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Old 04-11-2016, 22:42   #1
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Aluminium Wind generator pole

Hi Guys,

So I have purchased a Silentwind generator and i now have the fun task of installing it on the boat!

I have opted for an aft pole mount above a radar on the same pole. Height of wind Gen will be approx 2.7m above the deck!! I am leaning towards using Aluminium tubing for the pole as it will be lighter and cheaper and would have less vibration. I will of course have two tube stays attached to the deck.

So I have two questions please for anyone who has mounted an aft pole with aluminium -

I know the OD of the tube needs to be 50mm which is fine, but what wall thickness should I use?? Is 2mm sufficient?

Also is Anodised aluminium the norm? Or can standard mill finish look ok?

Thanks very much in advance..

Tristan
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Old 04-11-2016, 23:59   #2
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

I have a Silentwind mounted aft on an aluminum pole, with two SS tube stays. I canít give you the measurements b/c Iím 2000 km away from my boat, but Iím sure my pole is thicker than 2mm. Going strictly from memory Iíd say is around 4-5 mm.

I donít know if this is overkill. Mine is an existing pole originally used on an Air-X windgen. But given the forces and the weight of the SW, my sense is that 2mm is too thin.
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Old 05-11-2016, 00:19   #3
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

I had an air Marine on a 50mm shedule 40 aluminium pipe with a 4mm (approx) wall thickness. The first pipe I had broke when a welder tried to bend it. He replaced it with softer pipe that bent well, but seemed to flex more and was much softer.

I suspect that the first pipe was T6 6061 and the second pipe was unhardened, hence the increased flex.

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Old 05-11-2016, 03:37   #4
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

I have a silent wind, I think you'll really like it. 2mm is too thin in my opinion. You'll see flex in the pole just from the boat rocking. 4-5mm wall thickness minimum. It's a great gen, but not a lightweight gen.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:43   #5
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

7kg of generator 2.7 metres in the air will have quite a momentum in big seas. I would go for the heavy stuff and also stay it as high as possible up the pole
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:25   #6
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
... Going strictly from memory Iíd say is around 4-5 mm. ...
Good memory>
2" (50mm) Schedule 40 pipe has a wall thickness of 0.154 inch = 3.9116 millimeters.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:43   #7
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

Another tip... fill the tube with hard spray foam and it will stiffen the tube and greatly reduce the acoustic rumble. Make sure your wires are in first!

Au poles also look better (IMHO)painted white, also helps reduce corrosion.

-Ross
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:32   #8
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristannelson View Post
Hi Guys,

So I have purchased a Silentwind generator and i now have the fun task of installing it on the boat!

I have opted for an aft pole mount above a radar on the same pole. Height of wind Gen will be approx 2.7m above the deck!! I am leaning towards using Aluminium tubing for the pole as it will be lighter and cheaper and would have less vibration. I will of course have two tube stays attached to the deck.

So I have two questions please for anyone who has mounted an aft pole with aluminium -

I know the OD of the tube needs to be 50mm which is fine, but what wall thickness should I use?? Is 2mm sufficient?

Also is Anodised aluminium the norm? Or can standard mill finish look ok?

Thanks very much in advance..

Tristan
Are you kidding me? I have an Aluminum 4in x 3/16in Pole for Radar on Port Transom and an Aluminum 3in x 3/16in Pole for Wind Generator on the Stbd Transom. With a 3in x 3/16in Tube tying them together. Each has two braces and Poles are clamped to the Stern Rail. They sit on Aluminum Fabricated Footstools thru-bolted to the Transom.
The Radar Pole also has GPS Receiver, Loud Hailer Speaker/Receiver, VHF Antenna, Deck Light.
Had this Rig for 10 years and been thru 7 hurricanes. Last December on my way to Cuba a storm sheared the weld at the base plate where its bolted to the footstool on the Generator Pole and the Pole leaned backwards at 45 degrees. Managed to get a Line round it and winch it back into position and later have it re-welded.
I'd say your 2in x 1/16in approx will not get you thru the first storm.
BTW: To complete your question the Radar Pole is Awlgrip and the Wind Pole Anodized. Both look fine.
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Old 05-11-2016, 15:36   #9
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

As a suggestion, use a more substantial pole and at the very top reduce the OD to suit by sliding a short length of smaller pipe into the pole and weld. Only need maybe 100 mm max projecting.
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Old 05-11-2016, 17:11   #10
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

Definitely need thicker wall as well as stays as high as you can get them. Great idea about filling with spray foam. From a maintenance POV, please run a PVC conduit inside first so that you can replace/add cable later!

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Old 06-11-2016, 03:12   #11
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Colin.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:16   #12
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Re: Aluminium Wind generator pole

I had been thinking of the SilentWind but eventually did a package with Marlec UK who make the Rutland and bought their latest model 1200 (480W) plus 3 x 50W solar connected to a dual MPPT controller. Windgen is 7.8Kg (17 lb).

My post is stainless ID 41mm (1 5/8") and OD 44.5mm (1 3/4") 16 SWG in two 1200mm (47") sections with an anodised Al insert at the join. I then mounted this using the excellent bracket set supplied by SilentWind which has the rubber bushes between the bracket and the post, both for the side brackets and for the foot.

Absolutely suggest you do NOT think of mill finish Al for the post. Will look horrible after 1-2 yrs. If you really want to use Al then it must be anodised but even that will not match the rest of your stainless on the boat nor will it last with a bright finish unless you regularly oil it with a light oil. Marlec's suggestion for Al is to use 1 7/8" 10 SWG tubing.
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