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Old 04-01-2019, 02:08   #1
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Silentwind gen not braking

Hey guys and gals, just installed a new silentwind on my mizzen and the darn thing won't brake! It pumps out the juice just fine, but when i flip the brake switch on the controller, it lights up "BRAKE" just fine, but does nothing up top to slow the beast..... wondering where to start diagnosing, or is this a thing that is probably a manufacturer's defect in a sealed unit and i should just haul myself back up there to send it back home to momma....? The techs are closed for another few days in Portugal so I cant get help there yet, so if anyone had this happen, I'd sure appreciate some insight!

Many thanks,
Davi
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:09   #2
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

Electromagnetic braking so check your wiring first.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:34   #3
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

Ok... basically there was an old silentwind up there and an old controller down below. Ordered a new set, installed gen and new controller but kept old wiring up the mizzen. The controller reads BRAKE so the brain knows what to do, but you're saying to check the wiring between them?
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:23   #4
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
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Very cool website, btw! And good luck with the silent wind brake!
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:01   #5
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

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Very cool website, btw! And good luck with the silent wind brake!
Hey thanks! We've been so caught up in working on the boat this last month we've really fallen behind social media stuff (also behind enough schedule that we had to retool the whole project ) but we'll be sailing around having our own brand of special fun soon enough again! Thanks again for the encouragement
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:33   #6
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

Three-phase wind generators, like the Silent Wind, electronically brake the blades by connecting the three-phases together. You can do this using a DPDT bat switch and connecting one phase to one side where the switch posts are bridged together and then connecting each of the remaining phases to the other side switch posts in separate connections. When the switch is flipped on, all three phases will be connected and the wind gen will be electrically braked. When the switch is flipped off the phases are disconnected and the wind generator will start running again.

If you find you are not satisfied with the Silent Wind controller, the Kiss Extractor will likely work just fine. It will give more energy at low wind speeds, brake the Silent Wind for ~90 seconds when the battery is charged to a set-point, and even anticipate when the Silent Wind is about to overheat, braking it for a cool-down period. See https://www.seabournesolutions.com/K...model-4.10.htm
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:54   #7
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

I suspect there’s an issue with the controller. If you’re getting power, at the expected levels, then the three-phase connection must be linked properly. But the brake is as described, so I suspect the controller is not joining the three lines.

Questions: Did you order a new gen and controller b/c the old one was not functioning properly? If so, in what way?

Is the old controller compatible with the new generator? If so, have you swapped it back out to test the braking?
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Old 30-03-2019, 23:14   #8
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

Hi,


My issue is similar but different ... At the end of a short (36 hr) but windy and wet passage our Silentwind went nuts. It was turning so fast it sounded like a low flying aircraft and we thought it was going to explode. Great timing as dodging commercial traffic, at night, in a Marshall Islands lagoon ...


The brake light was already on and selecting the "brake on" switch made no difference. The controller was really hot. I removed the three-phase input wires and shorted them together to try to stop the blades manually. The ring terminals for the input wires got quite hot too. Still no change until we got the apparent wind lower. It seems to be holding "braked" now at anchor but hesitant to put it back together in case it starts uncontrollably again.


At the time we were motoring with an apparent wind of about 25 kts and the batteries were pretty much full (90%SOC of a 980 12V AmpHr bank).



I have sent an e-mail to Silentwind but they have not been very responsive recently. Any ideas on where to start troubleshooting ? I do not think the charge controller is at fault as I could not brake the wind gen even by manually shorting the input wires. Brushes ? If one brush is wearing could one leg of the 3 phase be absent and the gen not brake ?



Trying to get the boat ready for a passage from the Marshall Islands to Alaska in June so want to make sure this system is reliable again. In 7 years and about 38,000 nm we have only had to change a set of bearings and a cooling fan for the controller so normally it has been reliable and an important part of our power generation system.


Thanks,


Max
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Old 31-03-2019, 05:52   #9
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

FWIW:
From Silentwind FAQs:
https://www.silentwindgenerator.com/en/faqs/

Secure the rotor blades to prevent the generator from turning or disconnect the 3 cables from generator to controller and connect them together to stop the generator.

Please disconnect the cables from solar panels, then the cables from wind generator and at last the cables from the Battery. On the battery output from controller make a shunt between the plus and minus terminals (connect a small cable between the plus and minus) Press two buttons at the same time for 60 sec. Leave the controller rest for at least 20m to dissipate all energy. Connect all cables by the reverse order: 1º Battery; 2º Silentwind generator; 3º Solar panels

Please check the battery charge.
Please check the cables cross section according to user’s manual.

Attention. Wrong connection from Plus and Minus will automatically destroy the charge controller.

---
The Silentwind can be stopped by the switch on the charge controller. However we advise all customers to secure the rotor blades with a rope for more safety and to avoid stressing the wind generator and the controller useless.
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Old 31-03-2019, 06:07   #10
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
FWIW:
From Silentwind FAQs:
https://www.silentwindgenerator.com/en/faqs/

Secure the rotor blades to prevent the generator from turning or disconnect the 3 cables from generator to controller and connect them together to stop the generator.

Please disconnect the cables from solar panels, then the cables from wind generator and at last the cables from the Battery. On the battery output from controller make a shunt between the plus and minus terminals (connect a small cable between the plus and minus) Press two buttons at the same time for 60 sec. Leave the controller rest for at least 20m to dissipate all energy. Connect all cables by the reverse order: 1º Battery; 2º Silentwind generator; 3º Solar panels

Please check the battery charge.
Please check the cables cross section according to user’s manual.

Attention. Wrong connection from Plus and Minus will automatically destroy the charge controller.

---
The Silentwind can be stopped by the switch on the charge controller. However we advise all customers to secure the rotor blades with a rope for more safety and to avoid stressing the wind generator and the controller useless.

Thanks Gord. When we finally got internet again after two months away, going to the Silentwind website was near the top of the "to do" list. None of the FAQ seem to address what to do after connecting the three cables from the generator to the controller if the generator is still turning uncontrollably. I do not think the charge controller is the issue as the rotor would not stop turning with the charge controller removed from the circuit. Just to be sure I will do the reset of the charge controller anyway.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:48   #11
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Re: Silentwind gen not braking

Update for those who are interested.


I got some great advise from E-Marine and did some tests and opened up the machine:


- Released the three phase input wire that I had bolted together to short and therefore stop the blade turning. Tested the V AC of each leg to see if the voltages were about the same. All good.
- Brake on the charge controller worked in the 18 kts of wind.
- Took the generator down and opened it up. Interestingly one of the legs of the three phase wires was very burnt and the other merely a bit melted. Brushes and the armature look fine.


Going to replace the controller and the wires. Since I have it apart anyway I will replace the brushes and bearings.
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