wind generator

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mm5aho
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wind generator

Postby mm5aho » Mon May 20, 2013 12:59 pm

Considering this for next improvement list, but unsure of what brand and model....

I've too often been in a marina or mooring lying near someone with one of those that makes more sound than is comfortable.
I'm not sure how they sell some of those noisemakers. I was 25-100W output range, relatively small profile, quiet, not subject to excessive corrosion and trouble free.
Was thinking of possibly a Marlec Rutland 504 (the improved 503?).

Any views?
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath this winter, Gourock in summer.

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cpedw
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Re: wind generator

Postby cpedw » Mon May 20, 2013 3:32 pm

Geoff,
I've been considering wind gens for quite a few years but I have still not committed any cash to one. I have instead installed a 20W solar panel. I am currently assessing how to fit a further 20 or 30W of solar on the boat.
Here are some reasons I haven't done it:

1. Danger. The fast-whirling near-invisible thing that's unlikely to be well above head height in most installations.
2. Output. The 504 needs a F5 to give 20W. I know the Scottish solar factor is quite small but I'm not very often in F5 or more for long periods. In particular, we spend a lot of time anchored/moored and the wind speed is hopefully F2/3 or less. That's about 0-3W from the 504 I think.
3. Noise. Some wind gens are very noisy externally. The Rutlands are good in this respect. There are some others that are notably quiet from the outside. But I gather that many cause very unpleasant noise/vibration below. As I see it, Acoustics engineers are close to Witchdoctors in the evolutionary tree. It's very difficult to predict how a particular installation will perform for noise below, and similarly challenging to resolve a bad one.
4. Cost. For installed wattage, solar has recently got very cheap but wind seems to be getting more expensive (or perhaps I'm getting even meaner).

All IMHO of course and i've never owned one so it's based on hearsay, prejudice and guesswork. I'm sure some wind users find it just great but I've not been persuaded even though I'm something of a gadget freak where the boat's concerned.

Derek

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mm5aho
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Re: wind generator

Postby mm5aho » Wed May 22, 2013 5:01 pm

Thanks Derek,
You raise a few important points.
My main ideas for wanting more power were:
* I sometimes operate the SSB radio for long periods (my other hobby, Amateur Radio), drawing perhaps 150Watts intermittently, so perhaps averaging 50W. (between listening and transmitting). I currently run the engine for this, idling in neutral copes well.
* I'd like to be able to leave the boat longer without inspections, and a bilge pump left on would give greater peace of mind, except that it might flatten a battery.

But solar comes in so many forms now, including flexible panels, roll up and stow away, possibility of built in ones, on a pushpit high rail or similar?
I don't think the danger aspect is as high a risk as you seem to suggest. The Rutland 504 has that ring round the blades that reduces this, but I haven't read of an incident with blade impact except where the turbine is placed in a silly location.
Noise is a big issue. I don't like noise generally, (don't like motor sailing if avoidable for example), and any wind turbine creates some.
Capacity is relevant. Only a big noisy turbine makes loads of juice! A small one would copewith the topup for blige pump scenario, but not the 50W draw for SSB. (except as you say in F5 less than comfortable conditions).
So maybe the equivalent to a small turbine is indeed a panel of say 50W?
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath this winter, Gourock in summer.

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sahona
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Re: wind generator

Postby sahona » Wed May 22, 2013 7:25 pm

I had two 70 watt solar panels and an ampair/aquair.100 towing/flying thing on the last boat.
I added a separate battery for the ham radio to keep it separate from the greedy (and very HF noisy) fridge. (but still got krap on 14.303!)
The ampair 100 does what it says - ie 8 amps in a hurricane -no more, and less if it's quiet enough to sleep.
The solar panels worked well in the Med as long as there were no shadows interrupting the cell-lines. (they are arrayed in serial groups of 9, and any one of the 9 covered will kill that strip.) Masts, booms etc. are unwelcome in this scenario whether they are your own or a neighbours.
{OP}So get a modern high-output fan- (watts you see is what you get) and sleep up the front while in Scotland!
Sorry. Know that's not really what you wanted to hear Geof, but it's my experience so far.
For what it's worth we now just have a wee petrol genny and bigger batteries -but we're old and deaf so there isn't a problem is there - We also can't hear the other people in the anchorage harrumphing in the gloaming. (just joking)
http://trooncruisingclub.org/ 20' - 30' Berths available, Clyde.
Cruising, racing, maintenance facilities. Go take a look, you know you want to.

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mm5aho
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Re: wind generator

Postby mm5aho » Wed May 22, 2013 9:12 pm

I tried a generator 2 summers back. I bought a new switch mode type with the variable revs and good economy, but it puts out so much RF that the SSB is unuseable. (>S9) I have tried all manner of filters, and other tricks on the output of this genny with a little success, but nowhere near enough success to use the radio.
Good info on solar.
I think that its Ampair that I've heard making a real racket on other's boats at anchor.
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath this winter, Gourock in summer.

FullCircle
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Re: wind generator

Postby FullCircle » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:05 pm

FWIW.....

I have a 28w solar semi flexible polycrystalline (better quality) which is sufficient for battery top up during the week when we are not there. To get meaningful liveaboard, I have calculated (taken advice\0 that 2 x 130w panels will do it for us, coupled with the wind generator.

We successfully used a Rutland 503 for 3 years to do the top up job, but it is a trickle charger only. We replaced that with a Rutland 913 and added their version of an MPPT controller, which split feeds both starter and domestic banks (we have separated this feature out, see para below), and will shut down the wind genny if the batteries are topped out. You can also switch off the wind generator at night if you wish, as in winds over 15 knots we get a booming vibration down below. It does not get cacophanous until about 22-24 knots of wind, at which point the genny is pouring lots of amps into the battery.

We have also installed a Sterling alternator to battery charger which has all power feeds into it, so the alternator, mains battery charger, wind generator and solar power. That also splits the domestic and starter charging. The interesting point with this unit is that by using clever charging algorithms, the batteries can be topped up to a much higher degree than normal charging.

From memory, the 'normal' full battery is at around 65% capacity, but the Sterling raises this by up to 50% more, and also optimises charge times so the charging cycle is faster too. So, if you have more a/h stored, you have more to use, and you can top it up more quickly.

In addition, I have also just fitted an Aquair 100 towed genny, but haven't tested the installation yet.


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