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Old 03-01-2015, 07:09   #46
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Originally Posted by svfinlandia View Post

I'm happy to hear that your Kiss experience has been good, but I would have to point out that for the price of the Kiss you could have had over 1000 watts of solar panels which would be putting in a maintenance free 50+ amps when the sun shines.
But where would I put that 1,000 watts of panels? My pilothouse is already covered by 170 watt panels and even if I were to replace them with more efficient panels I would have no room for them.

quo fata ferunt
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:38   #47
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Originally Posted by Merkits View Post
Will painting the silver on the aluminum frame of the panel help with heat? When do you shade them if you're trying to charge?
I thought the rolleyes would be enough to indicate sarcasm on my part.

Too many cruising boats have a wind generator, antennas, radar etc. ABOVE their panels. No wonder they aren't impressed with solar !

"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

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Old 03-01-2015, 09:45   #48
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

I like the idea of one of these Cruising hydro generator

but the price
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:45   #49
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

We have both, and so far it's been a good combination. Solar is great, but on boats like ours it's hard to get enough amps from panels alone. Usable mounting space is small, and that is further limited by constant shading somewhere in the system. Add to this the limitations of cloudy weather, medium-latitude sun angles, plus the fact that generation happens for at best 1/2 the day, and it's hard for us to create a self-sufficient electrical system using solar alone.

The great thing about a windgen is that it can run 24 hrs. And while good anchorages are usually considered the antithesis for good wind generation, I'm often surprised at how much power we're able to create over a day, even in protected locations. Cloudy conditions often mean wind, so in many ways the two systems are perfectly complimentary. When one is weak, the other is often stronger.

It's true that a good windgen is not cheap. If cost were an issue, I'd probably just go with solar, but if at all possible, I'd get both.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:13   #50
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

As a cheap cruiser myself, I know how we all love to run the numbers on our buying decisions to help support or dissuade our specific gear buying decisions, but some decisions are not made entirely by the numbers.

There are many reasons for this, and Mike brought out a good one about solar...some boats just don't have the room. I have 1380W of solar aboard which is much more (maybe double) than the average cruising boat we see in the anchorages but I have the room on this Barge of mine. I tried getting buy with less, first 260, then 480, and finally I'm living large at 1380!

I have a KISS up on the Mizzen mast that when there is wind and no sun, I still have plenty of power. If there is no sun and no wind....I fire up my Honda 2000 and charge 75A into the battery bank. Too rough for the Honda, I use my 8K genset and put 150A into the battery. Generator is down, then I fire up my Ford Lehman 120Hp beast and charge with my 160A Alternator. The point is a full time cruising/living aboard boat can't have too much power or too many ways to make it. You just don't hear people in anchorages sitting around at cruiser pot lucks talking about how they have too much DC power, too much solar, too much wind, too much battery storage, etc. Its the opposite, they want and need more.

Having the ability to put 150AH or more into the bank on a sunless day or night just from the wind is nice and some people want that option, so they buy a wind generator. Now why would someone pay $1495 for a wind generator (plus the mounting expense) when they could pay $950 with free shipping for a Honda 2000 generator and charge at 60A with a $450 battery charger. Heck, keep that line of questioning going. Why would anyone put in a Diesel genset when they could have a Honda 2000 or even two of them chained together if they needed more power?

The answer is because Cost isn't always the deciding factor...and we know that to be true, or else NO ONE would ever really NEED a water maker, they would shower with a hudson sprayer once a week and jerry jug water for heavens sake.

At $4395 for a 20 gallon per hour water maker, that is a LOT of jerry canning my friends. But Convenience and quality of life is why people buy water makers, wind gens, solar panels, 12v DC expresso makers, and 12v vacuum cleaners. And despite those that would say otherwise, there is nothing wrong with it if you have the money!

The goal in outfitting a cruising boat is many ways can you make power and keep your lifestyle from having to change due to your battery voltage meter. I know even saying this nuts up the purists, but they are the loud vocal minority. The silent majority of cruisers these days want the comforts of home on the boat which means having POWER. No sun for the week due to the storm but it is blowing 25-30kts....heck....I don't care that my solar is useless, because the wind gen takes care of me. No wind...then the next device down the line takes care of me.

Now I totally agree that FIRST you put all the solar you can on your boat and you have a high output alternator.
Those two are a given to me and I think should be for everyone.
Then you start talking options...Honda 2000....Diesel Genset....Wind Generator...etc to fill in and make your live more comfortable. Run out of money at Solar and Alternator...then screw Go cruising, don't let the options stop you from going...but if you have the money the Options sure can make your life out cruising more comfortable!
Rich Boren Living Aboard in Morro Bay, CA and the owner of:
Cruise RO Water High Output Water Makers
Technautics CoolBlue Refrigeration

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Old 03-01-2015, 16:24   #51
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Saw this gadget on a boat along the pier. appears to be both a wind generator and can be towed.

Not sure why the image is rotated, it is not when I open the file on my computer?
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:04   #52
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Agreed SV Third Day, but for me a genset or engine running is a distant last option, especially when long distance passage making. It's not the noise, but the fuel consumption.

Being only a 40ft boat, there is not room for a huge solar array (soon to be upgraded to 120w (from 72)),)not having space for a genset - certainly not a petrol one, as that would require more fuel storage, nor an enormous amount of available diesel (main tank is 120ltrs). For me, Wind gens make sense. They take up little room, and, apart from the odd bearing change every 5 years or so, are maintenance free, and require no fuel. Spare blades may be needed if damaged....

Everything on a boat is a compromise!!
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:33   #53
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Originally Posted by mattnone View Post
Has anyone used any of the Chinese Solar and Wind generators. I have a friend that's looking in to ordering a Wind generator from one of the bulk sites. The question is are they any good.

i used chinese solar & wind turbine and i hate they. dont waste your money. you can find other brand product. there are lot of good product. i can suggest you, ista breeze or missouri wind turbine. they are good companies and you should be delighted.
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Old 13-01-2015, 23:24   #54
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Where I'm going later this year, there isn't much sun but lots and lots of wind- the Southern Ocean in the vicinity of the Horn!
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Old 14-01-2015, 02:33   #55
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Re: Solar and Wind generators

Originally Posted by overtheseas View Post
Where I'm going later this year, there isn't much sun but lots and lots of wind- the Southern Ocean in the vicinity of the Horn!
Envious... Solar works great down there, at least in Summer! Wind can be tempermental. Either too much or not enough. The Air Marine I used seemed to spend much of it's time in slowdown self protect mode. Both are useful but given the chioce for high lats I'd go with solar first. The cold makes them super efficent, and the long daylight hours sure helps. Just got to keep the snow off them and have adjustable mounts to capture the low angle sun.

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generator, solar, wind, wind generator

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