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Old 01-09-2003, 06:55   #1
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Wind Generation

I am considering wind generation, and notice that the 2002 West Marine Catalogue features and recommends the Air X Marine 12 volt windmill; suggesting: "electronics are completely revised, utilizing a microprocessor to control the RPM, and to provide pulse-width modulating (PWM) control for optimal battery charging. The new advancements in electronics provides a greater improvement over typical diode-rectification and simple (shunt style) voltage regulation."

Does anybody have experience with this or other generators that they would like to share? Any advice for those of us shopping in this area?

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Old 02-09-2003, 03:28   #2
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Im not specifically familiar with the new Air-X machines, but the old ones have a very good reputation. Theyve made several improvements over the years, and apparently continue the practice.

A Pulse Width Modulation controller varies the charging current gradually from 0 - 100%, much like a lighting dimmer does. Shunt style regulators merely turn the output on or off, like a ordinary light switch.
The PWM control works more like a smart multi-stage battery charger, and can incorporate other features that may increase the maximum energy transfer and improve battery life.

Id be inclined to believe the catalogue claims you quoted (Im normally a skeptic, so this doesnt come easily to me) . Air-X would be among the first machines Id consider for myself.


Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 06-10-2003, 06:01   #3
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I am doing a long-term research myself because at some stage I will want a wind genny. The Air models are, indeed, the only ones in the whole market with a sensible output. But oh boy are they noisy. In a bit of a blow they sound like a helicopter taking off. In half a gale the thing screams and whistles like someone tries to kill it (and maybe someone does, because it is really not acceptable)

I have been told by a friend who is overhauling his boat that the newest (2002??) model is much quieter. Actually, he bought one, but the boat is still in the shed and the genny not yet installed.

Iwill be watching the thing closely when they finally arrive with boat AND genny and keep the forum informed when I know if it's really better than the older models.

happy sailing
Peter aboard SV Heerenleed, Steenbergen, Netherlands
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Old 07-10-2003, 15:50   #4
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Thumbs up Air X (New model)

We have installed a new Air X generator on our boat and couldn't be happier with it. The new regulator works great and as advertised. It is MUCH quieter than the older versions of the Air Marine and Air X. The only thing that I didn't like about it is that the mast mount is no longer available for it. We fabricated one to fit our mizzen. The only factory mount sold now is the post type that mounts on the stern of the boat. It would have gotten in the way of the mizzen sail. There is another boat here with the older Air X on the aft post system and it is very noisy. Even with the rubber mounts and all. We can hear it over ours when his boat is a good 50 yards away!

Good luck on your purchase.
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:16   #5
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Thank you for this information. This is good news...

happy sailing
Peter aboard SV Heerenleed, Steenbergen, Netherlands
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Old 16-10-2003, 15:18   #6
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Thumbs up

We have a Four winds II for the last 7 years with no probs mon . Good output and not to noisy .We will be adding solar panels though to suppliment the systems .

It's time to remove the occupational government of the US and return to the Constitution. Wake UP Sheeple!
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