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Old 31-08-2012, 11:57   #166
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
copied and pasted this from the other thread i started.

"i have found that generally on trade wind passages that i have done with a high out put wind generator,it has performed way better than the solar array.

the wind generator puts out power 24 hours a day,where as down wind with poled out sails you are lucky to get more than 4 hours a day at optimum charge,the rest of the day light period the panels are either in the shadow of the sails or pointing in the wrong direction! " (quote)

a lot of your trade wind anchorages on the coconut and carib run are exposed to the full force of the trades,somthing you will have to get used to unless you spend time in marinas.

the great benefit with a wind gen is that they produce power 24/7.
the new generation are very quiet,more quite than having to run your generator any way!


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Maybe I'll rethink this one.
The Air Breeze in that comparison article was highly regarded, second best output, quiet, easy to install, and when it comes out, only $915 from West Marine. I get stuff via their trade outlet so will be a bit cheaper. Not a lot in the overall scheme of things.
Any idea when that article was written?
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:13   #167
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Maybe I'll rethink this one.
The Air Breeze in that comparison article was highly regarded, second best output, quiet, easy to install, and when it comes out, only $915 from West Marine. I get stuff via their trade outlet so will be a bit cheaper. Not a lot in the overall scheme of things.
Any idea when that article was written?
not sure when it was written but we had an air breeze on my last trans pacific delivery,it was fantastic,the batteries were allways full till we ran out of wind on the equator.

we had it just above the cockpit,and in under 25 knots you hardly noticed it.

in your case mounting it above the radar on the mizzen you would never hear it untill above 35 knots,and the great thing is you can switch it off if it is too windy,and it comes with its own smart controller.

i can guarentee you will not regret it,if you have the boat bucks to spare
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:19   #168
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

We have both a wind generator (KISS) and solar panels and find that they tend to balance each other pretty well. When it's cloudy out and the solar isn't working the wind seems to generally be up a little and vice versa.

Will say, however, that in terms of total electrical generation I think our solar wins, even though in theory the wind generator can run 24/7. On the basis of that, I, at least, would probably recommend starting with solar over wind, YMMV.

On a separate topic, you asked about 32 vs. 36-cell solar modules. The difference is in the voltage they put out. Each cell adds about 0.5V when put in series (way oversimplification). 32 and 36 cell units were initially designed to charge a 12V battery directly (i.e. without any controller) and they can still be used that way. However, if you are using a controller then you have to match the modules to the controller input, not the battery input, the controller does the voltage matching to the battery. Controllers are built to handle a broad range of inputs, and if the MPPT type, to track the best power production voltage from the modules. The controller then puts out the voltage required by the battery (13.8 to 14.4 or thereabouts).

This also means you aren't limited to 32/36 cell modules, you can use 60, 72, or 84 cell modules as well, you just have to make sure they are compatible with the controller you have/select. To do that you'll want to look at the module's Open Circuit Voltage (Voc), Maximum Power Voltage (Vmp), and Maximum Power Current (Imp). All module data sheets should give you these values, and whatever controller you have will tell you its maximums and minimums. As long as you match things up all should be good.

The advantage the higher cell count modules have is that they operate at higher voltages, which means lower currents, which means you can use smaller wire and still not have significant wiring losses.

Once you get above the 120-140W size modules, the current market price should be less than about $1.30/Watt. I see them reliably in the range from $0.90 to $1.30. You can sometimes spend a little less, and you can always spend way more, but probably not for any great effect.
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:22   #169
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

found a photo of your boat with one allready mounted on the mizzen!

AirMaax Wind Generator by Electromaax
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:33   #170
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

The D400 always gets good reviews on here.
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:52   #171
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
found a photo of your boat with one allready mounted on the mizzen!

AirMaax Wind Generator by Electromaax
Yeah right...

Well, that's an Air Maax... about $2295!
We're talking Air Breeze... about $915!

And the boat is a little Hudson Force 50, so they had money left over to spend big on luxuries
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Old 31-08-2012, 13:00   #172
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
We have both a wind generator (KISS) and solar panels and find that they tend to balance each other pretty well. When it's cloudy out and the solar isn't working the wind seems to generally be up a little and vice versa.

Will say, however, that in terms of total electrical generation I think our solar wins, even though in theory the wind generator can run 24/7. On the basis of that, I, at least, would probably recommend starting with solar over wind, YMMV. Agree. That's the plan. But if we find we can't get quite the wattage in the space available the Air Breeze vould be a good addition, and gives the extra input when we're sailing and using the plotter and auto-pilot.

On a separate topic, you asked about 32 vs. 36-cell solar modules. The difference is in the voltage they put out. Each cell adds about 0.5V when put in series (way oversimplification). 32 and 36 cell units were initially designed to charge a 12V battery directly (i.e. without any controller) and they can still be used that way. However, if you are using a controller then you have to match the modules to the controller input, not the battery input, the controller does the voltage matching to the battery. Controllers are built to handle a broad range of inputs, and if the MPPT type, to track the best power production voltage from the modules. The controller then puts out the voltage required by the battery (13.8 to 14.4 or thereabouts).

This also means you aren't limited to 32/36 cell modules, you can use 60, 72, or 84 cell modules as well, you just have to make sure they are compatible with the controller you have/select. To do that you'll want to look at the module's Open Circuit Voltage (Voc), Maximum Power Voltage (Vmp), and Maximum Power Current (Imp). All module data sheets should give you these values, and whatever controller you have will tell you its maximums and minimums. As long as you match things up all should be good.

The advantage the higher cell count modules have is that they operate at higher voltages, which means lower currents, which means you can use smaller wire and still not have significant wiring losses.

Once you get above the 120-140W size modules, the current market price should be less than about $1.30/Watt. I see them reliably in the range from $0.90 to $1.30. You can sometimes spend a little less, and you can always spend way more, but probably not for any great effect.
Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful.

Vic
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Old 31-08-2012, 13:04   #173
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Yeah right...

Well, that's an Air Maax... about $2295!
We're talking Air Breeze... about $915!

And the boat is a little Hudson Force 50, so they had money left over to spend big on luxuries

first rule of yachting......if you have to ask the price.............ya probly cant afford it lol
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Old 31-08-2012, 13:22   #174
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

of course the price of an Air Breeze and pole/mount will buy a lot of solar watts

I will say that in my home mooring field ther more wind gennys than solar panels
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Old 31-08-2012, 13:34   #175
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Thanks,
I'll check them out. What's the advantage of 36 over 32, apart from the higher output?
Yes...exactly...You let the MPPT take care of the regulation.
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Old 31-08-2012, 14:06   #176
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Thanks,
I'll check them out. What's the advantage of 36 over 32, apart from the higher output?
36 cell panels are the nominal default standard for 12v panels. Each one of the 36 cells produces voltage so these panels have enough voltage to allow for the decreased voltage associated with hot conditions and high battery voltages.

32 cell panels were primarily produced to be self regulating in a 12v system. They produce less voltage, but more current for an equivelent sized and efficiency panel.
Generally the 32 cell panels are a poorer choice with any system with a regulator in it. They are always a very poor choice if you have a MPPT regulator.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:14   #177
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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The D400 always gets good reviews on here.
here is a link to the d400

D400 Urban Wind Turbine

looks good but might be a bit heavy at 15 kg for a mizzen mast

as opposed to an air x at 6 kg,and has the electronic stall function
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:16   #178
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
here is a link to the d400

D400 Urban Wind Turbine

looks good but might be a bit heavy at 15 kg for a mizzen mast

as opposed to an air x at 6 kg,and has the electronic stall function

as I look around the moorng field this morning, there are few D400s on mizzen masts
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:25   #179
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
as I look around the moorng field this morning, there are few D400s on mizzen masts
the thing i liked about the air x was at a flick of a switch it goes into stall mode,a nice feature when it is located only a few feet from your head!!!!
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:07   #180
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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the thing i liked about the air x was at a flick of a switch it goes into stall mode,a nice feature when it is located only a few feet from your head!!!!
One of the negative fearures of wind gennies is the constant noise, so this feature is a big plus.

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