In general, these days extra solar power is much cheaper, per amphour than wind generations. Combine that with some larger battery capacity (take a look at the new Lithium batteries
- LiFPO4) and you may find that you can span the gap from one cloudy day to the next.
The new Lithiums have a number of benefits, chief among them is a huge weight saving, and much faster charging
. We found that for the same useable Ah that they are about the same price
as good AGM's. We just replaced our 600 Ah AGM
with 300aH Lithium. The faster charging
means that when the sun is up, or the engine
is on, you can rapidly recharge using all the available energy. With lead it all goes slower, meaning you can't use all the energy that is available.
Combine that with efforts to reduce consumption
(LED lights etc) and I would suggest that solar is the better way to go.
Having said that, on Life Part 2 we do have a D-400 by Eclectic energy and have been very happy with its performance. In a decent wind (above 10kts) it does produce some useful power, and it does that day and night. And it is very quiet. I would rate this as the best wind gen on the market at the moment.
The trouble is that usually one is anchoring
in a nice sheltered bay where the winds are calmer, which reduces the benefit of the wind generator. We certainly found that to be the case in the Caribbean
where the winds also drop over night. The exception was when we were anchored in Tobago
Keys where it is more open.
In Portimao, Portugal
, where the wind is more constant we were 100% self sufficient for weeks using just the solar and wind.
The third option is to think about using a water
powered generator, such as the Duo-Gen, a towed generator, or a coupling to your freewheeling prop. We are working on such a solution for Life Part 2 but have not yet perfected it. It shows considerable promise but only if you move around a lot. Not much use if you spend weeks at anchor
If you are in sunny climes, add more solar.
If you are in cloudy climes, but with good winds, and at anchor
a lot, go wind.
If you are on the move a lot, look at water
Hope that helps!