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Old 12-09-2015, 12:13   #61
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by fatherchronica View Post
We love our Enertech D-400. Wherever we are folks come to see what it is because it is really quiet and it is often the only one in an anchorage that is turning. engineers I have met say it is due to 5 blades. Because it has 5 blades they can be shorter so the tips are going slower and because they are closer together the turbulence of the preceding blade is greatly diminished. the down side is it cost over $2,000. But when I sell Mana I will replace the generator with a cheaper ebay used one and keep this one whether for a boat or my home.
We shut ours down when sailing and free it when at anchor. A number of years ago we had a very large sea bird crash into our Windbugger in the southern ocean and it was horrible seeing the result to a beautiful bird - which was possibly an albatross. We loathed those Windbuggers - so noisy and they needed a 1/2 a gale to get them moving. After the bird crashed into the blades they needed to be replaced and the cost was extortionate - something to be considered as the blades can be easily damaged on any boat. My only issue with our D400's is long term maintenance.
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Old 12-09-2015, 15:02   #62
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
We have D400 wind generators and have been happy with them and have met two boats over the last couple of years with Superwinds and agree that the owners sing their praises. The question that I have to ask is their real world performance at low wind speed - what is their real cut in speed to produce power and are they genuinely quiet and vibration free? Noise is bad enough but vibration is damaging.
Good questions. Here's the deal with real world performance at low speed when it comes to pretty much all wind generators. They are all going to pretty much perform fairly close along the same curve. One may start spinning a knot sooner than another, but to what end in one knot of effective wind? The one generator that can start turning at very, very, low rpm before the others start produces what? Probably not enough to register but on a very good meter and that power would probably disappear going through the wires and electronics resistive path before it even got to your battery. I understand we certainly want to take advantage of anything we can get but there comes a point, in my opinion, when it's too little to really mean anything in the real world much less let this affect your buying decision on which wind generator to get. You are absolutely right when you state vibration is damaging. This is a point I do feel, again in my opinion, is of far more concern than who has the best cut in speed. The reason SuperWinds are so quiet is because of the balancing done at the factory. These are balanced similar to the way a hot rodder will have a crank shaft balanced, and this is before the balanced blades are even introduced to the wind generator. The bearings are top quality lifetime lubricated and sealed against humidity and dust by low friction seals. Similar to large wind turbines it adjusts the pitch angle of the rotor blades. This all leads to not only the quietest wind generator but a generator that is practically vibration free, not only in 28knt winds but 80knt winds as well. As I said in an earlier post, the SuperWind350 is not for everyone or everyone's pocket book. If you're a casual sailor then there are options. If you are a serious sailor, with a serious investment in a boat, with long term and distance cruising intentions, then as another poster said, "You get what you pay for. If you start with quality you end up with a lot less headaches in the long run.

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Old 12-09-2015, 15:26   #63
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Good questions. Here's the deal with real world performance at low speed when it comes to pretty much all wind generators. They are all going to pretty much perform fairly close along the same curve. One may start spinning a knot sooner than another, but to what end in one knot of effective wind? The one generator that can start turning at very, very, low rpm before the others start produces what? Probably not enough to register but on a very good meter and that power would probably disappear going through the wires and electronics resistive path before it even got to your battery. I understand we certainly want to take advantage of anything we can get but there comes a point, in my opinion, when it's too little to really mean anything in the real world much less let this affect your buying decision on which wind generator to get. You are absolutely right when you state vibration is damaging. This is a point I do feel, again in my opinion, is of far more concern than who has the best cut in speed. The reason SuperWinds are so quiet is because of the balancing done at the factory. These are balanced similar to the way a hot rodder will have a crank shaft balanced, and this is before the balanced blades are even introduced to the wind generator. The bearings are top quality lifetime lubricated and sealed against humidity and dust by low friction seals. Similar to large wind turbines it adjusts the pitch angle of the rotor blades. This all leads to not only the quietest wind generator but a generator that is practically vibration free, not only in 28knt winds but 80knt winds as well. As I said in an earlier post, the SuperWind350 is not for everyone or everyone's pocket book. If you're a casual sailor then there are options. If you are a serious sailor, with a serious investment in a boat, with long term and distance cruising intentions, then as another poster said, "You get what you pay for. If you start with quality you end up with a lot less headaches in the long run.

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Thanks Tellie ........ I shall take a long hard look at these.
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Old 13-09-2015, 03:37   #64
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Hi, I have a Aerogen 6 and a Aerogen 4, they are very quiet, The 6 needed some wrope wrapped around the stainless pipe holding it up to stop the vibration hum down below. They both love a bit of wind but very quiet.
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Old 20-09-2015, 03:29   #65
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
We have 2x D400's - they replaced our two Windbuggers that howled like banshee's. Not only are the two D400's quiet they start producing power from a fairly low wind speed; the adverts say 5knots but 7knots is what we measure. Like other quality wind generators these are not bucket shop prices but to have peace and quiet AND vibration free is worth every penny. They certainly belt out the power. I am not sure I would buy such an arrangement again as we have a heap of solar panels and a single D400 would have been adequate in reality.
At 7 kts wind speed what sort of ouput are you seeing from the D400's?
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Old 20-09-2015, 04:33   #66
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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At 7 kts wind speed what sort of ouput are you seeing from the D400's?
Hi Nigel, at 7knots they are barely registering; typically 0.125amps for each unit.
Our typical winds average 0-15 knots at anchor with 10 knots being the most dominant figure. At 10 knots we get 2.4amps per unit (we have two wind gennies) and this jumps at 15knots to just under 6 amps each and is then earning its keep.
Its really difficult to be absolutely sure of the numbers as the wind is never steady for long enough but the numbers are what we recorded at our best assessment; we double checked the outputs using a Fluke clamp-on DC amp meter as well as the boats panel.
I had been hoping for something better and I have read that some other wind gennies do give slightly better output but compared with their predecessors that we had (Windbuggers) they are leagues ahead. We shut ours down at sea - they are released only at anchor - but we do have a heap of solar panels as well. If we needed to we would let them run at sea but again, if we are running then the apparent wind is reduced.
Over the course of 24 hours, for us, each D400 can contribute approximately 45 to 50 amps. That is not as much as the advertising had us believe. Obviously, in windier area's you shall get more. Its a bit of a paradox as we choose to anchor in the most protected area's so we certainly don't see maximum benefit. The flip side is that when we anchored at Bassa da India (beautiful diving) where you are fully exposed to the wind, but protected from the sea, the D400's were pumping out around 25 amps each, day and night, with around 25 knots of wind. As it was heavily clouded we were very happy with this output.
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Old 20-09-2015, 04:40   #67
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Thanks for the info, that's probably about what I get from my D400.
Like you, I found I did not get the same results as those advertised. I suspect that in the makers tests, the D400 is locked in a set direction and subject to a constant airflow. I find that the D400 can rotate in the horizontal plane even with an apprently steady wind, and as soon as this happens, the output is considerably reduced.

However, overall, the performance has been good, and the makers have been very helpful with advise and support, even sending me two spare blades free of charge when I had a blade cracked (bird strike I assumed).
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Old 20-09-2015, 04:46   #68
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Thanks for the info, that's probably about what I get from my D400.
Like you, I found I did not get the same results as those advertised. I suspect that in the makers tests, the D400 is locked in a set direction and subject to a constant airflow. I find that the D400 can rotate in the horizontal plane even with an apprently steady wind, and as soon as this happens, the output is considerably reduced.

However, overall, the performance has been good, and the makers have been very helpful with advise and support, even sending me two spare blades free of charge when I had a blade cracked (bird strike I assumed).
I have read and heard that the Superwind 350 is a favourable unit - but I really cannot fault our D400's. My only hesitation is the longevity regarding maintenance. Yes, we also have our units unexpectedly sheering and dropping output - our Windbuggers also did this. Our next boat is now being considered and I shall be thinking about wind generators again as well as the battery selection; assuming the budget has not been totally blown.
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Old 20-09-2015, 19:47   #69
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Hello forum,

I had a KISS wind generator sitting in the lazarette for years, and finally got around to installing it. I hate it. I'd never been around one in 20 knots or more before, and the noise it produces when it starts to whine is just about like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Sure, I like the high output, but I would trade a little less power to get my blessed silence back. We pretty much have the thing shut off all the time anyway.

Anybody have some good experience with a silent one? We obviously still want some output, but I just don't want to feel like I'm next to a jet turbine in everything over 20 knots...

Suggestions solicited! There just might be a very good deal on a KISS to be had here soon as well.

Thanks, TJ

To bring the debate more in line with the first post. We have A KISS going on 12 years almost all that time full time cruising. When we first installed it in SD there wasn't enough wind to really test it. Later on when we were in a location that it was blowing 20 the thing sounded like a Huey was trying to land on the aft deck. Yes the blades were balanced and there was no vibration. John sent us another set of blades which helped slightly but it's still so noisy that at20 knots we also just turn the thing off.

With that said its been maintenance free and has always worked.

Good luck with the new blades. Understand the new owners of KISS are looking into making new blades.



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Old 21-09-2015, 05:23   #70
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by chouliha View Post
To bring the debate more in line with the first post. We have A KISS going on 12 years almost all that time full time cruising. When we first installed it in SD there wasn't enough wind to really test it. Later on when we were in a location that it was blowing 20 the thing sounded like a Huey was trying to land on the aft deck. Yes the blades were balanced and there was no vibration. John sent us another set of blades which helped slightly but it's still so noisy that at20 knots we also just turn the thing off.

With that said its been maintenance free and has always worked.

Good luck with the new blades. Understand the new owners of KISS are looking into making new blades.



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I have not had the noise issue you identify, and if you're confident that you have immaculately balanced blades, I don't know what you're facing.

However, we HAVE cocked the blades if it gets to the level where we'd trip our heat breakers (if you've never had one apart you might not know about them; they're [two] bimetal snap breakers which open at 175°), which, sometimes, on re-start, would make it noisy.

Generally, if it's blowing hard enough to cycle those, it's pretty noisy in general, but with the tail cocked about 45° off the wind, it will continue to generate power without throwing the breaker.

You can, also, throw the rectifier switch to halfway.

We also had one instance, early on, where the silicone ring which surrounds the forward bearing (corrals it, and the beveled edge allows the bearing to seat in the nose) had slipped. That led to noise as well as poor performance. You should easily be able to - with the blade off, if it's easier for you - turn the rotor with your fingers.

Any more resistance than that, it's likely something's amiss - such as, if it's been in use for a long time, perhaps a dead front seal, which could lead, as I saw once, in a fellow cruiser's installation, a rusted forward bearing. John's estimate, based on long use and customer service, is that you'll get 8 years out of a set of bearings. Those, the breakers (just installed new ones in ours), and the seal are all user-serviceable.

Yesterday, here in Vero Beach, we had a nice cold front come through. about 12-15 knots all day, and our KISS gave us 15 or more amps for nearly all of it. Full batteries rock ☺
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Old 21-09-2015, 06:13   #71
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Hello forum,

I had a KISS wind generator sitting in the lazarette for years, and finally got around to installing it. I hate it. I'd never been around one in 20 knots or more before, and the noise it produces when it starts to whine is just about like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Sure, I like the high output, but I would trade a little less power to get my blessed silence back. We pretty much have the thing shut off all the time anyway.

Anybody have some good experience with a silent one? We obviously still want some output, but I just don't want to feel like I'm next to a jet turbine in everything over 20 knots...

Suggestions solicited! There just might be a very good deal on a KISS to be had here soon as well.

Thanks, TJ
We're happy with our D400. It kicks out a good amount of energy and the sound is there, but very soft, like the wind purring through the trees.
We've heard from friends who don't like their wind gens that it's the vibration that irritates them the most. Some have vibration all the way down from the deck into the berths below deck. We're very grateful we have no vibration. We had our wind gen mounted very sturdily by FKG in Sint Maarten who built the stainless mount - cost more than the D400 but worth it because we have no vibration.
So be sure to pay attention to how you have yours mounted, not just which brand you buy. Good luck! It sure is nice to have wind power at night and when your day is under rain or cloud cover (as we are right now in the Aegean)
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Old 21-09-2015, 06:33   #72
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by EllesBelles View Post
We're happy with our D400. It kicks out a good amount of energy and the sound is there, but very soft, like the wind purring through the trees.
We've heard from friends who don't like their wind gens that it's the vibration that irritates them the most. Some have vibration all the way down from the deck into the berths below deck. We're very grateful we have no vibration. We had our wind gen mounted very sturdily by FKG in Sint Maarten who built the stainless mount - cost more than the D400 but worth it because we have no vibration.
So be sure to pay attention to how you have yours mounted, not just which brand you buy. Good luck! It sure is nice to have wind power at night and when your day is under rain or cloud cover (as we are right now in the Aegean)
I have yet to hear a discouraging word from any D400 owner.

That said, a comment earlier (this thread is getting pretty long so you may not have seen it) mentioned the sound-isolating mounts John Gambill (owner of KISS, now that he bought out the operation in Trinidad before the founder passed) makes. A competitive maker strongly urged a fellow cruiser to buy one for that installation; the fellow cruiser loves it.

I have one, too, occasioned by ours taking flight in a monster gale, and the yard where our salvage work was done (we got a ride in the red helicopter, and the salvors took it to that yard) had too small a lift, so CUT OFF our pole to a stub, to which John mounted our iso-mount.

Worth the extra, for whatever windgen you decide upon, IMHO; it may contribute to our silence...
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Old 21-09-2015, 07:59   #73
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

I have a KISS which came with the boat and worked fine for four and a half years. A few months ago we had a violent squall come thought, over 50 knots, and it snapped one of the blades near the housing, even though it was switched off at the time.
If anyone has a spare blade of the original Trinidad style, I would like to buy one.
PM me or contact though my website below.
Thanks. JR
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Old 21-09-2015, 09:08   #74
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Here's a short video of the sound of our D400 in strong winds (while we were sailing).
Is it long enough?
If the attachment doesn't show up, you can see it
http://vimeo.com/139943523
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Old 26-09-2015, 07:32   #75
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

+1 for the Rutland, but ours is the 914i.

Sure, it doesn't come close to the same power output as our old Air-x BUT (and this is a big BUT) we can happily sleep with the thing humming along with 30+kts of breeze, and it happily survived sustained 65kt winds in Oct '14 when the UK south coast got pelted by some weather.

We run ours with 2 x 100W solar panels and it keeps our laptops, fridge, freezer, nav equipment, etc etc all happily powered.

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