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Old 10-09-2015, 14:06   #1
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Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

I have a 65' mast. Can it be done? I welcome experts to comment. I recognise the voltage drop issue... can it be done though with thick as hell wire, maybe with a 48 volt generator?

I'm not willing to shade my solar by putting on the arch. I'm a energy intensive ho i know....

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Old 10-09-2015, 14:30   #2
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

Regarding voltage drop, you would want a unit that produces AC and rectifies it down below - like the KISS.

We have a friend with a catamaran with a KISS on top of their mast. They have had some interesting problems when it gets too windy - when it freewheels, it screams down the mast. Once they broke a blade and said it was quite the experience with the mast shaking like crazy. They recently cobbled together a cable system to remotely turn the system off the wind so they can stop it.

This is on a catamaran, which is mostly stable and upright. On a mono, I think you will have a lot of problems with it underway.

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Old 10-09-2015, 14:35   #3
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Regarding voltage drop, you would want a unit that produces AC and rectifies it down below - like the KISS.

We have a friend with a catamaran with a KISS on top of their mast. They have had some interesting problems when it gets too windy - when it freewheels, it screams down the mast. Once they broke a blade and said it was quite the experience with the mast shaking like crazy. They recently cobbled together a cable system to remotely turn the system off the wind so they can stop it.

This is on a catamaran, which is mostly stable and upright. On a mono, I think you will have a lot of problems with it underway.

Mark
Are there wind turbines that you can remotely stop the blades on? Seems like it would be a must. And I have seen them before on masts... how did those people do it wonder? I'd be willing to pay top dollar for the best generator if it has rock solid build quality. When sticking something that high in the air I don't think " bargain " would be in the discussion. Anyone out there with them on their masts?

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Old 10-09-2015, 14:53   #4
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

On the KISS, you can short the windings, but high wind will overcome this and it will free wheel. Others do similarly automatically, but they vibrate and scream while doing so. Mechanically turning the generator off wind seems to be the best way - particularly if up on a mast.

I only meant to imply that a windgen may not be very usable underway on a mono if heeled. At anchor, there won't be a problem with it up there. There is also the added weight up there - which will be more of an issue on a mono than catamaran.

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Old 10-09-2015, 15:00   #5
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

Natraps,

I see I've got you thinking about your next project now.

As was noted, the KISS puts out AC, so cable run is much less of an issue.

The unit can be shut off at the control box. The manual that came with the unit says that it will keep the unit from turning (much-it spins slowly when off) in up to 42 knots. I've only seen wind in the mid 30's since installing, and shutting off the switch does take care of that.

I guess a better question would be whether or not the unit can be damaged if shut off and then freewheeling in a full gale. I do not think so, but there are others who will know for certain.

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Old 10-09-2015, 15:49   #6
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

Good question tjd

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Old 10-09-2015, 16:00   #7
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

Putting that much weight at
That height would be like taking out a ton or more of ballast from the keel of a mono or several feet of width on a multi.
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Old 10-09-2015, 16:17   #8
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

I think that a KISS along with it's wire might weigh something like 30 pounds. With a hypothetical 7.5' draft, the wind generator would have to be mounted multiple times higher than a 65' masthead to eliminate a ton of ballast.

I didn't use a calculator on this, so maybe I've got it wrong, but certainly 30 lbs at the masthead will not have that drastic of an effect. If that were the case, a 200lb man at the masthead would capsize many boats.

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Old 11-09-2015, 08:46   #9
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

The Superwind has an automatic mechanical feathering feature. The stronger the wind the more the blades feather until they are no longer generating "lift". I thought that was good for an installment on my mizzen mast until I saw that it is a DC generator rather than an AC alternator. 12-48 volt cables down a 35' mizzen mast - uh, no.

Wind power is quite expensive compared to solar. When sailing downwind (to paraphrase - ladies and gentlemen do not go to weather) you will not get much energy. When anchored - well, who wants to anchor in 20kt winds?

I love the idea of a wind generator. The practicalities.......
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:57   #10
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

Dock neighbor has one mounted half way up his Mizzen mast, I keep threatening to throw a line into the thing when it's windy. Why run your wind generator when your plugged into shore power?

Listening to his has me determined to never have one myself.

On edit, the other day the big sportfisher right beside of him had blood and feathers all over their boat, apparently a seagull had flown into it, I guess they are good for that.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:02   #11
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

I've got two Air-X wind generators mounted about 35' and 40' up the Mmzzen mast on our boat.

They self regulate and brake themselves in high winds. I've never had them freewheel even in gusts up to 50 kts. They've got internal regulators so put out 24v (our boat is 24 not 12v) and work reasonably well, but I'm actually looking to remove them when we get to NZ. 3 main reasons:
- They prevent me from being able to run a mizzen staysail which is a nice light wind sail on our boat
- Frankly, since we've left the Caribbean, the solar (820 watts) has provided the bulk of the power and the wind generators are useless 90% of the time as we're normally going downwind. Beating up and down the Caribbean they were more useful.
- I'm tired of listening to the power lines slap inside the mast

If I was setting the boat up from scratch, I'd put as much solar as I could and then spend the rest on a Watt & Sea hydrogenerator for when it's cloudy.

Just my thoughts, YMMV

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Old 11-09-2015, 12:05   #12
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

dayummmm my mizzen is a shitload shorter than your mast height.... i have my cheap chinese knockoff of an early air x works great on my mizzen head, however.......
i can feel the difference with mine atop my mizzen, and i will be removing it from there when i maintain and repair masts in mazatlan or wherever i choose to do this project. i willbe relocating them as did a friend--i have 2, per these folks' recommendation , and the trailing edges of the dodger are out of the way of the sails and not obstructed or -obstructing anything, nor will they mess with the feel of the boat.
i have found the 2 windmills are perfect to augment the charging of my battery banks supplementing my slowly growing solar system. most anchorages have morning sun and semi obstructed afternoon sun, so a combination of wind and sun is optimal.
bonus for night time winds.
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Old 12-09-2015, 00:17   #13
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

Quote:
the KISS puts out AC,
How many phases does this wind generator output and how is it wired if multi phase?

I have a Rutland 913 mounted about 12' above the waterline and when going down wind with enough breeze to actually generate power it does not hold direction and even occasionally ends up backwards. I imagine that if this was mounted on top of the mast it would fling about even more.

Unless you spend a lot of time in anchorages in very windy places invest your money in more solar panels.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:43   #14
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

An interesting thread....

I investigated a wind gen on the mizzen last year and rejected every option except a VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine) amd almost rejected that one until I figured out how to run a shaft from the turbine to the gen unit which sits at the base of the mizzen. 5KW in a 20Kt wind, self-feathering, not noisy, great augment to solar. It looks kinda weird with an ovoid egg beater on top of the mizzen. Unique, anyway. YMMV
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:20   #15
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Re: Who has a wind generator on top of their mast?

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An interesting thread....

I investigated a wind gen on the mizzen last year and rejected every option except a VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine) amd almost rejected that one until I figured out how to run a shaft from the turbine to the gen unit which sits at the base of the mizzen. 5KW in a 20Kt wind, self-feathering, not noisy, great augment to solar. It looks kinda weird with an ovoid egg beater on top of the mizzen. Unique, anyway. YMMV
5kw in 20kts???

***blinkingf***

Would love to see pics... What... 30/40/50' driven shaft??? All external I presume???
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