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Old 01-01-2016, 13:51   #1
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Air-X noise

I have an older Air-X 400w that I am considering installing, but after reading almost universal dislike for this machine here on CF, I am reconsidering.

I have two 100w solar panels, and an 80 amp alt. supplying 330 AH battery bank, but it would be nice to take advantage of the wind in my area during the winter. I don't hang around in marinas, so the noise would not be offensive to others, but I really don't want to listen to "a screaming banshee". I have never heard one up close [other than YouTube videos], but many of you have commented on the noise level. The only reasonable place to install it is on the mizzen [20'], and other than the weight affecting the heeling moment, the only drawback seems to be the noise?

Does anyone know if the blue replacement blades from BlueMarineStore actually reduce the noise to an "acceptable" level [ie 70% noise reduction] to make the gain in charging power worth the effort? I've lived without using this machine for many years, but it would be nice to take advantage of the winter winds...

Any personal experiences with long term use would be appreciated...
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Old 01-01-2016, 14:54   #2
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Re: Air-X noise

There are threads on CF about these things. Try the Search box at the top of the home page.
Years ago I had one on a boat, but solar is really the only thing I'll use now.
The real key on a boat is balancing your needs by good insulation on the fridge and hot water tank (Aerogel for me) LED's everywhere and solar.

The only time a wind generator is really doing much at all is when it's howling like a pack of coyotes. Not for me ever again!
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Old 01-01-2016, 14:58   #3
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Re: Air-X noise

anyone not liking their air x can send the unit to me. i LOVE it, noise and all.
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:36   #4
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
There are threads on CF about these things. Try the Search box at the top of the home page.
Years ago I had one on a boat, but solar is really the only thing I'll use now.
The real key on a boat is balancing your needs by good insulation on the fridge and hot water tank (Aerogel for me) LED's everywhere and solar.

The only time a wind generator is really doing much at all is when it's howling like a pack of coyotes. Not for me ever again!
Thanks, I searched the threads and found mostly negative comments...was just looking for some positive replies, if there any.

There are not many sunny days up here in winter and the panels don't put out much, so I was just wondering if anyone had experience with the blue blade upgrade.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:41   #5
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Re: Air-X noise

Well, I had an old Air-X, and used it for years. It did scream like a banshee when the wind got up. It was a happy day indeed when the internal controller died and I had an excuse to send it over the side (sorry Zee, had I known you I would have sent it your way).

We bought a new SilentWind 400W generator, which is made by the blue blade people (Spreco). This generator came with their blue blades, has performed to spec, and best of all, is many magnitudes more quiet than the old Air-X. I don't know if the noise improvement is due to the blades, the generator, or both, but I know it is soooo much better. I also prefer Silentwind's controller which can also manage up to 550 watts of solar.
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:42   #6
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
anyone not liking their air x can send the unit to me. i LOVE it, noise and all.
Thanks Zee, I've seen quite a few of them on boats, but only had a conversation with one guy that used one. He had an Air-X [the older 400w model like mine] and 200w of solar...he didn't mention any noise problems. I guess it's all relative?

Maybe I'll try it before I send it to you? :]
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:47   #7
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Well, I had an old Air-X, and used it for years. It did scream like a banshee when the wind got up. It was a happy day indeed when the internal controller died and I had an excuse to send it over the side (sorry Zee, had I known you I would have sent it your way).

We bought a new SilentWind 400W generator, which is made by the blue blade people (Spreco). This generator came with their blue blades, has performed to spec, and best of all, is many magnitudes more quiet than the old Air-X. I don't know if the noise improvement is due to the blades, the generator, or both, but I know it is soooo much better. I also prefer Silentwind's controller which can also manage up to 550 watts of solar.
Thanks for your input Mike, that is what I am looking for...personal experience with that model. I watched a video of the blue blade upgrade and it was much quieter, but there is no substitute for personal experience. I do alright with my present setup, but as you know there is a lot of free wind up here, and I hate to see it go to waste!

David
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:50   #8
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Re: Air-X noise

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Thanks for your input Mike, that is what I am looking for...personal experience with that model. I watched a video of the blue blade upgrade and it was much quieter, but there is no substitute for personal experience. I do alright with my present setup, but as you know there is a lot of free wind up here, and I hate to see it go to waste!

David
Free wind in the winter that is...
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:53   #9
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Re: Air-X noise

my air x has no internal regulator but we rigged it to work anyway--did gud. love it... the chinese knockoff i got --each was under 200 usd so experimenting was and is a good thing-- worked great until patirica befouled it as only a cane can.i LOVE the free electrickery noises. they are awesome.
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:00   #10
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Re: Air-X noise

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my air x has no internal regulator but we rigged it to work anyway--did gud. love it... the chinese knockoff i got --each was under 200 usd so experimenting was and is a good thing-- worked great until patirica befouled it as only a cane can.i LOVE the free electrickery noises. they are awesome.
I have to agree with you on the wonders of "free"! I am obsessed with free wind, free firewood, free anything...no matter how much it costs! LOL! But I gotta admit, the sound of the Air-X on YouTube, and Mikes opinion give me cause to think. And thinking is such a bother...
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:08   #11
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by morven55 View Post
Thanks for your input Mike, that is what I am looking for...personal experience with that model. I watched a video of the blue blade upgrade and it was much quieter, but there is no substitute for personal experience. I do alright with my present setup, but as you know there is a lot of free wind up here, and I hate to see it go to waste!

David
Always glad to help on subjects I have some experience with. I guess I should add that I was researching the blue blades and was planning to make the change on our Air-X just before it died. Every report I read suggests the noise improvement is significant.

I was always pleased with the power output of the Air-X. It was just the noise that drove me bonkers.
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:12   #12
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by morven55 View Post
Thanks Zee, I've seen quite a few of them on boats, but only had a conversation with one guy that used one. He had an Air-X [the older 400w model like mine] and 200w of solar...he didn't mention any noise problems. I guess it's all relative?

Maybe I'll try it before I send it to you? :]
How old was he and was he wearing hearing aids?
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:25   #13
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Re: Air-X noise

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Always glad to help on subjects I have some experience with. I guess I should add that I was researching the blue blades and was planning to make the change on our Air-X just before it died. Every report I read suggests the noise improvement is significant.

I was always pleased with the power output of the Air-X. It was just the noise that drove me bonkers.
Now that is interesting...researching the upgrade gives me the impression that the extreme "fluttering" noise could possibly be the result of how flexible the original blades are. The manufacturers of the blue blades mention the rigidity of their upgrade. And in the video I watched it appeared that the blade tips were flexing a great deal...

When I first got it several years ago we gave it a preliminary test clamped to a scaffold tower in the boatyard, but it was immediately obvious that that was not a good idea. But for a couple of seconds it put out over 5 amps in a gentle breeze.
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:31   #14
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Re: Air-X noise

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How old was he and was he wearing hearing aids?
Actually he was about my age [old and grey], and he was living on a ferrocement Benford double ender. He did say that his two [100w] panels ran his Cold Machine fridge, and the Air-X was used for the not so sunny days.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against ferro boats or old guys...just painting a picture! :]
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Old 01-01-2016, 19:01   #15
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Re: Air-X noise

Yesterday I helped a friend change the blades on his unit to the blue version. It has reduced the noise significantly. Highly recommend making the investment to install the blue blades
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