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Old 28-02-2007, 05:07   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Boat: Catalina 36 - Wind Dancer
Posts: 1
DuoGen - Two Reviews

We're looking at pruchasing the DuoGen-2 wind/water electrical generator for our offshore cruising sailboat. Does anyone have firsthand experience with this unit? While spendy, the reviews appear to be pretty good. But, of course, the best reviews are by people who are actually using them at sea.

Thank you.

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:08   #2
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Location: N Wales
Boat: Broadblue 42
Posts: 24


I also looked at the Duogen and thought it was way too expensive.

We have a D400 wind gen that is the same alternator / blades as the duogen and is made by the same company. It is designed purely as a wind gen and so does not have the transmission shaft and associated losses of the Duogen.

The D400 does exactly what it claims to do - it puts out power at the rate claimed in the literature as far as I can tell from my testing and it is also very quite.

If you want the ability to have wind and water generation you would probably find it cheaper to buy one of each. That way you can use either or both and also have some redundancy. The only downside is needing to make a support structure for the wind gen.

For our D400 I used std aluminium scaffold tubing and fittings, then had the whole lot powder coated white. Produced a very solid support for the wind gen, not too heavy, and looks pretty good too. Ours also doubles as an attachment point for a tackle system to fit and remove our 15hp outboard on the dinghy. Ours cost about 200.00 in total for the support structure.

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Old 25-01-2011, 01:31   #3
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Location: Dartmouth and Bristol, England
Boat: Northwind 50 - 50ft - Camille
Posts: 22
Yes, maybe it appears a bit expensive. I bought one to cross the Atlantic and It provided 10 to 12 amps all the way. It is well built and given me re-assuranceq that I always had the means to produce power if my generator failed.
An early problem I experienced was water ingress to the lower bearing when it was stationed vertically but I believed this is now remedied.
Would I buy one again? Yes, and the service I had was caring and attentive.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:47   #4
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Location: Bonaire
Boat: Shin Fa 458 Custom Cutter but looks like a Liberty 458
Posts: 360
Re: DuoGen - Two Reviews

We installed ours about three years ago while in Port Townsend, WA. Nice piece of equipment and very quiet. Unfortunately, it doesn't make much power in the wind mode. If I'm lucky, I'll get 4-5 amps in a 20-25 knot wind. As to the water mode, ours only worked well once we hit 6 knots as we did the Puddle Jump across the Pacific last year. We only hit the 6 knot range during the first three days when we were on the trailing edge of a storm front. Once it passed and we slowed to 4-5 knots(entire rest of the voyage) we got just about nothing from it.
As it was, when I first got the unit and tried out the water prop unit, it would hardly spin when I used my hands to spin it. I had to dismantle it and drill our the large yellow oil nylon bearing as it was too tight to allow the unit to rotate.
I've had the fiberglass drive shaft crack at the top of the unit(had to buy a new carbon fiber shaft as a replacement and had it shipped to Fiji) and gone through several of the nylon gear assemblies($99.00 EACH) at the top.
While here in Fiji, it started making much more noise than usual and energy production dipped even lower while in 25 knot winds. Eventually, the drive shaft would only rotate about 3/4 of the way around and then bind up. I took the unit off my boat and took it in for an electrician to examine. Found the main head with lots of water in it and a good but of mud and rust all every metal part inside. Both bearings in the unit were trashed. All the electronic connections had biodegraded to death in the water and mud. Took a total rebuild to get it up and running again. If you're in Fiji, go to Kumar Electric--great guys and did a great job rebuilding it.
To the companies credit, they do offer great customer service and they will ship you parts any where in the world but they don't seem to stand behind their product. I never thought I'd find water and mud inside my generator. Figured it to be better sealed.
I've discussed this with other owners that have come through the marina out here in Fiji and some love theirs and others feel the same way we do(not impressed). We're not the first ones we have heard of that found water in their unit.
For what you pay for the unit, buy a bunch of solar panels and install them where ever you can as you will get more power from them than you ever will with a DuoGen. Nice concept and it would be great if it actually produced amps as we were lead to believe. Put your money elsewhere.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:18   #5
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Re: DuoGen - Two Reviews

Here is a test from small marine wind turbines (including DuoGen):
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