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Old 20-03-2014, 08:22   #1
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wind generator or hydro generator

looking for something to recharge the boat,,, by looking at the spec. sheet it seams a hydro generator ( like a sea/watt) or something has better charging capacity than a wing generator,,,but i see more wind gen. out there than hydro. what am i not seeing or overlooking,, need some help deciding...

steve
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Old 20-03-2014, 08:50   #2
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

Although the hydro generator puts out much more power, a wind generator will be more practical. You need to be underway to generate power with the hydro. Boats typically spend less than 5% of their time underway so it will be idle for 95% of the time. If you are under sail it is free power but if you are underway with the engine running you don't need the hydro since the alternator is charging the batteries. Even the average sail boat motors 50% of the time.

Some live in anchorages where they are lucky enough (or unlucky enough) to have strong tidal flow 4 times a day, it might be justified in a situation like that.

If you are planning an off-shore sail for extended periods it might be justified but wind is available significantly more of the time even if the output is less.
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Old 20-03-2014, 08:51   #3
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

I'm no expert, and haven't looked into hydro at all, but I know hydro is generally MUCH more expensive then wind. It's also harder to mount and adds another thing sticking out the stern to damage when manouvring in close quarters or to obstruct the swim platform. It might also be in the way of the windvane.

I also do know of one particular type that can double as a windgenerator when anchored, but the name escapes me.
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Old 20-03-2014, 09:35   #4
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

I've done both before. Imho, go solar.
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Old 20-03-2014, 10:02   #5
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

What you are overlooking is the wind gen works at anchor also! I suppose you could even say if the boat is moving by wind propulsion or motor, the wind gen would still work too!
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Old 20-03-2014, 10:17   #6
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

Steve nailed it. Simple.

Wind? At anchor you want to be OUT OF THE WIND. Least I do. And most wind gens only produce significantly in winds in excess of 10-12 knots. Noise? My new marina neighbor has one, horrible, and he's never there and plugged in all the time and wonders why his tach doesn't work when he starts his engine...
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:07   #7
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

Cruising sailors tend to go where the wind goes . I would much more like to anchor in the wind than anchor in a current .
Wind gen or solar photo. is the only way to go unless all you want to do is sail and stop very little . I would bet that not 5% of the cruisers on here have even seen a hydro .
I have sailed many years and miles and only saw one and it was for sale used in Ft. Laud.
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:22   #8
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

... we don't know what kind of boat the thread starter has ...

It all depends .... On my 41ft racer I have no room for solar and will go for a HydroGen and LiFePO4 batteries ... I need most electricity while cruising. At anchor my electronic consumption is small. If I should stay longer on a certain anchorage I would charge batteries with the main engine or with a small 1kW generator ...

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Carsten
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:37   #9
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

A wind gen (that came on my boat) worked quite well in the Caribe. Probably saved 40% of engine running. Would I do another one? ...probably not, or maybe one of the smaller quieter ones (althgough mine didnt seem to be very noisy until it was blowing 20...) Solar sounds good but.. hmmm not sure I'd want all that clap trap hanging on my boat unless I built them into a hard bimini .... alot to be said for a big alternator!
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:53   #10
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

You also lose about half a knot when sailing if you use a hydrogenerator. Might be worth it, might not. Doesn't matter in a big blow since you're limited by hull speed, but then the wind generator would be putting out lots.

I'm planning neither. Going to concentrate on solar. May or may not also add wind. We'll see.
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Old 20-03-2014, 12:10   #11
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

I'm reviewing these options. I would go with all three, but the hydro is so damn expensive and another thing in the water to mount besides the wind vane makes it difficult.
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:16   #12
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

I have wind, water, solar and, until recently, a kipor 1 kv petrol gen set. ( new Honda on the shopping list)

My wind/ water kit is an Aqua4Aerogen. Unfortunately for you lot its no longer made.

Under way at 5 knots 4 amps 24/7... and it doesn't knock half a knot off the speed. maybe 1 extra day in a 40 day passage.... better 41 days with cold beer than 40 with warm beer... unless you are a pom....

Its done maybe 14000 miles and the 'log' hasn't been eaten by a sea monster yet...

Only deployed for sea passages longer than about 48 hours.

In wind mode rarely pays its way... in Patagonia you try not to go sailing when its v. windy and when it is v.windy you try to be somewhere where its not....

You can see it in water mode in the pic... also the frame it is mounted in when in wind mode.
More info here Aquagen Wind & Water Turbines - www.solar-wind.co.uk
Good luck findind a second hand one... I don't think people sell them....
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:34   #13
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Re: wind generator or hydro generator

I've used a mix of wind, water, and solar (for 15 years and 100,000 miles). A few years ago, I swore that my next boat would be all solar. Since then the cost of panels has dropped in half, and all solar is a no brainer
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