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Old 17-08-2016, 15:02   #1
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Wind Generator above Radar

Hi all,

I have a Raymarine Radar SL70 34nm mounted on a pole at the pushpit of my 33ft yacht. I am wanting to install a Wind Generator and am thinking of installing it above the radar. This would require a length of 1 inch SS tubing to be welded to the existing pole and bent up around and above the radar to then mount the wind gen.

My only concern is the drawback in Radar functionality due to the SS tubing which I suppose will block some of the radar range?

Can anybody shed some light on this and advise what the effects would be and whether or not this will result in a significant loss in radar function? Or whether it's negligible?

Thanks in advance
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Old 17-08-2016, 15:32   #2
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

If a mast mounted radar has no significant issues, then I doubt you will.

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Old 17-08-2016, 17:42   #3
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

There should be no significant shadowing from a one inch tube close to the dome. However, are you sure that said tube will be strong enough to support the wind gen? Our Air-X managed to tear apart a 1 1/2 inch s/s mount after a few years of service. The combination of vibration, wind loading and inertial loading is pretty severe.

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Old 17-08-2016, 18:15   #4
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

I wouldn't mount a wind gen on anything smaller than 2", & preferably a lot bigger. With side supports or stays on the tube, er, pipe as well. They generate a lot of torque when operating, & the load is geometrically bigger as the boat slams through wave after wave.

You might look at thick walled aluminum pipe of 2" or larger diameter. That way you keep the weight down, but still get the strength & stiffness. Plus it's easy to machine with standard tools.
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Old 17-08-2016, 18:34   #5
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

Typically, wind gens call for a 1.5" pipe for the lower bushing. One option is to extend your pole straight up, and hang the radar off the forward part via a conventional mast radar mount.
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Old 17-08-2016, 18:40   #6
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

It will work ok. Have a look through the photos in my C.F. Album, some of them show our setup.


Cruisers & Sailing Forums - GILow's Album: Manera


In short, the support tube for the wind gen is pretty well hard up against the radar dome, in our setup, and I have not noted any apparent blind spot at the stern, having tracked vessels passing behind us. I did actually expect a problem, so I was checking carefully, and even a very small sailboat did not disappear.


FWIW, UC and JC are probably right about pipe size, but ours is smaller and has survived the later 10 years of 42000 miles at sea in the South Pacific. It is supported by a number of guy wires though, some of which serve a double purpose of supporting the davits for the dinghy. I regularly stand on the dinghy davits to work on the wind gen and clean the solar panels, and I weigh over 115kg (250 pounds for the U.S. members). We have one of the heavier wind gens on the market, an Aerogen 6 at 15.4kg (33 pounds.) and it sits at least 4.5 meters or more above the waterline, so the momentum must be pretty insane.


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Old 17-08-2016, 20:27   #7
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

Guy wire supports change t he loads significantly relative to a unsupported cantilever. I dunno if the OP was considering such!

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Old 17-08-2016, 21:05   #8
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Guy wire supports change t he loads significantly relative to a unsupported cantilever. I dunno if the OP was considering such!

Jim

No mention of that aspect of the installation from the OPs question, but something to be considered. Or, if guy wires are not an option I have seen a number of installations that have used a pair of perpendicularly placed bracing struts. Works well when the pole is in the corner at the stern (not an option on our canoe stern). Pretty agricultural look, but strong. More windage too. :^(

anyway, so far nobody seems worried by radar blind spots, and the point about them being mounted on masts caught my eye because from time to time I consider moving ours, and the only reason I could think of against moving it was that I felt it had a better all round view without the mast in the way. Maybe I should not have been worried?

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Old 17-08-2016, 22:28   #9
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

Matt, FWIW our mast mounted radar does have some shadowing from the mast. One can easily observe this when in a big rain area. Set the range at around 4 miles , turn the gain up until the rain clutter is obvious, and see if it is uniform. On ours, there is a wedge of shaded area where the clutter is markedly reduced. Subsequent observation showed reduced target sensitivity in that area. It isn't completely blind there, just not as good.

But our mast is about 9 inches across... considerably more than the subject one inch tube.

Jim

PS This is on a Furuno 1715 dome. Ones with wider radiators would likely have less of a shadow effect for a given mast.
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Old 18-08-2016, 00:52   #10
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Matt, FWIW our mast mounted radar does have some shadowing from the mast. One can easily observe this when in a big rain area. Set the range at around 4 miles , turn the gain up until the rain clutter is obvious, and see if it is uniform. On ours, there is a wedge of shaded area where the clutter is markedly reduced. Subsequent observation showed reduced target sensitivity in that area. It isn't completely blind there, just not as good.

But our mast is about 9 inches across... considerably more than the subject one inch tube.

Jim

PS This is on a Furuno 1715 dome. Ones with wider radiators would likely have less of a shadow effect for a given mast.

Thank you for that extra info Jim.

Hmmmm, I suspect the decision to move or not move our radar will be a difficult one. I am about a year and a half from dropping the mast so I have to make up my mind before then.


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Old 18-08-2016, 01:13   #11
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

My radar and wind gen are both 'down the back'..... and can't be dropped.

One issue that would make me go with mast mounting would be that I have come across a couple of smaller travelifts that can't take you stern in because of clearance issues with the thwartships beam on the lift.

I then have to go nose in and that involves dropping the forestay which is a pain....

Just a small consideration.
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Old 18-08-2016, 03:06   #12
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
My radar and wind gen are both 'down the back'..... and can't be dropped.

One issue that would make me go with mast mounting would be that I have come across a couple of smaller travelifts that can't take you stern in because of clearance issues with the thwartships beam on the lift.

I then have to go nose in and that involves dropping the forestay which is a pain....

Just a small consideration.

Yes, a small consideration, but a relevant point. I noted that the previous owners had been forced to remove the forestay when slipping but I had not made the connection with all the crap at the stern until I read your post.

I suppose, in fairness, there is so much crap back there that moving the radar will make no difference... But I should double check that assumption.

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Old 18-08-2016, 04:18   #13
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

You will have some blanking, tail rotor blanks out the Longbow Radar for example, but as has been noted your blanking should be less than if it were mast mounted, and there are a great many mast mounted ones and probably no one notices the blanking.



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Old 18-08-2016, 09:19   #14
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristannelson View Post
Hi all,

I have a Raymarine Radar SL70 34nm mounted on a pole at the pushpit of my 33ft yacht. I am wanting to install a Wind Generator and am thinking of installing it above the radar. This would require a length of 1 inch SS tubing to be welded to the existing pole and bent up around and above the radar to then mount the wind gen.

My only concern is the drawback in Radar functionality due to the SS tubing which I suppose will block some of the radar range?

Can anybody shed some light on this and advise what the effects would be and whether or not this will result in a significant loss in radar function? Or whether it's negligible?

Thanks in advance
Hi Tristan,

I had a similar set-up on a previous vessel I cruised. The support pole was 1-1/2" schedule 80 aluminum [stout] and did not noticeably interfere with the RADAR. [Raymarine/Raytheon R10X at that time...]

However, I subjectively believe the vibration induced by the [1st generation] Air Marine wind generator did affect the display in higher wind conditions, and may have contributed to the shorter than anticipated lifespan of the magnetron tube in that unit...

Fast forward to today, we have a 4G RADAR [solid state; no magnetron tube...] independently mounted below a KISS wind gen. on the forward side of our mizen mast. The 4G doesn't seem to mind the aluminum mizen [although as Jim pointed out, if you max out the gain in steady rain, you can see a bit of a shadow...]

It may, however, be affected by the aluminum main mast in front of it. We get a consistent ghost at higher gain that is on the centerline looking forward with several nodes on that line extending in front of the boat. Ignoring that, we have not seen any issues detecting even crab floats directly in front of the vessel at close range.

In case any of this is useful.

Best wishes with your project.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 18-08-2016, 09:31   #15
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Re: Wind Generator above Radar

This works for me..
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