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Old 23-06-2008, 17:43   #1
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Wind: Rutland vs Air-X

Hi Guys,

I was walking through the marina today and the boat next to me had a Rutland 913 turbine. It was only mounted 12 feet or so off the deck and there was fairly minimal wind but this little guy was spinning like crazy.

I am planning on putting a couple of turbines on my boat and had been looking at the Air-X units. They tend to be on ebay for around $700.

I haven't seen the Rutlands for sale here and really have no idea what their prices are.

I read through some previous threads and from what I can tell the Air-X units are great offshore and in decent winds but pretty useless in the marina. The rutlands on the other hand don't produce much electricity but do very well in low winds.

So what I'm wondering is would it be a good idea to run both instead of say two air-x units so that I could still have power when there isn't much wind?

I know opinions are all over the place, but who out there is actually using these units?
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Old 23-06-2008, 18:04   #2
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at low wind speeds no wind generator puts out a lot. They may spin around but you have to look at the output. Get a KISS, much better than an air-x or rutland.
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Old 23-06-2008, 20:46   #3
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I saw an ad in the back of Cruising World for the KISS gens but they were prices a good $3-500 above the Air-x models. Could they possibly be that much better?
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Old 23-06-2008, 21:04   #4
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I installed a new Air-X last fall. So far I like it.
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Old 24-06-2008, 12:55   #5
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I just installed a new Air Breeze (Marine version) - the replacement model of the Air-X. The blades are re-engineered and make less noise. The startup speed where it actually generates power is less than the old Air-X. Its maximum instantaneous output is 200W versus the 400W of the Air-X, but according to Practical Sailor (July 2007 testing), the lower startup speed makes its overall power output over time greater than the Air-X it replaces.

The Air Breeze came in second overall in their testing. The Rutland 913 ranked 5th out of the six tested. The German Superwind 350 topped the field - it should have since it was by far the most expensive...

I'll report my actual experience with it in the next few months.
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Old 24-06-2008, 13:05   #6
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Actually Beausoleil, as I understand it, the Air-X continues to be manufactured alongside the Air Breeze. You are correct, though, that if you are generally in an area with average windspeeds below 10 knots, it is likely to produce more power than the Air-X despite having only half the maximum potential output.

I guess the real question for many buyers, however, is noise. The original Airmarine products were notoriously loud (especially at higher wind speeds), the Air-X was an improvement and the Air Breeze? Sorry, I didn't see the article, but did Practical Sailor run db tests at various wind speeds? And what has been your experience, in comparison to other models/brands that have been moored nearby?

Brad
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Old 24-06-2008, 13:06   #7
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I saw an ad in the back of Cruising World for the KISS gens but they were prices a good $3-500 above the Air-x models. Could they possibly be that much better?
You get what you pay for. I've had a KISS for four years now. Use it six months solid every year. So far no complaints.
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Old 24-06-2008, 13:16   #8
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The original Airmarine products were notoriously loud (especially at higher wind speeds), the Air-X was an improvement and the Air Breeze?
Hi Brad,
Yes, the Air Breeze is a good improvement on the Air-X. We've just installed an Air Breeze on my boat and on the one right next to mine has an Air-X. The Air-X is a lot noisier. It is in fact why the one on my boat was switched from an Air-X to an Air Breeze. It might have a lower max output, but the lower db makes it worthwhile.
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Old 26-06-2008, 10:38   #9
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Hi Brad,
Yes, the Air Breeze is a good improvement on the Air-X. We've just installed an Air Breeze on my boat and on the one right next to mine has an Air-X. The Air-X is a lot noisier. It is in fact why the one on my boat was switched from an Air-X to an Air Breeze. It might have a lower max output, but the lower db makes it worthwhile.
I can confirm that. The Air-X a couple slips over is definitely louder by a large margin. The PS test ranked the Air Breeze in the middle of the pack, with the Rutland the quietest and the KISS the loudest - of the five they tested. No dB@X feet reported, just subjective testing - not the most scientific, but that's not the point of their testing: "How would various micro turbines fare if exposed to the same variable winds in the same location for a fixed period of time?"

And Brad's right - the Air Breeze's lower startup speed gives it an edge if you're in area which have less wind - which is the point of that quiet anchorage, right? We'll just have to put it through its paces to see what we actually get. This summer in Massachusetts Bay and Narragansett Bay should be a good test before we set out for good.

We're under no illusion that the Air Breeze will fully meet our power demands. Solar panels are also on the table - we just have to wait until we install the new bimini.
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Old 26-06-2008, 12:02   #10
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Thanks Andreas and Beausoleil - your experiences are an important factor in my (just made) decision to purchase an Air Breeze.

Brad
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Old 26-06-2008, 12:34   #11
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Hi Brad,

I'm happy to hear that. Hopefully the Air Breeze will serve us well in the years to come.
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Old 28-06-2008, 17:02   #12
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Please compare the figures between the solar panels and a wind generator. I have botho n board and honestly can say the wind gen only ever once came in handy where as the QUIET solar is amazing.
Jmo
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Old 28-06-2008, 17:56   #13
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Yes but up here north the wind generator is a good choice. But would like both anyhow a Air Breeze and a big (powerful) solar panel(s) as well.
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Old 29-06-2008, 00:42   #14
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Yes but up here north the wind generator is a good choice. But would like both anyhow a Air Breeze and a big (powerful) solar panel(s) as well.
That's my thoughts exactly. The Air Breeze and 2 x Sano 215 panels with a solar booster.
Up where you are the solar panels must be considered a joke in the winter-time. In the summer-time it would be a different story: Long live the midnight sun
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Old 29-06-2008, 01:49   #15
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I've had the Rutland installed for several years now. Although it's spinning in very light winds (very quietly too) at the dock, it's not doing much.

We dropped the hook a few weeks ago in Sarasota. The winds were constant for 3 days, 12-14 kts due to a high pressure system stationary in the area.

We use moderate amounts of 12v lights in the evening. My reefer is 12v, and we had the masthead light on at night. (no led's yet) The outside temps were in the upper 80's, low 90's, which keeps the reefer cycling.

My house bank remained at 12.4 v for three days with only the wind gen for charging.

Unfortunately, or fortunately (on how you look at it) the winds are generally much calmer where I usually drop the hook. I then need to run the diesel daily to keep the charge up.

Two 135watt solar panels will soon be installed.

My only complaint is that around 15kts of wind the generator has a harmonic that reminds me of an old style dentist drill. Its not noticeable on deck. It travels down the stanchions, into the hull, and directly to my pillow. You can only hear it late at night, in bed, just about asleep...
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