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Old 28-03-2011, 14:19   #31
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Re: Air Breeze

One of the days I walked over to the Pacific Seacraft in our marina to hear the Airbreeze, the wind was brisk (20 -25 knots) out of the west. With a westerly wind, the water level drops considerably in the marina - we also have fixed docks, so the boats drop considerably in relation to the docks.

The result of this was his Airbreeze was just above ear level when standing on his dock. Even with it so close, it was very quiet, surprisingly so, considering all I have heard regarding noisey generators. I couldn't hear anything until I was at his dock.

Again, I don't know if they were replacement blades (they were black) or just carefully sanded. Either way, the little bit of noise being generated wasn't anything that would have bothered me in the least.

The thing I like about solar though is no moving parts, which just about always means more reliability. Still, wind generators have that nice small footprint...
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Old 28-03-2011, 14:23   #32
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Re: Air Breeze

We have an Air Breeze to go along with solar panels. When we first purchased in summer of '08, the new white blades were very quiet. What no one knew, was that they couldn't resist the UV, so when they crumbled after one year, the company told us we had to go back to the black, AirX blades, and the noise level went up. In the interim, we purchased aluminum blades from TLG, and they were very quiet. They could cut your hand off, but they were quiet.

But we gave up on them, too. After watching them and thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that they were too heavy. It took longer for them to spin up, negating the low wind speed start up. They would also cause the unit to regularly turn away from the wind, as the increased mass was not controlled by the relatively small stabilizer. There went steady charging.

And last, I believe the increased mass would do bad things to the braking built into the Air Breeze, and would cause problems.

So, we're back to the black AirX blades, and not as happy as we were the first year.
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Old 28-03-2011, 14:31   #33
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Re: Air Breeze

LOL, good for you, SvenG. Good for you.
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:00   #34
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Re: Air Breeze

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Since all models are similar in appearance, I think we have to be careful to distinguish the Airmarine 303, 403, AirX and Air Breeze models; furthermore, we have to consider the condition of the blades ( and whether they have been 'honed' with sandpaper, or replaced with the decidedly quiter after-market blades). Certainly Airmarine has made claims that their new blades reduce noise; furthermore, the link at the start of this thread claims greatly reduced noise from either an AirX or Air Breeze that has been installed with the aftermarket blades.

I wonder if those who are complaining generically about the noise of all Airmarine products are able to confirm that they are newer models with well-maintained blades; or better still, that they were equipped with the aftermarket blades that seem to dramatically reduce the ambient noise?

Brad
Brad,
I spent many years anchored amoung these different units. (And trying to get as far away as possible). The orrigional "Air Marine" was first, then the "Air-X" was supposed to be quieter. I could tell no difference at all between them!

I attended a SSCA meeting once, and anchored to the far outskirts of the fleet to avoid the Air-x units ALL around. Then another Air-X anchored near me, and I moved. I noted my GPS distance, and had to move over 1/4 of a mile! Then another one anchored close by, and I moved again, (pulling up the hook hand over hand each time). I was now over 2 miles from the dinghy dock, in an area where you can't legally get your dinghy on plane. I haven't attended another SSCA meeting since. These people are supposed have a motto of "Leave a clean wake"... The ones around me wern't!

All over the Eastern Caribbean I would have "just moved" from the Air-Xs more often than I did, but there was often no room. This meant that our largest and only cool, comfortable, spot on the boat, "the central cockpit", was off limits. We would suffer through the heat down below.

The folks we ocasionally buddy boated with that had a KISS generator, were never a problem. Their generator's gentil whirr could only be heard for 50' or so, and I never anchor that close. These folks also hated the Air-X units!

There are many VERY quiet, but compairatively low output brands: AmpAir, LMV, Rutland, AeroGen, and a few new ones that I have not yet researched. They should be considered as well...

Since being back stateside, the Air Breeze came out. It is indeed quieter than the Air-x in volume, but not in it's irritating nature. We recently had one left on in our marina, and I approached it, then walked away paceing off the steps, untill I was not particularly aware of it. It was over 300'! BTW... my wife says I am loosing my hearing, so some would hear it for a greater distance.

I prefer to anchor this far away when I can, but it is often just not possible. As it is, it forces everyone in a 600' circle around your boat, (who is above decks), to listen to it. In my book, this is just not considerate behavior.

In popular anchorages, one must frequently anchor as close as 75' from the next boat. This should be a maximum distance that one creates noise, IF they give a damn about the guy next to them. The Air Breeze doesn't even come close!

I have seen the aftermarket "purple" blades, but never heard them. I hope that they do in fact get the noise level down to the < 75' range. At a glance, I am skeptical, because the long, thin, tapering blades look similar, and it is the reason that this brand of wind generator stands alone for volume and irritating noise. They avoided the whole issues of over RPM, over heat, perfect balanced blades, etc... by designing blades that are partially or mostly "stalled out" when the wind picks up. This is what makes this level and kind of noise, and why none of the others do. It's the shape of the blades! The engineering hurdle that they avoided by going this route, made the unit simple, a bit less expensive, much more of a profit maker, AND the most antisocial piece of marine gear in about 20 years. IMO.

I just want to warn those thinking of buying them before it's too late, and suggest another brand. For those who have them already, if you could just be aware that they drive a lot of us up the wall, and only use them at sea... Or anchor beyond the "noise zone" of the particular model/blades that you have. For the Air-X it's 1/4 mile, and for the Air Breeze, it's 300'... I don't know about the "purple blades"?

Mark
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:31   #35
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Re: Air Breeze

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Spooky!!

We got back from a sail today and the guy two boats down had just had a wind generator fitted, brand spanking new!!

While we were having lunch in the cockpit the wind freshened and the blades began turning. With 12kts wind this thing was making an annoying humming sound so I thought I would just take a closer look.

Sorry, it was an Air Breeze
When they are new they hum. After about a year they make a terrible clanking noise.
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:48   #36
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Re: Air Breeze

44' cruisingcat, that isn't accurate at all. Mine is over two years old and has never once made a clanking sound. Hum or whir? Yes. Clanking? No.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of sounds does your diesel generator make?
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:29   #37
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Re: Air Breeze

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44' cruisingcat, that isn't accurate at all. Mine is over two years old and has never once made a clanking sound. Hum or whir? Yes. Clanking? No.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of sounds does your diesel generator make?
We are in the market for a wind generator and I spent an hour this afternoon walking the marina looking at different makes.

There are many considerations and while I am interested in the power curve SWMBO is more interested in the noise they emit.

The Air Breeze and Rutland were "noisy", the D400 was silent so for the time being D400 went top of the list. We still have other makes to evaluate before making up a final list of choice but I think the noise emission is a major consideration and will probably eliminate the Air Breeze.

Just my observation of course
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Old 01-04-2011, 20:46   #38
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Re: Air Breeze

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44' cruisingcat, that isn't accurate at all. Mine is over two years old and has never once made a clanking sound. Hum or whir? Yes. Clanking? No.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of sounds does your diesel generator make?
My solar panels are pretty quiet. Have to admit, my diesel is even quieter...

The clanking or rattling sound certainly has happened to several Air Breezes I've encountered. It might not afflict all of them. Their quality appears to be pretty inconsistant.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:01   #39
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Re: Air Breeze

My solar panels are nice and quiet, too. Unfortunately, they don't charge at night nearly as well as my wind generator does. With 20kt of wins, I can push 10+ amps literally all night.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:42   #40
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Re: Air Breeze

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My solar panels are nice and quiet, too. Unfortunately, they don't charge at night nearly as well as my wind generator does. With 20kt of wins, I can push 10+ amps literally all night.
While riding out the gusts of Hurricane Earl at anchor last year I had an energy Epiphany.
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: AN ENERGY EPIPHANY
As the wind gusts from Earl were flowing past the boat. I noticed that my 48 volt Marine Air-X wind generator was stopped. This was because my 48 volt battery bank for my electric propulsion system was already fully charged and had been for days. I thought what a shame all that wind energy flowing past the boat and I can not use it. Then I remembered the Sevcon 48 volt to 12 volt converter I had bought. Ah Ha! I can hook it up and use it to power the laptop from the 48 volt bank and let the regular house bank just handle the freezer and other 12 volt needs. Worked great as the solar was not doing much at the time.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:58   #41
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Re: Air Breeze

I believe the original poster, at some point in this thread asked the Airbreeze owners if they would purchase the unit again. I wouldn't. I'd go with something silent like Rutland or similar.
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Old 12-04-2011, 13:59   #42
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Re: Air Breeze

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I believe the original poster, at some point in this thread asked the Airbreeze owners if they would purchase the unit again. I wouldn't. I'd go with something silent like Rutland or similar.
I'm hoping to wear mine out just as the next generation wind generator comes on line. It will be sturdier, more quiet, lighter, less expensive, and will still be self-regulating.
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Old 12-04-2011, 15:05   #43
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Re: Air Breeze

On the latest air breeze.There is a moulded line 7 inches long from the tip of the blades.I think its on the underside and about 1/8 in from the leading edge.Anyone know if it has a purpose?
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Old 12-04-2011, 15:35   #44
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Re: Air Breeze

I haven't got one, (although I had a silent brand before I switched to solar). I have lived extensively in anchorages with both the Air Breeze and the Kiss. The noise from the Kiss is like a whirring fan. It is med frequency and steady, (= not very annoying), and can be heard for about 50'. I consider it "white noise".

The Air breeze is a higher frequency rapidly pulsating Whissschachachawisscha... like a weed whacker, and like its predecessor, most folks including me, find the noise irritating.
The Air Breeze can be heard about 300', which IS an improvement over the Air X which can be heard for 1/4 mile! IMO, the Southwest Wind Power products are totally antisocial.

You can do better. M.
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Old 12-04-2011, 15:44   #45
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Re: Air Breeze

if the machine makes excessive noise, have the bearings replaced--then is silent, as it is supposed to be,. usually is under warrantee. gooodluck. is an excellent wind generator.
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