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Old 10-09-2015, 09:14   #1
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I can't stand my wind gen...

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
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:34   #2
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

I thought the KISS had redesigned their blades several years ago to address the noise issue. If you have had your unit for a long time, perhaps you have the older, noiser, blades.

Contact John at Hotwire and talk to him about the noise issue. He is very knowledgeable about these units, and I think he's a straight shooter. If he can help you, he will.


Cheers!

Steve
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:40   #3
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Yes, I bought this one in Trinidad in something like 2006. I'll call John and see what he has to say. Thanks much.

TJ
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:56   #4
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

I went from an old Air-X, that would scream like a banshee at high wind speeds, to a SilentWind from Spreco. This is the blue blade company. It's not silent, but it's pretty darn quiet. A couple of boat lengths away and it can't be heard at all. It sits above our heads in the cockpit, and we can easily carry on a conversation without having to raise our voices.

There are many others that are pretty quiet now. There's no reason to suffer with one of these old screamers.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:00   #5
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

If quiet, rugged, and well built are your goal then SuperWind350. It's going to be more quiet than the others and it can handle the wind speeds thrown at it and you don't have to rush down to flip a stop switch because the articulating blades will not allow it to over spin. These are serious wind generators meant for the toughest of conditions. Weekend cruisers and coastal cruisers will probably do fine with the less expensive systems out there.

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Old 10-09-2015, 10:03   #6
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

I can't stand my marina neighbors' wind generators, either. There is enough going on when the wind kicks up without the screeching!
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:03   #7
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Ok, in case anybody's interested, I talked to John, and he says that the blade design has not really changed. However, I'm going to get a set on a trial basis and see if it helps anyway. Those guys have always been really good on the service front. I guess it helps that they're actual cruisers!

Good tip.

Anybody used one of the Silentwind models?

Thanks, TJ
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:05   #8
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Mike,

Sorry, between posting and refreshing the page, your note wasn't displayed yet.

What was the cost of that unit?

Thanks, TJ
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:23   #9
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
What was the cost of that unit?
We bought it in 2013 and it cost us about $1500 ($Canadian) back then. This was for the 400 watt version and included the older controller. When they went to their upgraded controller I bought that directly from Spreco. Forget the cost, but it was reasonable.

I've posted a video somewhere on CF with our Silentwind whirring away while I'm seated in the cockpit. Low noise levels was the number one factor for me when I was buying a new wind gen. I think there are many out there that would achieve this now, including the Superwind and the D400. But I like the Silentwind. Produces power as per the specs, is quiet, and the controller can accommodate up to 550 watts of solar as well (I think 550 ... confirm this). So far, I'm pleased.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:23   #10
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Don't think of the wind generator sound as noise, think of it as a free audible windspeed indicator. I slept a lot better knowing that my wind generator would wake me up if the wind increased.

BTW, the Kiss has a protective device which will open the charging circuit if the internals get too hot, which happens at windspeeds somewhere about 30k. The current goes to zero and the Kiss sounds like a wounded banshee.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:51   #11
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Don't think of the wind generator sound as noise, think of it as a free audible windspeed indicator. I slept a lot better knowing that my wind generator would wake me up if the wind increased.

BTW, the Kiss has a protective device which will open the charging circuit if the internals get too hot, which happens at windspeeds somewhere about 30k. The current goes to zero and the Kiss sounds like a wounded banshee.
The KISS is actually quiet when compared to most windgens on the market. The thermal switches cut in (maybe should be cut out) at 25 knots which is a pain. I used to tie it a bit off the wind to keep it running at over 25 knots. I now have a D400 and if you want something really quiet this is the unit to get. The only drawback is the price. The KISS used to be my anchor alarm, the D400 is useless as far getting me out of bed when it starts honking.

There must be something wrong with the OP's unit if it makes that much noise. Mine never whined at all. Just made a flapping sound when over 25 knots and it started free wheeling.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:56   #12
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Hi Vasco,

There are 2 definite noises coming from the unit. The freewheeling at +/- 25 knots is very apparent, but the blades themselves are really making a very pronounced whoosh at speeds lower than that. Say anything above 15 knots and it gets a lot of blade noise. Almost like an airmarine, but of course not THAT obnoxious! It's still pretty damn loud, though. Perhaps there is a problem.

Anyway, as I posted earlier, I will be getting some new blades to try and we'll see if that works. A very first class gesture on Hotwire's part.

TJ
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Old 10-09-2015, 13:01   #13
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

I can say with certainty that the unit does a fine job of rousing us from our slumber when the wind kicks up and we're snug in our bunks. Unfortunately, 20 knots of wind isn't really enough for us to feel like we need to stay up and maintain an anchor watch, but the KISS does seem to suggest otherwise...

Hopefully the new blades mellow it out a little bit. I even took them down and re-balanced them to make sure all was well, and it was, but still the whooshing continues unabated.

TJ
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Old 10-09-2015, 14:06   #14
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

Sell it to me...I'll put it at the top of my mast...


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Old 10-09-2015, 14:24   #15
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Re: I can't stand my wind gen...

If the new blades don't do the trick, I will certainly be happy to do that. We'll either replace it with another brand or just stick with the solar panels that we already have.

We're leaving RI for VA this weekend, and will be there until time to depart for the Caribbean, so you might arrive FL prior to us leaving if we do end up selling it.

I'll keep your username written down.

TJ
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