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Old 08-12-2010, 07:19   #31
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Originally Posted by Beach Cruiser View Post
We have a KISS wind generator and have found in the Abacos when the wind gets above 20 kts, we tie it a little off the wind to feather it. The KISS will then keep putting out power. Woke up yesterday with the batteries topped off.

Barry
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Excellent tip, thanks.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:23   #32
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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
The Kiss is excellent in output, and not nearly as noisy, or for as far away. (It just whirrs like a fan)

Good luck, Mark
And the D-400 is even better in output and quieter than the KISS.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:58   #33
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Minority opinion: I'm quite happy with my Air-X Marine (latest model - redesigned blades) after one season in the Western Caribbean. Pay attention to the vibration isolation and installation height (I used a 12 ft, 1 1/2" SS tower/mast/pole for mass and distance from heads/ears). The sound of the blades is not intrusive to our cockpit conversation, and infinitely preferable to the sound of an engine. A critical consideration is your cruising area/season. Research the average wind speeds for your cruising area/season (Weather History & Data Archive : Weather Underground is helpful) and calculate expected wind turbine output from the manufacturers output curves. This will facilitate the wind vs. solar decision.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:45   #34
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Minority opinion #2: I'm happy with my Air Breeze. It cannot be heard more than a boat length away, and under sail I usually can't hear it at all. The reason I finally went with the Air Breeze is that I often use it in high winds, and it handles them better than most generators. Plus, it's relatively lightweight.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:48   #35
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I'll also go with the minority opinion. We've got an air breeze mounted 3/4 of the way up the mizzen. It's relativly quit and since I can't get up there to turn it off of the wind the kiss wasn't even an option.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:20   #36
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I have heard an Air-x with the aftermarket Portuguese blades, and it is quiet as well.

Chris
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:33   #37
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I have heard an Air-x with the aftermarket Portuguese blades, and it is quiet as well.

Chris
Chris, are you using Silent Power Blades or a different aftermarket blade?

An interesting video on youtube shows the difference between the noise produced by stock and aftermarket blades. The silent blades come AFTER the noisy ones.

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Old 08-12-2010, 09:48   #38
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I have an Air-X and while it works fine and produces lots of power I am dissappointed by a few things.

1. It shuts off above 35knts and produces no power.
2, It doesn't make any power below 10 knots.
3. It should be able to make more power than it does, and it wastes power making noise.

If I were getting a wind generator again, I would get one with variable pitch blades.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:33   #39
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I did not say I HAD them, but that I have HEARD them, a boat in our marina had them - they have left cruising now.

Yes, I believe they were the Spreco blades. I may go this route if we decide to mount a wind genny.

Chris

Quote:
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Chris, are you using Silent Power Blades or a different aftermarket blade?

An interesting video on youtube shows the difference between the noise produced by stock and aftermarket blades. The silent blades come AFTER the noisy ones.

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:02   #40
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I guess I have a problem with buying a wind generator that I will have to replace the blades immediately and a manufacturer that knows their machine is noisy and can be made quieter but still sells them with noisy blades. Maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong. Chuck
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:17   #41
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Quote:
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I guess I have a problem with buying a wind generator that I will have to replace the blades immediately and a manufacturer that knows their machine is noisy and can be made quieter but still sells them with noisy blades. Maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong. Chuck
Chuck,

I hear you

I keep wondering why they don't offer the unit in a "basic" (aka noisy) configuration and an "upgraded" (aka quiet) config. Surely, this could be a win-win for both the Air-X/Breeze parent and Spreco (thanks to Leslie Nielsen, BTW )

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:30   #42
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As is usual with all things sailing it can be a matter of perception.

I have had both types of blades on my 5yr old Air-X Marine and truthfully other than the startup point being noticeably sooner, I can't tell the difference in sound.

I honestly can't hear mine unless it stops and only then because it makes kind of a thump. My boat is only 25ft so I'm never more than that away from it if I'm on the boat.

Having said all that if I had it to do again think I would get a bigger solar panel (or 2) simply because I think they make more power, more reliably.

My Air-x survived hurricane Ike so they are tough but I removed the solar panel to reduce windage just in case..................m .
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:46   #43
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As is usual with all things sailing it can be a matter of perception.

I have had both types of blades on my 5yr old Air-X Marine and truthfully other than the startup point being noticeably sooner, I can't tell the difference in sound.

I honestly can't hear mine unless it stops and only then because it makes kind of a thump. My boat is only 25ft so I'm never more than that away from it if I'm on the boat.
If you are using the original blades and can't hear the noise, ask a neighbor who doesn't have an Air-X (you might have a hearing loss ). I'll bet that they are hearing it!

Quote:
Having said all that if I had it to do again think I would get a bigger solar panel (or 2) simply because I think they make more power, more reliably.
I have to agree there. We would have been better served upgrading our solar, but the argument that we would get charging at night and/or underway, especially when the sails shade the panels, was one I couldn't defeat.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:17   #44
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My four solar panels generate about 35 to 40 amp hours on a cloudy day, (my normal energy deficit), and 60+ on a really sunny or "bright" overcast day!

Over half of this is from the one 110W panel on its stern rack. By tilting it toward the rising or falling sun.. (in easterly winds it usually works out), then I can get ANOTHER 10 amp hours. I seldom do this however, as I have an abundance of power.

All of my panels, including the big one on the stern rack, have endured over a dozen hurricanes, including IVAN in Pensacola, which was on the border between a 3 and 4, with a 13' surge. The panel endured gust over 150 MPH from the beam! There was 90% loss of all boats.

For such occasions I rig up the very thin double kevlar "down lines" to keep it flat. Note that the panel is not just in its own frame, but in a much heavier welded & reinforced frame.

Having tried both since the 70s, and I can say that for typical tropical cruising and living anchored out (in protected harbors), solar last longer, produces more "usable" energy over the year, and is totally silent.

A wind unit's superior max output is irrelivent if your batteries are already charged, or close to the top, so they can only accept a small portion of the amps generated. Topping your batteries every day doubles their life! (10 years for my Trojan L-16s) If your house batteries are 4x min, or in my case... 9x the daily energy deficit, you are usually "topping them off". This is how you get them to last, and cover cloudy days. For topping off batteries, like the last 10%, they can't accept the high amps that a high output wind unit is capable of, under ideal conditions. The solar's reliable 8-10 amps is much better for this.

All of this is IF you have a set up for it! If you have a mizzen mast, it never hurts to put an AmpAir up there and forget it. They are damn near bullet proof, can be left running, and 35' up is where the wind is doubled!

Mark
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:34   #45
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"Replace the blades immediately"? My Air-X blades have not required replacement and are of the latest "upgraded" design, which reduced noise. Perhaps you have not actually seen the current model.
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