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Old 08-09-2012, 20:54   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott

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.
I have the Garmin 441s and Standard Horizon GX 2100 (AIS)
.84 is usable brightness. 1.34 at full brightness.

I'll look into the LEDs for sure.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:40   #32
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

I have the Garmin 551s and can confirm the low power usage I've found it to be a great unit. I also had an AIR-X on a previous boat and was a bit dissapointed with it's power output at below 15 knots. Whilst I didn't consider it noisy it did make more noise at wind speeds above 15 knots, just enough to tell me the wind was starting to blow and maybe I should check the anchor, I really miss that unintended feature.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:18   #33
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Has anyone else tried one of the cheap ones? I think it would be nice to "practice" on one... Placement, power, wiring, sound comparison, etc.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:36   #34
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

You can get aftermarket blades for the Air-X that are supposedly really quiet.

The AirBreeze is supposedly a lot quieter. Had a boat with one a few slips down from me for a couple of days. Couldn't hear the wind gen. Admittedly, it was usually pretty light winds but did get a bit of a breeze one after noon and it seemed to be turning some pretty good rpm's. Couldn't hear it standing at the bow of the boat.

Talked with the owner about his composite solar/wind set up. He said the wind gen was virtually useless in French Polynesia. There just wasn't enough wind in almost all the anchorages to get it spinning fast enough to produce much electricity. Ditto on sailing down and back. Spent most of his time off the wind and the relative wind was too light for the wind gen to work. True Wind had to be blowing over 20k to get much electrical production on the points of sail he mostly found himself in. On the wind, the wind gen worked well. He just didn't find himself going in that direction very often. Maybe in the Carribean where anchorages tend to be windier, a wind gen would be okay. Don't think that type of anchorage is all that common, however. Someone once told me that if an anchorage has enough wind for the wind gen to work, it's not an anchorage that you want to spend time in.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:53   #35
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Originally Posted by roverhi
. Ditto on sailing down and back. Spent most of his time off the wind and the relative wind was too light for the wind gen to work. True Wind had to be blowing over 20k to get much electrical production on the points of sail he mostly found himself in. On the wind, the .
Thanks for sharing. Yup, as I mentioned off wind sailing is the one thing that concerns me, anchorages, not so much.
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Old 09-09-2012, 13:02   #36
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

You may want to have a look at the KISS for several reasons. One it is not expensive, two it is quieter than most and three all replacement parts can be had easily at either an autoparts store or Home Depot. I have been quite satisfied with mine but the downside is that it only really starts producing at 10 knots. Between the KISS and 190W solar panels I kept six Trojan T105s topped up almost every day on our recent cruise. If you google the KISS you will find the US distributor who also sells the mounting pole and hardware. The entire setup should run you about $1600. Wiring is straight forward and my leads go straight into the bank via a terminal strip.
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Old 09-09-2012, 13:43   #37
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You may want to have a look at the KISS for several reasons. One it is not expensive, two it is quieter than most and three all replacement parts can be had easily at either an autoparts store or Home Depot. I have been quite satisfied with mine but the downside is that it only really starts producing at 10 knots. Between the KISS and 190W solar panels I kept six Trojan T105s topped up almost every day on our recent cruise. If you google the KISS you will find the US distributor who also sells the mounting pole and hardware. The entire setup should run you about $1600. Wiring is straight forward and my leads go straight into the bank via a terminal strip.
I've heard good things about the KISS but it doesn't have the internal regulator. And as you mention the low speed performance isn't that great. But none really do much until 7 knots anyway. Whats 3 knots? Maybe a lot, in not sure. Thanks for the KISS vote.
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Old 09-09-2012, 20:30   #38
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

I have had the ''cheap one'' for over a year now, no issues. Its been in 40knots without any issue, the body is really thick alloy and the internal windings are simple and generally repairable (I know I melted one by playing with the internals).

As for the charge controller, this is what I use
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com.au/vi...id=55311483625
It also allows solar so if you ever add that you won't need to change anything. This controller is MPPT which is really handy for the solar component if you ever go that way.

These turbines may not be as repairable as some of the more costly ones however for this price you can buy two and just store one away as I did, and still be many $ better off. Wiring is as simple as can be, 3 wires from turbine plug into 3 ports in charge controller, + & - wire then go direct to battery (This ignores fuses etc, but it give you a snap shot of the simplicity of the system).

As for power generation down wind. You will struggle, however with 8-10knots on our quarter we can make about 1 amp with our turbine, that's why in would suggest power use reduction via LED's. At night(ie; no solar) we run a TP22 tillerpilot, 3 LED navlights, and our fridge and under 10knots from behind, I try to hand steer simple to reduce power use, over that or upwind our turbine can power all loads. We only have 2 x 235amp hour lead acid batteries in total.
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Old 09-09-2012, 20:52   #39
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Originally Posted by Dame.n.Jess View Post
I have had the ''cheap one'' for over a year now, no issues. Its been in 40knots without any issue, the body is really thick alloy and the internal windings are simple and generally repairable (I know I melted one by playing with the internals).

As for the charge controller, this is what I use
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com.au/vi...id=55311483625
It also allows solar so if you ever add that you won't need to change anything. This controller is MPPT which is really handy for the solar component if you ever go that way.

These turbines may not be as repairable as some of the more costly ones however for this price you can buy two and just store one away as I did, and still be many $ better off. Wiring is as simple as can be, 3 wires from turbine plug into 3 ports in charge controller, + & - wire then go direct to battery (This ignores fuses etc, but it give you a snap shot of the simplicity of the system).

As for power generation down wind. You will struggle, however with 8-10knots on our quarter we can make about 1 amp with our turbine, that's why in would suggest power use reduction via LED's. At night(ie; no solar) we run a TP22 tillerpilot, 3 LED navlights, and our fridge and under 10knots from behind, I try to hand steer simple to reduce power use, over that or upwind our turbine can power all loads. We only have 2 x 235amp hour lead acid batteries in total.
Thanks agin for the great info and the link. I think I may try this approach for a starter and see what happens. Ill be in the SF bay for another year before I leave, so this could be a good way to get familiar with things, and then get a better turbine if called for. I will be getting a Hydrovane soon so I wont have to use the electric autopilot.

What do you use for a tower/stand? Those seem way more expensive than they should be. I'm looking for a used one, 9' seems about right on my boat.

austin
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Old 09-09-2012, 23:21   #40
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

I made my pole, I used schedule 40 (thick wall), 316 stainless but you could use what ever you like. It cost $140. I measured from my extended fingertips ton the deck whilst on tippy toes and added 4 inches. This means that I couldn't chop my fingers off by accident. For the base of the pole I made a thick plywood box and glasses it into my transom with some really big bracing just in case.

All up my batteries, turbine, mount, solar panels and framework has cost less than $1,500 and we are completely energy self sufficient.
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Old 10-09-2012, 17:49   #41
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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The only questions I have are about the best options for installing a wind genny with my current setup. I am quite satisfied with my logic for adding wind to supplement my alternator and leaving out the solar. I dont like to run the engine if I dont have to, and I dont have nor want the room for solar.

thanks though
Do you have refrigeration? That is typically a bigger and more constant draw than instruments.

If you can switch to LED lighting, you will significantly lower the daily Ah draw down. Another consideration is both your battery bank size and your ability to regulate the wind generator inputs via an MPPT. Like external regulation on alternators or Echo Charge devices, these can be set to transform whatever power the wind gen is producing into higher or lower preset voltages in order to top out the batteries, which is the greatest challenge for the sailboat on the hook....getting "topped up".

If you have no refrigeration, and little to charge, you can have a much simpler setup.
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Old 10-09-2012, 17:52   #42
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Maybe I should change my post to...
Recommendations for installing a wind genny.

(I dont want this to be a wind vs solar vs both thread, there are enough of those already)
It's very similar to the windvane vs. autopilot argument, but not at all like the paper charts/sextant vs. GPS/plotter argument, which has a lot more sneering...

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Old 10-09-2012, 18:23   #43
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Judging from your diagram it would appear the wind generator output would plug into the 1/2/B switch connected to the house.

It is not clear to me why/how the two wires from the 1/2/B switch connect to your isolator.

I am with the others that I would personally simplify the house install into one bank.

Also not clear why the house batteries are fused but the start battery is not.
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Old 10-09-2012, 18:38   #44
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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II also had an AIR-X on a previous boat and was a bit dissapointed with it's power output at below 15 knots. Whilst I didn't consider it noisy it did make more noise at wind speeds above 15 knots, just enough to tell me the wind was starting to blow and maybe I should check the anchor, I really miss that unintended feature.
I also had one of these on my boat - when I was sleeping soundly, that thing was like an alarm when a night squall came up, I was so in tune with it - and we all know those squalls mostly come at night. Sorry, but I though it was great feature. I had a switch so that I could turn if off if it got too noisy. I usually anchored at the back of the pack anyway, I liked lots of space around me, so no one was bothered by the noise in high winds. I also had solar panels and I NEVER had any excess power. Between the fridge, SSB, VHF, computer and whatever lights I used at anchor - they kept up pretty good.
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Old 10-09-2012, 18:57   #45
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Ok, I like where this is going... thanks

Where would would it "patch in" to my current system? Battery Isolator? straight to one of the banks? to a Battery Switch? Id like it to provide power to both banks if possible and not too difficult.
Ideally the Air Breeze should be connected directly to the battery via a fuse and switch made for it's operation (check the manual). Since you have two house banks I would connected directly to the output of the house bank switch. That way which ever bank you are switched to will be charged by the Air Breeze. As others have said you will need a fuse in the air breeze wiring and switch to manually stop and disconnect the Air Breeze when you want and also if you should turn the house battery switch to off. You should turn the Airbreeze off via it's switch too in that case.
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