Wind Generator Selection

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by captainjsw, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. captainjsw
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 39
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 24
    Location: Perth Western Australia

    captainjsw Junior Member

    Thanks CatBuilder - will look at the panels a little closer this weekend. I am running a standard solar panel regulator a SBC 7120 (30 amp model) batteries are 600 AH - looking at the ammeter I am drawing 15-20 amps - main users - fridge, freezer, autopilot, inverter for the chart computer - thats with the panels putting back around 10 A - so if I disconnected the panels I would be drawing 25-30 Amps. More testing and research needed for sure.

    Thanks for your time.

    http://www.johnwatson.net.au for a look at the boat construction and launch - this one and the previous grainger I built
     
  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Before spending time and money on new wiring, measure the voltage at the alternator output and the house bank voltage, so you know the voltage drop in the present wiring.
    For the alternator to deliver 115A the output voltage must be at or below 12.0 V; at 14.0 V the output current is near zero. Because a battery under charging conditions has more than 12 V, full alternator output is only achieved if the current is consumed by a heavy load.
     
  3. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    30 amps Sounds about right for normal backround house load. I use 500 to 1000 amp hours pers day, depending on mission .

    One of these devices is a helpful addition. Perhaps many others make similar products or more modern , but Ive had 15 years of reliable service from this one.

    http://www.bukh.co.uk/magnetronicshome.htm

    It will really help you understand energy use of diffent equipment and the charge cycle of storage batteries particularly how difficult ...time consuming it is... to bring a battery bank up to 100 percent capacity.

    Manual output controls on alternator, battery charger gear is very useful at overriding the voltage regulators and Max charging . Carefull you dont overheat and burn up you batteries.

    The beauty of wind and solar is that after you have hit the battery bank hard with 2 or 3 hours of full battery charging capacity and shut down the powerplant, the silent background charge of your alternative power then takes command and slowly tops up the last 10 percent of bat capacity.

    By the way...Iv been using LED light bulbs from Sweden that are voltage tolerant...10 to 40v dc. Important because the battery charge, use, cycle stresses LEDS or any equipment with high, low DC voltage. DC DC converters to stabilize DC outputs and protect electronics are expensive power consumers. These voltage tolerant LEDs perform flickr free and last longer than the bog standard Marine store LED...I cant remember the name of the Company..Batsa ? Ill check.

    Also seek pro advice when designing your electrical wiring system. Double throw breakers, fully isolated DC system. Line loose from leaks, long runs and small copper conductors is wasteful. Use top quality , over sized , tinned marine grade cable and keep high tension cable runs as short as possible.
    .
     
  4. captainjsw
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 39
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    Location: Perth Western Australia

    captainjsw Junior Member

    Thanks Michael and CDK. I am running a Cruz Pro AHA 110 which can monitor currents up to 150A, or is it 450A so I know the charge and discharge. It monitors the house bank voltage too - am going to the boat tomorrow night and will run down the house bank as much as I can in 2 hours - then try the alturnator test - let you know the results - I run LEDs everywhere. Am seeking pro advice about the solar panels
     
  5. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    In the afternoon I must visit an electrical contractor for some dc fluorescent light power supplies . His main business is electrifying homes that are off the power grid. He has much experience with solar energy and energy efficiency. Ill ask who his prefered panel suppliers are and post.


    The LEDs he supplies are marketed by Batsystem AB...Sweden
     
  6. captainjsw
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 39
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 24
    Location: Perth Western Australia

    captainjsw Junior Member

    Thanks everyone for there help and advice, its great to have a forum like this where one can get helpful advice from everyone... I have for the moment decided to move away from the wind generator idea, unless one comes up at a bargain price that I cannot resist. The engine charging (from one engine anyway) has been solved by using 25 mm2 cable from the alturnator to the house battery bank, with the existing cable I was loosing about 1.4v though the cable its a 6.5m run from the engine to the house bank. The starboard engine is 14m away so will have to use at least 50 mm2 cable, heavy and expensive but necessary if I want to push (or pull the current) - Solar panels, although not solved - I have discovered that the regulator I purchased earlier only supports up to 26v and my panels are pushing out 36v - I have purchased a victron MPPT regulator (40Amp model) that I am certain will solve most if not all of the low charge rate from the panels. If it seems I need more charging and do not want to run the motors, well could go with another 2 x 200 watt panels - I can get them to fit, by re-arranging the existing panels or a wind generator or both. Thanks to all
    Regards John
     
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Cat is a sailor, yet it sounds like 10 knots is a lot to him. It's not in my world. I think Cat might be a motor sailor.
    Wind generators are being pooh poohed here. A problem is that the cheap little CF (plastic? FRP?) blades are not well balanced or uniform. They have mold marks and crude edges. Get some sandpaper and make them right for a world of difference. Newer ones I know have rubber blades and mounted on an aluminum mast on an aluminum cabin in gusting 0 to 30 knots of wind, one has to stop talking to tell when the thing is spinning (or look at the meter. I was in the cabin). Way, way, better than solar panels (here's how you do this, know-it-alls), IMO.
     
  8. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Google " Home Power Magazine, "

    they have been doing alt energy for decades and the articles are on line FREE!

    FF
     
  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    You are misunderstanding my post.

    My point is that for a wind generator to actually output anything worthwhile, you need to be in 15 knots+. I am a sailor, which is why I can tell you that most of the time spent at sea in a sailboat, you are praying for the wind to pick up to 10 knots or more so you can get somewhere. It's not common to have winds of the strength that allow a wind generator to output anything worthwhile. It usually does so only in storms or if you pick a bad anchorage that's not protected from winds.

    Of course, in AK you guys don't use solar... it's night half the year up there.

    Most people have 12 hours of daylight, min. I ran my entire boat (refer, freezer, computers, everything) off the two solar panels I listed above from the FL Keys to Maine, which was very foggy. I only used the generator one time when we had a week of rain/fog in Maine. Never did my batteries get below 50%. In fact, they were usually very close to topped off. The engines were left unused for periods of months at a time with full time liveaboard use of the equipment I just mentioned.

    This is just real world experience from a guy who had both a wind generator (useless) and a solar array on the same boat which was operated from the FL Keys to the Canadian border.
     
  10. pistnbroke
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Noosa.Australia where god kissed the earth.

    pistnbroke I try

    Rate your alternators at 25A of output per 100AH of battery capacity....you will not charge a 100AH battery at more than 25A and this will drop off fast as they come up . An alternator is rated at say 125 A not because that is what it will output into a battery but because that is what it will supply to resistive loads ...lights motors etc
     
  11. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I am very surprised at your (lack of) success with wind power. You must spend your time hauling ***, with little apparent wind, and moored, with little wind. In my latitude, often the most protected spot carries the burden of increased wind. Example, this is Jakolov Bay:
    1958627.jpg

    In an Easterly, I have seen a twenty-five knot wind manifest itself as eighty to one hundred in here. We have some spots up here that are complete dead zones in any wind direction but they are rare (and noted in the Coast Pilot). I remember chinooks, I believe they were called, on the West Coast, a perfect source of a steady breeze. Is it really that nice over there that anchorages are wind-free? Bugs?
    Guys use solar panels here. They will actually put out some juice even under snow. I like them for a trickle charger or on a house, where one has lots of space. On a boat, I, personally, wouldn't use enough space for them to effectively make house loads (we actually get far more sunlight than you in the summer). We also get a day breeze (locally, in the harbor) of fiften knots every day between 1:00 an 5:00 and a very consistent Fifteen to twenty Northeasterly (in the harbor, not in town) in the winter. Our locales and personal use dictate our prejudices...
    Just so you don't get the impression that this is some hellish blowhole, here is nearby Taylor Bay with almost its maximum wind, for some quirk of topography:
    017.jpg

    I don't know very much about wind nor solar power other than what I have observed, and noted, so I'll leave you guys to carry on.
     
  12. captainjsw
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    Location: Perth Western Australia

    captainjsw Junior Member

    A case for both systems I think - what has been said before - solar does not work at night - even protected anchorages can get some wind. In western australia - in summer after noon, we are 95% guaranteed a SW sea breeze that runs at 25 knots, usually in the morning a fresh easterly - Oh and its sunny on as near as damn it every day - the sun even shines in winter. I will see how I go during my 4 weeks vacation in April, if I still feel the batteries need more input - I'll grab another 2 of 200 watt panels and maybe a wind generator - lets see..;)
     
  13. srimes
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Oregon

    srimes Senior Member

    Which models are are talking about specifically?
     
  14. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher


  15. RayThackeray
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Alameda, CA, USA

    RayThackeray Senior Member

    Not so. I have a Fourwinds, it's fairly quiet and the big blades easily generate 15 amps in a breeze and 20 amps frequently. A fabulous, high-energy, 24-hour power producer in trade winds that no solar panel will ever equal.

    On my new boat, I'll be re-installing the Fourwinds plus a couple of big solar cells, with propshaft charging under sail I hope to collect most of my day-to-day energy.
     
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