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Old 02-10-2005, 09:25   #1
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Wind Power

Dear forum,

I really haven't seen too much on "Wind Genrators," listed on this forum. Now does anyone here on the forum have a wind generator on their yacht?

And how well. do they work. Especially, if you use a combo like this.

Windless days. Use genset. Or solar power.
Windy days. Use combo of all three!!

I look forward to any response here.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:56   #2
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I have all three. My solar panels are older, 2 x 53 watt, and won’t keep up with fridge, freezer, and auto-pilot. Wind generators are often noisy and other cruises may carp at you about the sound. My is a Fair Winds (Four Winds) and is very quiet and efficient. It will, most days, keep up with electric load. Of course, it works 24 hours most days where as solar only in sunlight and then not so well unless the sun is high overhead.

We cruise with a more creature comforts than many your electrical load could be lighter. We do not have aircon.

My diesel genset is 4.2 kw and is noisy. Don’t start it too early or run it too late at night if you want to remain friends with your neighbors.

Solar panels are becoming more efficient than my older ones and I have met many cruisers without genset or wind generator getting by just fine on solar.

If I were going to have only wind or solar it would be a tough choice. I would say either could be fine. In my opinion (every body has one) having both is better. It becomes a matter of $$$$.

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Old 02-10-2005, 11:09   #3
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You really need to look at your intended cruising plan, and the overall wind pattern.

Wind power - can be noisy and needs siting carefully to avoid danger from the spinning blades. If you are sailing with the trade winds, it is inefficient (wind speed reduced by boat speed) - the cheap versions are very inefficient in light winds.

Solar Power - only work for about 10 hrs /day, and power output reduces dramatically on most of them if any part of the panel is shaded, thus space on deck that is not shaded will constrict available solar power generation (cats do well because of this). They also dont work so well on overcast days!

Thus a mix of the two is a good idea. However if you are sailing with the trade winds, a towed generator is a better idea, as it will provide much more electricity and can then be converted into a wind generator when at anchor. (best system is one called the "Duogen")

You need to do an energy budget to work out what power requirement you have and then establish how you will meet that budget - main power consumers are autopilot, fridge, freezer, and tricolour lights. But continual use of the SSB and a radar will also cause a heavy demand.
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:23   #4
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Talbot, Do you have any first or second hand experience with the Duogen? They look interesting, but I don't think they have made it to the US yet, so I have yet to hear from someone who has used one.

Thanks
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:23   #5
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Hmmmm...................?

Dear Talbot,

I was looking at having solar,wind,& a genset. I want all three.
Basically, I wanted plenty of power for GPS, Radar, Weather Radio, fridge. Maybe a freezer?

During the day. Is your most active time there is. Everybody is up. So power consumption during the day. Depending on what's being used besides what I already listed.

I know at night. I like reading a good book. Or watch some TV. And you also have interior lighting to worry about. I hope to keep the interior lighting to a minimum. But enough to walkaround safely inside the boat.

That's basically it. Thanks!

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 02-10-2005, 15:27   #6
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Duogen - UK company, but look at the reports from ARC 2004 Equipment Report . This ties in with other reports I have heard. The conversion to a wind generator is also good, because it uses much bigger sails than normal wind generators, thus it produces more power , but with the sails moving at slower speed (thus much quieter) - all in all a good piece of kit, but the price is pretty high as well.

Captain K I cant do the sums for you, you need to list all your electrical equipment onboard in a spreadsheet, then work out its individual power requirement (e.g. Tricolour bulb 25W ) then work out how long it is working per day. Guesstimates for DVD, radio, toaster etc will be required. This will provide an amp/hr requirement per day which will horrify you. You start by minimising the power requirement e.g. fit LED tricolour so instead of 20 amp/hr requirement it reduces to 5 amp/hr. Then work out what passive charging you will be getting, followed by how much fuel you will require for engine charging (generator etc) and add a 20% contingency. This will also help to size the battery bank
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Old 02-10-2005, 15:50   #7
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From ABYC Section E-11

11.10. LOAD CALCULATIONS

11.10.1. FOR DC SYSTEMS

11.10.1.1. The following method shall be used for calculating the total electrical load requirements for determining the minimum size of each panelboard, switchboard, and their main conductors. Additionally this information may be used to size the alternator, or other charging means, and the battery. (See E-11.7.1.1.1 and ABYC E-10, Storage Batteries.)

11.10.1.1.1. In column A of TABLE II, Electrical Load Requirements Worksheet, list the current rating (amps) of the loads that must be available for use on a continuous duty basis for normal operations;

11.10.1.1.2. In column B of TABLE II, list the current rating (amps) of the remaining loads that are intermittent, and total these loads. Take 10% of the total load in column B, or the current draw of the largest item, whichever is greater, and add this value to the total from column A to establish the total electrical load.

NOTE: Calculations are based on the actual operating amperage for each load, and not on the rating of the circuit breaker or fuse protecting that branch circuit.


TABLE II - ELECTRICAL LOAD REQUIREMENT WORKSHEET

Load ~ “A” Amperes ~ “B” Amperes

Navigation Lights
Cigarette Lighter
Bilge Blower(s)
Cabin Lighting
Bilge Pump(s)
Horn
Wiper(s)
Additional Electronic Equipment
Largest Radio (Transmit Mode)
Trim Tabs
Depth Sounder
Power Trim
Radar
Toilets
Searchlight
Anchor Windlass
Instrument(s)
Winches
Alarm System (standby mode)
Fresh Water Pump(s)
Refrigerator
Engine Electronics

Total Column A ~ Total Column B

10% Column B

Largest Item in Column B

Total Load Required
Total Column A _____
Total Column B _____ (The larger of 10% of Colum B or the largest item)
Total Load _____

11.10.2. FOR AC SYSTEMS

11.10.2.1. POWER SOURCE OPTIONS
The method shown in E-11.10.2.2 shall be used for calculating the total electrical load requirements for determining the size of panelboards and their feeder conductors along with generator, inverter, and shore power capacities. The total power required shall be supplied by one of the following means.

11.10.2.1.1. Single Shore Power Cable – A shore power cable, power inlet, wiring, and components with a minimum capacity to supply the total load as calculated, complying with E-11.7.2.1.1.

11.10.2.1.2. Multiple Shore Power Cables - Multiple shore power cables, power inlets, wiring, and components shall have a minimum total capacity to supply the total load as calculated complying with E-

11.7.2.1.1. All sources need not be of equal capacity, but each power inlet shall be clearly marked to indicate voltage, ampacity, phase (if a three phase system is incorporated), and the load or selector switch that it serves.

11.10.2.1.3. On Board AC Generator(s) or Inverter(s) - On board AC generator(s) or inverter(s) to supply the total load as calculated. Total minimum installed KVA for a single phase system is as follows:

KVA =
(Maximum Total Leg Amps. X System Voltage) / 1000

11.10.2.1.4. Combination of Shore Power Cable(s), On-board Generator(s) and Inverter(s) - A combination of power sources, used simultaneously if the boat circuitry is arranged such that the load connected to each source is isolated from the other in accordance with E-11.5.3.6. Shore power cable(s) plus on-board generator(s) and inverter(s) capacity shall be at least as large as the total electrical load requirements as calculated. Generator(s) and inverters(s) installation and switching shall be as required in E-11.7.3.

11.10.2.2. LOAD CALCULATIONS

11.10.2.2.1. The following is the method for load calculation to determine the minimum size of panelboards and their main feeder conductors as well as the size of the power source(s) supplying these devices. (See E-11.10.2.1.)

11.10.2.2.1.1. Lighting Fixtures and Receptacles - Length times width of living space (excludes spaces exclusively for machinery and open deck areas) times 20 watts per square meter (2 watts per square foot).

Formula:
Length (meters) x width (meters) x 20 = _________ lighting watts, or

Length (feet) x width (feet) x 2 = ________ lighting watts.

11.10.2.2.2. Small Appliances - Galley and Dinette Areas - Number of circuits times 1,500 watts for each 20 ampere appliance circuits.

Formula: Number of circuits x 1,500 = _________ small appliance watts.

11.10.2.2.3. Total

Formula:
Lighting watts plus small appliance watts = _________ total watts.

11.10.2.2.4. Load Factor

Formula: First 2,000 total watts at 100% = _________.
Remaining total watts x 35% = _________.

Total watts divided by system voltage = _________amperes.

11.10.2.2.5. If a shore power system is to operate on 240 volts, split and balance loads into Leg A and Leg B. If a shore power system is to operate on 120 volts, use Leg A only.

Leg A / Leg B

______/______ Total Amperes

11.10.2.2.6. Add nameplate amperes for motor and heater loads

______ /______exhaust and supply fans
______ / _____air conditioners *,**
______ / _____electric, gas, or oil heaters* ______ /
_____25% of largest motor in above items
______/_____Sub-Total

NOTE: *Omit smaller of these two, except include any motor common to both functions.

**If system consists of three or more independent units adjust the total by multiplying by 75% diversity factor.

11.10.2.2.7. Add nameplate amperes at indicated use factor percentage for fixed loads:

Leg A / Leg B

______ ______Disposal -10%
______ ______Water Heater - 100%
______ ______Wall Mounted Ovens – 75%
______ ______Cooking Units - 75%
______ ______Refrigerator -100%
______ ______Freezer – 100%
______ ______Ice Maker - 50%
______ ______Dishwasher - 25%
______ ______Washing Machine – 25%
______ ______Dryer - 25%
______ ______Trash Compactor – 10%
______ ______Air Compressor - 10%
______ ______Battery Chargers – 100%
______ ______Vacuum System - 10%
______ ______Other Fixed Appliances
______ ______Sub-Total

______ ______**Adjusted Sub-Total

NOTE: **If four or more appliances are installed on a leg, adjust the sub-total of that leg by multiplying by 60% diversity factor.

11.10.2.2.8. Determine Total Loads

Leg A / Leg B

______ ______lighting, receptacles, and small appliances (from E-11.10.2.2.5)
______ ______motors and heater loads (from E- 11.10.2.2.6)
______ ______fixed appliances (from E- 11.10.2.2.7)
______ ______ free standing range (See NOTE 1)

______ ______calculated total amperes (load)

NOTES: 1. Add amperes for free standing range as distinguished from separate oven and cooking units. Derive by dividing watts from TABLE III by the supply voltage, e.g., 120 volts or 240 volts.

2. If the total for Legs A and B are unequal, use the larger value to determine the total power required
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Old 02-10-2005, 17:31   #8
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I have an old Four Winds 2 balde. With 20 knots of wind I can't use the electricity fast enough. It survived Isabelle. I don't think the noise is bad. I've stayedat anchot for a few days and had the bank ride at float the whole time. You just need to be in an area where the wind really blows. Maybe not whty you always want.

Some of the cheaper newer units work better at lower wind speeds but they drive you nuts with sound and don't really put out the watts. With light wind you really can't make electricty all that well no matter what anyone says. But when it's blowin it sure can't be beat.

I also have a 75 watt solar panel and for the net net it is the best. If you could get up to 150 watts solar I think you might be in pretty good shape. If you really push you can run a fridge on about 150 watts of solar.

With just the solar panel of 75 watts I can go sail out to the main river in 20 minutes and shut the engine sail all day and the next day sail home, so not much recharge on the bank from the alternator. The battery bank is down say 120 amp hours net net and by the next weekend the bank is 100%. The sun really is great as it works all day no matter what the wind does. Solar is clearly a first choice and pretty darn cheap overall.
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Old 02-10-2005, 18:04   #9
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SV_Makai

The catamaran SV_Makai, who is a frequent poster on here has a great system set up, involving (I think) mostly solar. Look up some of his posts in the "Electricity" section of the site. He detailed info about the costs, power, what he runs, etc... and it all sounds like a solid system.
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Old 02-10-2005, 18:14   #10
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We are set up with a KISS wind generator [SSCA 2004 survey rated it #1 for what that's worth].

Puts out good power once the wind hits 15 knots or more. It also has a divert load so when batteries are charged it will make hot water.

It is in addition to a 270 amp primary alternator on the main engine and a generator which can drive a 100 amp charger.

These all feed an 840 amp hour battery bank. We are not doing solar at this time cause by my calculations I need at least 4 100 watt panels to make it worth while and I have not figured out where to put them and not have them hanging all over the place.

There is not right answer however this seems the best compromise I can come up with for now.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:42   #11
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Just added

Thanks! Our solar setup will maintain everything and be fully charged by 10:30 AM on sunny days. The only time we have to run the gen at anchor is if we have a week of heavy clouds and run the water maker alot. We use water like a landlubber.

We have just added a kiss wind gen. We thought about it for 3 years and finally decided to add it. We have listened to many other wind gen and though it is not the absoulte quietest. The Areogen is one of the queitest it does have the best amp output and lowest noise for the dollar. We wanted the 4 winds but it was to pricey.

After chatting with many cruisers KISS also won because of the support has been awesome. Many cruisers have had thier units rebuilt for free when they were just getting a small problem fixed.

Between Tv, computer, HAM/SSB we are burning power. We like to go to bed with at least 80% charge in the bank. So more toys means more power.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:03   #12
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Hi Cap Bill
can you tell us how many watts of solar you are running?
thanks
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:09   #13
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KISS

On Breathless I have a Kiss. It works very well (when there's wind) . Good output and fairly quiet . I don't mind a bit of noise as it tells you when it's starting to honk when you're at anchor. Some units are very irritating to listen to, especially if they're on the boat next to you. The worse I've heard is the Air Marine but they claim they've improved them now. I had a Windbugger on La Belle Aurore for 15 years and it served me well. The technology in it is a bit dated now and it required a fair amount of maintenance. Power is the main topic of conversation when cruisers gather. More and more most boats have a large after market alternator with 3 stage regulator, solar panels and wind generators. The small Hondas (2kw) are very popular too.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:05   #14
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Watts

Makai has 4 Kyrocea 120 watt pannels using a Rv Power MPPT controller. The controller gets more usable amps the the standard PWM regualtors.

The panesl are rated for a total of 28.4 amps peak. We see from 10:30 ish to about 2 ish 32+ when we are running the water maker.

If I had it to do again I would go with the 24 volt 190 panels. The MPPT contoller will step it down to 12. Even more amps for a little space.
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