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Old 30-05-2018, 17:44   #16
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Yes, the solar route would require a regulator. but even with a decent regulator the cost of the solar setup would still be much less than the wind and would produce more power on average.

Multiple regulators can be used on a battery bank without any problems.
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Old 30-05-2018, 20:29   #17
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Re: Low cost wind generator

There are several wind generators, of the type shown in this thread, on boats in my marina. They are mounted on poles. In low winds they are often still while my 5 blade D400 is silently spinning 35 feet up on the mizzen mast. I love it. Works day and night and provides all power for microwave, icemaker, power survivor 40e, and electronics.
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Old 30-05-2018, 20:45   #18
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Heresy, but I actually used two Chinese made ones of the general type. Although they did ultimately fail, the length of service and electricity production made them worthwhile. Most especially, they were not just inexpensive, but actually cheap. I cannot recall the website, but there is one devoted to Chinese products, including many types of generators, wind and solar, (water too), although not necessarily intended for marine use.
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Old 30-05-2018, 21:11   #19
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelratinter View Post
There are several wind generators, of the type shown in this thread, on boats in my marina. They are mounted on poles. In low winds they are often still while my 5 blade D400 is silently spinning 35 feet up on the mizzen mast. I love it. Works day and night and provides all power for microwave, icemaker, power survivor 40e, and electronics.
Your success here may be highly dependent upon the height at which you mounted the turbine. Much better air flow up there, especially near shore where there is a lot of turbulence. The typical installation, a mere ~12 feet above the water is really inferior.

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Old 30-05-2018, 22:11   #20
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Jim,

Yes, I agree. Mounting high on the mizzen was key.

I think the 5 blade is quieter also.
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Old 31-05-2018, 05:02   #21
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Re: Low cost wind generator

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We've always enjoyed our Kiss wind generators. They are quiet enough and now with the Kiss Extractor™ even quieter. The Kiss now stops automatically when the batteries are charged. That protects our AGM batteries which would be damaged from over charging. The Kiss Extractor™ also gets more energy out of the Kiss at low wind speeds. For those who have experienced a screaming wind generator in high winds, the Extractor™ has a setting that shuts down the Kiss before it overheats, stopping it before it starts screaming.

We have a 12V watermaker and when we want to make water we anchor in a spot where the wind provides the power. We never let the batteries go below half full, prolonging their life. The Kiss with the Kiss Extractor™ helps with that even on cloudy days and at night.
This is a very interesting addition, though a bit pricey, and with some limitations (reading the FAQs), and designed for the old/original design (new design has more amps, slightly faster start, etc.).


We love our KISS (over 11 years), and this is pretty cool. It's essentially an alternator as described by the OP, and entirely user-serviceable (which we've done as a product of some misadventures of mother nature's and our doing); the new design, should it ever be produced, is a great step up from the original, but the original is still great.

All the other comments about why wind (in ADDITION TO solar) are correct; despite our life-changing upgrade to our solar (Flying Pig's Excellent Adventure (An Unbelievable Electrical Upgrade Story - was: "Ba), the KISS is still a great portion of our generation.

I can't speak to the subject generator, at all, but, like Harbor Freight, perhaps this is a consumable (though my experience with HF tools has been exemplary, and I've not had them die on me, probably because I am not a pro using them every day).

However, blade noise is the bugbear of all wind generation; the D400 of another poster is probably the clear leader in silence, but also probably the most expensive, and non-user-serviceable, of the commercially available windgens. I have yet to meet a D400 owner who has anything but effusive praise for theirs. I think if I were starting again, I might spring for one. But having a KISS which works a treat, and can be entirely managed by me vs sending off for service, if needed, is right in my wheelhouse.

As to noise, we've found that if you are anal about balancing your blades, they are whisper-quiet. The new design blades (svhotwire still sells those and replacement parts, as well as does service should you need it) are even quieter than the original, and come weight-matched. I did, and you should, if you have one and haven't, or are upgrading blades, however, balance mine with lead tape. A place with no moving air, a level surface for the end of the balancing spindle, and a small torpedo level (to keep the outbound end on a level surface, if you don't have a parallel hard-surface level place allowing clear blade swing) is key to getting the balance right. I use the edge of the fiddle on my workbench for my static level point. Properly balanced, it should take a minute or more for a heavy blade to go from 2 to 6 on the clock, and moving your torpedo level off level should cause instant response in either direction (e.g. from 6 on the heavy blade to 10 or 2). By heavy, I'm speaking of grams at most; if you get it to the point where it takes a minute to move from top to bottom, it's close enough.

Enjoy; likely the OP's windgen, if the blades and hub are mountable as a unit, will benefit similarly from balancing.

L8R

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Old 31-05-2018, 05:28   #22
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Re: Low cost wind generator

I have both solar and a wind gen; 400 watts of each. I’ve never actually crunched the numbers, but my estimate is that I get ~80% of our electrons from solar, and ~20% from wind.

But this is an overall average which can vary widely from day to day. And as others have said, wind often gets better just when solar starts to suck. And wind can produce 24/7. Clearly not possible with solar. So I like the combination.

I would definitely max out solar as the first approach (unless you are in an area with really poor sunlight). If that doesn’t fill the batteries, only then look to a wind gen.

With regard to noise, there is no reason to put up with a noisy wind gen. There are many on the market now which are pretty quiet. Maybe the cost a bit more, but it is money well spent, both for you and your crew, and for the sanity of fellow cruisers anchored close by.
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Old 31-05-2018, 05:57   #23
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Re: Low cost wind generator

I also keep my boat on a mooring. i added a small solar panel (30 watt) a few years ago just to keep the batteries topped up. Works great. Now when I get on the boat and check the battery voltage, they are almost always at 13.2 to 13.4 volts with the solar on. Note that even a small panel like my 30 watt one will put out about 2 amps, about the same as that 400 watt wind generator will at normal wind speeds.
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Old 31-05-2018, 09:03   #24
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Re: Low cost wind generator

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I also keep my boat on a mooring. i added a small solar panel (30 watt) a few years ago just to keep the batteries topped up. Works great. Now when I get on the boat and check the battery voltage, they are almost always at 13.2 to 13.4 volts with the solar on. Note that even a small panel like my 30 watt one will put out about 2 amps, about the same as that 400 watt wind generator will at normal wind speeds.
Note that "normal" is just like the real estate biz - "location, etc."

If you were in Grenada, normal would be an average of 10-15 knots, likely. Marblehead MA, probably some different number. And Beaufort SC (where we rode out Matthew, an anomaly), probably less.

Our KISS does 2A at about 7 knots, going up steeply from there. Reading the FAQ on the Equalizer mentioned above gives some stats about what you can expect about shut-down, but for the most part, ours will quietly contribute over 50AH daily. In the Bahamas, one of our favorite cruising grounds, it's more like 200AH, making us usually well over 90% (870AH bank, typical draw average 10-15A -> -> 250-300AH/day) at dawn, and full well before noon, without the equalizer. As we also don't have a diversion load or controller, we shut the KISS down at dawn in those cases, and turn it back on when the current amps go close to 0 or negative (as the sun lowers)...

Nearly certainly, wind and solar beat solar alone. Whether it's a good cost-benefit ratio depends on where you are, your choice of windgens, and how your system would do without it.
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Old 31-05-2018, 09:14   #25
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Re: Low cost wind generator

And to what degree certain pitch hums / vibrations drive you stark raving mad
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Old 31-05-2018, 14:17   #26
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Re: Low cost wind generator

wish sell a low priced wind generator with a blade option / 5 blades for quick start in low wind or 3 blades for stronger winds
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Old 11-06-2018, 14:19   #27
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Re: Low cost wind generator

I had an airX wind gen on my cat and fould it to be very noisey yet very poor on generating amps needed. Removed it, sold it on eBay, and installed an array of solar pabels that more than meet my needs. Zero noise plus zero maintemance. No brainet
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Old 11-06-2018, 14:21   #28
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Re: Low cost wind generator

I've had this same unit for over 3 years now. Yes it's a Sunforce. We only use ours for 3-4 months a year so I couldn't see buying a real expensive unit. Besides it has a 5 year warranty. My original one had an external controller and it failed after one year. They sent me a complete new unit with this internal controller and it's been working for us ever since. They covered the shipping also and have been very helpful. When I managed to deep six the special left handed nut thats required to hold the props on, they promptly shipped me one at no charge! It's not noisy at all, much better than the original one we had with the external controller! I've had many comments about how quiet it is from other boaters.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:56   #29
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Re: Low cost wind generator

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I had an airX wind gen on my cat and fould it to be very noisey yet very poor on generating amps needed. Removed it, sold it on eBay, and installed an array of solar pabels that more than meet my needs. Zero noise plus zero maintemance. No brainet
Inherited an Air-X. Generated decent power (as per specs), but screamed like a banshee when the wind was up. Was very glad when the controller died. Gave me the excuse I needed to send it over the side. Have had a SilentWind since then, and much happier with it; performs to spec, and much much quieter.
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Old 14-06-2018, 13:23   #30
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Re: Low cost wind generator

You won't get proper power for your refrigeration without a true Sin inverter.

Wind is great. But thats too big and noisy for a boat that size
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