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Old 08-02-2013, 15:46   #31
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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20 frigging amps? Holy crap.

Small Engel uses 2-3, radar is normally on standy, no depth sounder unless close enough to shore that I'm on engine anyway, paper charts. Handheld GPS plugged into 12v and VHF/ais receiver round maybe half an amp?

Manual windlass, led running lights, etc. No chart plotter.

I guess I'm on the lighter end of consumption.
No, you're roughing it a but more, but that will change with the years

5A? That is my stereo during the muted seconds in between the rock songs we play while underway!
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:52   #32
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Silence is golden.
Solar just works with no maintenance.
Put all LED lights in. Increase your battery bank for cloudy days or night sailing.

On a windy day the last thing you want to hear is more wind and spinning carbon fiber just above your head.

Just listen to this lady. She thinks its just dandy keeping the neighbors awake.

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Old 08-02-2013, 16:33   #33
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

We have such better and more efficient options now than when I last cruised. I was in the Rebel Heart usage level when I was in the Sea of Cortez. Back then solar was $5 per watt and I had (2) 68 watt panels. Used (8) 220 a-hr 6 volt golf cart batteries and a Trace 2012 inverter. Loads were a small DC fridge/freezer, water maker, lights, electronics, HAM radio, and galley appliances. In the sunshine of the Sea of Cortez, that 136 watts of solar was enough. Storage was big for the day, 12 volts at 880 a-hr, but because they were lead acid and those 880 a-hr was based on a 20 hour rate, and for long cycle life you don't draw down past 50% DOD, the usable storage was more in the range of 300 a-hr.

Today with LED lights, Engel portable freezers, solar at $1 per watt, and most important LiFePO4 cells at $0.20 per watt, it is a all new level of luxury on the hook. A 400 a-hr LiFePO4 bank of cells has more usable electron storage than my old bank at 1/10 the weight and good for 2000 cycles. Lead is Dead.
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Old 08-02-2013, 18:30   #34
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Solar first and last but wind also.
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Old 08-02-2013, 19:30   #35
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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I find solar and wind complement each other nicely. I remember one cloudy breezy passage where the wind genny cranked out 20+ amps for days keeping us powered up when solar was negligable.
I agree. Riding out several overcast but, windy days (or nights) it's nice to have the wind turbine tapping into that energy flowing past the boat:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: AN ENERGY EPIPHANY
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Old 08-02-2013, 20:28   #36
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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No, you're roughing it a but more, but that will change with the years

5A? That is my stereo during the muted seconds in between the rock songs we play while underway!
Yeah, everyone told me things were going to change when I got married, then they were going to change when I had a kid, etc, etc, etc.

If anything I use less power now. My speaker system is a bluetooth portable unit with its own rechargeable battery. Charge it up during the day when there's plenty of juice, runs for five hours.

We use foot pumps in the galley for water. There's a lot of stuff we do to cut down on power and it really doesn't seem like roughing it to me. We never even used a microwave when we lived in a condo on land but some people swear up and down how important they are. I think we're just minimalists.
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Old 08-02-2013, 20:52   #37
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
20 frigging amps? Holy crap.

Small Engel uses 2-3, radar is normally on standy, no depth sounder unless close enough to shore that I'm on engine anyway, paper charts. Handheld GPS plugged into 12v and VHF/ais receiver round maybe half an amp?

Manual windlass, led running lights, etc. No chart plotter.

I guess I'm on the lighter end of consumption.

I'm in the same boat......low consumption, nothing fancy. My boat came with Electric windlass but how often is that used a day? I have 300 wats of panels and no wind gen. I did have a Air-X on my Ingrid 38 and detested it. It sounded as if a ghost was moaning on board. It was on m y mizzen and I was always worried someone would slacken a mizzen halyard and catch a blade.
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Old 08-02-2013, 21:29   #38
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

we're part time cruisers but go for months at a time. solar only. i'm a keep it simple kind of guy and wind gens are way too complex for my simple ways.

a friend had both on a little morgan 28 out island. but he installed the air-x at the top of the mast! didn't worry about shading his lone solar panel...
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:32   #39
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I find solar and wind complement each other nicely. I remember one cloudy breezy passage where the wind genny cranked out 20+ amps for days keeping us powered up when solar was negligable.
+1 here too and ours is very quiet too.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:43   #40
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Yes, nice and quiet, until:

Nordtank (Vestas) wind system fail and crashes. - YouTube
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:49   #41
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Quote:
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If our nighttime load exceeds 5 amps, that's with the fridge running, something is way wrong.
Even with the spreader lights on and the water maker running we don't approach 20 amps. Our typical night load is much like yours, we're in the 3-5 amp range with the windvane and 4-6 with the AP.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:56   #42
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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I've cruised with a wind generator, and I've cruised with just solar. 15 years ago I would have answered that a wind generator was important. Because of the significant price drop in solar over that last 5 years and the advent of MPPT controllers, today I would say that all solar is the best way to go. It's just no longer worth the noise, hassle, and expense for the wind generator when you can get sufficient charging from solar. (This applies for people cruising the East Coast and Caribbean, it probably doesn't apply to someone in Washington state.)
It doesn't apply in the Bahamas either. It is unusual but on occasion you can get four or five days of overcast. When this happens the wind usually is honking so the windgen works good. A few years ago, in one of these overcast periods, a Gemini had to radio for help to start his engine as he relied solely on solar. He didn't even have a small Honda.
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Old 09-02-2013, 14:02   #43
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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Silence is golden.
Solar just works with no maintenance.
Put all LED lights in. Increase your battery bank for cloudy days or night sailing.

On a windy day the last thing you want to hear is more wind and spinning carbon fiber just above your head.

Just listen to this lady. She thinks its just dandy keeping the neighbors awake.

We hardly ever visit marinas, so this amazes me! Are there really people so ignorant as to leave a wind generator running in a marina? Where shore power is available and your neighbours are only a couple of metres away?
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Old 09-02-2013, 14:29   #44
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We hardly ever visit marinas, so this amazes me! Are there really people so ignorant as to leave a wind generator running in a marina? Where shore power is available and your neighbours are only a couple of metres away?
The only reason a wind generator isn't running in a marina is if it's broken. The owners don't care.
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Old 09-02-2013, 14:35   #45
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

We have solar, it is nice. I put in a sunforce wind gen, it is quiet works well in low winds and awesome in high winds. A wind gen is more like a trickle charge, my batteries love it. Add the bracket
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