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Old 28-05-2014, 06:46   #16
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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Originally Posted by gts1544 View Post
Stumble, I would like to point out that your operating area has a lot to do with the efficiencies of power generation, solar or wind. We have an electrical engineer within our group sailing in the Virgin Islands and he has concluded, with our steady 15 kt trade winds 24/7 and an efficient wind turbine, that wind is the way to go for us, far out stripping solar. Just another point of view! gts1544 - George
Hey Stumble - I think it will be a cold (and cloudy) day in hell that a wind generator out performs solar.
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Old 28-05-2014, 07:02   #17
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

Ok to start I wasnt thinking of driving the boat with a windgen. It will be covered with solar panels and cells using up every spot available. Also down below will be a backup diesel generator for longer inland cruises that require a lot of powering. As far as losses go, are they outweighed by being able to carry more magnets and windings? How much torque is lost from a fiberglass tube driveshaft with good large well greased bearings. With the capacity for larger blades and more torque the percent of loss to friction should dwindle in a properly designed assembly.
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Old 28-05-2014, 07:20   #18
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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Hey Stumble - I think it will be a cold (and cloudy) day in hell that a wind generator out performs solar.
I think your missing the whole point here. I currently carry 2,190 watt panels and 4,60 watt panels. When its cloudy and rainy or days on end the solar doesnt put out squat. then the windgen shines.

I see no reason a windgen in the trades spinning 24 hrs a day wont out do a solar panel. 10 amps for 24 hrs vs a high powered panel making say 20 amps for 6 hrs, and 10 for 8 your still ahead with the wind.
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Old 28-05-2014, 07:42   #19
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

I wonder how difficult it would be to adapt the Prius battery packs to Marine use? They are around 400 V but that can be dealt with. Readily available and relatively inexpensive, high power density and light weight?

I think the newer Prius uses a Lithium based battery?

Sorry for the thread drift, but it has to do with electric propulsion, biggest drawback to that I think is affordable electric storage capacity / weight. Hybrid car battery packs may help there.
The prius battery back is not well suited to this, at least the older ones. I looked into it, and found they are designed for micro charge/discharge cycles, not long draw down cycles.
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Old 28-05-2014, 07:52   #20
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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I think your missing the whole point here. I currently carry 2,190 watt panels and 4,60 watt panels. When its cloudy and rainy or days on end the solar doesnt put out squat. then the windgen shines.

I see no reason a windgen in the trades spinning 24 hrs a day wont out do a solar panel. 10 amps for 24 hrs vs a high powered panel making say 20 amps for 6 hrs, and 10 for 8 your still ahead with the wind.

We have an Air Breeze wind gen and in the southern Caribbean where the winds always howls - we're lucky to get 100 - 120 amps per day. We have 775w of solar well placed w/ mppt controllers and we get close to 50 amps for about 4 hrs a day and then probably at least 300+ amps per day. Sometimes its cloudy and that drops off but then sometimes we are in a sheltered anchorage and get very little wind amps. I stick by my contention, you will do well to have all the solar you have room for. It's cheaper costs, no maintenance, quiet operation and will give you far more energy than wind generator - which is noisy (all of them), requires upkeep in parts (mainly blades) and not nearly as productive.
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Old 28-05-2014, 15:52   #21
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

If you aren't driving the boat with electrical power, then you don't need a large wind generator. Generating house loads from solar will be much cheaper and easier.

If you are trying to power the propulsion gear with electric then you are pretty much in a world of hurt. The numbers for electrical power just aren't very favorable, since the amount of power needed for propulsive force is massive compared to house loads. I keep repeating these numbers in the electric boat threads but they are the same here as well.

A typical 40' sail boat uses about 20kw of power at normal cruise. Wether that's supplied by a diesel or electric doesn't matter much. To draw down that much power from batteries is impossible so you need to be able to generate it as you go. The solar cells to do so are enormous, so that's out. But with wind it is just marginally possible. But let's look at the system you would need....

The Polaris 25kw generator has a blade diameter of 40'. So you need to mount it at least 22' from the closest stays, overhangs, fishing poles, ect. A ketch on a 40' boat won't have enough distance, so you need a larger boat for one. So let's say that you can find somewhere to squeeze it in anyway.

The turning weighs in at 5000lbs or so, and needs to be about 40' above the waterline. Which works out to a heeling moment of 20,000 foot pounds. Which is actually in excess of what most boats this size would likely have. So the boat is going to have a huge propensity to flip over. Again you need a bigger boat.

The repetitive noise from these is actually a serious question, but even assuming you are ok with that the measured noise while operating is over 60 decibels. I couldn't find any ratings this close, but let's assume 60... That is still like a conversation at 3' away. So you never hear the quiet of an anchorage, and your neigghbors will be swinging by to ask you to quiet down all the time.


Frankly there is nothing about this project that makes a lot of sense. You are talking about installing an industrial size wnd turbine to provide motive power for a sailboat. If there is that much wind, just go sailing.
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Old 29-05-2014, 03:19   #22
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
If you aren't driving the boat with electrical power, then you don't need a large wind generator. Generating house loads from solar will be much cheaper and easier.


If you are trying to power the propulsion gear with electric then you are pretty much in a world of hurt. The numbers for electrical power just aren't very favorable, since the amount of power needed for propulsive force is massive compared to house loads. I keep repeating these numbers in the electric boat threads but they are the same here as well.


Ive met several boat owners who have converted to electric drive. All have been happy with their setups. So following your direction, golf carts, electric cars and other battery operated modes of transport are all folly?

A typical 40' sail boat uses about 20kw of power at normal cruise. Wether that's supplied by a diesel or electric doesn't matter much. To draw down that much power from batteries is impossible so you need to be able to generate it as you go. The solar cells to do so are enormous, so that's out. But with wind it is just marginally possible. But let's look at the system you would need....

The Polaris 25kw generator has a blade diameter of 40'. So you need to mount it at least 22' from the closest stays, overhangs, fishing poles, ect. A ketch on a 40' boat won't have enough distance, so you need a larger boat for one. So let's say that you can find somewhere to squeeze it in anyway.

The turning weighs in at 5000lbs or so, and needs to be about 40' above the waterline. Which works out to a heeling moment of 20,000 foot pounds. Which is actually in excess of what most boats this size would likely have. So the boat is going to have a huge propensity to flip over. Again you need a bigger boat.

These are amusing numbers. The idea is not to use the windgen to drive the boat wherever it goes. The idea is to use all alternative sources of energy as much as possible. Then if it comes to a point where the reserves are used up its time to fire up the diesel generator.

The repetitive noise from these is actually a serious question, but even assuming you are ok with that the measured noise while operating is over 60 decibels. I couldn't find any ratings this close, but let's assume 60... That is still like a conversation at 3' away. So you never hear the quiet of an anchorage, and your neigghbors will be swinging by to ask you to quiet down all the time.

Again this wont be a 40' windgenerator with a 5000lb armature. Ive found as I moved up in blade size the noise level has dropped. Im looking at a compromise in the size, one that is larger than most marine generators but still doesnt look like a windmill with a boat under it.



Frankly there is nothing about this project that makes a lot of sense. You are talking about installing an industrial size wnd turbine to provide motive power for a sailboat. If there is that much wind, just go sailing.
Frankly theres nothing in your post that makes much sense. Maybe if you read the thread and picked up the relevant details it will become clearer to you what Im trying to do.
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Old 29-05-2014, 03:30   #23
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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Originally Posted by BadKitty View Post
We have an Air Breeze wind gen and in the southern Caribbean where the winds always howls - we're lucky to get 100 - 120 amps per day. We have 775w of solar well placed w/ mppt controllers and we get close to 50 amps for about 4 hrs a day and then probably at least 300+ amps per day. Sometimes its cloudy and that drops off but then sometimes we are in a sheltered anchorage and get very little wind amps. I stick by my contention, you will do well to have all the solar you have room for. It's cheaper costs, no maintenance, quiet operation and will give you far more energy than wind generator - which is noisy (all of them), requires upkeep in parts (mainly blades) and not nearly as productive.
You dont have to sell me on solar, but with your numbers your comparing a 200 watt windgen to 775 watts of solar. Just wondering, you only average 5 watts output with your windgen with howling winds? The airbreeezes must really be crap.

Solar is great during the day when theres sun. Winters its overcast much of the time and there are short days. but its very breezy .. then is the time the windgen shines.
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Old 29-05-2014, 04:57   #24
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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The prius battery back is not well suited to this, at least the older ones. I looked into it, and found they are designed for micro charge/discharge cycles, not long draw down cycles.
That makes sense as in a Prius fully charged is only 80% SOC and fully discharged is really 40% SOC, so full utilization of the battery only uses 40% of it's capacity, still that's pretty normal isn't it? Anyway just a though of a cheap source of considerable electrical storage capacity, and yes probably it's the older ones that are most available and at the best prices.

We seem to always focus on electrical generation in these electric boat threads, but I think the real issue may be storage capacity. I see electrical propulsion as achievable IF you only use it say 10% of the time, while using the other 90% of time storing up energy. Using an electric generator to power the electric propulsion motor is less efficient than using the motor the boat came with to propel it.
One day someone will market a transmission with a PTO that can drive a generator
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Old 29-05-2014, 05:08   #25
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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My next project boat is going to be electric powered. I kicking ideas around and was wondering about..... Having a separate mast that includes a rather large wind generator assembly on top. Instead of having a generator head aloft, using a pinion/ driveshaft assembly and putting the generator head below. To make it really confusing Im looking at making a it 3 tube assembly. One that follows the wind direction for an autopilot capability, one fixed and the inner driveshaft for power generation. Ive never seen a windgen set up this way. Many old windmills ran a pump via driveshaft.
Hi Forsalebyowner,
Years, many years ago I've read article about vertical rotor (as tall as mast of sailing boat) and by free rotation of it (in clock or oposide direction) it was propeling boat forward. Maximum speed at 90Deg direction to to the wind. If is passible to conect generator to the rotor and generate power it will be great.
But this is another atempt to create "Perpetum Mobile". Good idea, apreciated atempt but , sorry, energy in whatever form it comes it is not created by the wish of the owner or complicidy of design, there is no free lunch.
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Old 29-05-2014, 07:24   #26
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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You dont have to sell me on solar, but with your numbers your comparing a 200 watt windgen to 775 watts of solar. Just wondering, you only average 5 watts output with your windgen with howling winds? The airbreeezes must really be crap.

Solar is great during the day when theres sun. Winters its overcast much of the time and there are short days. but its very breezy .. then is the time the windgen shines.
I've seen as much as 14 amps out of the Air Breeze but yes, For the year or so I've had my wind generator and reading directly off the lead to the shunt, about 5 amps avg over the long haul. We have friends with the D-400 that beat that but then they are heavier, and more expensive - probably worth it though.
I originally jumped into this fray as some poster said you would get more production out of wind than solar and it just ain't so.
Wind power has its place in my total power generation scheme and I like my wind generator but the solar is by far a better producer. To put as much wind generator on my boat as it would take to equal my solar would be a futile attempt.
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Old 29-05-2014, 12:12   #27
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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Old 29-05-2014, 13:09   #28
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Re: Wind Generator Idea

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I'm looking at a compromise in the size, one that is larger than most marine generators but still doesnt look like a windmill with a boat under it.
If you're looking for a wind turbine in the next size category larger than those typically found on sailboats, you might try this 1.54m diameter unit:
LE-600 Wind Turbine | Off Grid Power System | Leading Edge Turbine

Disclaimer: I do not have any relationship, commercial or otherwise, with this manufacturer and I don't know anything about the product other than what I read on the website.
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