One of my recent additions for the winter cruise
north was a wind generator
. One of the forum members expressed an interest so I am putting up a new thread with the details.
Basically it worked pretty well but there are two issues from my installation
that I have learnt from, as a newcomer
I bought a Southwest AirBreeze unit, apparently rated at 160W. I have seen claims of 500W output for others but having used this a while I wonder whether those are realistic claims.
In a good breeze (15Kts apparent) it will put out 10-12 Amps easily. At it's kick in speed of about 8Kts you seem to be getting about 4 or so.
Bottom line is that in a good breeze on a good reach or to windward it will keep up with demand including the autopilot
. Downwind it delays the need to fire up the engine
considerably. Today I was on a beam reach in 18 - 22Kts of wind
and between the windgen and solar
panel the batteries were actually charged up on the 3 hour run.
We have had the misfortune to have to sit out some strong winds in windy anchorages
and did not have to run the engines for a couple of days. No sun either!
In our circumstances I feel a mix of solar
and wind makes more sense than purely solar.
I only reviewed a few generators and selected the AirBreeze largely because of it's integrated regulator
. Many don't do this and expect you to install a "dump" style regulator
which I don't like. It is also well represented in the local market.
The two issues?
a: It is a bit lower than the ideal hight for peformance (my fault as I wanted it to fit in asthetically) and
b): It is about 20mm too close to the boom. I have a couple of dings in the tip of the blades that show the exact amount! This was quite difficult to measure when designing the mast
and basically we screwed up.
With my set up both can be easily remedied and I still like the basic setup.
The height is mainly an issue at anchor
as the boom interferes with the airflow as the boat swings. When sailing it is never a problem.
I will put a follow up post in the thread with pictures and dimensions.