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Old 21-11-2007, 13:38   #1
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Wind generators

Greetings, we are currently looking to purchase a windgenerator for a 35" Sail boat that is to be used for Bluewater/Livaboard.
Question, What are the the best, the more traditional vertical type generators mounted on the Pushpit or the "Drum" shaped like the "Forgen" mounted up the mast.Any advice greatly accepted.
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:51   #2
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Check the output. From what I've seen the vertical drum types have minimal output. Maybe they've changed.
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Old 21-11-2007, 14:51   #3
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The Forgen is a Savonius Rotor type HAWT, which are generally much less efficient than Propeller Type HAWTs.
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Old 21-11-2007, 15:56   #4
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I have an Aerogen 970, keeps batteries topped off nicely, but wont keep up with everyday use without running the engine or adding solar. It's mounted on a supported stainless pole, and my boat is steel - on a non steel boat solid, solid mounting and damping between unit and thru-deck would be essential. These things can find a harmonic vibration that can annoy you. . .
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Old 21-11-2007, 16:31   #5
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Been running a Four Winds for over 12 years. Took it down once to paint it. Leave it up and running unless hurricane winds are expected. Puts out better that most others we have encountered and you can't hear it even standing directly under it.
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Old 21-11-2007, 17:08   #6
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I use 2 aerogen 6 wind generators on Exit Only. The are quiet and put out a lot of power.

We can get 200-400 amp hours per day when the trades are really blowing. I usually run just one wind generator at anchor unless the winds are light. When sailing offshore with all electrical systems up and running, I run them both.

I put my first aerogen on Exit Only in New Caledonia, and I didn't have to run my engine for three weeks to generate electricty. I added the second aerogen when we took off on the second half of our trip around the world. I did not want to restrict the power usage by our crew of four, and the second aerogen gave us surplus power. When the trades are blowing hard, much of the power is dissipated into a dump resistor.

I have no regrets about my Aerogens.
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Old 21-11-2007, 21:43   #7
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i have a airX. NO it is not to noisey and NO none of the boats around me think so either. for overnight passages i find it especially great. And i would have no hesitation in replacing it should it one day die.
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Old 21-11-2007, 22:24   #8
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We have a K.I.S.S. wind generator on our boat. It keeps our batteries fully charged at all times as long as the wind is blowing. We have a older big battery bank to keep charged. We will upgrade to newer batteries before go around again. I have 4 group 8 batteries.
We have our generator mounted at the top of our mizzen and that way even down wind sailing it is allowed to turn around and still put out very well. One thing we really like about the KISS is that it haqs a switch that when you turn it offm the generator will stop spinning if you need to work around it. Makes it very safe if I have to go up the mizzen or the winds get really strong. It's really quiet also.
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Old 22-11-2007, 11:07   #9
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We used solar panels while cruising Mexico, but now living on land we have an AireX wind generator for our house. (The boat still has solar panels.)
Our grid power frequently goes out during windstorms, so the wind generator is a perfect match.

The AireX is mounted on a dock piling with the wiring run to an AGM battery bank with inverter and transfer switch etc. in the house.

After the original blades died a horrible death due to corrosion of the hub, I replaced them with larger ones purchased from gaz661 on eBay. Believe it or not, they're quieter than the originals and give more power. They even start charging a bit sooner.

Steve B.
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Old 22-11-2007, 11:51   #10
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Steve-

I saw those replacement blades, but wanted to hear it from a sailor before I seriously considered them; thanks for the tip.

I have a question for you folks in regards to mounting the wind generator. On a previous boat, I had an AirX on this three-pole mount job, and it worked great. I currently have a "radar mast", essentially a rather firmly mounted post on the aft deck, with a radar, tv antenna, and cell antenna on it.

I'm thinking of getting rid of the cell antenna, getting a coupling or whatever I need to get the wind generator to fit right and have enough clearence, and leaving it up there.

I guess I'm asking for an overall theory on that installation, and especially if I should be thinking about horizontal load. It's not extreme is it? I mean it's not a piece of sail cloth up there, but it does have windage. Just wondering how much I should re-enforce it.
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Old 22-11-2007, 14:41   #11
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we have seen two boats that lost the wind gen when the boat was hobby-horsing in rough seas and the pole holding the wind gen snapped off. Both had a substantial rig and it had lasted for many miles until it failed. Fortunately no one was hurt in either case. But this is a consideration in designing this type of set up. Best to confer with someone on sight that has knowledge of the structural needs of your particular design.
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Old 22-11-2007, 23:08   #12
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We started our offshore cruising with a Four Winds generator on a 3" schedule 80 ss pole which was connected to the caprail at the bottom and the stern pulpit about 36" above that. We had a couple of guy wires which could be attached under extreme circumstances which went just below the area swept by the blades, but we only used them a couple of times. We never had a failure, but we finally sold the whole shebang and went with a bunch of solar panels. My wife didn't like the noise, and neither did I.

The Aire X mentioned in my previous post is a LOT quieter although in 25 to 30 knots of wind it still can be heard a couple hundred feet away.

Steve B.
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Old 22-11-2007, 23:56   #13
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Steve, can't believe you had a noise issue with a Four Winds. We have never with ours and never hear a Four Winds when it is on another boat.
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Old 23-11-2007, 03:38   #14
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Our Four Winds is very quiet until the speed brake kicks in at about 35 kts. It is a good reminder that I should tether it in heartier blows.

George
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