Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-11-2009, 11:30   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Boat: Nantucket Islander, 38
Posts: 182
Opinions Needed: Used KISS vs New AirX

I have a 1967 Chris Craft Apache, with a pretty narrow stern (around 5 to 6 feet) and not much room for a crazy mounting apparatus. I have an offer down to buy a 10 year old (1999) KISS wind generator for $550, but I'm also considering buying a new AIR-X Marine (710 on Amazon with 3 year warranty) -- the kiss has a better low end power curve, close to 4 amps at 10 kts vs. less than 2 for the air x, but I saw the KISS today and it's big, and definitely heavy (over 30lbs) vs 15 lbs for the AIR-X.....money is extremely tight (I'm in my late 20's -- spent most of my money on the rest of the refit) and I think the AIR-X is the better bet for me, smaller means less complicated mounting and a 3 year warranty is a nice security blanket

I'm leaving town where the KISS is located so it's today or never on that -- just want some angles I might not be seeing? Is the KISS worth the cheaper price even though it's 10 years old?

Thanks!
Brian
__________________

__________________
brianontheroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2009, 12:15   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,133
yes it is.
__________________

__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2009, 12:31   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
A windmill is a movable feast. All movable things break. I would go for a new unit.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2009, 12:33   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Texada Island BC
Boat: Tartan 37 Adios III
Posts: 86
I0 years spinny spinny is a lot of revolutions. I think a new one is only about 1k.

Now for $200........
__________________
daedaluscan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2009, 13:06   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Boat: Nantucket Islander, 38
Posts: 182
yea that was my major concern -- anyone have a KISS that they've had for a long time? the previous owner of the KISS said that they just recently replaced the bearings
__________________
brianontheroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2009, 13:49   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,133
A new one is more than 1K and they'll spin forever. Mine's five years old. Original bearings, nothing to go wrong really. No brushes. Also the beauty of the KISS is that all the parts, bearings and diode pack are easily available at NAPA. On my old Windbugger, Bugger Bob even filed the numbers off the generator so you had to go to him for parts.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2009, 18:51   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,310
Go with the Kiss--the Air-X output curves are bogus, and if you want to sleep you will need the quieter after-market blades, which as I remember are about $250.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2009, 12:12   #8
Registered User
 
boat_alexandra's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Masachusetts
Boat: bristol 27
Posts: 2,803
I have an Air-X and here is what I have found:

It can generate up to 500 watts in 35knot winds (depending on screw setting normally cuts off at 400w or so) but if the wind goes above that, it cuts off and produces NO power. This is especially bad when there is steady 25knots of wind and gusts much higher. I want to eventually remedy this by adding a rudder servo to the wind generator (powered by wind of course to turn off the wind but keep producing power)

Also, it starts spinning at 8knots, but does not produce anything useful until 10 knots. I would say it produces less than 2 amps at 10 knots though. It is hard to get an accurate measurement since the wind is changing speeds. In any case it does not work well in light winds. Supposedly the air-breeze works in 2knots slower wind, but they refuse to publish instantaneous amperage data instead just publishing monthly power generation (which they don't explain how is calculated) Also the Air-breeze only puts out 200 watts max.. You may however consider it.

The last issue you may have is noise, it is very noisy, but I personally do not care about it, it is a way for me to "hear" the wind better.

The nice thing is it turns off automatically with overspeed or battery overcharge which I doubt the KISS does. The KISS one would be cooler if they used mosfets with passive syncronous rectification instead of diodes (or in parallel with them)

If I could do this over again, I would get a rutland 913 because it is
1. sweeps smaller area (less wind load when beating or at anchor)
2. is quieter (I wonder how quiet)
3. works at lower wind speeds (down to 5knots)
4. works at higher wind speeds (up to 40knots or more)

The disadvantage to the air-x is cost, (plus you need a controller) and in the 15-30knot range, the air-x produces much more power.


I have a weather station aboard my boat and it is constantly logging windspeed data to my computer harddrive. Unfortunately the sensors need to be relocated to the top of the mast to make it more accurate. Eventually I plan to publish my wind data on a website of various cruises, then make it possible to enter what the energy produced at different wind speeds to compare total power that would have been generated from any wind generator (provided you have instantanious power production). Right now I have a lot of difficulty making comparisons (rutland works better at high and low ends, but not middle)
__________________
boat_alexandra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2009, 07:57   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
Interesting. Some corrections and missing info...
-- the Air-X requires no charge controller; it is the KISS unit that must be 'managed' by an external controller. The OP didn't mention the used KISS coming with such a device...so the cost comparisons may not be valid
-- a downstream problem with the Air-X (build issue, paint issue, eventually wear) is easily dealt with since Southwest Windpower offers tech advice by phone and has a slick return/repair program with quick turnaround. Having had to use this service after our unprotected 303 blew out in a storm, I must say it was an industry model.
-- The OP's concern about the difference in weight & swept area is spot on; it's a shame someone didn't pick up on this. The KISS generates more because it sweeps a wider arc...but is also going to require much stouter bracing. The OP's gut hunch to be concerned about this was very relevant given the stern geometry of his Apache.
-- KISS is the quieter air gen...but I fail to understand the rants about the Air-X blade noise. We had a first-gen Air 303 mounted 25' above our heads for 9 years while full-time cruising & living aboard and its blades were all but silent. When we felt it just wasn't realistic to expect more from the 303 (tho' it was performing 'as new'), we replaced it while wintering in Malta with an Air-X and its blades are also very quiet. We fine-sand the blades (400 grit) and then wax them before mounting the unit...but that's all. Based on 3 years with an Air-X, I would not make a purchase decision, pro or con, based on noise.

I must say I'm thankful for the Air-X's (and 303's) light weight, as (de)mounting it *above* the mizzen mast head by several feet would be all but impossible for me if it weighed more. It would be time to look for a bridge or a sky hook...

Jack
__________________
WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/WhooshSection.htm
Euro Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2009, 09:03   #10
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
Although the previous owner's wife complained about our 11yr old KISS. Many cruiser's stopped by to ask about how quiet it is. There is a small amount of noise. I suggest to mount the one that fits your needs, and look at the noise as money falling from heaven..........i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2009, 09:57   #11
Ram
Registered User
 
Ram's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cruising Greece
Boat: Cat in the med & Trawler in Florida
Posts: 2,298
Images: 27
As I recall the Kiss came out with new improved blades about 4-6 years ago that produced more power with les noise- I have a 4 year old one and wile in Greece with wind often at 20-25 knots It covers most if not all of my energy needs most of the time- in fact i have to turn it off at times because my batterys get topped off after a wile- it puts out 20-25 amps per hour --Very good uinit- I do not used a charge controller and it runs direct to the batterys (2- 255ap hr amgs)
__________________

__________________
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Opinions needed on the Toyota/Kubota/Nanni Diesels SabreKai Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 10-03-2009 20:55
Opinions Needed: Sailboat Maintenance Schedule SweetSurrender Construction, Maintenance & Refit 18 04-02-2009 04:33
KISS Electronics! Pelagic Marine Electronics 15 15-01-2009 15:29



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.