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Old 08-09-2012, 12:06   #1
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Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:16   #2
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Rather than asking qualitative questions, get quantitative. Set up a spreadsheet so you know your electrical demands in Ah per day while at anchor and while underway. Then do another spreadsheet to compare Ah produced and their cost (upfront and ongoing) for your wind genny, solar panels and engine alternator.

All will become clear.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:21   #3
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Rather than asking qualitative questions, get quantitative. Set up a spreadsheet so you know your electrical demands in Ah per day while at anchor and while underway. Then do another spreadsheet to compare Ah produced and their cost (upfront and ongoing) for your wind genny, solar panels and engine alternator.

All will become clear.


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
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:25   #4
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

I've lived aboard full time on the hook for 7 years now. Experience has shown me its best to have both. When its sunny and nice there's often not enough wind to keep up. When its stormy the solar doesn't keep up but with weather comes wind. With both my batteries seldom dropped below 12.5 my windgen is currently out. High winds burnt out the armature, it locked up and spun the blades and hub assembly off. Now my batteries drop to 12.0 at which point I turn off fridge and get a bag of ice till it gets sunny. I miss my windgen and will have it fixed before I leave my current location.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:29   #5
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
I've lived aboard full time on the hook for 7 years now. Experience has shown me its best to have both. When its sunny and nice there's often not enough wind to keep up. When its stormy the solar doesn't keep up but with weather comes wind. With both my batteries seldom dropped below 12.5 my windgen is currently out. High winds burnt out the armature, it locked up and spun the blades and hub assembly off. Now my batteries drop to 12.0 at which point I turn off fridge and get a bag of ice till it gets sunny. I miss my windgen and will have it fixed before I leave my current location.
I understand the benefit of both and only want wind for now. But maybe you can tell me a bit more about how your wind genny is setup with your battery banks, etc. Or if you know of a good place to learn about installation based on my current system.

thanks
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:31   #6
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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)
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:32   #7
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

well, depends on where you sail and if going down wind or up wind. Downwind, your apparent wind will be less. So in 15 knots of breeze, the wind genny sees 8-10 knots which is not that much. Think the air breeze makes 2-2.5 ish amps at 10 knots.. They like 15-20 knots to really make the power.

A single 130 watt solar panel makes about 6 amps (real life) per hour and you can purchase one for less then $200.

For cruising most of the time you'll be anchored. Hopefully not where its blowing 15-20, to long anyway. Main power usage at anchor is fridge and laptop. Actually the laptop will use more when its charging, up to 4 amps per hour. Lights and anchor light and charging cell, etc, make up the rest.

For me anyway I use about 875 watts a day (24 hours). Two solar panels recovers that easy and there are no moving parts or noise. Underway, the laptop is off and the 3-4 amps for that goes to the GPS, radio and wheel pilot.

There are days the wind is less the 8 knots, but every day the sun shines. Solar works even in cloudy and foggy weather but with reduced output.

But wind does work too and solar does take up lots O space. But for the price of the wind genny and tower you can put three 130 watt panels on your boat with a PWM controller and still have money left over for food/diesel.

But wind blows at night too and takes less space. So you'll not go wrong either way..
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:36   #8
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

My setup is low tech. I have a large battery bank and nothing happens fast. All I have is a diode on each panel. And windgen is hooked up straight. Airbreeze has all the internal regulation you need.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:46   #9
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

To elaborate on your installation, you will need a tower, wiring, a dpdt switch for braking and a fuse or breaker. With no solar the install is quite straightforward.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:49   #10
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
To elaborate on your installation, you will need a tower, wiring, a dpdt switch for braking and a fuse or breaker. With no solar the install is quite straightforward.
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.
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Old 08-09-2012, 13:18   #11
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

I would look at simplifying your diagram first. Not that it is bad, I just think it might be improved by moving some things around. For example:
1. Heart Freedom Interface along with the fuse - Move to top left
2. Words at bottom, move to top right
3. Line up your switches
4. Move the alternator to the right

There might be a good reason to have two separate battery banks over one connected in parallel, but it makes hooking up a charge controller more difficult. You will have to ask other people who know more about this about diodes. We needed to hook up diodes to multiple solar panels that were connected to a single battery to prevent the battery or the other panels from charging the non-producing panel.

You could always get two wind turbines. And I wouldn't rule out solar all together. You have most of the equiptment to easily add it now, more power can only help.

http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/im...rschematic.jpg
http://www.hummerwind.com/images/New...nd-&-Solar.jpg (There are probably better diagrams out there showing how to wire up solar and wind power together.)

You can always make your own as well. http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/
I never knew it was that 'easy'. If only I lived on a farm or away from the zoning restrictions...
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Old 08-09-2012, 13:36   #12
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
I would look at simplifying your diagram first. Not that it is bad, I just think it might be improved by moving some things around. For example:
1. Heart Freedom Interface along with the fuse - Move to top left
2. Words at bottom, move to top right
3. Line up your switches
4. Move the alternator to the right

There might be a good reason to have two separate battery banks over one connected in parallel, but it makes hooking up a charge controller more difficult. You will have to ask other people who know more about this about diodes. We needed to hook up diodes to multiple solar panels that were connected to a single battery to prevent the battery or the other panels from charging the non-producing panel.

You could always get two wind turbines. And I wouldn't rule out solar all together. You have most of the equiptment to easily add it now, more power can only help.

http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/im...rschematic.jpg
http://www.hummerwind.com/images/New...nd-&-Solar.jpg (There are probably better diagrams out there showing how to wire up solar and wind power together.)

Yeah, I know the diagram I have is a little awkward, but I just posted it to give everyone an idea of my inventory/setup that I'm working with. Then, maybe one could say "Yes, you would add a wind genny by wiring it thus and so."

I really dont need more power, I lived on the boat for a year and did quite well with only the engine to charge the batteries. I only want to power lights and instruments when sailing. I can charge my laptop with the engine if I need to.

thanks
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Old 08-09-2012, 14:16   #13
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

My boat is all wired by me. I have separate bus bars one for incoming power, one for outgoing and a ground. My incoming bus bar is cabled to a switch so I can charge the house bank or the starting battery or both. Breakers are inline of all wires exitting both pos bars. Since I have 8 solar panels wind generator and alternator I found a separate bus cleaned things up. Southwest windpower may not be my first choice for wind power. I have an airx and its been nothing but problems. Both the switch supplied and the ammeter they supplied melted down. I replaced the fragile board multiple times, first under warranty then at around $180 a shot. I scrapped the board after the third died and used a bridge rectifier in its place. That was the longest it worked in one stretch probably 2 years? When it burned the armature it was blowing hard in excess of 50kts.
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Old 08-09-2012, 15:00   #14
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

I put on both.

One 220 watt panel and a Rutland 913.

I always have cold beer.

Now I get to worry about other things, not how many electrons I have left.
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Old 08-09-2012, 15:38   #15
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Re: Wind Generator (My Logic & Questions)

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).
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