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Old 16-01-2012, 18:05   #1
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Mounting a Wind Generator

Took a month sailing and ran the batteries down, could not start the engine for 7 days. Now we are a sailboat but 35 knot winds and 15 foot seas and no motor in case something broke is not good.
My solar panel would not charge the batteries enough to get it going. We just went through a few weeks of very overcast weather here in the Caribbean. So went out and bought a wind gen.
I can mount it in the stern, although at times it might be shading the solar panels. That will affect their charging significantly. So, has anyone ever seen a wind generator hoisted up with a halyard when the boat is anchored? I could have a something made that would hold the generator, clip it on the halyard and pull it fairly far up the mast. Compensate for the angel and it might work. I saw on this sit a gen that was mounted on top of a mast also.
any thoughts?
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Old 16-01-2012, 18:07   #2
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Re: Mounting a wind generator

the downside of that sort of mounting system is that you can't use the generator when underway.
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Old 16-01-2012, 18:39   #3
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Re: Mounting a wind generator

petter to get a small honda petrol generator with a 8-10 a dc charge function,a lot cheaper
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Old 16-01-2012, 19:00   #4
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Re: Mounting a wind generator

You can also end up with overcast skies and no wind. The gas powered generator is a must. I put my wind generator on a makeshift mast right at the back. It was a temporary fitting, but has been in place a year and a half and seems to work OK. A wind generator will outperform solar panels if you have wind. Try to minimize the possible tragectory of broken blades, as knifelike as they are.
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Old 16-01-2012, 19:08   #5
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Re: Mounting a wind generator

The smartest thing you could do is install an isolated starting battery so that you can always get your engine started.

Mark
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Old 16-01-2012, 19:48   #6
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Re: Mounting a wind generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The smartest thing you could do is install an isolated starting battery so that you can always get your engine started.

Mark
I'll second that. Have a starting battery and a "house" battery.

We have both solar (40 watts only, on the davits) and wind (FourwindsII on a pole in back). Remember that wind generators have windage, they don't belong at the top of the mast IMHO. They like smooth air, so offset (port or starboard) from the mast/boom is good.

Note that while the average wind here is published as fairly high, when you look at the hourly winds you can see that the published wind speeds are more like average peak winds. We don't get as much from our wind genny as I expected, and I haven't balanced the blades, even after hours worth of attempts. If I had to do it over, I'd go with 100% solar. I'm shopping around for a 130 or 210 watt panel for the top of the davits.

Have you done an energy budget? It's a lot cheaper to determine you needs in advance and a strategy to meet those needs. (For instance, LED lighting is cheaper overall than powering incandescent interior lights. And adding insulation to you fridge/freezer can be a much better solution.)

Regards,
Brad

After installing our wind generator, we no longer need a riding/anchor sail. We used to tack 90 degrees or more at anchor, now she rides steady (+/- 5 degrees).
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Old 16-01-2012, 20:26   #7
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Re: Mounting a wind generator

These folks make a towed generator (for when you're on passage) that converts to a wind generator hung from a halyard when you're at anchor. Interesting idea. Wind Powered Generators
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