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Old 26-07-2014, 14:13   #106
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

How many gallons of fuel could you have bought for what that electric setup cost you, though? Hasn't that been the problem with solar since the beginning? we never recoup the energy costs that went into producing the equipment.
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Old 26-07-2014, 14:50   #107
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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How many gallons of fuel could you have bought for what that electric setup cost you, though? Hasn't that been the problem with solar since the beginning? we never recoup the energy costs that went into producing the equipment.
Part of that reason is because we are not paying the true cost of gas/diesel at the pump. If we did there would be much more use of solar and electric vehicles.
We are paying for it, just not at the pump.
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Old 26-07-2014, 14:54   #108
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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How many gallons of fuel could you have bought for what that electric setup cost you, though? Hasn't that been the problem with solar since the beginning? we never recoup the energy costs that went into producing the equipment.
never mind. ok, how many gallons of fuel can you buy in the middle of the ocean?
Also, how much did all those sails and masts and rigging and pulleys and winches cost you?
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Old 26-07-2014, 15:23   #109
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

I have 700W of Solar and one 400W KISS wind generator. So here are some generalizations.

On a $$$ per AH produced, the solar kills wind by 2 orders of magnitude.
On a AH per square foot of deck area the wind kills the solar.
On the number of AH produced in a 24 hour period my solar produces about 6 times as much... unless its totally overcast and really windy.

If you have a catamaran - forget wind generators - just keep adding PV panels
On a mono, the wind option becomes viable as an adjunct to solar.

As to the question of cost of fuel versus purchase price of the renewable energy generators, there is no question - you will never recoup your investment. Much cheaper to run the engine or generator.

Whats good about solar and wind is that the energy is created quietly behind the scenes - you don't need to be on board to start up the genny or engine to ensure the contents of your freezers don't start melting. Plus theres the inconvenience of storing all that extra fuel.
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Old 26-07-2014, 16:09   #110
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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never mind. ok, how many gallons of fuel can you buy in the middle of the ocean?
Also, how much did all those sails and masts and rigging and pulleys and winches cost you?
Why would I be out of fuel in the middle of the ocean? I'm a sailboat. Do you electric dinghy home from Bermuda or Diego Garcia? Hey, they have fuel.

What has the cost of sails and rigging etc. got to do with charging batteries or driving a dinghy?

Curious why you don't row or sail your dink. I've been thinking about that. Portabote instead of RIB.

I like the whole electric boat concept. But then, I like nuke boats, too. How many pounds of fuses do you carry on board?
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Old 26-07-2014, 16:36   #111
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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How many gallons of fuel could you have bought for what that electric setup cost you, though? Hasn't that been the problem with solar since the beginning? we never recoup the energy costs that went into producing the equipment.
This is comparing an apple to a banana.

What is the cost of a diesel engine overhaul or repower?

BTW I am not a huge fan of electrics for passage making. I think they are a real vialble option for the daysailor/wekkender that doesn't have any long range motoring needs.

I think elelctric can be viable with a hybrid solution where long term motring is achieved by an onboard generator when needed.

I applaud the folks that are doing these conversions and advancing the knowledge in this area.
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Old 26-07-2014, 16:53   #112
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

Electricity, metal, and sea water, all together. Some interesting challenges and potential disasters.
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Old 26-07-2014, 17:05   #113
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It would be cool if someone could do a cost analysis of producing 100 to 200 amp hours a day comparing a generator to solar panels and wind. my money's on the solar panels and wind. And if you include having to haul fuel to your boat on a weekly basis your time should be worth something
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Old 26-07-2014, 17:16   #114
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

I'm pretty well loaded up with solar already. I've got my battery monitor repaired as of yesterday, and have started keeping an eye on the system again. Four new batteries, AirX out of the loop for now. Until I decide whether to spend the money to fix it or use that money to buy more solar panels. But now I am seeing what the boat's doing. I've got everything in house systems working, and so far the solar alone is more than keeping up with it. Not much draw. Wind instruments and fathometer running. VHF/GPS/AIS on, three cabin fans, misc other little 12 volt doo dads sipping electricity here and there. I'm trying to figure out what would happen to me if I had three days of total overcast. Without the wind gen. We do have a Honda.
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Old 26-07-2014, 17:21   #115
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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AirX out of the loop for now. Until I decide whether to spend the money to fix it
My advice is that even if you decide you want a windgen, don't fix that old AirX - get a new one instead. You don't know its history and it appears to have several things wrong with it now. It has already cost you damage. Fixing it is likely to be >50% of a new one, and you could still end up with a pig in a poke.

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Old 26-07-2014, 19:59   #116
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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How many gallons of fuel could you have bought for what that electric setup cost you, though? Hasn't that been the problem with solar since the beginning? we never recoup the energy costs that went into producing the equipment.
Since I needed to replace the diesel anyway there was no comparison fuel use costs. But, for seven years now I have not had to have any oil changes, filter changes, zinc changes and I won't have in the future years.That's a pretty good cost savings right there. Likewise I don't need to carry antifreeze, distilled water, filters or oil etc... Over this past brutal winter I checked on the boat boat only twice but, my solar panels, wind turbine kept fueling (providing energy) to keep the batteries topped up and has done that for the past seven years. At anchor I can tap into the 10 KW propulsion battery bank knowing that solar and wind can easily replace what I use. You can't do that with just a diesel on board. Every time your fire up a diesel fuel is used and money flows out of your wallet. When I'm at anchor my boat is constantly fueling up.

Since my solar panels also make up my bimini. They will also last much longer than Sunbrella fabric and also provide fuel (energy for my house and propulsion banks for decades. So I expect to get my money's worth out of them as I have for the past seven years.
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Old 26-07-2014, 22:09   #117
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

mbianka... your cruising is local right? You are not out crossing oceans? Not starting a war... just asking.
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Old 27-07-2014, 04:15   #118
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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Originally Posted by neelie View Post

(...)

As to the question of cost of fuel versus purchase price of the renewable energy generators, there is no question - you will never recoup your investment. Much cheaper to run the engine or generator.

(...)
What happened to the initial cost of the generator then?

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Old 27-07-2014, 05:32   #119
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

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mbianka... your cruising is local right? You are not out crossing oceans? Not starting a war... just asking.
Yes mostly coastal cruising at this point. But, that does not stop me from thinking about longer passages in the near future with the system. I'm pleased with the efficiency of electric propulsion and the need for so much less maintenance. I see a number of advantages of it on longer passages. Most notably the ability to make fuel (energy) while under way. A trans Atlantic crossing is probably not in the cards for me at my age and boat (though several have completed ocean crossings with and without crew). Though a trip to Bermuda is on the list. Certainly some time in the Caribbean is also planned once I can I can eliminate that four letter word "work" from my vocabulary. It takes only 900 watts to move my boat at 3 knots. Currently I have 120 watts of solar and a 400 watt wind turbine. A small 47 lb Honda 2000 generator completes the charging picture (and one I have found I use less than I thought). Future advances in solar might make it's use even less. Oh yes BTW it is a "sailboat" and that is it's primary propulsion.
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Old 27-07-2014, 06:36   #120
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Re: Are Wind Generators even worth it?

I've got 850 watts of solar, if we're going by the max wattage listed on the solar panel labels. 2x65 and 6x120. So if I fixed or replaced the 'supposedly' 400 watt wind gen, I could make an electric boat? Cool. A trolling motor for a 40 ft. cat..
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