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Old 28-06-2016, 03:33   #1
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Wind turbine excessive vibration

Our Oceanis 461 has a stainless steel davit with 2 solar panels and 2 wind turbines mounted on it. We just sailed from Gulfport, FL to Key West, and one of the wind generators was vibrating way off the charts and vibrating the entire boat. It is obviously in need of repair. We guess these turbines are several yrs old, installed by the PO. Question - is there a quick fix to stop the vibration or should we have it removed before we sail back to St. Pete area? Are they worth fixing or should we just replace them when we get back home? Thanks for the help!
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Old 28-06-2016, 03:39   #2
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Re: Wind turbine excessive vibration

most likely the noisy one has a damaged blade. You can replace the blades (all of them as a set) or try to sand the nick/damaged area down smooth - use very fine paper, and remove only what is needed to make a smooth finish. You'll be surprised what a difference it can make sanding the blades with 800 grit paper if they are not perfectly smooth!
If it is not that, it could be failed bearings, but that is usually just a rumble or additional resistance to rotation.
Otherwise tie the blades down on the dodgy one for the trip, or just remove them.
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Old 28-06-2016, 03:56   #3
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Re: Wind turbine excessive vibration

Thanks for the advice Neptune, will try the sandpaper first. Probably will need to remove blades for sail home.
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Old 29-06-2016, 20:40   #4
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Thumbs up Re: Wind turbine excessive vibration

Yup one of the blades was nicked. Will replace all the blades. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 29-06-2016, 22:00   #5
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Re: Wind turbine excessive vibration

You failed to tell us what model wind turbine you are talking about. I know from personal eperience that Air Marine types can generate vibrations even with good blades. The source is that the sockets in the hub allow a good deal of angular slop, and it is common to not have the blades equally spaced, and thus a dynamic unbalance is generated.

I was able to cure this by starting with one blade, centering it as best I could in the socket. Then, using a tape measure, I checked the distance between blade tips very carefully, and with a lot of trial and error, got them perfectly even before locking the screws down hard. Made a huge difference. The sanding helps too, but more with noise than vibration IME.

Of course, you may have a different design, and all that was a waste of words... it is good to be pretty specific about equipment when posting questions.

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Old 01-07-2016, 00:15   #6
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Re: Wind turbine excessive vibration

I have a Rutland 913 which initially started making a clunking noise when it slowly rotated which went away when it spun up. After a while the bearings started howling in high winds. I replaced the bearings but the clunking remained. It is caused by one of the bearings having become loose in it's housing. I'd fix the damned thing if it wasn't so difficult to get off the top of the pole.
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