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Old 13-02-2013, 09:53   #106
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I am not sure you are correct. (about the noise difference).

It sounds nearly as noisy as the -X, except the noise seems more level, without the typical -X acceleration whirrrrr.

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Last summer I was sharing a smallish cove with two other boats, and we decided to have sundowners in the cockpit of the boat with the icemaker. When we settled in, the skipper encouraged me to charge with my wind generator because they wouldn't mind the noise. I told them that it had been running for two days, but they wouldn't believe me because they'd heard on the internet how noisy the Air Breeze is.

I invited them to drop by my cockpit the next time they ran their diesel generator, at which point they would be able to hear their own generator's exhaust even when sitting directly under my Air Breeze.
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:16   #107
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
Last winter, we were able to avoid running the engine to charge our batteries, from south of Vero Beach, to the Bahamas for 2.5 months, and back to Beufort offshore. We did take advantage of opportunistic charging by the alternator when forced to motor. We could not have done this without either of these three key ingredients:

1. 120w tiltable solar with MPPT controller.
2. Old Air-403 wind generator with Silentwind blades
3. 400ah LIFEpo4 battery bank. (key due to high acceptance rates, Low Perkerts, and the ability to keep them at 50% or less without damaging the batteries when wiund/solar was not great for a few days-up to a week.)

I just installed two more panels, fixed, over the Bimini. THey are 85w each, and wired to the controller for a new, Silentwind Generator. The 120w panel is still wired independently to the MPPT controller. There was plenty of wind in the Bahamas, but we are going (hopefully) to New England this summer, so we want more solar to make up for what will most likely be a lack of wind. Plus, we both just got new laptops ;>

Chris
Chris,

How long have you had your LiFePO4 cells? How do you like them? Could you be even an earlier adopter than T1 Terry?
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:28   #108
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Bob,

We installed the LIFEPO4 cells in 2011. So I guess that makes us an early adopter among the cruiser forum folks.

I built a 40ah 24v Torqueedo pack first as a training exercise.


I LOVE LIFEPO4. I cannot think of a good reason, other than if you are doing a budget install, not full-time cruising and are not concerned about lifecycle cost, to buy lead batteries.

Chris
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:49   #109
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Thanks Chris. I got my LiFePO4 in November 2012 and was surprised just how conservatively they are rated. A lead acid gets its a-hr rating for a 20 hour rate. The LiFePO4 if discharged at that rate give at least 50% more than their rating. Also the lack of voltage sag under heavy load is rather impressive too. The new prices are what got me to buy, as now they are the least expensive battery you can get when you factor in cycle life.
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:54   #110
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Balqon is having a clearance sale on cells that have been in stock for 2+ years. (4) cells in series = your 12 volt battery.
Balqon - Advanced Transportation Solution

Here is two 30 lb, 100 a-hr 12 volt batteries I've assembled.



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Old 13-02-2013, 10:56   #111
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

I thought I was responding to a poster. He must of pulled his post.

I checked my email and it was sageofsalem who posted at 9:54 PST, so I'm not going crazy yet. lol
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Old 13-02-2013, 12:24   #112
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Last summer I was sharing a smallish cove with two other boats, and we decided to have sundowners in the cockpit of the boat with the icemaker. When we settled in, the skipper encouraged me to charge with my wind generator because they wouldn't mind the noise. I told them that it had been running for two days, but they wouldn't believe me because they'd heard on the internet how noisy the Air Breeze is.

I invited them to drop by my cockpit the next time they ran their diesel generator, at which point they would be able to hear their own generator's exhaust even when sitting directly under my Air Breeze.
?) Your unit made Monday in the US. The unit we asked to be switched off made in China on Friday.

?) Another possible explanation: your noise acceptance levels are different from ours.

?) It is fine until the wind pipes up.

I perceive Air-Breeze nearly as noisy as the original Air-X. Less noisy, yes, but still too noisy.

Not bashing any make, just expressing my experiences and impressions.

b.
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Old 13-02-2013, 13:03   #113
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

There are three that I can stand: D-400, Superwind and Aerogen. The Aerogen does not produce so much, the other two are the real deal but $$$.

The rest is garbage; highly polluting, to the point of asocial, imho of-course.
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Old 13-02-2013, 13:59   #114
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

I rather like the D-400 for output vs noise.
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Old 13-02-2013, 14:09   #115
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
?) Your unit made Monday in the US. The unit we asked to be switched off made in China on Friday.

?) Another possible explanation: your noise acceptance levels are different from ours.

?) It is fine until the wind pipes up.

I perceive Air-Breeze nearly as noisy as the original Air-X. Less noisy, yes, but still too noisy.

Not bashing any make, just expressing my experiences and impressions.

b.
Actually, I'm starting to suspect that proper installation has something to do with it. When I first erected the mast, I used temporary struts until I could have my solar panel arch fabricated. Once the entire system was done and I ran proper permanent from the arch, the unit was significantly more quiet.

Another correspondent on this thread wrote today about a KISS generator that was mounted poorly enough to blow off its mast that made too much noise. Hmmmm. There have been a zillion KISS users on this forum crowing about how silent the system is. Indeed, I've been thinking about replacing my Air Breeze with a KISS once the former spins itself into oblivion.

Well. Just a theory. But numerous people have commented on how quiet our Air Breeze is, so it's not just me. And I'm still running the original blades, which were installed six years ago.
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Old 13-02-2013, 14:42   #116
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

FWIW,

I'm not sure about this, but from observing my own Air-X over the ~8 years it has been in use I think that noise varies with differing degrees of turbulence in the airstream that drives the turbine. In our installation, which has the Air-X on a fairly short mast that rises above and behind the solar panel arch, when lying head to wind the air stream reaching the blades has worked it's way around mast, rigging, bagged mainsail, dodger and solar arch stuff. I'm pretty sure that it is quite turbulent at that stage.

Occasionally we lie with the wind from the stern or quarter due to tidal influences (this at anchor, not in a marina where the wind will always be turbulent). It seems to me, without any objective measurement, that under that condition where the air flow is more nearly laminar the blade noise is considerably less. This sort of phenomenum perhaps explains the different perceived noise levels folks are reporting here.

And really guys, the hyperbole gets boring: if you really think that an Air-X is as loud as a Lear Jet taking off (which I have heard) or a Banshee screaming (which I have not heard) I question your experience! The Air-X can briefly get into blade flutter in sudden gusts before the internal regulator shuts it down, and that can indeed cause a very loud sound... but it lasts a couple of seconds and then vanishes as the blades slow down. That blade flutter is what earned the earlier 403 model its reputation as an extremely noisy device -- it did not have the internal shut-down mechanism.

Finally, I too await the news about the Silent Wind. While I find the Air-X a satisfactory device, I am certainly open to improvements for the future. Should I need to replace the blades on my Air-X I will likely pop for the much quieter and allegedly more efficient "Blue Blades", and should the whole thing die (as many of you seem to wish) I'll be looking at the whole market place for its replacement.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 13-02-2013, 15:03   #117
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

You want loud like an aeroplane--let's see your wind gen beat this:

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Old 13-02-2013, 15:37   #118
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Sounds like a gnome rotory engine. Crazy little engine form WW1 that had a high power to weight ratio. The crankshaft was mounted on the firewall and the cylinders spun around with the prop making for some real gyroscopic action when turning them in the air. They were always full power, didn't have a throttle but the pilot had interupter buttons on his stick so he controlled his rpm by cutting out certain cylinders, hence the crazy sound. Most people are not aware such an engine existed much less was part of the war machine.
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Old 13-02-2013, 15:38   #119
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

We have done a lot of long distance cruising over the years places like S. Pacific. Over the years we have heard a few cruisers complain about noise and not in an angry manner about wind generators but never complain to those who have them.

The reason I think no one I have met has ever complained about the noise to those cruisers with noisy generators or wind generators is that most serious cruisers understand the importance of making power. We all live together in far off anchorages and know tolerance is an important part of the cruising community. Now I'm sure there are some who complain about the noisy portable gen set up on deck if it is getting late in the evening but again I see a lot of tolerance in such matters.

Sort of like complaining about people anchoring close by your boat. After awhile you get used to it because it is part of the cruising life.

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Old 13-02-2013, 15:49   #120
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Re: Wind Generators - Do All Serious Cruisers Have Them?

Exactly right, a 160hp Gnome rotary

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