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Old 23-03-2017, 14:39   #1
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Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

I have 560 watts of solar so I am all set there for now. Adding a wind gen for cloudy days and nights. Only windgen experience I have is a Transatlantic Race with an older​ generation AirX. It did its job but was too noisy to be considered for a liveaboard.

I have narrowed it down to the D400 or the Superwind 350. Both have great stats and I was impressed by how quiet a D400 was in 15 knots however I am leaning towards the Superwind for the fact it can handle high winds without being tended to like the D400. I am sometimes working out of town and the thought of a midsummer 60 knot squall cooking a D400 to be too great a risk.

Tell me I am wrong in my thinking.
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Old 23-03-2017, 18:34   #2
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

Wrong in your thinking you are not😄


Alright I won't leave it at that. Everybody has their priorities, my priorities are quiet and indestructible. The newer generation wind generators put out much more than the old school ampair that I own but I'm still happy with it and the price was right. And one more thing, I believe the superwind is much lighter than the D 400
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Old 23-03-2017, 18:42   #3
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

I don't think the D400 will have any problem with a 60kt gust (not the same as 60kts sustained with 90kt gusts). Just wrote a colleague who has shipped one for 45Knm for his input; will post here. Disclosure: We sell the D400 and everyone raves about it.
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Old 24-03-2017, 06:31   #4
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

I thought I read that D400 suggests to furl unit in winds over 40 knots.
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Old 24-03-2017, 09:05   #5
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

I can give you one data point. We have owned the D400 since 2011 approx. We have 2 Atlantic crossings on it and have had no faults. Yes, it is very quiet and we have tested it in sustained 60 knots on perhaps a dozen occasions.

I have it directly wired to the batteries with no regulator. I suspect the upper-speed comments pertain to the regulation system rather than the capacity of the wind generator. ( in place of a regulator I have 2 voltage sensitive relays and some oversized loads across the batteries that kick in at approx. 15 volts.)

The blades are very tough and have minced 2 unfortunate sea gulls that have attempted to fly through them.

My only critique would be the rudder is still a little undersized and non laminar airflows are not handled very well.

Your real issue at 50 knts plus of wind is the mounting pole. I have a thick walled 4 inch Stainless steel pole and in spite of only the last 4 ft being unguyed seems to deflect 6-12 inches. Personally, I prefer to leave it tied off if we are away from the boat and rely on the solar panels to keep the batts charged.

Ross
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Old 24-03-2017, 09:10   #6
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

We cruise with 280 watts of solar and a D-400. We are very happy with it. We are frugal with electricity, but we do have refrigeration. We have gone 23 days without turning on our engine and had all the juice we needed. One nice thing about the D-400 is the numerous times that folks approach us in anchorages to ask what kind of wind generator we have and how well does it work. They notice that it is silent and spinning away like crazy when other brands are not functioning. We are sold on it. We bought ours because we approached a fellow who was a vice president of something or other at Flir who had one and he led us to an article by some famous cruiser who I fail to remember who swore by the D-400 and the same Kyocera solar panels we installed.
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Old 24-03-2017, 11:50   #7
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

I would buy a D400. It is powerful, quiet and vibration-less.

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Old 24-03-2017, 12:03   #8
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

Thanks for all the feedback. You have given me some great info!
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Old 24-03-2017, 13:53   #9
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

We installed a Rutland 914 to augment our solar panels. It's quiet, and it works,.....but just minimally! In the Caribb trades (typ 15-20kts, up to 25 kts) we routinely see 2-3 amps, but rarely more! I could not recommend it, just for its lower output!
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Old 24-03-2017, 14:33   #10
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

I've been selling both for more than 10 years now. Never heard anything but praise for the Superwind from my customers. D400 comes second, then there's a gap.
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Old 24-03-2017, 19:25   #11
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtgemini View Post
I can give you one data point. We have owned the D400 since 2011 approx. We have 2 Atlantic crossings on it and have had no faults. Yes, it is very quiet and we have tested it in sustained 60 knots on perhaps a dozen occasions.

I have it directly wired to the batteries with no regulator. I suspect the upper-speed comments pertain to the regulation system rather than the capacity of the wind generator. ( in place of a regulator I have 2 voltage sensitive relays and some oversized loads across the batteries that kick in at approx. 15 volts.)

The blades are very tough and have minced 2 unfortunate sea gulls that have attempted to fly through them.

My only critique would be the rudder is still a little undersized and non laminar airflows are not handled very well.

Your real issue at 50 knts plus of wind is the mounting pole. I have a thick walled 4 inch Stainless steel pole and in spite of only the last 4 ft being unguyed seems to deflect 6-12 inches. Personally, I prefer to leave it tied off if we are away from the boat and rely on the solar panels to keep the batts charged.

Ross
Hi Ross,

I have a D 400 for many years, now it produces 80% less power, it has a regular supplied by the manufacture it seems ok and the carbons seem ok. I would like to try your setup before I dismantle it to send it back to the manufacture in the UK for repairs;

I'm referring to your comment; "I have it directly wired to the batteries with no regulator. I suspect the upper-speed comments pertain to the regulation system rather than the capacity of the wind generator. ( in place of a regulator I have 2 voltage sensitive relays and some oversized loads across the batteries that kick in at approx. 15 volts.)

Could you please send me more details on the relay brand manufacturer plus setup? Out of interest, I found to my surprise the D 400 gen withstood 80 knots where my cockpit cover disintegrated. Here is the video link near the end of the video you will note in the upper right-hand screen the D 400 tail extension I made a few years ago to stabilize it from rolling back and forth in a seaway, whereby losing some if its generating power.

All the best.

Kryg SV. Skoiern IV



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Old 25-03-2017, 03:17   #12
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

Kryg

I picked up a pair of 'no name' VSRs at a 4 wheel drive equipment shop that are designed to charge a domestic battery when the 4wd is running. They are nominal 30 amps at 13.8 volt. They have a screwdriver adjustment to set the activation voltage and I simply set it to the maximum. Instead of a second battery I simply attached a 300 watt wire wound resistor designed to be a dump load (try ebay or any wind generator retailer as they are a common item) which simply make heat. I have 2 of these setups.

My logic is that it is the 1000ah of flooded cells in the house bank can take a big charge without damage and that in fact periods of gentle bubbling are just unplanned equalization. In the event that this bubbling starts to get too vigorous and the voltage rises to 15volts the VSRs kick in and burn off the surplus power until the voltage drops. I have an alarm across the dump loads to alert me to surplus power or a problem.

I probably use a little more battery water but battery life seems unaffected at about ten years.

To state the obvious, this approach would be damaging for other types of battery chemistries and definitely not approved or recommended by anyone!

The big advantage is that I seem to get a lot more power into the batteries as the regulators are often too quick to kick in. Secondly, on more than one occasion the device has 'saved' the batteries when a solar panel regulator failed on and the engine alternator regulator failed.

However, your comments about 80 percent reduction in power suggest to me an electrical problem. The d400 manufacturer has a useful troubleshooting guide which may help. see Micro Wind Turbines manufactured by Eclectic Energy Ltd | D400 Wind Generator

I see you're in Pittwater ... what a wonderful part of the world. I have spent 1000's of hours mucking around in boats there and the rest I wasted. We are in Northern Europe and slowly seeing Spring emerge.

Hope the comments help.

Ross
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Old 25-03-2017, 16:14   #13
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Re: Windgen choice narrowed to D400 or Superwind 350. Help me decide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtgemini View Post
Kryg

I picked up a pair of 'no name' VSRs at a 4 wheel drive equipment shop that are designed to charge a domestic battery when the 4wd is running. They are nominal 30 amps at 13.8 volt. They have a screwdriver adjustment to set the activation voltage and I simply set it to the maximum. Instead of a second battery I simply attached a 300 watt wire wound resistor designed to be a dump load (try ebay or any wind generator retailer as they are a common item) which simply make heat. I have 2 of these setups.

My logic is that it is the 1000ah of flooded cells in the house bank can take a big charge without damage and that in fact periods of gentle bubbling are just unplanned equalization. In the event that this bubbling starts to get too vigorous and the voltage rises to 15volts the VSRs kick in and burn off the surplus power until the voltage drops. I have an alarm across the dump loads to alert me to surplus power or a problem.

I probably use a little more battery water but battery life seems unaffected at about ten years.

To state the obvious, this approach would be damaging for other types of battery chemistries and definitely not approved or recommended by anyone!

The big advantage is that I seem to get a lot more power into the batteries as the regulators are often too quick to kick in. Secondly, on more than one occasion the device has 'saved' the batteries when a solar panel regulator failed on and the engine alternator regulator failed.

However, your comments about 80 percent reduction in power suggest to me an electrical problem. The d400 manufacturer has a useful troubleshooting guide which may help. see Micro Wind Turbines manufactured by Eclectic Energy Ltd | D400 Wind Generator

I see you're in Pittwater ... what a wonderful part of the world. I have spent 1000's of hours mucking around in boats there and the rest I wasted. We are in Northern Europe and slowly seeing Spring emerge.

Hope the comments help.

Ross
Hi Ross,

Yes, Pittwater has not changed much possibly more boats, but America's Bay and the area still is national park has not changed much from Captain Cook discovery. My sons grew up exploring these places with me on our first boats; now it will be the turn of my grandchildren. However, I plan to take my boat once again exploring. This time if all goes well with my life plans and the boat's refurbishment it will be to NZ then Patagonia.

As part of the upgrade, I wanted the information on your D400 setup; I'm regulator the regulator is doing its job as it was designed too. Till you replied I had no idea what VSR was or ment I had to Google it and did some late night reading. Voltage Sensing Relays | Intervolt Most it seems are not programmable as you indicated yours is. I do have a heat sink from the original installation from the manufacturer Eclectic Energy I could be used for both battery banks. Most of your reasoning for installing the VSR instead of a regulator are novel to me but also seemed worth trying and logical.

Many Thanks, for your help,

Kryg
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