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Old 10-01-2011, 06:00   #1
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Wind Generator Noise

Seems every wind generator thread has a noise posting. In the mooring field I normally am at a couple of boats have wind generators and I never notice a noice problem. Sometimes I can heard one a little when in the cockpit, but definitley can not heard them when below.

So how much noise are we really talking about here? I like sleeping with a fan running just for the "white noise", is the generator's noise something like that or worst? If the wind is howling outside is the generator louder than that?

Looking for something that I can compare the "noise" to other than a blanket statement of them just being too loud.

PS - The biggest noise I normally hear while on the boat is alcohol generated to start with.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:09   #2
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Hi Don,
I have a D400, I can here the blades rotating in a good blow, otherwise its quiet. I have heard that some wind geny's iof not installed properly can lead to vibration being felt through the boat
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:25   #3
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I don't think of the sound of my KISS as noise. It's the comforting sound of batteries being charged and at night, if it gets a bit louder, it's a call to go on deck and check around. See if my neighbours are getting closer! Better than an anchor alarm.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:45   #4
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I've heard some awful ones that scream... not so bad at anchor... I can move but in a Marina...?? Does my head in.
I've always used Aerogens... lovely n quiet...
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Seems every wind generator thread has a noise posting. In the mooring field I normally am at a couple of boats have wind generators and I never notice a noice problem. Sometimes I can heard one a little when in the cockpit, but definitley can not heard them when below.

So how much noise are we really talking about here? I like sleeping with a fan running just for the "white noise", is the generator's noise something like that or worst? If the wind is howling outside is the generator louder than that?

Looking for something that I can compare the "noise" to other than a blanket statement of them just being too loud.

PS - The biggest noise I normally hear while on the boat is alcohol generated to start with.
The AirX wind gennies were by far the noisiest when we were cruising in the Eastern Caribbean 5 years ago. When the wind gusted up to 20 knots + or so you would get a sound like a turboprop plane on take off (not surprisingly) and as the gust passed you would get that whistling sound as the revs dropped off. Very off putting.
The KISS I had at the time had a much quieter sound but I didn't like the vibration it caused in the cabin below it.
I've no experience of the new blades you can now get for the AirX but apparently they are a lot quieter.

Cheers
Cliff
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:19   #6
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I've gone back and read some of the old threads about air generators; ones that were suppose to be about which one to chose. A lot of those became more about noise that good/bad air generators.

But from them I wonder if the noise thing is more about blades being balanced overall. Comination of the generator blades fluddering and the mount assembly vibrating.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:36   #7
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I have 2 Air X's . You can hear them yes but not in any way that is annoying IMO .But yes when the wind is gusting to almost stall speed they sound like a train/tornado coming. I personally have gotten use to them and as another poster said earlier they are a good alarm.When i hear that at night I know to do a cursory check .
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:49   #8
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Wind generators were getting such a bad rap that I was hoping, when I installed one, that mine would encourage people not to anchor so doggone close.

Didn't work.

Seriously, the only time that noise is a problem with ours is on those rare occasions we have guests sleeping in the starboard aft cabin beneath the generator's mast. They can't hear blade noise, but they can hear the hum of the alternator when it generates power. When we have guests, I show them how to turn it off if it bothers them, but I've only had guests do so a couple times.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:52   #9
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The Air-X wind gens are definitely objectionably loud as they come from the factory. I know, I have one. In what would be a nice 20kt breeze the generator leads one to think they are in the middle of a hurricane. It does not help for peace of mind.

I have switched over to the superquiet, imported blades and they have made a world of difference. Now it is difficult to know if the generator is running without actually looking to see the blades rotating. Not especially cheap but I consider it money well spent.

Rich
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:53   #10
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G'Day All

Yes, the Air-x is noisier than some other turbines, but the real noisy one was the Air-x's predecessor, the 403 (I think it was called). The claims of an Air-x keeping a whole anchorage awake at night are a tad exaggerated IMO. When there is enough wind for the Air-x to be generating much sound there are plenty of other noise sources starting up -- halyards slapping, rigging humming or whistling, waves crashing on shore and the worst of all, in-mast furlers shrieking.

We view the noise of our Air-x as the sound of cold beer happening.

AS to the vibration, we found that while the blades are in fact "balanced" in that they are carefully matched for weight by the factory, the installation in the hub is critical. The slots in the hub allow the blades a couple of degrees of slop which can lead to them not being equally spaced, and this leads to vibration. The cure is to carefully measure the distance between the tips, and if not exactly equal, loosen and adjust them until they are. It made a big difference on ours... wonder why the factory instructions don't mention this step?

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Church Point, NSW, Oz
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I have switched over to the superquiet, imported blades and they have made a world of difference. Now it is difficult to know if the generator is running without actually looking to see the blades rotating. Not especially cheap but I consider it money well spent.
Anyone know a good source of those blades in the United States? (I'm interested in Air Breeze rather than Air-X, but I'm assuming the same importer would handle either set.)
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Old 10-01-2011, 20:30   #12
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Anyone know a good source of those blades in the United States? (I'm interested in Air Breeze rather than Air-X, but I'm assuming the same importer would handle either set.)
The Air Breeze has different blades than the Air-X with different mounts. You can't interchange blades between the two units.

That said, the Air Breeze blades are much quieter than the factory Air-X ones. There was a problem with UV degradation of the original (white) Air Breeze blades, but SWWP replaced them for free. Our new black blades are just as quiet as the original white ones. The drawback is that our unit now looks identical to the noisy Air-X model!
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Old 10-01-2011, 21:19   #13
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air-x makes noise--get bearings changed--it willbe silent. love the sound of wind gennies.
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Old 10-01-2011, 22:27   #14
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I've had an air breeze for a year now, and unlike it's predecessor, the air X, it gets quieter the harder it blows. I have it on a 12 Ft pole, mounted with the SWWP mounting kit. No vibration, no noise...great unit.
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Old 11-01-2011, 22:29   #15
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For those who still have the old Air-X there is a solution to the "turbo-prop" howl they emit. I recently had to replace the blades but was unable to locate any locally (the price you pay for living in the most remote capital city in the world). A search on the net turned up a company in Spain called Spreco/Silentwindgenerator that manufactures carbon-fibre blades to suit the Air-X. They claim noise is reduced by 70% but I'd say it's even better than that, with improved output as well. The price was slightly above standard replacement blades but well worth the investment
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