the less noisy and just as powerful unit in the first place? Or why not just PAINT the new, apparently better blades black? A can of black spray paint may be cheaper than replacing full set just because some iffy designer forgot about the fact that white does not stand up to the UV?

And, not last, if the new white blades deteriorate in the sun - what happens if they untimely fall apart and hit someone of the crew???

I was at that boat today and asked the owner to stop the unit. We had a close look and a very nice discussion. (We are still friends). As imagined - the blades are fine, the unit is balanced and isolated from the boat by elastomere padding. I asked his neighbours and they find it too noisy (@ about 10 knots of wind). They made it clear it is OK only because they will be moving on very soon.

I said and will repeat - I love the Air-() for the design and output, but I am lead to believe that once you have one it is like your baby - you are never pestered by your own kids making too much noise. But how about other people's kids?

;-))

No, seriously, I understand Air-Breeze is a fine alternative for people who can stand the noise and who do not find it a problem. But I have a couple of Ampairs and Rutlands (i.a.) around and and they are silent. So for anybody who does not like the noise there are better alternatives.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 10:43   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVKokopelli View Post
Also, there are lots of boats out there with Air-X wind generators and most cruisers are used to the sound. One more isn't going to make that much difference (I know some will not like this last part but it's the reality).
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. Be aware that most of us seek and value friendships among cruisers and keep our opinions to ourselves - often to the point of lying to you Air-X owners about the noise.

But we are never "used to it".

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 11:37   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Boat: R & C Leopard 38 (2001)
Posts: 148
Barnakiel, Thanks for taking the time to follow up.

The noise of the Air X has been a topic of contention for a long time and much written about the irritation to neighbors. So much so, that the manufacturer designed and introduced a new product to address the issue. The new model is a significant improvement, as attested to by many well respected sailors, product evaluators, and unit owners, and will go a long way to improving the overall well being of all sailors in all anchorages. It would be a shame to lose that momentum.

IMO Painting the new model with the same brush as the old does a dis-service to quiet lovers everywhere. Those of us who have chosen the Air Breeze either as a replacement for existing or as their first, do so at least in part, as a courtesy to those around us.

Dave
__________________
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 12:44   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
FWIW. practical sailor tested the new airbreeze and found it significantly quieter thatn the air-x. they also liked the new electronics. overall gave it an excellent rating.....
__________________
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 13:36   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
re:

To Dave:

The thing I tried to point at in this thread is that the Air Breeze is:

- claimed to be less noisy than Air-X (note - it is also less powerful than Air-X),
- perceived (by myself and other people at our dock) as TOO noisy.

There is no doubt it is a good unit and an improvement on Air-X.

My doubt is: it is way more noisy than say Rutland or Aerogen, and may be too noisy to some users (it is to me and to other cruisers I asked).

To onestepcsy37:

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).

---

Everybody makes their own choices but I believe those of us who, on the basis of manufacturer's claims, chose the Air Breeze, may end up unhappy with the noise levels and so will possibly be some of their neighbours in the marina and in the anchorage.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 15:23   #15
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
barnakiel - 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. maybe i'm going slightly deaf - my wife seems to think so - but we've been in anchorages with air-x equipped boats and had no problem with their noise. i'm still leaning towards solar panels, just because they're simple, and with that new charge regulator that gives them better overall output they appear to be an even better choice.

but svkokopelli did make one good point about the air-x. when you're down below it's a good indicator of when the wind is picking up....
__________________

__________________
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
noise

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
High Outpur Alternator vs Wind Generator Strygaldwir Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 90 15-10-2011 12:02
Need: Wooden Blade for Wind Gen madonna Classifieds Archive 2 31-05-2009 17:12
Noisy Wind Generators happy adventure Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 84 27-12-2008 10:17
Ground for wind gen nelsonsmoody Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 13 08-04-2008 09:40
MPPT which one is best for solar/wind gen Ram Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 26-02-2008 23:04



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:06.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.