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Old 14-05-2010, 10:08   #1
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Lightbulb A-Frame to Mount Wind Generator and Solar Panels

I have a Westerly Konsort 29, a beamy boat, for long cruises I need to supplement my 2 solar panels with a wind generator, I have seen several yachts with an ideal solution, an "a" frame or radar frame, with the generator mounted centrally and flanked by a solar panel each side.
Can anyone advide me oa a supplier in the UK OR give me another solution?
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:57   #2
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What you are referring to is usually called a "Radar Arch" although you may not carry a radar .... the usual arrangement is to mount your radar antenna, a wind generator & solar panels on such an arch ...... first enquiry would be to Westerly (your boat's manufacturer) .... alternatively, find a marine welder/fabricator who will fabricate one to your requirements ...
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Old 14-05-2010, 11:04   #3
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If you expect anything significant from your solar panels, don't mount them even slightly below the wind generator. You will lose more from the resultant shading than you'll get from the generator.
Been there, done that.
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Old 14-05-2010, 13:11   #4
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Consider what a great lifting point you are creating too, ideal for dinghy, MOB, outboard lifting etc. Just design the arch to suit. Easy, I hope, on a mono to correct the ballast to suit extra weight aft.
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Old 14-05-2010, 13:52   #5
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We have a westerly Fulmar, and an arch with two 120w panels on it. We built in space on one side to mount a wind genny, but to be honest, I am not sure we will go through with it, as any shading on the panels will cause them to drop voltage like a hot potato. It you think, well, it cannot be that bad can it - yes it can! Most 12v panels have two strings of 36 cells each. If you partially shade just one cell in a string, it will either bring the voltage of the string down to unusable levels, or if there is no diode between the two strings, render the entire output of the panels useless.

We have 24 volt panels, which means one string of 72 cells. That simple shading will drop the panel's voltage quickly, but it may still be above what is needed to charge a 12v system - I have yet to test.

Chris

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Old 15-05-2010, 00:37   #6
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Is it possible to mount the wind genny under the arch, headroom? Perhaps in a corner, even overhung?
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Old 15-05-2010, 00:46   #7
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Our setup is 2 x cigs solar panel shade tollerant and a Ampair 300.
Costum built to suit you will need to select the panels and turbine for the build.
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Old 17-05-2010, 08:41   #8
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Not unless we want to star in our own horror movie!!!! Ouch!


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Is it possible to mount the wind genny under the arch, headroom? Perhaps in a corner, even overhung?
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Old 17-05-2010, 08:57   #9
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See your point, i was thinking of the smaller units with a ring around the blades. Enough to keep the Autopilot and nav working all night with 200 AhpHr battery capacity. Lifting points are worth considering though.
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Old 17-05-2010, 09:07   #10
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Well, I did a litle test on our 24v panels this weekend. with some good sun, we were getting 12+ amps into the batteries, read from the meter on the charge controller. I covered up one of the 72 cells on one of our panels. The output dropped down to 9.8 amps. Further coverage dropped the output more, but not down to "nothing" like I feared. However, dropping almost 20% for covering up 1/72nd of the panle is significant.

Right now, there is NOTHING that can shade our panels, not even a backstay, unless the sun is coming from the front of the boat.



What I am thinking now is that depending on the orientation of the boat to the sun, a wind genny to the side might reduce output enough that even though it might really crank out the amps when windy, it would reduce the amps on the less windy, sunny days enough to make the net sum gain not worth the trouble. I think I will mount it temporarily and see what happens.

Chris
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Old 18-05-2010, 14:15   #11
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While on the subject of mounting a wind gen, I have a D400 and am in the process of designing the tower which will become a part of the solar and davit thingo on the stern. Does anyone have any info on insulating the tower to cut out any possible vibration from the genny.
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Old 21-09-2012, 01:28   #12
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Re: A-Frame to Mount Wind Generator and Solar Panels

I think the D400 has an optional vibration reduction mounting kit.

I'm in the process of designing an arch for a D400 and two 135W panels. I'd really appreciate any photo's that folk may have of their arch.

Regards,

steve
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Old 21-09-2012, 12:01   #13
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Re: A-Frame to Mount Wind Generator and Solar Panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
Well, I did a litle test on our 24v panels this weekend. with some good sun, we were getting 12+ amps into the batteries, read from the meter on the charge controller. I covered up one of the 72 cells on one of our panels. The output dropped down to 9.8 amps. Further coverage dropped the output more, but not down to "nothing" like I feared. However, dropping almost 20% for covering up 1/72nd of the panle is significant.

Right now, there is NOTHING that can shade our panels, not even a backstay, unless the sun is coming from the front of the boat......Chris
Thanks that is good info and real world info. I saw this info on youtube...



...where they covered cells. Did you completely cover the cell or hold something higher that shaded it where there was still some light on it? Hope that is clear.

On our Mac we had...



....180 watts of solar and a Blue Sky MPPT controller while out in FL for about 2 months and we seemed to get 9-10 amps out of the panels most of the good part of the day. Thinking back I'm sure that the WiFi antenna, arrow above, must of thrown some shaddow on the panels some of the time.

On the Endeavour I just made a framework...



...for ....



...6 panels and this is all behind the boom, but there again the backstay will be in that area and a WiFi antenna behind it. We will have 480 watts so a lot more than on the Mac and we have the same energy requirements so I think there will be no problems.

I would like to know though in your test if you induced a total blackout to the cell or shaded them similar to say more normal shade where an object is still getting some light.

I'm under the impression that in just lower light conditions like what we experience early in the morning when the array starts to put out that the voltage is still high (17.2 volts with our panels) but that the amperage output is low,

Sum
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Old 23-04-2013, 19:30   #14
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I have a 29 westerly Konsort duo. Genius PO (NASA) added a welded radar arch with 3 large panels. There is a sunbrella fabric panel that covers below the panels making the cockpit a covered veranda. I genuinely felt bad for FL ICW captains helping in the rain as I leaned out to wave. PM me if you need measurements for the KD29 array. The sole improvement I can offer is a slight tilt forward so the awning and panels aid water collection. Davits as well. It is much better work than I could have completed myself.
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Old 26-04-2013, 21:19   #15
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I have a 29 westerly Konsort duo. Genius PO (NASA) added a welded radar arch with 3 large panels. There is a sunbrella fabric panel that covers below the panels making the cockpit a covered veranda. I genuinely felt bad for FL ICW captains helping in the rain as I leaned out to wave. PM me if you need measurements for the KD29 array. The sole improvement I can offer is a slight tilt forward so the awning and panels aid water collection. Davits as well. It is much better work than I could have completed myself.


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