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Old 11-12-2010, 09:03   #46
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I have an Air-X Marine &, despite being noisy, it produces most of my power needs ...
I have become tolerant of the noise & love it when it starts whirring as that means free power ...
Last summer in an anchorage another boater complained about the noise ... I told him that if it was annoying him then perhaps he was too close ? ... he moved a couple hundred yards away then ran his very noisy & smelly 2stroke genny for several hours ... figure that out !
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:06   #47
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It is valid that "in a protected harbor" solar may outperform wind power. It just as valid that when anchored overnight in trade winds, wind may outperform solar. Cruisers really have to consider their particular cruising grounds, seasons and anchorages, and calculate expected wind and solar production based upon average wind patterns, solar exposure, and specific wind turbines or solar panels. My wind turbine that has served so well in the Western Caribbean will be far less productive when we visit the US Gulf Coast next year and stay in more protected harbors. That's when I will install solar. Most long-term cruisers that I've seen utilize both sources. All charging sources will be more effective with regulation that matches the battery type/capacity. Cruising yacht energy self-sufficiency is a fairly complex systems engineering challenge that most of us have to learn our way through. I'm far from finished.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:24   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svtadpole View Post
I have an Air-X Marine &, despite being noisy, it produces most of my power needs ...
I have become tolerant of the noise & love it when it starts whirring as that means free power ...
Last summer in an anchorage another boater complained about the noise ... I told him that if it was annoying him then perhaps he was too close ? ... he moved a couple hundred yards away then ran his very noisy & smelly 2stroke genny for several hours ... figure that out !
Perhaps he ran it in retaliation!

Or perhaps he has become tolerant of the noise and smell & loves it when it starts whirring as that means he has all the power he needs.

Fair Winds,
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:32   #49
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I was hoping, when I first installed my Air Breeze, that people might assume it was an Air-X, thereby giving me a bit more swing room in an anchorage to avoid the noise. No such luck.

"Oh look, honey, those folks have a wind generator. They must know what they're doing. Let's anchor as close to them as we can."
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:34   #50
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Cruisers really have to consider their particular cruising grounds, seasons and anchorages, ..
In this case: Winter in the Abacos where there is usually a lot of wind and most of the low islands do little to block this wind when anchored. Usually motor on calm days, so get power then from the alternator.

This plus very limited deck space makes wind more appealing to me than solar, though I do plan to have a small solar cell as well.
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Old 11-12-2010, 19:59   #51
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PS did a side-by-side review of several WGs, not including the D400.

Output, noise (subjective, made more so by the interference of the wind noise), cost, all compared. Total amp hours produced by the hour and over the entire time of the test.

We have a KISS, and, with the limitations of the wind noted and cured by cocking off the wind, it's hands down the simplest. OTC automotive replacement parts other than housing and blades.

Spend a great deal of time making the balance of the blades perfect when you set it up. It makes all the difference in the world to the noise and vibration produced. It will come with a balancing spindle, which matches the taper of the shaft on the rotor.

Put the ends of the shaft, ideally, on a level pair of something hard, ideally like a metal ruler held in place upright. If you can't do that, and are willing to deal with the exercise of taking it out, cutting little strips of the lead weight tape glued to the back of each blade, you could do as I did and use a level fiddle with a minimum of 30" clearance (the length of the blade), and stand there with one end on the fiddle, and the other, a hand held small bubble level.

Take a little off each time on the low blade. If it rotates any faster than, say, 10 seconds from high to low, start with sections of the lead tape about 2" long. Save them in case it's badly enough out of balance so that you can restick that on the light blade (they hold; I've got a dozen small snips from my heavy blade on the light blade). Use a judiciously applied utility or similar knife to cut the lead tape, but not score the FG blade.

Eventually, you'll get to the point where it will take at least a minute to rotate from high to low on the heavy blade. You could get more anal than that, but if you don't have a perfectly level, stable platform for your spindle support edges, you'll induce more errors than you'll find to correct.

Once finished, you'll find you hear a soft "whissshh" from the blades all the way up to its thermal overload point. If it freewheels in a gale, it will sound a bit like a light airplane taking off, but not a whine :{))

Put a tether which will allow it to rotate to about 45* off straight forward so that you don't get swinging-at-anchor inducements to start fully engaging in a serious blow. Tie the blades (I use a bungee over the top of one, under the tail, and back over the other top) so they can't move, and cock the unit, if you're going to get over 40 knots. Consistent full gale or above, remove the blade.

The purpose of the tether is to prevent more than a maximum of three twists, mostly a concern if you're on a dock and the winds are clocking. The torsion spring is more trouble than it's worth; if you're installing it new, take it out; it does the same thing as the tether (prevents damage to the wire from too much twisting). Or, of course, you could buy the slip rings, mostly useful for mizzen mizzen mounting.

One caution when installing from new. Take a caliper and measure the depth of the threads in the pole housing (actual depth doesn't matter - use the stem of the gauge for the next step; you could use anything so long as the measure could be retained accurately). Mark the coupler end with that depth with a sharpie or something else (tape?). DO NOT EXCEED THAT DEPTH when you're screwing it on. It's easy, if you're using silicone or similar fixing compound, to overtighten, and you can stress, or even split, the FG housing stem. I've concluded that's the reason mine took flight in a gale in Marsh Harbour!

So, with that thought in your mind, know that these are so simple that I fished it off the bottom after a day in sea water, took it out of the shattered housing and separated the rotor and stator, rinsed it thoroughly with fresh water, spritzed it with Corrosion Block to drive out the moisture, and let it dry. After it was dry, I did the tests and it was perfect.

Pried up the seals, and even though the grease looked good, regreased the bearings, put it back together in the new housing I ordered, balanced the new blades, and we're using it again, for about a year with no ill effects.

They're pretty much bulletproof.

All that said, if I were a lot richer, and conveniently located for service, I might buy a D400 were I to have to do it again. Since I'm neither, however, if I have to replace it, likely I'll do a KISS again.

That said, a buddy told me of a (subjective) test he and another did in a ripsnorting wind in a crowded anchorage. Said buddy had just ordered and installed a KISS. Taking a DB meter around to various boats with various fans, while the KISS was quieter than all the others, the D400 was the quietest of all.

According to the specs, and to the distributor, it will put out more power than the KISS, doesn't mind gales, and starts putting out faster. I'm put off by the price, and their demand for a load diverter.

I have such a controller (Xantrex C40, pretty much the standard for WGs) and diversion load. You can take advantage, if your water heater has the appropriate element, of excess power, to make hot water. Mine doesn't, unfortunately.

AND - since I have an 880AH bank, along with windlass and starting batteries, all wet, since one may safely put up to 15% of capacity in constantly, one of my next projects will be to hardwire it, bypassing the controller, as I don't equalize my batteries nearly often enough, anyway. And, FOTM is that I rarely have absolutely full batteries, given my onboard loads.

As to the assertion of anchorages being sheltered, it's a valid argument in many locations. You have to take your cruising grounds into account when you design your system. Ours is designed for the Caribbean, someplace we've yet to get to. When we go to a hard top, we'll add to our 370w of solar, as both have their place. Relative to an earlier post, we have a BlueSky MPPT which allows us 25A in ideal conditions, but usually only about 15-20A typical peak, and, of course, lesser early/late in the day. They aren't gimballed so we don't have the advantage of accurately facing them; if we did, our output would be notably higher...

And, finally, your total system design, including a very accurate measurement of your loads and daily AH totals under varying conditions (anchored, under way, motoring or sailing, autopilot and other navaids included) is key to making it all work. As a result, as it was nearly windless, and very cloudy all day, we're now running our Honda 2000 to not only take up the slack but cover our current 2-computer, reefer/freezer and other lesser loads :{))

Oh, ya, one other thought about a different thread; my (Lydia's is a bricked AC transformer laptop) computer is 12V as is nearly everything other than the monitor, which I'll replace with one of the newer LED based units, which will take ship's power, at which point the only AC device in our computer setup (computer, monitor, powered hub, 4 external HDs, and WiFi, all house or filtered 12V) will be the laser printer. Otherwise, throughout the boat, all lighting loads are LED (yet another thread)...

L8R

Skip

Sorry for the longwindedness...
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Old 14-12-2010, 16:16   #52
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. Just orderd a KISS today.
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Old 15-12-2010, 06:44   #53
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. Just orderd a KISS today.
Good choice. FYI, ours is connected directly to the batteries, with no regulation. I found that it was not needed on our boat.

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Old 15-12-2010, 06:47   #54
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Good choice. FYI, ours is connected directly to the batteries, with no regulation. I found that it was not needed on our boat.

Barry
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Mine is too. I'm always on the boat so I keep an eye on it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:12   #55
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Practical Sailor's WG Test 2007

http://www.naviclub.com/Test_compara...nes_marine.pdf

After a winter of LOTSA rain in Northern Australia (or is it Austria) when Qld had the most rain for 50 years, I found live aboard with 4 solar panels was not enough as my cheap Ebay Chinese piece of crap petrol generator spat the dummy after 30 hrs use (more of that disaster later). I am also looking into a wind generator.

I found this article interesting. I used to have a Rutland 913 on my last boat and found it very quiet BUT very inefficient. I am looking at a KISS or a Duogen 400.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:25   #56
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I noticed that the KISS installation manual Wind Generators Kiss High-Output Wind Generator Instruction Manual

advises against installing a regualtor as it says that regs effect the power input from a wind generator.

What does the Brains' Trust think?? I have a 660 AHr AGM house bank. I figure I could shut down the WG when on shore power which does not happen often. At anchor even with 4 solar panels, I have such a problem with my 12 V frodge and using my water maker, that the batteries hardly ever get over 80% charged.

I also know that I should probably spend the money on a new fridge / freezer ratheer than a WG - but just humour me
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:34   #57
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I am looking at a KISS or a Duogen 400.
FWIW ($0 US, not sure what that converts to in AUD)...

We were really interested in the Duogen 400, but just couldn't come up with a good way to mount it on our cat. (Note to self: Surely, I must have posted this b4!)

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Old 08-01-2011, 05:42   #58
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I noticed that the KISS installation manual Wind Generators Kiss High-Output Wind Generator Instruction Manual

advises against installing a regualtor as it says that regs effect the power input from a wind generator.
I started out with regulation on our KISS and quickly removed it. Going on four years using the KISS now and the only time I shut it off is either when on shore power, or if I am going to leave the boat for an extended period of time. Also shut it off and turn it off the wind if the winds are going to blow 30+.

I am using GEL batteries and there is no problem with over voltage.

Barry
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:28   #59
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I started out with regulation on our KISS and quickly removed it. Going on four years using the KISS now and the only time I shut it off is either when on shore power, or if I am going to leave the boat for an extended period of time. Also shut it off and turn it off the wind if the winds are going to blow 30+.

I am using GEL batteries and there is no problem with over voltage.

Barry
s/v Beach Cruiser
Thanks for your input, Barry.

Re wiring your Kiss WG - do you just run your wires straight to your house bank or do you go via a battery monitor eg Xantrex?

Has any one else not bothered with a regulator for their wind generator?

I apologise if I have hijacked this thread. The mods can move it if they think best.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:56   #60
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I've had a Marine AirX 48 volt (I use electric propulsion) operating 24/7 for three years and have had no problems. Because of my 48 volt solar panels keeping things topped up it is usually shut down during the day. Comes on after sundown if the batteries need it. May be a little noiser than some of the others but, works really well for my needs.
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