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Old 08-09-2012, 15:51   #16
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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I'm sorry but you should NOT get an Air Breeze, Air-X or any other cheap wind gen, unless you don't give a damn about others around you.
THEY ARE VERY, VERY NOISY. Some, so much so that we have trouble talking in OUR cockpit when they are anchored next to us and we can hear the damn things over a fan in our aft cabin at night when the wind is over about 10 knots.
I'm not going to get into a pissing match with those that own the damn things, but I absolutely HATE those people who insinuate themselves into a group of anchored boats with one of these cheap windgens (you really do get what you pay for in windgens). Save up a bit more money and get a better unit; I and all the other boaters around you will thank you (and it will last MANY years longer).
Can you recommend a better one (that happens to be quieter)?
I know it has been debated at length, but most posts that I see say the Air Breeze is not loud... at least compared to the AirX or Rutland. The kiss has a good rep, but their site is god awful and I hear they are not as simple as an Air Breeze. I want something simple.
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:15   #17
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

You can get quiet blades from Speco that will tame either the air-x or the breeze. So their noise is not an issue, if you are willing to spend the $$$ to make it quiet.

You say you want only wind. That is a nice desire, but have you done a calculation to see how much power you need? If the wind genny provides it, all of the time, then fine. But it is my experience, and of many, many others as well (see above posts) that a combination of the two is the best way to minimize or eliminate engine run time. Let me put it another way: If your goal is to never run the engine solely for power generation, then I don't think you will get there with only wind, unless you have a very large battery bank, and have significant wind where you anchor.

Chris
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:18   #18
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Hello hello,

I have plans to get a wind generator. I think I've settled (at the moment) on the Air Breeze.
Here is my logic for wind over solar. If there is no wind, I'm either motoring or not using much power at anchored.

1: If motoring then the motor provides the power.
2: If I'm anchored, I dont need my instruments (depth sounder, nav lights, auto-pilot, etc).
3: I need power most when sailing for instruments, and if im sailing then there is wind.

If you can poke holes im my logic above, please do.

-------
Now, how to installed said generator. I have two house banks and a separate starting battery. I have a Freedom 10 inverter, Balmer Alternator & Regulator, Isolator, and a couple of battery switches. The full diagram is attached below. Is there a recommended installation for this setup? Or how would you do it?




Thank you much,
austin
G'Day Mate,

First, one logic flaw noted: We have found that when sailing downwind (that mythical state we all strive to find) that the apparent wind strength is pretty low compared to our Air-X's requirements for decent output. We have 240 watts of solar as well, so it isn't such a big issue, but it might be for you.

Second, we have wired our Air-X directly into our house bank. We have found for our usage (full time live aboard cruising) a single large house bank plus a small start battery works best, and suggest that if you really want simple, you might well combine your two house banks into one. Normally your start battery will be adequately charged by the alternator when running the engine, even for short intervals.

Cheers,

Jim

PS: I really do not understand the hysterical dislike for all Air Marine gennies. The original 403 model was indeed loud when in "flutter" mode of speed control, but since the introduction of the internal regulator beginning with the Air-X that does not occur. The Breeze is even quieter, and if even that is too much the aftermarket blades render it nearly silent at a total cost that is far lower than say a D-400. Finally, our Air-X is now 8 years old. Only problems we've had are broken blades due to interaction with a tern and a halyard, and replacement of shaft bearings (6 dollars each from the local bearing shop).
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:25   #19
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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You can get quiet blades from Speco that will tame either the air-x or the breeze. So their noise is not an issue, if you are willing to spend the $$$ to make it quiet.

You say you want only wind. That is a nice desire, but have you done a calculation to see how much power you need? If the wind genny provides it, all of the time, then fine. But it is my experience, and of many, many others as well (see above posts) that a combination of the two is the best way to minimize or eliminate engine run time. Let me put it another way: If your goal is to never run the engine solely for power generation, then I don't think you will get there with only wind, unless you have a very large battery bank, and have significant wind where you anchor.

Chris
Thanks for the feedback... As I mentioned I dont care much about power when anchored. I will not run a fridge or AC or Heater, or other amp busting devices. I only want enough power to keep my instruments & lighting working when sailing. The argument about going downwind which would bring the apparent winds speeds down is my main concern. I have the amp usage on my boat for each of my lights and electronics, but I dont think it exceeds 5-10amps when in "sailing mode" I will double check and post those when I get to the boat today.

I dont think I would pay extra for quiet blades. I tend to anchor as far away from other boats as possible. I'm I the only one that likes the sound of wind gennys? I anchored next to them many times on the ICW and listened to the soothing sound in marinas often... But as I mentioned plan is that I would not need it running while at anchor.
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:28   #20
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Thanks Jim
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:40   #21
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Ditto on connecting it directly to the batteries. The 403, Air-x and are internally regulated, so connecting them directly (with a breaker as per their installation instructions) is the way to go.

If you don't have a fridge, windlass, etc, then wind might be ok for you. I should have asked, but most have at least one big power hog on board.

Chris

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Old 08-09-2012, 16:56   #22
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

No your not the only one. I love hearing the wind charge our batteries. I don't stay in marinas and like you anchor away from the crowd. Compare a windgen to people who run a gas generator off the transom 24-7. I agree with the prior post about combining banks. I have 8 golf cart batteries and like I said nothing happens fast. I make the most power from close hauled to beam reach with wind off port side. The main funnels air right at it. I've made 40 amps steady with it for days once I removed the internal regulation. I've been thinking of making my own on my next project. I bought some falcon blades which I found weren't just right for airx but the hub is made to fit alternator shaft. Blades are longer and heavier built and rated to 130mph with a lifetime warranty.
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Old 08-09-2012, 17:11   #23
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I would have one large house bank instead of two. It would seem less complicated. Do you draw one bank down to 50% before switching to the other. Then I assume you would bulk charge the one bank back to 85% while using the other. How do you charge two house banks at the same time when one may req unite a bilk charge and the other a float. Seems to complcated. Simple setups leave less to have problems with.

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Old 08-09-2012, 17:55   #24
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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I'm I the only one that likes the sound of wind gennys? I anchored next to them many times on the ICW and listened to the soothing sound in marinas often....
I much prefer the soothing quite of solar panels. Plus, solar panels never burn-up or shake to pieces in high winds.
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:15   #25
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My sailing load in amps is...

Masthead light - 2.2
Running lights - 1.7
Instrument Panel lights - 1
Chart plotter + VHF - .84
Depth sounder - .15

So about 5.89 amps total


At anchor I only run an anchor light.
Masthead - 1.39
Or
Davis mega - .33

Maybe an occasional reading light - 1.5
(Need to get LED)
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:52   #26
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

My two cents would be, change to LED. we can run every light in our boat (masthead, three interiors, three navs, all gauges) and still be lucky to draw one amp. I don't buy the expensive turbines are the best turbine argument. I use a $300 (eBay) turbine (new not used) and it is quieter and much higher output than the ''marine'' turbines. We will get 10amps in 20kn of wind, 2 amps in 8-10kn. Our turbine is a five blade and as such spins at around half the speed of our old three blade which allows around a 70% reduction in noise, is much less dangerous than our old three blade which would spin at around 2,500rpm. Our turbine has no internal power regulation therefore it puts out AC. The three wires can be wired into any of the three wind ports on out charge controller. Which is then hooked directly to the battery bank.

Very very simple stuff,

We run both wind and solar and have no other means of power generation. Wind was the first thing we put on our boat, but as we have no alternator we very quickly had to add solar as we could not create enough power with wind alone.

I admire your choice to go with wind, I love the sound of our turbine spinning.

We built everything on our boat and it was all fairly straightforward. Stainless pole, eBay turbine and charge controller. If you want to look at our turbine there are plently on eBay

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com.au/vi...id=04537591481
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:40   #27
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Quote:
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My two cents would be, change to LED. we can run every light in our boat (masthead, three interiors, three navs, all gauges) and still be lucky to draw one amp. I don't buy the expensive turbines are the best turbine argument. I use a $300 (eBay) turbine (new not used) and it is quieter and much higher output than the ''marine'' turbines. We will get 10amps in 20kn of wind, 2 amps in 8-10kn. Our turbine is a five blade and as such spins at around half the speed of our old three blade which allows around a 70% reduction in noise, is much less dangerous than our old three blade which would spin at around 2,500rpm. Our turbine has no internal power regulation therefore it puts out AC. The three wires can be wired into any of the three wind ports on out charge controller. Which is then hooked directly to the battery bank.

Very very simple stuff,

We run both wind and solar and have no other means of power generation. Wind was the first thing we put on our boat, but as we have no alternator we very quickly had to add solar as we could not create enough power with wind alone.

I admire your choice to go with wind, I love the sound of our turbine spinning.

We built everything on our boat and it was all fairly straightforward. Stainless pole, eBay turbine and charge controller. If you want to look at our turbine there are plently on eBay

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com.au/vi...id=04537591481
Wow. Good stuff. I could buy one or two as spares.
How long have you had your turbine? Can you tell me more about your charge controller or send me a link? One of the main things I want to get out of this thread is how to connect it all. With the 12V DC it appears I just need a fuse between it and the battery on the hot line.

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2012, 20:37   #28
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

When I was putting this boat together for full time voyaging, I did my due diligence on windgens. I was so terrified by the "horror stories" of noisy windgens that I settled for solar for the time being. I set off for the Caribbean and LISTENED!
We always know the Air Breeze, and Air-X even after dark; even the quiet ones (maybe they are new ones???) are pretty damn noisy. I really have no reason to lie; I do not sell anything, but there should be a law that noisy windgens have to anchor together way to leeward of the rest of us.
My choice will be the Aero-Gen 6. Most 5 blade units are very quiet, especially compared to ANY 3 blade.
It seems, among the quality units, no matter how basic or fancy, (molded plastic case or not, etc.) they are all about 2-2.5 g's (down here, duty free). I've friends down here in the Caribbean who have had the quality units running in excess of 5 years, flawlessly.
I did check out the Chinese unit, but my only thought was; warranty and repair?
For me I just do not want the noise. And I'd rather you don't get a noisy one if you are going to be anchored near us one day.
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Old 08-09-2012, 20:40   #29
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Originally Posted by theway View Post
My sailing load in amps is...

Masthead light - 2.2
Running lights - 1.7
Instrument Panel lights - 1
Chart plotter + VHF - .84
Depth sounder - .15

So about 5.89 amps total


At anchor I only run an anchor light.
Masthead - 1.39
Or
Davis mega - .33

Maybe an occasional reading light - 1.5
(Need to get LED)
What kind of chartplotter / VHF do you have? 0.84A is a really good number for a chartplotter.

Getting an LED tricolor (or LED deck lights) would make a big improvement in your consumption at sea. An LED tricolor will burn somewhere between 0.1 and 0.2 A.
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Old 08-09-2012, 20:53   #30
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Ive been on anchorages with folks with air gens, and a lot of them make a heck of a lot more noise then my genny!! ( which ya can't hear 20 ft away from our boat !!) we tryed them on our last sail boat, in the 90s and could not get enough juice from them to make them worth while ! Solar even back then worked much better for the price and they are not noisey !! and cheaper! if thats what ya want then thats up to you ! but how come the boats with em also most always have solar ?? must be a reason! maybe your logic is just leaning to the air gennys maybe ??
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