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Old 04-09-2012, 08:35   #31
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

I know one for sale-one blade missing- in CEE ??
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:39   #32
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
I've had an Airbreeze for 3 years now and have noticed a couple of things:

Sailors who have experienced the banchee screem of the air X generally assume, or choose to believe, that the air breeze has the same noise output. It doesn't. Visually, it is almost impossible to tell them apart.

The Air breese does have a whishing sound for a brief period as it comes up to speed, but becomes silent once revs are high enough to generate power. When the wind is light and gusty and insufficient to stay at the power generating RPM, I prefer to switch it off, as it's not doing anything productive anyway and this eliminates the slight whishing RPM transition sounds.

This is the exact opposite of the air X that was noisiest when generating.

These 2 models should not be confused or painted with the same brush.

Dave L38 #38
I've had a 48 Volt Marine AirX for five years now. Yes, it does whoosh a little at certain low speeds. But, don't consider it banchee scream. I recently put on new replacement blades and I found it goes nearly silent once it reaches a half amp or so on the output just like your Air Breeze. I also have two 48 volt solar panels that keep things topped up during the day so most of the time the Air X is shutdown during the day because of it's on board regulator. On the other side I have to say Southwest Wind Power customer service really came through with honoring their warrenty:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: WHAT WORKS: MARINE AIR X WIND TURBINE
For me the customer service was top notch. I do like having solar as my primary choice but, it's nice to have the wind generator there and a Honda 2000 generator as the last option for charging. All have their place on board IMO.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:45   #33
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

Thanks Simon for posting that link. I had read that test a few months ago and then couldn't find it again.

For my purposes the D400 and the Air Breeze seem like the best options. Very similar performance in "normal" wind conditions. At the moment I am tending towards the D400 because I have seen (but not heard) several in marinas recently and I simply cannot hear them. That is a huge priority. I'd like to consider the Air Breeze since it is less expensive, but if it is even a little bit louder than the D400 I would go with the D400.

Disturbing neighbors, guests, or myself is not my idea of enjoyable cruising.

Can anyone offer a direct comparison of noise levels between the Air Breeze and D400? Are the published or tested noise levels for these two units?
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:54   #34
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

Noise wise they are about the same, my mate has the D400.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:57   #35
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

After much investigation I have come to some decisions regarding my plans for alternative charging solutions. Iíve been reading through all the wind and solar threads and looking at industry data. Here is my plan. Instead of focusing on one or the other technology, I am going to put both on our boat. This is a little long, so feel free to page down if you donít care. I just thought Iíd pass along my thinking since this seems to be a common topic of discussion. I put it in this thread since it is somewhat about wind gen comparisonsÖ.

As you may have read in other threads, I was leaning towards the Rutland wind generator. It struck us as being very quiet when we were around them, so that is what first put it on our radar. Iíve moved away from that now for several reasons. Iíve been reading about folks having issues with them (Dockhead I think and others) and also their overall low rated output compared to some other brands. Also, Iíve been informed that their blades do not hold up well to tropical UV light. This may not be as much of an issue in the UK where itís made, but in the SE US, Bahamas and Caribbean where we live and cruise, it is. As they break down they get ďfuzzyĒ which slows them further degrading output -- and makes them louder, I assume. I donít have any feel for how long this break-down process takes, Iím just going off of what has been reported.

We now are going with the Air Breeze by Southwest Wind Power. They have been in the business for a long time and are a known industry player. The Breeze is acknowledged to be a large improvement over the older generation Air X which was extremely noisy. They slowed the speed down by half which quiets the blades, and is less wear and tear on the electronics. The electronics are also redesigned, and now have a limited lifetime warranty. So I feel better about this from a performance and reliability standpoint, as well as noise to which I am sensitive. The Air Breeze has an internal regulator, so no external charge controller is required. I know lots of folks favor the D400, but itís a lot pricier and I donít see the benefit over the Air Breeze for the money. Just my opinion.

Also I am adding 2X 135 watt Kyocera panels. I looked into cheaper panels, but Iíve been convinced from a reliability standpoint you just canít beat Kyocera. The 20 year warranty is just money. Theyíve been out there for a while, and they hold up exceptionally well. Theyíre durable and the output does not degrade as much over time as some of the cheaper panels. Itís a secure feeling to know that if I do have a problem (however unlikely) down the road, the manufacturer will be there to stand behind their product. You canít say that with some of the cheaper Chinese panels (which is not to say that they are bad products or that you wonít have a good experience with them). I am going to control this with a Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E charge controller. Itís a 25 Amp 2 stage MPPT controller which is enough to handle the 270 watt array. I considered getting a bigger array, but I think with both charge methods, weíll be able to stay pretty much off the grid. I can always add more panels later if necessary, but I would need to also add another or larger controller since the 270 watts maxes out the 25 amp controller.

Total cost installed (my labor) should be around $3200-3300. Breeze around $1100, mast kit $500, PV panels $800, MPPT controller $250, add in a couple hundred each for shipping, wiring, and mounting for the panels.

To complete the system, I am running an 800 AH AGM battery bank. I also have a 100 amp Balmar alternator on the main engine and a Xantrex Freedom 30 charger/inverter. The Balmar is probably undersized considering the large AGM bank, but it came with the boat so weíll keep it as is until we need to replace it. We also keep a Honda 2000i generator on board, but I really donít think weíll need to keep it. I might hang onto it just in case.

I learned a lot from downloading the SSCA webinar on wind and solar by Bob Williams. I first encountered Bob at the SSCA Melbourne gam 2 years ago. I sat through his talk on energy and charging. Bob runs SALT Service and he is a wealth of information. Heís been in this business a long time and really knows his stuff. Also, he has been very helpful in talking through various installation options recently.

I feel pretty good that we will have a reliable system that will provide enough amps to cruise totally self-sufficiently or very nearly so.

Scott
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:01   #36
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
~ Amps at a low speed and peeks at @15Amps from about 18Mph through to 35Mph and then puts on the brakes ~
What powers the brake? Has to something electrical, how power does that use and is it from the batteries?
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:54   #37
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

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What powers the brake? Has to something electrical, how power does that use and is it from the batteries?
The brake just shorts the leads together, the rotor still turns, but very slowly.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:50   #38
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I talked with both the sales rep and owner (German) of Superwind at the Miami show last spring. I ended up buying one from West Marine.
The price was the same and earned me $90 in WM certificates. Heavy unit, but very quiet even from 5 feet away. Came with a controller that accepts a solar feed upstream and 2 dump resistors to handle over charges. Also it's the only
brand I know that self feathers the blades in high winds. I'm in the yard so can't comment on its output yet. The cheapest mast kit I found was $300 and that was flimsy so I had a local welder fab guy build me a 8 foot mast with 2 braces for $500.
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Old 04-09-2012, 13:17   #39
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/vPainkiller View Post
After much investigation I have come to some decisions regarding my plans for alternative charging solutions. Iíve been reading through all the wind and solar threads and looking at industry data. Here is my plan. Instead of focusing on one or the other technology, I am going to put both on our boat. This is a little long, so feel free to page down if you donít care. I just thought Iíd pass along my thinking since this seems to be a common topic of discussion. I put it in this thread since it is somewhat about wind gen comparisonsÖ.

As you may have read in other threads, I was leaning towards the Rutland wind generator. It struck us as being very quiet when we were around them, so that is what first put it on our radar. Iíve moved away from that now for several reasons. Iíve been reading about folks having issues with them (Dockhead I think and others) and also their overall low rated output compared to some other brands. Also, Iíve been informed that their blades do not hold up well to tropical UV light. This may not be as much of an issue in the UK where itís made, but in the SE US, Bahamas and Caribbean where we live and cruise, it is. As they break down they get ďfuzzyĒ which slows them further degrading output -- and makes them louder, I assume. I donít have any feel for how long this break-down process takes, Iím just going off of what has been reported.

We now are going with the Air Breeze by Southwest Wind Power. They have been in the business for a long time and are a known industry player. The Breeze is acknowledged to be a large improvement over the older generation Air X which was extremely noisy. They slowed the speed down by half which quiets the blades, and is less wear and tear on the electronics. The electronics are also redesigned, and now have a limited lifetime warranty. So I feel better about this from a performance and reliability standpoint, as well as noise to which I am sensitive. The Air Breeze has an internal regulator, so no external charge controller is required. I know lots of folks favor the D400, but itís a lot pricier and I donít see the benefit over the Air Breeze for the money. Just my opinion.

Also I am adding 2X 135 watt Kyocera panels. I looked into cheaper panels, but Iíve been convinced from a reliability standpoint you just canít beat Kyocera. The 20 year warranty is just money. Theyíve been out there for a while, and they hold up exceptionally well. Theyíre durable and the output does not degrade as much over time as some of the cheaper panels. Itís a secure feeling to know that if I do have a problem (however unlikely) down the road, the manufacturer will be there to stand behind their product. You canít say that with some of the cheaper Chinese panels (which is not to say that they are bad products or that you wonít have a good experience with them). I am going to control this with a Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E charge controller. Itís a 25 Amp 2 stage MPPT controller which is enough to handle the 270 watt array. I considered getting a bigger array, but I think with both charge methods, weíll be able to stay pretty much off the grid. I can always add more panels later if necessary, but I would need to also add another or larger controller since the 270 watts maxes out the 25 amp controller.

Total cost installed (my labor) should be around $3200-3300. Breeze around $1100, mast kit $500, PV panels $800, MPPT controller $250, add in a couple hundred each for shipping, wiring, and mounting for the panels.

To complete the system, I am running an 800 AH AGM battery bank. I also have a 100 amp Balmar alternator on the main engine and a Xantrex Freedom 30 charger/inverter. The Balmar is probably undersized considering the large AGM bank, but it came with the boat so weíll keep it as is until we need to replace it. We also keep a Honda 2000i generator on board, but I really donít think weíll need to keep it. I might hang onto it just in case.

I learned a lot from downloading the SSCA webinar on wind and solar by Bob Williams. I first encountered Bob at the SSCA Melbourne gam 2 years ago. I sat through his talk on energy and charging. Bob runs SALT Service and he is a wealth of information. Heís been in this business a long time and really knows his stuff. Also, he has been very helpful in talking through various installation options recently.

I feel pretty good that we will have a reliable system that will provide enough amps to cruise totally self-sufficiently or very nearly so.

Scott
This is off topic, but I would suggest that if you are going to be at anchor for any length of time, to not go with the AGM (unless you already bought them of course), because unless you have the means to charge them back to 100% after a discharge, then you may find issues with them.
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Old 04-09-2012, 14:40   #40
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

Last spring I was in hopetown moored next to a boat that had a new wind turbine from Sunforce which is rated at 600w@24v and 400w@12v. It was the only wind turbine in the harbor that I couldn't hear and some were well over 100 yards away. I was quite impressed. They are fully marinized and are available from West Marine for $799. He said his output was a solid 10 amps at 15 mph on his 12 volt system. These are relatively new and I am not aware of a long track record so I can give no information on how well they stand up to the marine environment.
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Old 04-09-2012, 14:55   #41
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

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Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
This is off topic, but I would suggest that if you are going to be at anchor for any length of time, to not go with the AGM (unless you already bought them of course), because unless you have the means to charge them back to 100% after a discharge, then you may find issues with them.
I know about the potential charging issues with AGMs. The previous owner installed them. I don't think I would have gone with that technology either personally. However, I'm not at the point of replacing the entire bank yet. In one cruising season we seemed to do fine with them, but we were diligent in charging the batteries... hence the Honda 2000. Certainly with the new wind and solar system, I hope to have an more automatic way to keep them pretty well charged.

Scott
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Old 04-09-2012, 15:48   #42
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

Quote:
you just canít beat Kyocera. The 20 year warranty is just money.
While they make a decent panel, don't rely too much on the warranty unless it is somehow different from Kyocera's standard:

Quote:
This Limited Warranty shall not cover defects and/or failures of the PV Module(s) from the
following causes even though such defects and/or failures are discovered within the
applicable warranty period: ...

h) defects and/or failures caused by use on a mobile unit including, but not limited to,
vehicles, vessels, etc.;
I think you are in pretty much the same boat regardless of vendor, so selection based on reputation and quality history is fine, just be aware they may not be bound by a warranty.
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Old 04-09-2012, 19:57   #43
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

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While they make a decent panel, don't rely too much on the warranty unless it is somehow different from Kyocera's standard:

I think you are in pretty much the same boat regardless of vendor, so selection based on reputation and quality history is fine, just be aware they may not be bound by a warranty.
I have no personal experience with the Kyocera warranty. I'm just commenting on what I have heard regarding actual warranty experience. I've heard more than once of old panels that they replaced no questions asked. Bob Williams (who I referred to earlier in the thread) specifically told me that they replaced old panels on a boat he was servicing. That's meaningful to me. I'm certainly open to hearing of different experiences, but barring that I would expect them to live up to the warranty as stated.

Scott
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Old 04-09-2012, 20:38   #44
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

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I've heard more than once of old panels that they replaced no questions asked.
I probably didn't express myself well before, that's exactly the kind of thing I mean. If the company has a reputation for that kind of service regardless of their paper warranty restrictions that counts far more in my book than the warranty itself. Most panels have a 25-year output warranty (have to to qualify for clean energy credits in the US) but some of them are better about actually meeting the terms of their own warranties than others.
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Old 04-09-2012, 22:01   #45
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Re: Wind Generator Comparison

good post from captain bill that i found on the self sustaining thread.
giving real time figures over an 8 month period

quote

I spent the last 8 months without plugging into the "grid" though I did have to use a lot of diesel fuel for my genset. My 300 watts of solar panels simply could not keep up with my 150AH per day consumption. I had days when I only made 20 ah and my best day was 88AH, so I did a lot of generating with the genset. My experience is that clear blue sky is a rare event on the water and that my average was probably about 55AH/day. Besides clouds, the biggest limiting factor was shadows from the rigging. These were largely controlled by the wind, since at anchor that determines which way the boat is facing. In the tropics, the wind is mostly from the east, varying from NE to SE most of the time. If you can place most of your capacity on the south side of the boat and keep the panels out of rigging shadows you'll be better off, as long as you stay north of the sun that is. I don't have a wind generator yet, but that's on my list. I figure if I added that to my solar and could average 5AH/hr from it in addition to my solar I would not have to run my genset. In the entire 8 months I had only a couple of days when I could not have generated that much and never 2 days in a row. I was on a mooring in Hopetown in the Abacos very close to a guy with one of those new 600 watt rated wind generators from Sunforce and could not hear it at all even when I tried and it was quite windy. One of those is now at the top of my acqusition list.
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