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Old 10-01-2016, 15:12   #31
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by patprice View Post
SNIP
So.....and I have done this....do you need a freezer?

SNIP
Maybe not, but I love the sound of ice in my drink at sunset.
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Old 10-01-2016, 16:44   #32
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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Has anyone had any exposure to the UK Power Sails. These are flexible solar panels that are actually mounted on the sails. They were mentioned in the December issue of Sail.
I'd be wary of solar panels that come from the UK.

I mean, how would they test them?
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Old 10-01-2016, 18:40   #33
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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As has been posted earlier in this thread it is important to try and get a good idea what your daily energy requirement and design and install an energy production system to meet your energy requirements. In fact I think it is important to have excess energy so you are dumping energy on a daily basis.

YMMV
I would agree with that... and to add that you could optimize that idea on doing so in Maine during the fall and spring.

Although we have not been in Maine in winter in the north Chesapeake we found the fridge/freezer really did not work very hard... so even though our power production we down dramatically, so did out energy needs. I assume further north its even more dramatic.
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Old 10-01-2016, 18:51   #34
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by patprice View Post

So.....and I have done this....do you need a freezer? No you do not.
Yes I do.

My first 5 years cruising I did not have a freezer (the first 2 no fridge!) and I know I will never be without one again!

It also depends on your diet.
I am on a pretty strict low carb diet and eat a lot of meat and fat. Tinned meat, processed meat etc is not good enough. I need fresh or frozen.

People who have a carb based diet of rice, pasta, bread etc can do without a freezer but imho health suffers. But that's each to there own dietry opinion.

Yes, freezers are a mongeral for power. No doubt about it. But I need my fatty rib eye steak my BIG rib eye

Mark
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Old 10-01-2016, 19:58   #35
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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I'd be wary of solar panels that come from the UK.

I mean, how would they test them?
That's easy. They'd send them to LUCAS, The Prince of Darkness !

Do a search for it, you find about a million jokes.
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Old 10-01-2016, 20:33   #36
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

Hi Tumbleweed,

I strongly second the replies here about solar over wind. I have had wind and solar gens on several boats and make the following observations:

[*]You really need greater than 15 knots for any meaningful output otherwise it is pretty much trickle charging.
[*]In Asia where we sailed for a couple of years and where little wind blows my 2 Airmarine wind gens would not of contributed more than 0.1% of my energy needs. I did have solar and a generator.
[*]When crossing the Pacific (downwind) the wind generator also generated little as the apparent wind was generally less than 12 knots.
[*]One of the few times the wind gen put out much power was in Aruba where it was blowing a constant 20+ knots at anchor. However my "Kiss" wind gen spent much of time overheated shutting power off regularly.
[*]They are rather noisy but my "Kiss" was much quieter than the "Airmarines". This may or not be an issue . Didn't bother me much.
[*]They are useful at night going to windward if you run an autopilot. One of their few virtues.
[*]Even when overcast my solar panels (500w) put out far more power than my wind gen.
[*]They are now expensive compared to solar. The situation has changed dramatically over the last 10 years.
[*]About the only reason I can think of having a wind gen now is if you sail in an area predominately of heavy cloud and strong winds, maybe in the higher latitudes.
[*]The only reason I haven't removed the wind generator from my current boat is I use the mounting as an outboard hoist (15hp and heavy) and could not do without it.
[*]I hadn't actually though about the shading from the wind gen mount. I agree that it probably results in a net deficit. Another reason to remove it


Hope this helps

Andrew
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Old 10-01-2016, 21:12   #37
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

On our previous boat, we removed a wind generator after 1 year in Mexico for exactly that reason.
We had made the typical noob mistake (which we constantly see to this day, even on megabuck sailboats) of mounting a wind generator on a pole ABOVE the solar panel array.
The result? Duh, more shadowing and loss of solar than we ever get from the wind generator, not to mention the noise and associated tension (we've GOT to be dragging anchor, just listen to that thing !!)

After a few months, I got brave and took down the generator. After watching our electrical use for another month, we saw an INCREASE in battery juice.
After another month, I chopped off the pole, increasing our solar output even further.

My recommendations to all of you who are in the same situation?
BREAK OUT THE HACKSAW ! You will not regret it.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:39   #38
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I'd be wary of solar panels that come from the UK.

I mean, how would they test them?
They have to be that much more efficient....


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Old 11-01-2016, 04:18   #39
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

Simple - they are wind and rain powered solar cells!


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I'd be wary of solar panels that come from the UK.

I mean, how would they test them?
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:41   #40
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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Originally Posted by elandra65 View Post

Clip...


[*]You really need greater than 15 knots for any meaningful output otherwise it is pretty much trickle charging.



nother clip

[*]One of the few times the wind gen put out much power was in Aruba where it was blowing a constant 20+ knots at anchor. However my "Kiss" wind gen spent much of time overheated shutting power off regularly.
Different units do different things. A constant 20 will put our KISS into idle, too. If we're going to have sustained 20+, we cock it with the tether. At 30 knots, and at 45°, it still puts out a steady stream of amps. If it gets worse, I move the switch on the rectifier to halfway, which slows it down further.

This discussion has me wondering how I might (reasonably accurately, with the gear I have, which is an analog meter for both wind and solar) measure the difference between facing North (the presumed best due to no shadowing possible) and South; if there were, say, a 10A difference, it might make sense to ditch the KISS, as much as we love the amps it gives us.

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Originally Posted by elandra65 View Post

[*]They are rather noisy but my "Kiss" was much quieter than the "Airmarines". This may or not be an issue . Didn't bother me much.

"They," again, vary depending on make. D400s get raves from owners and neighbors; nobody's ever complained about noise from our KISS (because I took the time to be aggressive about balancing the blades; we get a 'whiiiish' rather than a howl). OTOH, my raftup neighbor offered me the option of turning off his gen (one of those with the down-hung tail and black blades) when he was off the boat, if it got oppressive, which it does, sometimes - but I let it run, as he needs the amps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elandra65 View Post

clip...
[*]They are now expensive compared to solar. The situation has changed dramatically over the last 10 years.
I agree entirely. However the real estate question alters the equation; getting someplace to put all that wattage, unless you start with a hardtop cat where you can't avoid the cost of convenient mounting space, makes a huge difference.

Case in point is that we expected to have to build a hardtop bimini to support added solar. That will be several thousand dollars at minimum, and won't meaningfully add to our comfort in the cockpit (over a very good bimini and enclosure) - all to find a place to mount our solar.

It's why I'm really concentrating on how to make my arch work for substantially more wattage; the incremental cost of more panels and a different mounting system is trivial by comparison to an adequate place to mount what might be a kilowatt - with, likely, only 500W available at any time due to shading - over the cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elandra65 View Post

clip...

[*]The only reason I haven't removed the wind generator from my current boat is I use the mounting as an outboard hoist (15hp and heavy) and could not do without it.
[*]I hadn't actually though about the shading from the wind gen mount. I agree that it probably results in a net deficit. Another reason to remove it


Hope this helps

Andrew
Our KISS isn't in a place to make a motor hoist; I actually HAVE one in the lazarette but haven't yet figured out how to make it integrate with my arch without welding, which, due to the wiring inside, would involve removal, a huge task. Shame on me for not thinking of it in the design phase...

Great discussion...
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Old 15-01-2016, 17:45   #41
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

I used to believe in having both wind and solar sources. I no longer do.

Even in the windiest places on the planet e.g. the Falkland Islands, two weeks can pass without enough wind to spin the wind turbines. So other sources (hopefully solar) must be able to produce enough power. On the other hand, even on a cloudy day, solar panels produce substantial output. I've measured about half the output on overcast days as on sunny days.

My rule of thumb is: Measure daily consumption in watt-hours (call that number N). Don't guess; measure it. Then get at least N/2 watts of solar panels -- find space for them even if over the transom. Get at least 2*N watt-hours of LiFePO4 batteries and probably never run out of electricity.
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Old 15-01-2016, 18:47   #42
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

So a boat that uses 100 amp/hours per day should have 2400 Watts of solar? But only 200 amp/hours of batteries?
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Old 15-01-2016, 18:55   #43
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

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So a boat that uses 100 amp/hours per day should have 2400 Watts of solar? But only 200 amp/hours of batteries?
Assuming we're talking about a 12V system, 100AH per day is 1200 watt-hours per day. N=1200. 1200 / 2 = 600 watts minimum solar capacity (my recommendation). 2 * 1200 = 2400 watt-hours (or 200AH) minimum LiFePO4 battery capacity (again, my recommendation). Minimum means the minimum I recommend. More is better; less might work fine. Others will be more or less conservative than I am and have different opinions.
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Old 17-01-2016, 04:30   #44
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

Tumbleweed. Have you thought about a water generator instead of the Wind genny to supplement your solar. As you have a cat you should be able to get a substantial amount of wattage on your roof, particularly if you choose some of the latest high efficient modules i.e. Sunpower. Solar technology has jumped leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years with highly efficient panel available. Design your system so that solar provides all the energy you need for your batts x1.5.
Supplement your charge source with a water gen for night sails, passages, where you expel more energy. You'll have secondary sources from your alts and generator, if you have one.
I'll get critizised for this, but Im a believer that wind gens are past their time; noisy, break, obtrusive, etc. Im seeing a number of cruisers, us included, that are going with water gens over wind.
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Old 17-01-2016, 04:48   #45
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Re: Wind generator and Solar Panels

Hi Emerald Sea, there is nothing to criticise......
The present generation of hydro generators are fantastic, albeit expensive. My 'however' is the fact that the majority of boats are predominantly at anchor. We have two D400's that when we bought them we deemed them as being vital. Subsequently we realise that one would have been adequate. We have over a kilowatt of panels and are normally fully recharged by 10h00-ish (on an average day that includes a fair bit of cloud) and even when the weather is poor we do not struggle. If needed we release the wind gens after dark as they do churn out some useful power - and if the sun is not available then we usually have some wind.
Our next boat (we shall be looking for an alternative at the year end) we shall still install wind power.


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Tumbleweed. Have you thought about a water generator instead of the Wind genny to supplement your solar. As you have a cat you should be able to get a substantial amount of wattage on your roof, particularly if you choose some of the latest high efficient modules i.e. Sunpower. Solar technology has jumped leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years with highly efficient panel available. Design your system so that solar provides all the energy you need for your batts x1.5.
Supplement your charge source with a water gen for night sails, passages, where you expel more energy. You'll have secondary sources from your alts and generator, if you have one.
I'll get critizised for this, but Im a believer that wind gens are past their time; noisy, break, obtrusive, etc. Im seeing a number of cruisers, us included, that are going with water gens over wind.
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