Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-01-2015, 19:58   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Tracys Landing, MD
Boat: 2008 Beneteau 343
Posts: 2
Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Hello All! Hoping someone can help:

My husband installed an Apollo wind generator about a couple of weeks ago, and it's still not charging the batteries. He's looked over everything many times, and can't figure it out. In fact, now the batteries seem not to be holding the power they get from the engine (as well as they use to). Has anyone else had this problem?

We are in the middle of a 6 month cruise from MD to Key West and back to MD. Anchored off Pumpkin Key tonight.

I've recommended asking a fellow cruiser while in No Name Harbor but...it's like asking for directions, right?

Thank you so much!
__________________

__________________
sailingonltd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 20:39   #2
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,046
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Too many unanswered questions. How much power is it producing in how much wind and how much power are you using in your daily amp hour budget? The winds here in S. Florida have been nice lately but limited. Counting on a wind generator alone to charge your batteries is a bit optimistic.

Halden Marine Services | Marine Watermakers, Solar Panels, Wind Generators
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 20:59   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,376
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Have to agree with Tellie. To many unknowns here to give any real help.

Would need to know a number of things to have even a rough guess.

Does Hubby have a volt meter and know how to use it?

What's the voltage at the batteries when the wind charger is spinning? What's the voltage at the charger?

Do you have a battery monitor? What other charging sources do you have? Do the batteries hold a charge if you disconnect the wind charger?

What electrical things are you using every day? Anything that draws a lot of power like refrigerator, inverter, etc?

How many batteries, what kind, how old?
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 21:50   #4
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

First of all these questions,- what is the DC Amperes output of the wind generator when it's spinning. Are you getting anything?
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 06:47   #5
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Wind generators don't really work at all until the wind is 15 knots or above. Below that I don't know/cant really measure if its putting anything in.
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 06:56   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: French Polynesia
Boat: Allied 39
Posts: 470
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Using a clamp on meter would be helpful when the wind generator is spinning. Tellie is right not enough information supplied to give a good answer



Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
www.jacarandajourney.com
chouliha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 07:01   #7
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,951
Images: 6
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Another point, are you sure the batteries are good? How old are they? Perhaps you have an issue with the battery bank such that no amount of charging is going to matter.

Lots of different things to check, obviously.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 10:33   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Location: St Pete FL
Boat: 1972 Contest 33
Posts: 783
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

First thing is are your batteries wet cell or agm. If their wet cell top them off with distilled water. Next take a reading if the electrolyte in the wet cell batteries reads below 1100 your batteries are under charged or bad. You said you can charge them with the engine?
Take a voltage reading at the batteries then start your engine, turn the main switch to charge that specific battery bank and see what the voltage at the batteries is now with the engine running. It should be at least 13.5 volts for a 12 volt battery.If it is run the engine for 15 minutes. Shut off the engine and recheck your voltage at the batteries. If it is back up to 12.26 or better keep charging them with hte engine for a half hour.
With the wind generator disconnected from the batteries check what voltage and amperage it is putting out. It will vary with wind speed. If it doesn't produce anything above 6 knots you have a bad wind generator possibly. Your instructions should have the wind speed and rates printed in it.
After an hour or so with no load on them they should still read above 12.26 volts. If not replace your batteries me thinks. I suspect your batteries are old and you need new ones
__________________
Auto pilot is saying get up here and grab the tiller.
w1651 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 10:37   #9
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 6,058
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

I would be concerned with your batteries don't hold their charge as they did? I think you should disconnect the wind generator and see if it is draining your battery? It is nothing more than a motor charging rather than turning. A faulty diode in the controller could well cause that. Call the MFG.
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 10:42   #10
Registered User
 
Ironman162's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney Harbour
Boat: Coronet Oceanfarer30
Posts: 157
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Things are seldom what they seem. Regardless of all the questions the one thing that matters is that we need power.
There has to be a lot of wind for a wind turbine to make a significant difference. Added to that it has to be an expensive turbine, one that generates 13.8Vdc at 250 rpm.

The bottom line is you get precious little power from a wind turbine in wind speeds below 20 knots.
If you have the room for it buy a 200w solar panel and a regulator from eBay. They are easy as a DIY installation. This will impress you with around 10amp charging current for 6 hours a day if it's just lying flat and can do better when angled towards the sun in the afternoon.
The batteries will spring to life if they are the deep cycle type all for under $300.

I've been though the same cycle thinking the battety bank has had it with a cheap chinese wind turbine and now have both solar and wind combination. Must say I replaced the Chinese wind turbine with a much more expensive Rutland 910i in despair.
Looking back solar/wind combination is still the best option but dollar/watt the solar panel wins by far! If only the sun would always shine and the mast/sail won't cast a shadow!

If it was me I would first see if I can charge the batteries with a portable petrol generator even if I have to borrow one for now. This will give a firm footing to start addressing the problem.
Hope this approach helps and I feel quite sure you will arrive at a point where you will consider ditching the wind turbine just as I and I'm sure many others did!
__________________
Ironman162 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 12:49   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 134
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

To charge a battery the voltage has to be higher than in the battery.
Unfortunatly wind generators deliver less than they promise and the cheap ones even less.
If You donīt use them in winds 15 mph up I doubt You will see any results.
Since You say the batteries are holding the charge the wind gen seems to be the problem of concern.
To test:
Connect a light bulb IN LINE between the wind gen and the charge controller.
Afterwards connect a light bulb IN LINE between the charge controller and the batteries.
To get an idear of what Your wind gen can do for You install an AMP METER IN LINE between the charge controller and the batteries.
Observing it will indicate if You produce any "usable" energy and how much.
The charge controller adapts the energy produced by the wind gen to the battery voltage.....here it should be mentioned that charge controllers also need energy to function and some low quality ones need quiete a lot. There for they draw energy from the battery EVEN IF YOU DONīT PRODUCE.

For reliable energy on bord I recomand high voltage solar panels together with a MPPT charge controller with cooling by heat sink and NOT COOLING FAN to get max efficiency and reliability.
Hardly any maintanance, nothing can break and NO noise.
Unless the sky is totally covered You will produce usuable energy to charge batteries ALL THE TIME

If space is an issue, flat and flexible solar panels con be installed temporary on many surfaces like cabins and dogers with bungys or velcro.

Fair Winds
__________________
Now or Never
warrior 90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2015, 08:15   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Tracys Landing, MD
Boat: 2008 Beneteau 343
Posts: 2
Re: Wind Generator Not Charging Batteries

Thanks for the replies and tips everyone! I'm aware of the additional info needed for advice. My husband just broke his meter and has to get a new one at the next stop. We have 2 batteries - one brand new and the other 2 years old. He may replace it. I'll let him know to check out the replies so far. He's a naval architect/engineer, and is aware of many of the questions the first few replies asked. He just never installed a wind generator on a boat before. We have a solar panel too. We've had this for awhile and works like a charm. Thought we'd use a wind generator to help with the refrigeration during the cloudy days. Hopefully, he'll take the time to read some of your input, to help him think of something he hasn't yet.

Thanks again! Happy New Year and Happy Cruising!
__________________

__________________
sailingonltd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charging, generator, wind, wind generator

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Honda 2000 not charging my batteries montenido Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 20 02-06-2013 03:30
Batteries Not Charging LeifErickson Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 12 13-03-2010 05:29
Batteries Not Charging Properly Silpe Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 10 29-12-2009 12:43
Alternator Not Charging Batteries pacmaann2 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 14 01-09-2009 10:18
Honda generator for charging batteries Aquah0lic Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 37 11-12-2008 16:56



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.