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Old 16-03-2010, 15:28   #1
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2kw Wind Generator - Question About Feasibilty

OK. At the risk of making a fool of myself, here's a crazy idea that I'm toying with. I am looking for any good reasons why I should NOT go ahead.

I am thinking of mounting a 2kW wind generator with a 10 ft diameter turbine on a pole at the bow of our cat. The pole and gennie will only be erected during extended stays at anchor.

The boat has dual back stays - one to each hull - thus making mounting in the aft area problematical.

I plan to have a 10 ft pole on which the gennie will be mounted. This pole will be braced by two struts 90 degrees to each other, one running aft down the hull and the other athwartships to the center beam.

The pole and struts will be mounted on bases using some method of quick release. Pole and braces will be tied down on deck when not in use. So raising or dismounting the mast should take less than 5 minutes.

One possible wind generator I was thinking of is described here:

hybrid solar wind turbine - wind power turbines with solar and wind output


Stuff I don't know yet:

- How strong the pole and mountings need to be.
- Whether the turbine can easily be brought to a stop.
- How easy and quickly it will be to dismantle and stow away.

The bow mounting has some positive aspects - clean air at anchor, low pedestrian traffic, lower perception of noise & vibration due to distance. A large turbine even producing a small fraction of its rated power at low wind speed will still be a good output.

It has negative aspects as well - mainly safety issues. I don't know how quickly and safely I can get it down if I have to raise anchor and get going in a hurry.
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Old 16-03-2010, 15:52   #2
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2kw! That's a monster generator. That should generate enough power to keep at least four cruising boats happy.

Why so big?
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Old 16-03-2010, 15:53   #3
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While interesting, I think this is a very bad idea. A 10 ft diameter vane is a very leathal device. Too many things to go wrong. What happens when you are in storm conditios, drag anchor, etc....

it would also be very noisy, and possibly vibrate alot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neelie View Post
OK. At the risk of making a fool of myself, here's a crazy idea that I'm toying with. I am looking for any good reasons why I should NOT go ahead.

I am thinking of mounting a 2kW wind generator with a 10 ft diameter turbine on a pole at the bow of our cat. The pole and gennie will only be erected during extended stays at anchor.

The boat has dual back stays - one to each hull - thus making mounting in the aft area problematical.

I plan to have a 10 ft pole on which the gennie will be mounted. This pole will be braced by two struts 90 degrees to each other, one running aft down the hull and the other athwartships to the center beam.

The pole and struts will be mounted on bases using some method of quick release. Pole and braces will be tied down on deck when not in use. So raising or dismounting the mast should take less than 5 minutes.

One possible wind generator I was thinking of is described here:

hybrid solar wind turbine - wind power turbines with solar and wind output


Stuff I don't know yet:

- How strong the pole and mountings need to be.
- Whether the turbine can easily be brought to a stop.
- How easy and quickly it will be to dismantle and stow away.

The bow mounting has some positive aspects - clean air at anchor, low pedestrian traffic, lower perception of noise & vibration due to distance. A large turbine even producing a small fraction of its rated power at low wind speed will still be a good output.

It has negative aspects as well - mainly safety issues. I don't know how quickly and safely I can get it down if I have to raise anchor and get going in a hurry.
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Old 16-03-2010, 16:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
2kw! That's a monster generator. That should generate enough power to keep at least four cruising boats happy.

Why so big?
On the basis that in light airs of 5 - 10 kts, it will produce a useful output.
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Old 16-03-2010, 16:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
While interesting, I think this is a very bad idea. A 10 ft diameter vane is a very leathal device. Too many things to go wrong. What happens when you are in storm conditios, drag anchor, etc....

it would also be very noisy, and possibly vibrate alot.
I agree with all you say - I am indeed afraid of the 10ft turbine taking my head off.

But if its possible to brake and stop the turbine, then it may be possible to dismount the whole thing in 10 minutes or less. Remember the idea is to only erect it if planning an extended stay at an anchorage. It will not be up full time.
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Old 16-03-2010, 16:29   #6
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Are you serious??

Solar panels don't vibrate, make noise, cut people into little bits, produce lots of windage, represent a hazard when having to raise anchor in storm conditions. Those are just the immediate ideas, and I'm sure there are more.

A 46 foot cat should have lots of acreage to devote to solar.
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Old 16-03-2010, 18:00   #7
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Are you serious??

.
At this stage I am exploring the idea - and I am fully prepared to accept it is a dumb idea and to forget all about it.

I was hoping for more concrete objections. I too am concerned about the safety issues you raise but I'm still thinking if I can safely bring the rotor to stop in any wind then I'm halfway there. What do you reckon?

-------------

One reason why its a dumb idea: Gyroscopic forces due to pitching and rolling will be excessive..

----------------
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Old 16-03-2010, 18:27   #8
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At 2kw, the load will be significant and it will only generate at higher wind speeds. Gusting then becomes a problem and over speed will cause the regulator to switch off to protect the charger. If a blade should break free, it will be like shrapnel.
If you have a good blow, the boat will be pitching and rolling, putting more torsional strain on the hub and blades.

Better to opt for 2 smaller ones.
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Old 16-03-2010, 18:29   #9
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why no

10 minutes to remove anything that large, heavy and cumbersome would be too long for any illusion of safe operation. How much do they weigh, + mounts?

Really, you should drop this one, it is close to competing with the Chickens on board idea. Intersting in an alice and wonderland kind of way, but woefully impractical. Turbines of this sort of meant for permanent installation, and not on the pitching deck of a sailboat.

Now if you had a 100ft + vessel...

Chris
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Old 16-03-2010, 18:29   #10
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If you have a good blow, the boat will be pitching and rolling, putting more torsional strain on the hub and blades.

Better to opt for 2 smaller ones.
Bingo.

You hit the nail on the head!..

I agree - it was a dumb idea. On to Plan B.

Thanks.
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