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Old 29-05-2018, 16:42   #1
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Low cost wind generator

As I was cruising the interwebs I found this from of all places (gasp) the home depot,

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coleman-400-Watt-12-Volt-Land-and-Marine-Wind-Turbine-48400/204233177?cm_mmc=Shopping%7CG%7CBase%7CD27E%7C27-31_CONTROL%7CNA%7CPLA%7c71700000034238969%7c587000 03946879296%7c92700031953709695&gclid=CjwKCAjwrqnY BRB-EiwAthnBFiGWsXYgY05bE-50-uv2-wFAGokNqQFxR15QDFyZkZpLoMCVuDd2-RoCwfsQAvD_BwE&dclid=CLqT5aDQptsCFdZCNwodU-kJmQ

I don't know exactly what my exact power usage is but it is very low compared to most, I use ice for refrigeration, and the primary electrical draw comes from the cabin lights, and fw pump, when it's in use and my phone charger, and occasionally if it gets hot enough I will run a small fan in the cabin, and in the winter I run the fan on my Dickinson Diesel heater but then I'm in a slip, so, shore power, that is the extent of the house loads ( I do have an inverter but it is almost never used except for using tools occasionally, and then I'm running the engine). Other loads are from nav lights (infrequent) and GPS, VHF, and depth sounder.
The boat (Catalina 30) lives on a mooring the rest of the time. Conditions on the mooring are reasonable for wind power, and I *think* something in that power range should be adequate to keep the house bank charged (2 450AH flooded lead acid) and it is kept almost religiously isolated the starting battery.
So for the questions
1. A typical 400w wind gen in the prevailing conditions would be producing about 1/6-1/10 of total rated power about 60℅ of the time with the remainder being split about evenly between producing more and less. Obviously for the day or 2 a week when there isn't enough wind it won't charge, but on average should a unit this size do what I want?
2. The price on the linked unit is attractive, but would I be throwing that money, down the toilet?
3. It has an international regulator, but I am hesitant to rely on that alone, if I were to install it I would think having some form of dump load (like a heatsink or similar) independently regulated to avoid repetitive cycling at the high end of the charge cycle.. or am I over thinking this?
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Old 29-05-2018, 23:30   #2
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Re: Low cost wind generator

In general, as an owner of a wind generator, I do not think they are worth the money and suggest investing in solar instead. However the price point on this one very good and might be worth considering.



The primary issue for me is the wind speed at which you start generator power. Most are too low for light wind use. The second issue is what happens in very high speed winds. I've had my wind generator blow its circuits well below its rated capacity. My experience is ratings are optimized in many cases and reality is quite different.
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Old 30-05-2018, 02:34   #3
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Re: Low cost wind generator

I've never had a wind generator before, in your experience is 1/8 rated out put a reasonable expectation for a 10-15knt breeze as that is what is normal in my area?

And I agree with the solar is usually better, from what I can tell this boat has never had either, and running the poor old Universal just to charge the batteries seems a waste. But it's cheap enough I may go for it and see how it works out.
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Old 30-05-2018, 03:51   #4
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Ck the specs on this this at Coleman. Somebody is making the generator for Coleman. You might be able to find out who. My guess is it an alternator actually. Most are direct drive so going to need some wind to get anything really out of it. And 400 watts max translates into about 33amps. Remember there will be additional costs to install it - the pole to mount it if is a stand alone, wire, some kind of short out switch to essentially stop it from turning when you don’t want it to and maybe someway of monitoring its output. If I was going to spend my first dollar on alternative energy I honestly wouldn’t put it here unless you had a much bigger budget to include something else.
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Old 30-05-2018, 04:13   #5
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Low cost wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV_Harbinger View Post
I've never had a wind generator before, in your experience is 1/8 rated out put a reasonable expectation for a 10-15knt breeze as that is what is normal in my area?

And I agree with the solar is usually better, from what I can tell this boat has never had either, and running the poor old Universal just to charge the batteries seems a waste. But it's cheap enough I may go for it and see how it works out.


By the time you mount and wire this you’ll be quite deep into it monetarily.
Much better and more reliable would be. Single 100watt solar panel. It’s quiet, works far more often and consistently than the wind, and is cheaper.
We have a wind gen and solar. The solar hands down produces more power!

One of these will cost less to purchase, install, and will provide more power

https://www.wholesalesolar.com/94336...tt-solar-panel
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Old 30-05-2018, 04:16   #6
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostinato View Post
In general, as an owner of a wind generator, I do not think they are worth the money and suggest investing in solar instead. However the price point on this one very good and might be worth considering.



The primary issue for me is the wind speed at which you start generator power. Most are too low for light wind use. The second issue is what happens in very high speed winds. I've had my wind generator blow its circuits well below its rated capacity. My experience is ratings are optimized in many cases and reality is quite different.
The above reflects my experience. Most of the time it sat there doing nothing whilst the panels charged the batteries. When there was wind it was usually too much and it's madly screaming blades scared the hell out of me and once was particularly terrifying when I was caught in a hail storm with too much rag on the poles and had to hand steer whilst the hail stones intersected the screaming blades above me in the cockpit.

Put your money in solar panels mate.
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Old 30-05-2018, 05:53   #7
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Re: Low cost wind generator

i love the air x model...could niot see yours, as interwebz are iffy here at present, and no linky.
i own 2 air x type--one air x and one chinese knock off. i love em. when it is dark they charge when it is light they charge. storming they charge. noise?? is electricity being made. not an issue on my boat.
while repairing my boat i miss my wind gennies. they made life complete, electricity wise.
supplemented my solar nicely
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Old 30-05-2018, 06:05   #8
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Good advice, go solar first, then add wind only if necessary. 23 years ago I fitted a First generation air-x wind generator. Back then solar was very expensive and wind seemed like a good option.

Despite being in Windy Central NZ I found the wind gen was either feast or famine. When it blew consistantly hard it would really put out lots of power (and noise) quickly filling my batteries so I'd have to shut it down. But more often than not I was in a gusty anchorage where it wouldn't put out much, or I'd have a few calm days where the batteries got very low. It needed a reliable 12-14 knots to put out any useful power, and even then it was only a few amps if I was lucky.

Solar has a much more reliable charge pattern. Even on cloudy days it works to some extent. It's quiet, has no moving parts and is very reliable and simple to install. That's where I'd be putting my money.
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Old 30-05-2018, 06:24   #9
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Re: Low cost wind generator

We have a very similar wind generator to the one you linked.. FYI, that generator is manufactured by Sunforce.

We get 2-3 amps at 12-15 knots of wind. 5-6 amps at 20-22 knots of wind and 18 amps at around 30 knots of wind. HOWEVER, these generators need a constant wind. They are terrible in gusty conditions and produce pretty much zero power but make all kinds of noise.

We paid close to the same as the Home Depot price. In the end the pole, wires and installation actually cost more then our wind generator. Our pole is extra long so that added to the cost, but I would bet you will be over $850-$900 by the time you install it.

Personally.. If I had room for solar, I would put solar on until I ran out of room. Then I would look at wind.
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Old 30-05-2018, 09:05   #10
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Re: Low cost wind generator

A NOISE GENERATOR

Solar pannels
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Old 30-05-2018, 09:21   #11
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Re: Low cost wind generator

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.
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Old 30-05-2018, 09:30   #12
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Go solar panel first - then possibly wind depending on your situation. My boat already had a wind generator on it. I added solar panels. Since i use a CPAP to sleep, having the wind generator ( and windy nights) works well for me.
Since i already have the pole, wiring and regulator in place, I'd replace the windy gen if it went out.
If I had to start from scratch - I probably wouldn't bother with a wind gen but would spend my bucks on solar exclusively.
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Old 30-05-2018, 11:53   #13
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Hi

I have solar panels and an old four winds wind generator. Solar is great as long as you have sun and no shadow on your panels for 12 hours a day. When you are sailing you have wind for 24 hours a day.

Also often even in the tropics you get a lot of cloud which effects your power generation. The fourwinds has airbrakes that deploy in a blow. Makes noise but no loud bangs so far.http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...lies/smile.gif
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Old 30-05-2018, 16:57   #14
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Re: Low cost wind generator

https://www.ebay.com/bhp/wind-turbine Check this out.
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Old 30-05-2018, 17:31   #15
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Re: Low cost wind generator

Thank you all for so many reply I'll try to get to everyone.
Sailmonkey, I took a look at that panel you recommended and the first place I could think of putting it would be on top of my bimini, but there it would be shadowed by by the boom and rigging, the next though would be out over the transom but I was also thinking of adding davits either this year or next year, so not sure how that would work out there, but on the same note, I can see the same issue mounting a win gen. I would also assume that any solar installation would require a charge regulator.

Zeehag, how much noise are we talking about, my mooring is in a fairly loud area already from a sheet metal processor being right there, well about 200yds away so I'm fairly used to noise.

Travellerw, yes it is made by sunforce, I've personally never heard of them. From what you were saying 2-3 amps is only very slightly less than I was expecting.

Loquacious, I'm highly interested in a water maker but haven't gone down that road yet, although I'm painfully aware of my water consumption rates. But at the risk of hijacking my own thread, how is your power consumption rates on a 12v maker compared how much power you make.

And for everyone who mentioned a combined wind solar, can those be run through a single regulator or do they need to be independent of each other.
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