I purchased an electrical
package for my sailboat last fall in preparation for my cruise
south, through John from Electromaax company in Niagara Falls. Their Airmaax wind
turbine was impressive in that it generated raw 3 phase power at the turbine which is rectified in the boat
near the battery
bank, maximizing the power captured from the wind
, and had good reviews
from fellow sailors. It included an Airmaax wind turbine with mounting pole, two solar panels
, charge controller for the turbine and solar panels
combined, a 120 amp alternator
with a serpentine belt kit for my Yanmar diesel engine
with an external regulator
, and an Aquamaax water-maker with pumps, filters and controls. It covered my needs for the trip and seemed a reasonable solution for 15 grand, installation
provided by yours truly.
I only managed to get the wind turbine and alternator
installed before departure time was upon me. The wind turbine put out 16 volts to charge the batteries
, and the alternator had lots of power to run everything and charge the batteries
at idle speed. It seemed I was all set to cruise
Just three days before sailing, the wind turbine stopped charging
. I contacted John at Electromaax, and as requested tested the three phases for voltage and sent them readings from the digital charge controller as I sailed south. The final verdict was one phase had stopped working.
When I got back home I contacted John, and he arranged for a return number to send the unit for warranty service
. I went out to remove it from the boat
and found the turbine head
had come off the swivel and commutator mount and fallen in the water
somewhere! After dragging the water, and having a diver friend look for it with no luck in our deep, dark and muddy inlet, I sent the mount back to Electromaax, noting that there was no welding or bolts to hold the turbine head
to the mount, it just seemed like a press fit, it could be the factory missed this in quality control. I informed John of this, he seems a good guy and is also a fellow sailor; and now am waiting to hopefully get a replacement before sailing south again next month.
I am at present mounting the solar panels
on a platform above my canvas cockpit
enclosure, and trying to get the water-maker installation
completed. I will send an update on my progress and the outcome of my wind turbine problem in a few weeks.