Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-02-2015, 08:59   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bribie Isl then permanently cruising from Feb 2013
Boat: 2006 Lagoon 440
Posts: 104
Wind Generators - which is best

After recently crossing the Atlantic from the Canary islands to Martinique in our Lagoon 44o, we discovered that unless we ran the generator for an hour in the morning and an hour at night, (2 X 12V fridges, a deep freeze, and the auto-pilot working 24/7), our large solar panel array couldn't quite keep up. Now looking at adding a wind generator. I'm half deaf so the noise isn't a problem fort me but my family all have terrific hearing so a low-noise generator would be preferred. Any suggestions or experiences of particular brands?
__________________

__________________
coldar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 11:51   #2
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Frankly my experience with wind generators is so bad I would never recommend them. If you still have room I would try installing more solar. After that I would start trying to cut down usage.

1) LED lighting
2) more insulation
3) wind vane autopilot
4) turning down the sensitivity of the autopilot
5) ect

The problem is that I just have never seen a wind generator produce all that much power. Of course they do some, and sometimes they produce a lot (high wind days) but on average the production just isn't that much.

The other option would be a larger battery bank, and a larger battery charger. This won't eliminate generator run time, but it will allow you to stretch it a little.
__________________

__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 12:06   #3
Registered User
 
Steady Hand's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Crewing All of 2017 Available Globally
Boat: OPB = Crewing in 2017
Posts: 4,851
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

A quick Custom Google Search of this forum finds lots of mention of Wind Generators:

Wind generator - Google Search

And a Wind Generator Review thread has many comments:
A Wind Generator Review
__________________
Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, Med, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
Steady Hand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 12:13   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
LifePart2's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: ex Canada - now on the boat
Boat: Leopard 42 catamaran
Posts: 125
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

In general, these days extra solar power is much cheaper, per amphour than wind generations. Combine that with some larger battery capacity (take a look at the new Lithium batteries - LiFPO4) and you may find that you can span the gap from one cloudy day to the next.

The new Lithiums have a number of benefits, chief among them is a huge weight saving, and much faster charging. We found that for the same useable Ah that they are about the same price as good AGM's. We just replaced our 600 Ah AGM with 300aH Lithium. The faster charging means that when the sun is up, or the engine is on, you can rapidly recharge using all the available energy. With lead it all goes slower, meaning you can't use all the energy that is available.

Combine that with efforts to reduce consumption (LED lights etc) and I would suggest that solar is the better way to go.

Having said that, on Life Part 2 we do have a D-400 by Eclectic energy and have been very happy with its performance. In a decent wind (above 10kts) it does produce some useful power, and it does that day and night. And it is very quiet. I would rate this as the best wind gen on the market at the moment.

The trouble is that usually one is anchoring in a nice sheltered bay where the winds are calmer, which reduces the benefit of the wind generator. We certainly found that to be the case in the Caribbean where the winds also drop over night. The exception was when we were anchored in Tobago Keys where it is more open.

In Portimao, Portugal, where the wind is more constant we were 100% self sufficient for weeks using just the solar and wind.

The third option is to think about using a water powered generator, such as the Duo-Gen, a towed generator, or a coupling to your freewheeling prop. We are working on such a solution for Life Part 2 but have not yet perfected it. It shows considerable promise but only if you move around a lot. Not much use if you spend weeks at anchor.

To summarize:

If you are in sunny climes, add more solar.
If you are in cloudy climes, but with good winds, and at anchor a lot, go wind.
If you are on the move a lot, look at water power.


Hope that helps!

Noel
__________________
Noel Swanson

Life is too short to live in ugly places.
LifePart2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 12:33   #5
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

We have a very old Aerogen 6, 20 years plus old and still putting out factory rating. You can still buy them new. It is the only wind generator I have had direct experience of, but so far it has been pretty positive all round. The blade noise is non existent though there is a low rumble when it is running (electro magnetic clogging) which you will notice if you listen for it in the rear cabin under the mounting pole. There are a number of Aerogens in our club and everyone who has one has spoken very positively about them to me. I asked owners about them before I set about renovating ours. Mostly they are Aerogen 4s but a couple of the bigger boats, including a 40+ foot cat have the 6. They all look very old fashioned now, particularly the one on the big cat which is quite a modern boat.

Having heard some of the little screaming monster brands at our club I can see why wind generators have a poor reputation in some circles. If our boat had been fitted with any of a dozen models around us I can confidently say I would have ripped them off and flogged them on eBay. They are horrendous. I'd rather a pedal powered generator than one of those.

Personally I feel they make a great addition to solar, though the risk of undermining solar performance through shading the panels with the wind generator is a problem to be considered. I have no long term cruising experience to base my assertions on, but the original owner of our boat did 40,000 miles with the aerogen as his primary power source and swears it was brilliant. He ran a smallish water maker with it on those journeys too.

Good luck with your choice.

Matt


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 15:11   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 8
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Here is the whole enchilada:
1-A wind turbine perform as well as the wind supply
2- generally speaking there is no wind turbine out there that I know of that can produce the power needed unless the wind is up to at lease 27 mph
3- make sure the facts are accurate from the manufacturer (wind speed v amps)
4- easy there days to get avg. wind speeds all over the world.
5- invest is the best solar and you will not regret.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
abelungu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 17:16   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Summer Europe Winter Florida
Boat: Dufour Nautitech435/FP Venezia42/Baltec Visiona 40/Catalac 10m used as a river cruiser
Posts: 91
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

It seems that your solar panels produce enough energy when at anchor but under sail with the autopilot running 24h your short off? My bad experiences (Air Max) with wind generators downwind sailing: no power production at all, when anchored and fair winds or up: much noise to much for hanging in a peace full anchorage on the hook.
Otherwise I was not convinced by a shaft generator as this one needs a gearbox able to let the propeller turn. If you may do so, the installation is costly and when your shaft seal drips your engine room will be well sprayed with salt water. So more your boat needs to have a deep bilge what you will normally not find on modern boats.
So I was thinking about a towing generator, a generator who many long distance sailors used to their satisfaction. A Generator who can be engaged when more power is needed and disengaged when where is enough power. A towing Generator o a catamaran makes sense as a cat sails normally in a speed range there such a Gen produces much energy. See the diagrams on the web site under the link.
There are different brands on the market prices starting for a about 1500 US for the Aquair UW, the Sailing Gen for about 1650 USD, the Duo Gen for about 1700 USD, the Ampair for about 1900 USD, the famous Watt&Sea for about 5600 USD. The Watt&Sea is largely used by racing sailors on long range races.
In my opinion the Sailing gen would be a good alternative.
The link guides you to a German web site where the different brands are compared.
Schleppgeneratoren - merger & friends
__________________
onavegador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 19:42   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Try this
svHotWire | Solar and Wind Energy for Home, Boat, and RV
__________________
flightdog55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2015, 21:24   #9
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,425
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

If your problem is only during long passages you may want to consider a watts & sea hydrogenerator.

Bruce sells them for about $3700 USD
__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2015, 12:17   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bribie Isl then permanently cruising from Feb 2013
Boat: 2006 Lagoon 440
Posts: 104
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Thanks for all the great replies regarding Wind Generators. Lots of feedback and suggestions. Having been the the Caribbean for only a week, I've had the chance to see lots of different types and talk to owners. What a mixed bag of responses I've had but the D-400 certainly rates highly. We have 750W of solar on an adjustable frame and try and track the sun as best we can during the day but only in the fore and aft plane. They are linked to 3 almost new X 220AH Rolls AGM's through a Outback Flexmax 80A MPPT. I'm coming to the conclusion I should add another 3 olf the same Rolls batteries to increase my storage power, rather than add a wind generator. Both of my Volvo D2-55 HP engines have 100 Amp alternators and I have an 11.kVa generator. The new batteries work out much cheaper than for a reasonable wind generator. I can make the power, but don't have enough storage. We have also started to use our 12V more carefully. Fingers crossed and loving the Caribbean!
__________________
coldar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2015, 13:00   #11
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,425
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldar1 View Post
I'm coming to the conclusion I should add another 3 olf the same Rolls batteries to increase my storage power, rather than add a wind generator.
That's a good call. On many days we top out the batteries to 100% by 11 or noon (thanks to our wind generator running at night) and I wish we had more battery capacity. Even on those no-wind nights, we are still losing out power we could capture the next day. I wish we could afford a lithium battery but thats not in the cards until my current batteries die.

I don't think the poster that characterized wind generators being useless in under 27 MPH is correct; I judge the worth of a wind generator by how much it puts out in wind speeds about 10 knots. Even if my generator is putting out 1.5 or 2 amps an hour, during long winter nights that is an additional 18 to 24 amps I am starting out with in the morning. If our usual overnight consumption is 124 amps, that's 20% of my utilization.

If you have the room, more batteries and more solar is most likely the answer.
__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2015, 10:30   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 675
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

The best marine wind generator - MarineKinetix

I've heard a couple of people really love this one

5 knots <1 Amp
10 Knots - 7 Amps
15 Knots - 14 Amps
20 Knots - 19 Amps
25 Knots - 24 Amps
30 Knots - 27 Amps
__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2015, 20:53   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,929
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Wind and solar power for a cruising boat | Cruising World

Interesting article.
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2015, 21:38   #14
Registered User
 
Mirage Gecko's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Boat: Seawind 1200 TEC 3
Posts: 430
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

I have just sold a boat with a Rutland 914.It was brilliant virtually no more noise than the wind it took to run it and generated what the specs said it would.Quite often in a marina people would come and ask about it as it was so quiet.We also had solar but the Rutland ran 24/7 and kept us going in times of prolonged overcast weather.
My new to me boat has some other brand who's name I forget and although it puts out more power I have it taped up and will be taken off the boat before we get cruising again as the noise is just far to much for me.
Personally I know you can buy much more capacity for the dollar with additional solar but I will be doing both.
Chris
__________________
Mirage Gecko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2015, 21:40   #15
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,425
Re: Wind Generators - which is best

Quote:
Originally Posted by alctel View Post
The best marine wind generator - MarineKinetix

I've heard a couple of people really love this one

5 knots <1 Amp
10 Knots - 7 Amps
15 Knots - 14 Amps
20 Knots - 19 Amps
25 Knots - 24 Amps
30 Knots - 27 Amps
Those real world results are a cheat. The cut in speed stated is 5.8 knots. Which means, its doesn't even start spinning until you are above 5.8 knots, so how could it be producing anything at all at 5 knots? Of course your output is less than 1 amp... its zero amps.

The D400, which I believe is the most respected wind generator out there and the one to beat, only puts out about 2.5 amps at 10 knots according to due gen.
__________________

__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
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
Vertical Axis Wind Generators sluissa Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 24 25-02-2017 00:10
Generators - Have you Heard of Boliy Generators? KayW Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 5 27-10-2009 03:57
Noisy Wind Generators happy adventure Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 84 27-12-2008 10:17
Opinions of ARI Wind Generators? witzgall Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 03-12-2008 07:41
Wind generators lookwide Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 13 23-11-2007 03:38



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:14.


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.