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Old 02-06-2015, 11:41   #31
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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Originally Posted by rha9 View Post
I know that solar has come down in price, but quality panels at less than $1/watt? I would be interested in where these are available.
I bought a 200W panel for A$240 (US$187 including taxes) at Marsol in Australia in March. US prices may be up due to the anti-dumping duties they are charging the Chinese.
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:49   #32
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

OK here's m2cw the op says he has 600 in solar and has the wind Genny just not installed yet personally I would install it you got it why not use it the sun don't always shine the wind don't always blow and a water generator is useless when anchored or moored. Multiple charging options means reduntancy in the event of failure.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:07   #33
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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Originally Posted by rha9 View Post
I know that solar has come down in price, but quality panels at less than $1/watt? I would be interested in where these are available.
http://www.solar-electric.com/kyocer...lar-panel.html
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Old 02-06-2015, 13:16   #34
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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I would like some feedback and advice from CF members. There are so many knowledgeable people here and I hope to tap into that brain trust. We are only in the early planning stages at the moment and still debating the pros and cons of so many options.

So I will start a new thread shortly.
Hey noelex, looking forward to your thoughts on the next boat! Will it be aluminum? Will it be new? Over all we really like our brand new Boreal44 we are very happy with her even though not everything is perfect as we expected. But any problem easily taken care of.

cheers
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Old 02-06-2015, 13:33   #35
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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FWIW, I have updated electronics thanks to a nasty storm and good insurance and drastically reduced power needs. I have a built in well insulated fridge and AC. I have 300 watts of solar that are rarely shaded and a 250 watts windmill. I also have 260 watts from the engines and a 2500 watt gas/propane genset. I have enough battery to run all lights and electronics and fridge for two days to have half charge. I am ok till the batteries fail suddenly, I am out of fuel, and there is no wind or sun for a couple of days. The gen set runs the AC and keeps the batteries up at night when used. Murphy seems to follow me around so redundancy is my copilot.
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Buy a windvane....use seawater for dish washing, carry a couple Walmart solar yard lights...Go Sailing!
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Old 02-06-2015, 15:27   #36
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

When I am out and about I have the following.... 80 amp battery sensed alternator on main engine, 2 x 80W solar, Aqua4Aerogen ( wind or water ), 1kW gen set, and 350ish A/h worth of Trojan wet cell batts ( replaced in 2001, about 2007, and 2012 )
Have used in the tropics in 'high' latitudes and in bits in between.
The only place the wind gen has consistently put a worthwhile number of electrons into the batts has been in the Falklands. Under way offshore for more than a day or two I always run it in water mode where it typically gives 5 amps at 5 knots 24 hours a day.
Maintenance in the last 14 years or so has just been a bearing change 5 years ago. ..... and I have never had anything eat the towed bits.
Solar is always good when the sun is out..... I believe they actually perform better when cold and you get a lot of cold sunny days 'down south'.
The gen set is a bit of a 'must have'. In Patagonia when 'waiting on weather' for a few days we would typically be in a notch with no wind and limited sun, esp when surrounded by high ground in winter. Before I had one the main engine got a lot more use.

If I had to get rid of a single item of kit it would be the wind gen.... but not the water part.
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Old 02-06-2015, 16:10   #37
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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Originally Posted by stevewrye View Post
Hey noelex, looking forward to your thoughts on the next boat! Will it be aluminum? Will it be new?
Thanks.
It will be new and definitely aluminium. I don't want to derail this thread, so I will try and outline some details in a new thread soon.
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Old 02-06-2015, 16:43   #38
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

Wind generators don't do much when sailing mono hulls downwind with little apparent wind speed. Might be better on a multihull having higher apparent wind speed especially reaching downwind. Wind is good on a windy anchorage as it keeps charging at night but it makes a noise so it might be disabled to allow sleep. Neither is perfect and having both gives more options.
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Old 02-06-2015, 17:23   #39
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

The trouble starts when the mast or sail cast a shadow over the solar panels.
This when you need the wind generator turbine.
Mine is next to useless but the 5 amp it generates is priceless sometimes.
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Old 02-06-2015, 17:33   #40
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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Originally Posted by SailorGerry View Post
Iím currently outfitting a Jeanneau 45 for a cruise to Mexico and the South Pacific. Iíve read a few stories from cruisers recently that indicate they have (or will) ditch the wind gens for more solar. They seem to feel the noise, maintenance/cost just isnít worth it anymore, given the ever lower cost of solar. They also site erratic power generation and not wanting to anchor in windy anchorages when they have other options.
So what do those of you out cruising think? Solar is a fraction of the cost a quality wind generator. I have 660 watts of solar over my bimini now feeding a 400ah LiFePO4 bank (300ah of FLA reserve). I could add another 200+ watts of solar without much effort or mount the new 300w AirMaxx wind generator I have.
What to do??
Maximize your solar first then add the wind gen if necessary.
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Old 02-06-2015, 18:41   #41
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

Wind Generator is the way to go hands down.

Lots of noise, maintenance and possible stitches. What's not to love about them.
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Old 02-06-2015, 19:08   #42
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

We have had a wind generator throughout our cruising. It helps keep the batteries topped up at night. We often sail downwind, as mentioned above, but the wind gen does just fine in our preferred 20-25 knots of breeze. Of course, if there's less breeze, it puts out less. We do not have a genset. All power comes from a combination of the one wind gen and the four solar panels, which also provide shade for the cockpit.

Ann
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Old 02-06-2015, 19:42   #43
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

I highly recommend for everyone who needs power and want to run their engine as little as possibly for charging install both systems at once.

I have a D400 Wind Gen for a few years. Micro Wind Turbines manufactured by Eclectic Energy Ltd .
It is very quite though rated at 235 watts at 22 knots and 420 watts in 28 knots in a steady breeze.

A few years later I then also I installed 2 x 110 watt solar panels for a total of 220 watts. Plus the WindGen output. Micro Wind Turbines manufactured by Eclectic Energy Ltd .

I found both complement each other when its night or over cast if the wind blows windgen covers missing charging what the solar cells is unable to provide,

When it is sunny solar panels really only provide power for 6 hrs a day. I find that with both my 700 amp AGM batteries. I can run computer all day and TV for the evening and all the batteries are recharged by the next day if it is sunny. Or if it is overcast and windy.

When it is overcast with no wind I run the engine alternator is 120 amp for 1.5 hours and reduce use of power till the wind blows or the sun comes out. In Australia being a sunny place it means the engine charging is run about 20 to 30 hours a year.

Finally I notice with the wind and solar power duel setup my batteries regain there full power which extended my battery life easily paying for the solar panels..

Best of luck with your research.

SV. Skoiern IV
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Old 02-06-2015, 20:18   #44
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

KISS= reduce your power needs by living, sailing more simply.
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Old 02-06-2015, 20:28   #45
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Re: Does Solar trump Wind Generators these days?

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Originally Posted by SailorGerry View Post
Iím currently outfitting a Jeanneau 45 for a cruise to Mexico and the South Pacific. Iíve read a few stories from cruisers recently that indicate they have (or will) ditch the wind gens for more solar. They seem to feel the noise, maintenance/cost just isnít worth it anymore, given the ever lower cost of solar. They also site erratic power generation and not wanting to anchor in windy anchorages when they have other options. So what do those of you out cruising think? Solar is a fraction of the cost a quality wind generator. I have 660 watts of solar over my bimini now feeding a 400ah LiFePO4 bank (300ah of FLA reserve). I could add another 200+ watts of solar without much effort or mount the new 300w AirMaxx wind generator I have.
What to do??
My bona fides: Wife & I live aboard 24/7 for the past 11 years on this boat. We did the British Columbia - Mexico - New Zealand thing a few years back and are now anchored out at Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Solar and Wind are complimentary systems. We depend on having both. Our big built-in diesel genset died years ago - haven't missed it and haven't replaced it, not even with a portable.

A few points to consider:

1) We sailors can't always choose a low-wind anchorage. Your first stop in the Marquesas, French Polynesia, will show that. Check the sea charts for Nuku Hiva. {We needed to figure out how to rig a bridle off the starboard side to keep our bow pointed into the swell & waves. Just an FYI.}

2) Night happens. Cloudy days can last for, well, days and days. Nighttime at anchor with naught but battery powered headlamps? Not for us.

3) Maybe the anchorage is in a steep-sided caldera or volcanic crater, limiting the hours of direct sunlight. And maybe that will also limit the wind strength. But then maybe a little bit of sun and a little bit of wind - combined - will get you through.

4) There are lovely stops at remote coral islands/lagoons along your intended route, some inhabited & others not. Petrol can sometimes be problematic to obtain - for dinghy outboard or that nice little Honda genset.

5) Quick formula for wind turbines: Efficiency + durability - noise = cost. {For the mathematically challenged: Less noisy or more efficient or more durable = higher cost. }

6) And by the way: If you can, equip your boat with a multi-voltage, 50/60 Htz charging system for those times when shore power is available. Warning: You are leaving North America! There be Dragons out there! Like those 240 volt 50 Htz dragons at marinas in New Zealand, or Samoa, etc..

7) A large amp-hour battery bank is highly recommended. Figure out your daily amp-hour usage - then make the battery bank bigger than that. Why? Got an HF or SSB radio? You'll be using it, and they eat amps. Got other electronics, like a nav-computer, or electric-assist steering (etc.)? Amps, amps, amps. But, realistically, your bank will be limited by the available physical space aboard. Maybe it's possible to fill the cockpit knee-high with batteries - BUT best check with the significant other before attempting that....

So.... Solar, wind, and towed array all help the cause.

It's YOUR boat; you'll do as you like. But me? I want - and have - BOTH Solar & Wind power generation systems. {I'm toying with an idea to hook up a deck mounted exercise bicycle with a little generator attached. }

This from somebody who's been out there and still doing that.

James
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