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Old 09-10-2006, 15:42   #31
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I think you are getting closer. it's not a volts problem it's an amps problem. My CSy has a Four Winds generator and it can put out a solid 8 amps, though I only ever anchored in a place that did that one time. You noramlly won't anchor in those kins of places. I've had to do a little repair work on mine. but being almost 10 years old it has lasted a long time. Right now I've been replacing the breaks and over speed springs. It's what shuts the blades down when the wind gets too strong.

Most of the pronblem with adding a wind generator is the mounting. Personally, the stern mast mounting I think is the better solution. It gets it high enough you won't get a body part hit by the blades (very dangerous and I mean exceptionally dangerous!). The cost on a new Four Winds II isn't very cheap, but then this one of mine has lasted a long time and should be back spinning by the end of the month.

You still need a regulator just like any other power source. getting more than 8 amps out of one takes a lot of wind. The one 3 day weekend where we had that kind of wind I left the anchorage with topped off batteries after 2 days on the hook.

Before adding a wind genrator I would add solar til you can't add any more. Those are about the only things on the boat that does not require maintenance. I think you'll find the low end units eventaully die a young death.
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Old 09-10-2006, 20:05   #32
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My opinion, and everybody's needs are different, but after having bought my wind generator, an Air-X, I wish now that I had bought instead another solar panel! Even on a cloudy day it puts out more amps and the batteries see at least some input. Currently, my Air-X is tied off because I see no point in letting run if winds are less than 25, and even in that wind there is very little influence charging my batteries (three 4-D, 185 ah each)

I think it depends on size of battery, or batteries. I'm going to connect the Air-X to my single group 27 bow thruster battery and see if it will keep it topped. I think for smaller banks the wind generator may be better suited but go solar, and with the mppt type controller, if you have larger batteries.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:01   #33
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Guess you're just like me EagleII (don't tell me...I want to be shown!) It took awhile to sink in that my windmill did very little, especially compared to solar.

My Aerogen got me back one day when I tried to reach behind it to grab the tail fin to stop it one exceptionally windy night. The wind shifted and before I knew what happened it took a good slice of my forehead. They called me Frankenstein for a while. Duckhead
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:48   #34
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Quote:
My Aerogen got me back one day when I tried to reach behind it to grab the tail fin to stop it one exceptionally windy night. The wind shifted and before I knew what happened it took a good slice of my forehead. They called me Frankenstein for a while.
If it was my Four Winds you could have been killed. The good ones really are very dangerous. Arm accidents are pretty grizzly. Not quite as bad as an airplane prop.
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Old 05-11-2006, 13:37   #35
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I am building my own windmill, here's where I found info

http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_wind.html

The information from the site helped me.

I am just now putting things together. 3 auto alternators. each rated at 140 amps, large fan blade 5 foot in length.
You can look at some of there test results at the site.
Thanks, Wayland
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Old 05-11-2006, 14:55   #36
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I could add another solar panel aft of the 2 main ones, but again, in cloudy weather I just may add axtra weigth.

The 3rd panel would be hinged and could fold down in close quarter maneuvering, mounted parallel to and behind the 2 main panels, but quite a bit extra weight back there....

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Why not mount an extra panel or two ahead of your split backstays?
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:59   #37
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Wayland... What are you talking about. 140 amp alternator is going to take some Hp, more than one, to turn it up to speed. A 5 foot fan blade isn't going to make it (10 foot swing). Are you sure about this?
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:08   #38
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I have an Air-X and also a Kyocera 130 watt solar with mppt regulator. The wind gen is the most useless thing I have on my boat. The real problem is you are always looking to anchor in sheltered anchorages which means low wind. The solar panel puts out a steady 8 amps for 10 to 12 hours a day. The Air-x is insignificant. My recommendation is to get an mppt regulator and more solar or higher wattage solar for the same size panel.
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:12   #39
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I had two Kyocera panels (160W total) and a 4-winds wind generator on my last boat. In the Baamas at anchor...the 4 winds regularly contributed about twice as much to my battery bank. I notice that many of those dissatisfied with wind generators have small bladed units. I believe that the big blade units are superior in the light winds that one would normally find in an anchorage. You need to look at and compare the output curves of various units at 10 KNOTS...not some theoretical maximum or even 20 knots which occurs quite infrequently. This is "propoganda" from the four winds site but even if you remove their unit from the picture...it is useful to see the BIG difference in output in the lower wind ranges.
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Old 09-04-2007, 16:29   #40
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This site is good at the basics showing why wind generators are pretty useless - Wind Power Basics, Part 1

For a 5' diam which is pretty big in 10 knots only an exceptional unit could give 33 watts. At 20 knots the output is to the third power ie 8 x 33 = 264. For a 2'6" diam the output is 1/4 ie 8 watts and 66 respectively.
Assuming 10 knots half the time for the smaller unit that is 8 x 12/12 = 8 amp hrs You couldnt expect much more downwind in the trades although it would be constant, nor in an anchorage. I don't know the blade size of the bigger units but a 5' diam blade would have to be mounted pretty high and would only give around 33 amp hrs surely matched by a 100 watt panel.
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Old 22-02-2008, 16:39   #41
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Hi, I am new to the site and am investigating adding wind and solar to our boat. I have done some investigation on different Wind Generators but I get conflicting information depending on who I read or which vendor I investigate. So after 2 years for this thread are you finding the same info for wind and solar? I was leaning towards Four Winds because I heard they were very quiet, then I was told that the Rutland 913 is the lowest starting generator, but now from this thread it doesnt compare to the larger blade units for output at higher wind speeds.

I want to do a combination of both solar and wind, I have been told that solar wont give me back everything I need to keep my batteries topped up, but then I have the high output alternator and I have seen some really interesting 2000w gas generators.

with all of the purchases and systems to or could put into place to be self sufficient on the hook, watermakers, navigation, charging systems, I want to get the biggest bang for my buck since I only have so many of them to spend, keeping it simple and within budget is my biggest goal so I can get off the dock and really live the cruising lifestyle.....

So any help would be appreciated

Mark
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Old 22-02-2008, 18:31   #42
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I will tell you that small generators start earlier spinning...but they produce little usable output in lighter winds. The big blade units (4winds/kiss etc.) do. You WILL be disappointed in the performance at anchor of ANY small bladed unit unless your planned cruising area has consistent 15k winds and above. This is my opinion based on my own 4 winds experience and a lot of fellow cruisers....BUT...opinions vary so I suggest you get the back issues of practical sailor for 2007...they devoted two issues to the testing of large and small blade units. I think it was the July and August issues...but you can check here.
Practical Sailor
Well worth the reading before such a big investment.
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Old 22-02-2008, 20:05   #43
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Air x test

Wulf Small Wind Turbine Test Field by Paul Gipe great site whith real world test on wind generators
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Old 26-02-2008, 06:24   #44
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Great site Alchemist !
It requires a bit of navigation, but lots of information.
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Old 26-02-2008, 14:07   #45
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Thanks for the site, yes lots of information and interesting read except he really only investigated 2-3 products. I wish I could find some comparisons of Ampair, Kiss, Rutland, four winds, DuoGen, but I will keep looking, from what I read you dont always believe what the vendors write, so do you guys have real life from your usage of Wind Generators? I looked on Practical Sailor, and will look again, but they ask for 10 bucks an article.........

I appreciate the feedback and will post anything else I find out.

Mark
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