Wind driven D.C.generator

Question:

My wind generator produced precious little electricity. It wasn’t noisy. As it was mounted in the cockpit, it was good for the occasional involuntary haircut though. John Prewett               Not even speaking for myself, let alone ADP.

Response:

I built my own DC wind generator using a permanent-pole DC motor from a main-frame tape-drive  ($80 from  a surpus outlet)  and a propellor (48-in daim, flat pitch) similar to the one on the old Hamilton-Ferris unit. Put the output through a blocking diode with the smallest differntial  resistance ( about .3 vdc).   I got a tube oF 316 stainless, cut a slot parallel to its axis  , welded 2 legs on it, (FOR UP-HAULE AND DOWN-HAUL) and then slipped the motor inside and clamped it in with hose clamps.  With a small tail for direction stability, hoisted in the fore-triangle it puts out 8.5 amps in 15 knots of wind. It needs about 8 knots of wind to go fast enough to overcome the voltage of the battery system, so no charging takes place below that wind  speed.  Make the tail quit small, with a good lever arm. If it’s bigger than about 1 square foot it will force too rapid a turn with wind changes, which will be strongly resisted b y the gyorscopic effectof the blade, setting up destructive vibrations. GOOD LUCK!

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I would appreciate comments on the various makes of wind generators, My boat is an Abbott 22, so I don’t have a great deal of space with which to work. My God–a wind generator on a 22 foot boat!!!  But then, why not? Here’s some info I dug up researching and using the beasts. 1.  All wind generator manufacturers have fanciful notions of how much { 6 good comments from Malcolm Clark deleted } 7. Consider the noise pollution inflicted on any other boats that may be sharing your anchorage.

RE: Comment #7. Would you really rather he bought a honda generator? The most disturbing noise pollution I’ve experienced was from a small sailboat in Allen Key that dropped anchor and promptly started and ran a mid size generator that was strapped on deck. As wind generator’s noise level only increases with the velocity of the wind the ambient wind sound helps to disguise it. *Not* so with a gas generator! Oh for effecient affordable solar panels… — Nantucket 33 "Pirate Jenny"     "Nothing goes to windward Ottawa Canada                    like a 747!"

Response:

I need the advice of those of you out there who have experience with sailboat mounted, wind driven D.C. generators. I already employ a small solar panel to trickle charge my house battery, but I find that my 12v load keeps increasing and the day when my solar rig is inadequate is fast approaching. I would appreciate comments on the various makes of wind generators, installation locations and techiques, and operational tips. Since I have the dubious distinction of being an electrical engineer by training, I’m not after circuit diagrams or electrical system layouts, unless, of course, you have something truly novel.  It’s the mechanical bits that I value your help on. My boat is an Abbott 22, so I don’t have a great deal of space with which to work. Much appreciated, Barry Gordon "Give us this day, our daily breeze"

Response:

: I need the advice of those of you out there who have experience with : sailboat mounted, wind driven D.C. generators. I already employ a small : solar panel to trickle charge my house battery, but I find that my 12v : load keeps increasing and the day when my solar rig is inadequate is fast : approaching. : I would appreciate comments on the various makes of wind generators, : installation locations and techiques, and operational tips. : Since I have the dubious distinction of being an electrical engineer by : training, I’m not after circuit diagrams or electrical system layouts, : unless, of course, you have something truly novel.  It’s the mechanical : bits that I value your help on. : My boat is an Abbott 22, so I don’t have a great deal of space with which : to work. : Much appreciated, : Barry Gordon : "Give us this day, our daily breeze" : Mr. Gordon; : There’s plenty of good printed data regarding installation etc for a : wind powered unit. For starters you might want to try: : BOAT OWNERS ENERGY PLANNER by Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey. Not too cheap, but : well worth the price.

Response:

[1] Wind driven D.C.generator I need the advice of those of you out there who have experience with sailboat mounted, wind driven D.C. generators.

I use a Rutland Windcharger which is an alternator type.  I have had it for a year and is so far trouble free.  Living on Puget Sound there are very few long sunny days thru the winter and my solar panels provide little help.  The windcharger provides enough power for lights, radio, autohelm, etc. But will only keep up with the refer on a very constantly windy day. Drawbacks are its not pretty, although quite, it always sounds like somebody is running an Evenrude way off in the distance, and if its very windy, it always makes it seem much windier than it is. Its not real cheap $500 – $600 plus whatever it costs to make a mounting pole. Output ranges from a 6 volt trickle at 4-5 knots to 10 – 15 amps of 12 volt with a steady 20+ knt  breeze. The generator itself came with diodes but the shunt regulator did not.   The best (or worse) thing about it is that everyone at an anchorage eventually stops by and asks questions.        |      / ||             Olympia WA     /  ||      /   ||             Opinions are my own or stolen

Response:

I would appreciate comments on the various makes of wind generators, installation locations and techiques, and operational tips. Since I have the dubious distinction of being an electrical engineer by training, I’m not after circuit diagrams or electrical system layouts, unless, of course, you have something truly novel.  It’s the mechanical bits that I value your help on. My boat is an Abbott 22, so I don’t have a great deal of space with which to work.

My God–a wind generator on a 22 foot boat!!!  But then, why not? Here’s some info I dug up researching and using the beasts. 1.  All wind generator manufacturers have fanciful notions of how much     power their units put out.  Well, perhaps not all–just most of them. 2.  Some units are better than others.  My opinion strictly:     a.  Large prop DC generator type — no contest — Windbugger     b.  Small "fan" type — anything but a Rutland Windcharger     c.  Large three phase types — the jury’s out but my so far my         Wind Baron looks good (after I wired it for 24 volts–at the 12 volt         configuration it did not have much output at low wind speeds, but         oh could it pump out the power in high winds). 3.  They all vibrate.  Some are MUCH worse than others.  Two blade units     tend to be worse because of "wind twitch" which causes uneven blade     loading. 4.  Whatever you do, make sure you have a means to secure the blades with     a strap–even if the manufacturer says you don’t need one.  The first     time you ride out a gale with a banshee howling just over your head     you will understand. 5.  Mount the unit on a tilt down pole.  I didn’t do this the first time     and learned the hard way.  It’s tough to work on the unit after     shinnying up a 1 1/2 inch pipe with nothing to hang on to. 6.  Isolate the mounting(s) to prevent vibration transfer to the hull.  This     will pay big dividends.  It’s tough sleeping inside a kettle drum. Good luck. Malcolm Clark

Response:

I would appreciate comments on the various makes of wind generators, My boat is an Abbott 22, so I don’t have a great deal of space with which to work. My God–a wind generator on a 22 foot boat!!!  But then, why not? Here’s some info I dug up researching and using the beasts. 1.  All wind generator manufacturers have fanciful notions of how much

{ 6 good comments from Malcolm Clark deleted } 7. Consider the noise pollution inflicted on any other boats that may be sharing your anchorage.

Response:

: I need the advice of those of you out there who have experience with : sailboat mounted, wind driven D.C. generators. : I would appreciate comments on the various makes of wind generators, : installation locations and techiques, and operational tips.

Hi Barry, we have just put 2,500 miles on our 37′ sailboat using our "Wind Bugger" DC generator.  It’s mounted on a homemade radar arch on our stern.  It’s about the quietest we’ve seen (of those that provide any power anyway).  We had done some research with cruisers in the Caribbean and the generator of choice was the "Wind Bugger".  It provides the most power output with the least noise. The major drawback is that you need at least 15 kts to bring your batteries up to full charge. Hope this helps.   Good Luck

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