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View Poll Results: If you have renewable energy source(s) aboard, what type?
Solar? 22 88.00%
Windgen? 15 60.00%
Towed? 2 8.00%
If other, explain in a comment if you like. 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21-06-2016, 19:47   #1
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Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Howdy all,
I found a very good looking deal on Newegg for a 'marine rated' 400W (@28mph/24kt ws) wind turbine with an ext MMPT controller. The 'on sale' at half-price is certainly extremely attractive (I have no connection to NE or any other party).
Here on the Coastal Bend, wind is rarely in short supply , nor is sun.

A close look at the manuals and brochure (the mfr also markets a 2KW unit...yeow!) indicates a unit similar to other marine units in published specs if nothing else. The source may also be producing other brands with similar specs, FAIK.

The manufacturer is of course Chinese, branded "Nature Power" Nemo400: Home - Nature Power , sold by "EcoAwareness" on Newegg.
The regular price is close to $600, on sale until 25Jun2016 for less than $300, and I usually get free shipping, I think it ships direct from China (and Newegg has great customer service).
400-Watt Wind Turbine Power Generator for 12-Volt Systems - Newegg.com

I haven't done my usual comparison shopping yet, but I know this to be a quite reasonable price for one of these things.

In summary, rated to 400W output @24kt, external MMPT controller included, marinized, mounting hardware, tools, etc., mount calls for 1-1/2" sched40 pipe?
Max wind speed= 96kt/110mph, auto shutdown @ 35kt/40mph, IIRC.
Rotor diameter, 47.2; weight 12.3 lbs; SUWS= 7mph; output 12 or 24V DC (A/C input to MMPT, with a shutoff switch as part of the controller, LED digital readouts, volts, watts), carbon fiber blades.
Manual here: http://www.naturepowerproducts.com/d...l70500-1.4.pdf

Does anybody here have any experience or opinions on this particular windgen, brand, product line, or the manufacturer? Or thoughts in general on windgens of this type?
Yeah, solar is in the mix aboard too, no need for much pro-con there.
Any advice appreciated.

In appearance it looks a lot like some top units, blade shapes, etc. Whether it's reliable, rated accurately, and durable is one of those things we all seem to hash out around here.
I'm still researching, but this seems to be a good unit, and deal (I've almost never been disappointed w/a Newegg item, but I do pick and choose carefully).
Time will tell if it performs, or has any flaws or defects of course, should I spring for one soon.
And if I don't bite, perhaps some of y'all might get a good deal.

The renewable poll was an afterthought. If you've gone with nuclear, fuel cell, or something like fusion, do tell us about it...
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Old 21-06-2016, 19:57   #2
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

I did not see specs. You really need technical details. My basic concern is what is the blade diameter? 400 watts is high enough to question the area swept by the blades. Is it 3 phase? What is the power vs wind speed? Keep us informed on this. it looks attractive.
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Old 21-06-2016, 20:35   #3
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I did not see specs. You really need technical details. My basic concern is what is the blade diameter? 400 watts is high enough to question the area swept by the blades. Is it 3 phase? What is the power vs wind speed? Keep us informed on this. it looks attractive.
Hi N58,
I gave a spec summary. Tried to lift the whole spec table from the pdf manual (link given above), but NG on a new (to me ) machine, w/minor probs.
Three carbon fiber blades, swept dia is 47.2", radius=~24" (hey, I'd play it safe or get sliced and diced). Which seems pretty nominal to me visavis others.
It runs 3 A/C wires from the gen to the MMPT, states the order of connection is not significant.
The manual did not have a WS/power curve table, just stated SUWS of 7mph and max 400W pwr@28mphWS.
I wouldn't worry about it too much, not a lot of diff in this class windgen, and at the price?
Plus, around here (TX Coastal Bend) wind is rarely in short supply, as an old surf/Hobie nut, just trust me on that. TX SPI/CB is one of the best places anywhere to be wind-driven.
Look at the links; pdf manual from the link has photo, drawings, etc. Reads fairly OK, not as bad as older CH material, heh.

But I'm having wireless keyboard and flaky KVM 'puter probs ATT, very aggro, need some of that Dos Madeiros rum my daughter gave me ...


N58, great looking boat.
I once crewed a 44' wood yawl out of GIYC (think it was a Palmer-Johnson, maybe laid down in WI, I was a kid...). We vacationed in Traverse City in the '60-70's (among other places like Killarney, ON, where we have kin), it was just a small town back then (both places); TC looks like a metropolis now via the ineertoobz.
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Old 21-06-2016, 22:06   #4
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

It may very well be marine rated but I bet it sounds like a helicopter and rattles your teeth out. We had a friend that bought a similar wind gen from Home Depot for like $350 and he never runs it because its so loud.

You get what you pay for.
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Old 21-06-2016, 22:56   #5
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Tx J, We run a SW Windpower Air Breeze wind turbine on our Beneteau down in the BVI's (tradewinds) and have for about 5 years now. While it obviously makes some noise, it is amazingly little and you very quickly tune it out - white noise. It also operates 24 hours a day! Our neighbor has solar to power his live aboard and is very satisfied with it. Different strokes!
I would check as to the availability of a rebuild kit (bearings / brushes) as it is a mechanical device and will need them sooner or later. We have done ours once and the kits are readily available. George
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Old 22-06-2016, 13:37   #6
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Looks very similar to my old Sunforce 400 watt unit. Tail is different but the assembly from the front looks identical and the manuals almost match word for word, specs and diagrams too. Biggest problem was using the brake switch on the MPPT controller! Don't do it, these units couldn't seem to take that stress. I learned to simply rotate the head so that the blades would stop spinning and then bungie it when I didn't want it working.
I didn't find it to be very noisy at all and seemed to do a good job. I guess for the price, what have you got to lose? If your a live aboard, then you'd probably want to buy one of them fancy $2,500 german units. But you got a years warranty, so give her a go.
If anybody is interested, I have 2 slightly used Sunforce MPPT controller's for sale.
$60 US plus shipping for the pair.
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Old 22-06-2016, 14:05   #7
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Invest in solar

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Old 22-06-2016, 14:12   #8
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

I'd invest in a higher quality unit. By the time you've put up a mount and wired the unit, you're going to have invested a lot of money.... don't cheap out on the most important part.

We have a D400 and an Ampair 100 (which I'm selling), they are both extremely low noise, but more importantly, very well built with great reliability.

Edit: The Nature Power reviews weren't great last time I looked on Amazon.

Matt
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Old 22-06-2016, 14:15   #9
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Got ~400W solar and a DuoGen that we use mainly in towed mode. Very happy with DuoGen even when we bought it second hand and had to do some maintenance/repairs on it.
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Old 22-06-2016, 14:59   #10
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
It may very well be marine rated but I bet it sounds like a helicopter and rattles your teeth out. We had a friend that bought a similar wind gen from Home Depot for like $350 and he never runs it because its so loud.

You get what you pay for.
I don't know, zboss, it looks like some others; how it sounds and runs is greatly affected by the mounting.
The sale info is targeted at a terrestrial customer no doubt, but if it is actually 'marinized' the price makes for a reasonable gamble.
As far as your "
You get what you pay for.", I've subscribed to the very objective product review mag "Consumer Reports" since the '60's, and that statement couldn't be farther from the truth, in many cases. Study some pricing-marketing (one of my kids has a Masters in that stuff), a lot of it is simply image placement and what the market will bear, more or less unrelated to actual functional "quality".
A case in point: My favorite watch now is a Swiss chronograph similar to a Rolex Daytona. The Rolex sells (at a discount) for $9000 to $30,000 and up, my Swiss chrono was just a very small fraction of that (less than $100, way less; at Newegg too ). Functionally, I think mine actually has more, and more useful, complications.
With regard to accuracy, it has gained just TEN seconds in the ~six months since I last set (and periodically check) it using a WWV watch (and an online app). It is WR to 200m, has a screw-down crown, I selected it partly for it's very visible, luminescent, hands, has all the other usual features too; and I've yet to scratch the crystal.
Did I get a fancy official Swiss timekeeping certification in the (very nice too) box it came in, no, but do I need that paper and the cache of wearing a Rolex (or Breitling, etc)? Nah, not me.
Will it last? It looks and feels pretty bulletproof to me, all heavy stainless steel and whatall. When I croak my kids can use it (I actually got them all one, a nice women's model gold/ceramic/diamond chrono for the girls).

I carefully do a sort of cost-benefit on almost every purchase, a high price doesn't certify "quality", not anymore.
Tks,


Quote:
Originally Posted by gts1544 View Post
Tx J, We run a SW Windpower Air Breeze wind turbine on our Beneteau down in the BVI's (tradewinds) and have for about 5 years now. While it obviously makes some noise, it is amazingly little and you very quickly tune it out - white noise. It also operates 24 hours a day! Our neighbor has solar to power his live aboard and is very satisfied with it. Different strokes!
I would check as to the availability of a rebuild kit (bearings / brushes) as it is a mechanical device and will need them sooner or later. We have done ours once and the kits are readily available. George
gts, I agree. I'm aware of all the repair and parts issues, reading CF is a big help with that stuff . Lots of stuff is 'commodity' today anyway.
Tks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannacat View Post
Looks very similar to my old Sunforce 400 watt unit. Tail is different but the assembly from the front looks identical and the manuals almost match word for word, specs and diagrams too. Biggest problem was using the brake switch on the MPPT controller! Don't do it, these units couldn't seem to take that stress. I learned to simply rotate the head so that the blades would stop spinning and then bungie it when I didn't want it working.
I didn't find it to be very noisy at all and seemed to do a good job. I guess for the price, what have you got to lose? If your a live aboard, then you'd probably want to buy one of them fancy $2,500 german units. But you got a years warranty, so give her a go.
If anybody is interested, I have 2 slightly used Sunforce MPPT controller's for sale.
$60 US plus shipping for the pair.
wannacat,
I agree too, probably worth the (slight) risk. And I've never had Newegg or their vendors hassle me (on very few 'glitches' ever).

I thought it looked vaguely familiar too (I loosely follow the renewable topic around here, y'all seem to be 'state-of-the-art'. I'm drooling over the next-gen battery tech.).
"MPPT", I just knew I spelled that acronym wrong....

Might be interested in your Sunforce controllers, model #'s, some details?

Tks,
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Old 22-06-2016, 16:11   #11
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Invest in solar

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Dulcesuenos,
Both solar and wind, maybe even towed later; diversify...
Tks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
I'd invest in a higher quality unit. By the time you've put up a mount and wired the unit, you're going to have invested a lot of money.... don't cheap out on the most important part.

We have a D400 and an Ampair 100 (which I'm selling), they are both extremely low noise, but more importantly, very well built with great reliability.

Edit: The Nature Power reviews weren't great last time I looked on Amazon.

Matt
funjohnson/Matt, At the price it's likely worth the risks, to low-budget me. It may in fact be a high quality unit (see my products diatribe in previous comment...) .
As far as Amazon, checking it is a dreaded task lately.
Amazon's webpages have started using a very intrusive, mega-annoying, bandwidth sucking, 'auto refreshing page scripting' regime.
I used to be a regular Amazon customer, and used it for research too, but no more. Their pages now can just eat your monthly data cap (I was pleased as all he!! when I got a 4G-LTE mobile 20GB cap on my ISP service).
Now so many webpage designs have gone to clicky-flashy carp that just runs your bytes away for nothing. Amazon being almost the worst, IMO.

But on your word I'll check NP out via some Amazon reviews, FWIW.
Tks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ullar View Post
Got ~400W solar and a DuoGen that we use mainly in towed mode. Very happy with DuoGen even when we bought it second hand and had to do some maintenance/repairs on it.
ullar,
An option for sure. I do favor solar.
But there is only so much real estate for panels on a smaller boat like mine (plus night-time gen, other factors, etc.). The next-gen of much more efficient (smaller/W) P/V panels doesn't seem to be too far away.
While a 'basic' power budget is about the same for everyone (that 'basic' doesn't include underway/at anchor A/C or clothes dryers, dish washers, etc., of course; nice to have for sure, on the bigger boats).
Tks,

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Old 22-06-2016, 16:44   #12
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

There are several considerations, most already mentioned by other posters. Assuming you are on a boat, and depending upon the type and details, you may want to at least look at Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) rather than the (Horizontal) HAWT you mention. The big advantage of what you are considering is the specific retail source. I also believe (just an opinion with some similar support) that solar power is a better initial option. I think (some factual support) that VAWT may be much quieter than HAWT, perhaps more reliable, and possibly safer, but fewer source choices in the U.S.A. No matter what you decide, you will gain knowledge in the process.
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Old 22-06-2016, 18:03   #13
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Re: Advice I/O on a 400-Watt Wind Turbine

Quote:
Originally Posted by [B
buzzstar[/B];2150359]There are several considerations, most already mentioned by other posters. Assuming you are on a boat, and depending upon the type and details, you may want to at least look at Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) rather than the (Horizontal) HAWT you mention. The big advantage of what you are considering is the specific retail source. I also believe (just an opinion with some similar support) that solar power is a better initial option. I think (some factual support) that VAWT may be much quieter than HAWT, perhaps more reliable, and possibly safer, but fewer source choices in the U.S.A. No matter what you decide, you will gain knowledge in the process.
buzzstar/Brian,
Despite my member date here, I lurked for years (and was 'surfing nets and emailing long before the general public ever knew of such things, let alone computers ).

I've read almost every CF thread and links on the topics, including VAWT's; studied the very thorough Wikipedia pages too.
I agree, in theory, the VAWT's could be a superior machine; but there are very few available and expensive, and mounting one is likely problematic unless you have a mizzenmast.
Tradeoff's rulz evryting...

Have some solar, getting more. One goal is to go offgrid/NM at home, where I have lots of ground for a massive array and towerspace (and elevation for steady wind).
And of course a basic powergen full self-sufficiency aboard.
Tks,

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