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Old 14-05-2012, 15:04   #1
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Wind Generator

Do any of you have a wind generator and what do you think of that model?
I havent gotten involved in wind gennys for about 10 years or so. I see the prices have come down and the technology has gone up.
The biggest problem with wind generators on a boat is the vibration. The cheaper ones will keep you and your neighbors up all night. Not just the sound of the genny but the sound on your deck and handrails vibrating.
Hopw good are the newer ones?
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Old 14-05-2012, 15:18   #2
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Re: Wind Generator

I have a D400, fitted 18 months back.Very satisfied with the performance. Have been out cruising on the east coast of Ireland these last couple of weeks and have had no need to use engine for charging.
No problem with vibration, and the blade noise is low compared to other wind genny's.The only time in the last couple of weeks when it did attract my attention was in gusts of 50 kts when I did think it might take off.
All in all, very pleased with the D400, and to me a worthwhile investment
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Old 14-05-2012, 18:54   #3
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Re: Wind Generator

Air Breeze. Quieter than most but still not as quiet as I'd like. And you need plenty of breeze, 15 and up to generate much power. We're underwhelmed.
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Old 14-05-2012, 19:03   #4
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Re: Wind Generator

We have the Air-Breeze. I was leaning towards the KISS, and will still get a KISS when the breeze dies, but at the time a $200 ebay find cannot be beat. Overall it's an OK wind gen, but the overall power output is a meager below 10-15kt, not really worth having the lower powered unit for ease of low wind startup.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:17   #5
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Re: Wind Generator

Air Breeze and love it, if I had lots of money I would Get a D400.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:23   #6
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Re: Wind Generator

My KISS is still going strong after eight seasons, same bearings etc. Real good output at 15-20 knots, not much at 10 but it usually blows where I cruise.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:30   #7
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Re: Wind Generator

Plus one for the D400, it is silent and works well enough to keep the autopilot running.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:34   #8
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Re: Wind Generator

I have a DuoGen combined wind and water generator mounted to the rear arch. The only noise is a low 'hum' from the alternator as it runs and the blades are very quiet indeed for such a large unit.

Would I recommend one though? Probably not, they are VERY expensive for what they are compared with other conventional wind gens (list price is about 2500) but I was fortunate enough to pay a lot less than that off a guy who had bought it new but never fitted to his boat.

For the price of one of these, you could have TWO airbreeze units AND a couple of decent solar panels as well.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:36   #9
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Re: Wind Generator

KISS, twelve years on we have just removed the whole thing for it's first major service!
Just fitted a new set of blades and new hub and renewed switch. Absolute doddle, everything came apart just fine. Not that there was anything wrong with it except the original blades had worn rather thin after 12 years spinning!

Had it fitted by the makers in Trinidad originally and they did a beautiful job. No problems with vibration or noise. Over 30 knots we tend to tie it down as it goes into free wheel.
Supplies all our power needs. Highly recommended.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:37   #10
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Re: Wind Generator

We looked at power output, noise/vibration and low maintenance when selecting and we gave up some power output for the best of the other two. We are influenced by our 7KW generator and solar panels too. Ours is an AmpAir which, with the solar power, keeps us with bright anchor lights while unattended, but doesn't allow us to maintain or freezer/refrig. working while we are away. ......so many choices that are to be made to fit your cruising style!
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:42   #11
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Re: Wind Generator

D400 is WAY heavier than Airx and its clones. This can count in some installations.

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Old 15-05-2012, 09:06   #12
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Re: Wind Generator

I have a Rutland 914i, installed a couple of months ago.

I am very disappointed with the power output and am not yet sure whether it is set up incorrectly or defective. I never get more than 1 amp out of it on average (that's about 25 watts at 24 - 25 volts; equivalent to 2 amps with a 12 volt system). That is according to the Rutland controller, which calculates cumulative amp-hours of output. Even on a stormy night with the wind never below 20 knots according to masthead instruments (realizing that at deck level it might be a bit less), the average output was only 1 amp/hour per hour, although I saw brief moments of 90 watts during fierce gusts over 30 knots.

For what it's worth -- that's my experience so far. If this is the real practical power output -- very different from the unit's rating -- then it's not good for much. Will hardly keep an anchor light going in a gale.
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Old 15-05-2012, 09:22   #13
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Re: Wind Generator

Dockhead,
We are looking very seriously at the Rutland 914i. In fact, barring anything unforseen at the moment, we will be buying one in the near future. I'm sorry to hear of your experience. I assume as you do, that you either have a defective unit or some issue with the installation. I don't believe that this output is typical of a properly functioning unit.

My question is what kind of response have you gotten from customer service - either your dealer or Rutland themselves? I would not be satisfied with the unit as is, and I assume that they don't want an unhappy customer out there trashing their product. In your shoes, I would either return it or try to dig into what kind of issues you might have with the installation. Can you keep us updated on your experience?

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Old 15-05-2012, 09:43   #14
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Re: Wind Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/vPainkiller View Post
Dockhead,
We are looking very seriously at the Rutland 914i. In fact, barring anything unforseen at the moment, we will be buying one in the near future. I'm sorry to hear of your experience. I assume as you do, that you either have a defective unit or some issue with the installation. I don't believe that this output is typical of a properly functioning unit.

My question is what kind of response have you gotten from customer service - either your dealer or Rutland themselves? I would not be satisfied with the unit as is, and I assume that they don't want an unhappy customer out there trashing their product. In your shoes, I would either return it or try to dig into what kind of issues you might have with the installation. Can you keep us updated on your experience?

Scott
Hi -- yes, I'm not trashing Rutland just yet -- I'm not sure yet why the output is like this. The jury is out as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not in the UK at the moment and haven't had a chance to work on it with the manufacturer. I will definitely post all about my experiences when I get it figured out. I researched the choice of windgen extensively before I bought I found a lot of positive comments about the 914i.
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Old 15-05-2012, 09:54   #15
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Re: Wind Generator

As a follow up to the previous post.

This article: http://www.naviclub.com/Test_compara...nes_marine.pdf

seems to indicate that my Rutland's output might be about right.

The Rutland 913 they tested produced a real practical output of 35 amp hours per day at 12v over four days with average wind speed of about 11 knots. That corresponds to 17.5 amp hours per day at 24 volts, or less than one amp hour per hour.

Even the giant Superwind 350, the highest output windgen tested, only put out 64 amp hours per day, or 32 amp hours per day at 24 volts, only about 1.3 amp hours per hour.

Carp. It looks like my Rutland may not be defective -- that's just the realistic output from wind generators -- i.e., hardly enough to keep an anchor light going.
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