Hey all, a fellow CF member
said I should writeup my experience.. So here we go.
Back in February we got our arch installed in St Martin
it had two posts for wind
generators. We put the AirX a friend gave us on one kept it tied off most of the time because of the noise
I debated and agonized over what brand to choose. I really liked the Aerogen 6 modular design that you could convert to a drag generator
, so I called Budget
and had them put two units on hold. We sailed back down to St Martin
in May to install the two wind
generators. Upon arriving at Budget
I learned that the modular model has not been made for two years and the Aerogen webpage was way out of date (since updated, the day before we arrived in SXM).
Slightly annoyed at Budget I went to Island to see if they had anything interesting. Once there I bought into the sales info on the Silentwind and the next day got two units to install. After a bunch of trips back and forth for missing bits I had the Silentwind up and running. To my shock it was not-so-silentwind, with a really loud wispy sound.
About the time I had it running one of the guys from Island was going by in his dinghy
. He stopped and suggested a few things to try to reduce the noise
. Over the next few days I did everything I could to reduce vibration, reduce noise transmittance, reinforced the pole, re-position the blades. After corresponding with Spreco and only a little reduction in noise, I uninstalled the whole unit and took it to Island for them to test. They setup the unit on a pole and it was a bit less noise then on the boat, but still not-so-silentwind. Island had the Silentwind for testing overnight. Since I had installed the unit I couldn't return it, but I was able to return the second unit, without a re-stocking fee if I bought the regulator
for the Aerogen from them. I went back to Budget and got one non-modular Aerogen 6.
Once back to the boat I re-installed the now slightly banged up Silentwind, and installed the Aerogen 6. A few hours later I had the Not-So-Silentwind on the Starboard and the nice quiet Aerogen 6 on Port. In testing with the amp meter they both seemed to produce the exact same amount of power.
The next morning I found the control unit on the Not-So-Silentwind had died. So, it was back to Island and a bit of drama before they gave me a replacement controller.
So, weeks later... here is what I think.
-) Both the Not-So-Silentwind and the Aerogen 6 make the same exact amount of power below 25kts, above that I have tied off the Aerogen and turned the brake on for the Silentwind.
-) Silentwind is loud, not as loud as the AirX. It will not piss off the anchorage since the noise doesn't carry that far, but I have found it to be a very annoying wispy sound. On a side note, it seems to be in an octave that some older people are missing.
-) Silentwind is wired as 3-phase AC and the control unit is actually really cool with menus and reporting. You can have a user-load to send power someplace before it goes to the battery
. Best of all it has the BRAKE, so when people come over you can shut it down (soon to be on a relay so I can turn the brake on from the helm). I am worried that the control unit will go out again as the construction is very thin and not really marine
-) Aerogen 6 is a great product and I regret not having one on both sides of my boat, it make very little noise (if any at all). The install was very easy, all DC with a very solid sealed regulator
In the end, wind sucks... Buy more solar
, you'll be much more happy!