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View Poll Results: Wind generators- who says yeah/nay
Yes, got/want it. Outside of So Cal/Mexico west coast 26 70.27%
Nope, don't want. Outside of So Cal/Mex 4 10.81%
Yes, got/want. So Cal/Mex West Coast 4 10.81%
No thanx. So Cal/Mex West Coast 3 8.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16-08-2010, 20:49   #1
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Wind Generator Debate

It seems that a very common newbie statement/question is "wind generator for me?" I'm surprised at the responses based on my observations.

In my corner of the world, Southern California/Mexico West Coast, shooting from the hip I'd estimate that somewhere between 5 & 10% of the boats use wind generators as part of their chargeing scheme. I'm saying that it's not so popular. Like last, not second choice, for renewable energy. But Solar is a different story. The few boats without solar in Mexico have it on their list. The So Cal boats just haven't made it down to Mexico yet.

So I'm asking the question.
Who has wind gens? And where are you?
Who says, not for me?
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Old 16-08-2010, 21:30   #2
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I have 200 watts of wind plus 260 watts of solar.

Home port is latitude 38 north. I sail at night, when wind is generally superior to solar, and I sail during the winter months, when it often rains for days, and I often anchor in foggy, windy anchorages, mostly because that's how the anchorages tend to behave in my home waters of San Francisco Bay.

The main point is that it's been years since I've had to run an engine in order to charge my batteries. The solar helps, and so does the wind generator.
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Old 16-08-2010, 21:35   #3
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I did my sailing mostly in the trade winds, and I used two Aerogen 6 wind generators for nearly unlimited power. I backed up those wind generators with solar and alternators as needed.

AEROGEN 6 WIND GENERATORS*** Before I set sail
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Old 16-08-2010, 21:40   #4
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My recommendation is to start with solar first and then add a wind generator next. I did it the other way around. I find that my solar panels top off my 48 volt battery bank enough so that my Marine Air X wind generator is in standby for most of the day. It will come back on after the battery voltage drops after sundown of course. But, I feel I get more out of the solar panels than the wind generator on most days. It's all good and I'm glad I have both technologies onboard. Just if you can't do both I'd go with solar panels first.

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Old 16-08-2010, 23:29   #5
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wind generator is an excellent source of energy. most places have a gooo dbreeze in the afternoon, some into the evening, when solar isnt viable. i noticed in th evirgin islands, there was a decent breeze nearly every night. the wind genny on th eboat i was sailing on made the batteries remain charged and usable despite 4 people draining them regularly.
during my near year in the gulf , we did use wind genny as well as solar--made a difference as there wasnt always sun. we did have a lot of wind and many t-storms, so wind was good--gave us more than 4 amps per hour. we had air-X.
i have the makings of a custom wind generator, i just need to put it together. it will be very useful. i do appreciate the wind..beats using gasoline or diesel to charge batts..
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Old 16-08-2010, 23:45   #6
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4 positive comments and only one of them voted.

Don't make me think here.

I used to go round and round the idea. Yes, I agree, solar first. But it sounds like my "wind last" philosophy might use some adjustment about the time I leave Mexico.

How about DuoGens? Water and Wind Marine Generators, Welcome to DuoGen Any owners out there?
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Old 17-08-2010, 00:17   #7
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Love my wind generator in the Caribbean..... ..at 2am in the morning it is powering my fridge and this laptop and keeping the batteries topped up....... wouldn't ever be without it here....solar is good, but the windy keeps it going and actually generates more power through the night than the solar during the day.. at least at anchor.
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Old 17-08-2010, 00:39   #8
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It's not an either or; they're both great and work well together. Usually if it's cloudy and dark during the days here it's windy as well (storm). The lightest wind days tend to have crystal clear skies.
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Old 17-08-2010, 01:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
It's not an either or....
Yes, That's a given.

Since I have been discouraging others from going with wind generators, and I have seen so many post in favor of them, I'm interested in finding out where they are so popular, because they are NOT so popular in the Sea of Cortez, with the common comment, "Do you really want to spend that much time in a windy anchorage?".

Solar only has served me quite well, as it does for many who find themselves motoring anyway. But I'd like to know how others justify wind gens for my own future plans. Like I said, I've always been solar 1st, wind last, meaning Honda gen in the middle. I own a brand new 2000 watt generator. Never fired it yet.

To be fair, I bought the generator just before I left the boat in dry storage as I was on my way to this assignment in Indonesia for 2 years. I also bought an upgraded Blue Sky battery monitoring panel so I can better tell what's going on. The next thing on the list is new batteries. Currently installed Trojan 125s (6) are already old and were complaining a bit when I left. I have no intention of counting on them after sitting for 2 years while I'm here.

I would also like to upgrade my solar arrangment if justifyable. What I have on my stern arch now are 4 x 50 watt I BELIEVE panels. They are maybe from the '60 and the only markings I could find on them led me to believe that they were 50 watts each. OLD ARCO/BP labels if I remember correctly. I searched the internet trying to get more info, but there just wasn't any that I could find. Paid $100 each for them, and couldn't be happier.

Again, they have served me well, but until I get my new BlueSky monitor installed, I'm flying blind. Only voltage to tell me where thyings stand.
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Old 17-08-2010, 19:22   #10
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With the results overnight so far, regardless of the few wind generators I see in Mexico, it appears that either those without wind gens are not voting, or my side of the world has more sun than wind.

What I read about cloudy but windy days and nights seems to support that. Lots of sunshine in So Cal & Mexico, compared to elsewhere?
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Old 23-08-2010, 12:54   #11
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Thanx for all the comments and the participation in the poll. Looks like my thought process on this matter needs a tune up.
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Old 23-08-2010, 13:25   #12
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We get by with 300 watts of solar (4x75w) and a Blue Sky MPPT controller for everything in SoCal and Mexico. (460AH bank). The solar panels are mounted on rails above the lifelines, and can be swiveled in the roll axis or all moved to one side to get out of the shadows. I looked into wind power before we went to Mexico, but most places we anchor or moor at the California Channel Islands just do not have enough wind to make it cost effective, and the same was pretty much true in Western Mexico. And I sure don't want to look for windier anchorages. I see a lot more Honda 2000's than wind generators these days and would go there first for local use if solar were inadequate.
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Old 23-08-2010, 13:26   #13
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I have come into this late because I was at sea for the last week, but I have both wind gen and solar. Up in northern British Columbia and Southern Alaska, we tend to get sometimes more rain than sunlight on the coast, so wind gen was my first choice and solar as a back up.
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Old 23-08-2010, 14:31   #14
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The only problem I have is that wind generators are _very_ dangerous devices. More than one user has reported blades flying off, crashing through the deck, or approaching self destruction in high wind gusts. The do put out gobs of energy when the winds are favorable (and favorable seems to depend on the manufacturer) 24/7 and can be noisy. They need careful mounting so that heads don't come in contact with the blades.
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Old 23-08-2010, 14:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_douglas View Post
The only problem I have is that wind generators are _very_ dangerous devices. More than one user has reported blades flying off, crashing through the deck, or approaching self destruction in high wind gusts.
Blades crashing through the deck? I'm having a hard time seeing how that could be physically possible.

I'll grant you that it's probably not a good idea to insert body parts into a spinning generator, but I'm highly skeptical of what is being reported here about blades flying off, et cetera. Is there a reliable source for these reports?
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