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Old 04-12-2015, 11:38   #1
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Wind generator?

Is the purpose of a wind gen mainly to charge batteries or can they actually be put online..assuming there is wind ...
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Old 04-12-2015, 17:41   #2
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Re: Wind generator?

Mainly to charge batteries. There output tends to be very variable, so they could be problematic to use directly.
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Old 07-12-2015, 22:16   #3
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Re: Wind generator?

Output is very low unless the wind is blowing quite strong.
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Old 07-12-2015, 22:50   #4
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Re: Wind generator?

Depending on the model you get the loud noise for free but pay for the vibration. Others work on the opposite principle.

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Old 08-12-2015, 02:09   #5
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Re: Wind generator?

I would stay away of them, to expensive in the relation of the output. Specially mine the Silentwind 400 plus. The builders performance curve was promising but the realitiy is disappointing. Output Windgenerator in one Year 9,2 Kwh, output 200 Watt Solarpanels over 77 Kwh in the same Time.There are better soures to gain energy, like solarpanels oder hydrogenerators.

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Old 08-12-2015, 02:14   #6
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Re: Wind generator?

Depends where you are. Most wind gens need more than 10 knots over the deck to provide any sort of decent output. Contrary to the post above I think the Silentwind is one of the best. In his case there is either not suffient wind, or there is something wrong with it. I have wind and solar - they complement each other.
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:27   #7
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Re: Wind generator?

We used the Silentwind on our trip from the netherlands to the med. so we encoutered winds from 0 to 48 Knots. Unfortunatley the "Windmachine" stayed far behind the expactations. Biggest gain was 120 Watt in an 35 Kn blow while at anchor.
The Silentwind was installed by professionals in the Ned. But to underline our conclusion, we meet on our Way down, 5 other unhappy Silentwind 400 + Owners, and just 2 Happyonces.



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Old 08-12-2015, 02:33   #8
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Re: Wind generator?

Interesting BM, I've sold about 20 of these over the last couple of years. The owners are all happy, and the units perform to expectations.
Of course Ive not seen your installs, nor the others you have seen, but Id be looking for a problem with the output you report.
The only real issue I know of is that the old 600 series controllers are no good - the 1000 series are way better.
If I were you, Id be contacting Silentwind support.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:20   #9
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Re: Wind generator?

Back in the day when solar was in its infancy wind power was the way to go, panels were expensive and technology had not yet been developed to harness the output. Today panels are reasonably priced and output is impressive. We had a wind generator back in the 80's and noise and vibration are a real issue. It was always amazing how quiet an anchorage was after we secured our generator. If you can afford a combination of the two then that's how I would go, if it was one or the other I'd take solar. Cheers
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:58   #10
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Re: Wind generator?

I'd try and check the raw output from the Silent Wind before it gets to the controller. You may be able to borrow a DC clamp meter, which will give a good indication of the real output.

As for professional install, I take that with a pinch of salt in many case's.
Before I became more confident in boat electrics, and also due to lack of correct tools, I had a "professional" electrician make the wiring install on a D400.
Earlier this year I decided to investigate this installation as I was hot happy with the output.
What I found
Undersized wiring (also not tinned)
Incorrect and poorly fitted terminals
No use of heat shrink, and badly applied insulation tape where there should have been heat shrink or at least amalgamated tape.
Use of "chocolate block" type of connections with screws not tightened.

I ripped the lot out and started again, and that has made a noticeable difference.
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Old 14-12-2015, 12:17   #11
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Re: Wind generator?

Very happy with our D400 , virtually no sound or vibration, even in cockpit all you hear is a whisper in high winds. Maintains our batteries to our needs, 4 house bank/one starter. even cycles to dump resisters after a couple of days if blowing 15- 20 knts steady. Highly recommended and no i do not work for Eclectic Energy Ltd .!
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Old 15-12-2015, 03:56   #12
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Re: Wind generator?

Realistically, you can use power as it's produced but it's easier to just pass it thru the batteries to smooth out the ups and downs.

Our boat came with a couple solar panels and a broken wind generator, never bothered to fix it in the last 8yrs. If I wanted more generating capability, I would be adding more solar.
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Old 15-12-2015, 04:19   #13
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Re: Wind generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwilletts View Post
Is the purpose of a wind gen mainly to charge batteries or can they actually be put online..assuming there is wind ...
Back to the OP.... the first 'controller' that I had on my solar panels allowed you to dump excess power ( after the batts were up to voltage) into something else... never did figure out the how or where though and never used it.

My wind gen is an Aqua4Aerogen... no longer produced but bonzer kit.
When the batts have reached a pre set voltage it diverts the extra electrons into a very large bulkhead mounted resistor... about 10 inches long and an inch in diam which then hums a merry tune and can get too hot to touch. A handy little heater in a cold climate....

I imagine those electrons could be sent elsewhere.....

Joining in with the general thread drift... of the two being discussed - in port I rely on solar, deep sea I convert the wind gen to towed ( water) mode.... 5 knots = 5 amps 24 hours a day.

Coastal I leave the windy thing up... for quite a few years after my Stowe wind instrument failed/blew away I had a little table made up and stuck next to the wind gen's dedicated ammeter... 1/2 amp = 10 knots...all the way up to 20 amps = 60 knots.
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Old 27-12-2015, 05:35   #14
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Re: Wind generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Interesting BM, I've sold about 20 of these over the last couple of years. The owners are all happy, and the units perform to expectations.
Of course Ive not seen your installs, nor the others you have seen, but Id be looking for a problem with the output you report.
The only real issue I know of is that the old 600 series controllers are no good - the 1000 series are way better.
If I were you, Id be contacting Silentwind support.
I will contact them also!
I bought a Silent Wind 12v generator this year. So far, I'm a bit disappointed. With a steady 12 to 18knots of wind all it does is keep up with fridge, freezer and 2 fans. The really strange thing is that I never see more than 12.6 volts. It's noisier than I expected, but I will live with that if I can charge my batteries!
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Old 27-12-2015, 07:26   #15
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Re: Wind generator?

My wind generator doesn't put out enough to justify its existence. It only remains for two reasons.

It is an all in one wind instrument. I can tell the apparent wind direction and speed without looking at instruments or the masthead.

The other reason is the main reason though. When at anchor, I subconsciously monitor wind conditions while asleep. The slightest change in the wind changes the song of the generator, and alerts me long before the anchor alarm even indicates the boat has swung.

Wouldn't trade it, but solar makes the power.



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