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Old 02-01-2013, 05:29 AM   #1
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Solar, Wind or both

I am looking at an alternate charging system to keep the batteries up especially as i have been working away a lot in the last 15 months
I would prefer wind as there are not too many places for solar mounting similar to Peter B
Will i get enough generating power out of just a wind generator?
Any thoughts?

Allan
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:50 AM   #2
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Can't say about Australia...but the US has numerous wind maps, both private and government that show where wind farms are practical. Because often water areas have slightly higher wind speeds than land masses (unless you are in a shadow area).

You might want to research that...unless you are in a "tradewinds area" where the wind is virtually constant for part of the year, many boaters are often disappointed at how much wind it takes to be effective.

The real "live of the land/sea" types realize that a combinination of both is really necessary to be self sufficient if you move around...stay in one place and just one may do the trick if you WAY underestimate as manufacturer data and even other's opinions are often contrived.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
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I spent last winter on the hook down in the Florida Keys and was also away from my boat for extended periods. I purchased an inexpensive 85 watt solar panel with controller and hooked it up. When I'd leave the boat, I turned off all non-essential DC items...including the refrigerator...leaving on only my bilge pumps. That little portable solar panel kept my batteries topped just fine. Because it was portable, I simply lashed it atop my fly bridge cover when I left, and removed it when I returned. Cheap, simple, works fine so long as the sun shines. Good Luck Mate!
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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Hi Allan, good to see you still looking in. As you know I have a modest couple of solars, (total 60w), and an Airbreeze. What is adequate depends on where you are, in that some marinas don't like wind greenies on in power mode because it annoys nearby liveaboards. Also what is left on. As mentioned above, if nearly everything except auto bilge pumps are off, then it does not take much, and one decent, (eg 40 to 80w solar panel, or an wind genny if you can leave it charging would easily do. If like me you also like to leave the frig on, then it takes a bit more at times, although a combination of both works, as that's what we are using when out on the pick. In the marina, I also use a Ctek marine 200 charger, so can leave the wind genny off, because our marina is one of those mentioned. The other advantage of a smart charger is it's ability to due sulphate and recondition your batteries. However, if you could run a wind genny where she is moored, then a panel or wind genny would cope with just batt top up, unless you want to leave a frig on, both would be best. Must one waring re sitting a panel on the Bimini. Ok if it is a rigid material, not so good if canvas, as they do chafe.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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Thanks Peter
Since the first post i have ordered a 200 watt solar panel and am now looking at a wind generator
Mounting the panel was the issue but i think i have a satisfactory solution worked out

Peter where do you mount you panels as it looks like you have all awnings like my boat?
Allan
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:49 PM   #6
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Allan, being a sedan and not an aft cabin model, I have a band of open deck across the aft end of the fly bridge deck which is large enough and away from foot traffic enough to mount 2 mid sized panels. Where would you put the 200w panel?. Remember what I said above (sorry about the typos - still getting the hang of the trigger finger feature of the iPad), re being wary of mounting on a canvas covered frame, they chafe no matter what you do. I finished off the last cockpit canopy that way...fortunately it was due for replacement, and the we went the whole hog, and extended it out and along the side decks, like the new hard top models. They need to be on a firm surface, or rigid frame, even if the flexible type, which mine are. With the flexible type, it is the straps/stretchies you use to mount them with that chafe, take it from me. The trouble you might encounter is that awning over the aft cabin roof will shade panels on the aft cabin roof, and you don't really have any other flat place to mount them. So, if you have to go over the canopy, then a separate rigid frame you can set up to have a small clearance above the actual canopy canvas could work..?
Interested to hear how you intend to do it and where. Also interested to hear your thoughts on wind genny types. The air breeze make I have rates pretty well still in comparisons, but google and research it well, as there are other makes out there. Some definitely better than others.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:42 AM   #7
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Allan and Peter,
This may help or hinder. The unused flat area outside the railing both sides of the flybridge could take 3 30watt panels each side (= 2 90w banks). A compromise because they get some shading, but one or the other, often both, is unshaded. Even minor shading has major effect. Optimal is a high dedicated platform with no potential shade object.
I cut right angle brackets from a length of aluminum angle (panel frames are aluminum) and screwed one side to the panel frame, avoiding the cells. I screwed 1" thick teak feet to the underside of the other part of the angle bracket which is faced away from the panel. I glued the feet to the deck with Sika,not screwing into the deck, and absorbing any deck unevenness which might strain and fracture the panel.
I can unscrew the panels from the brackets if need be, getting the teak off the deck will be harder. The 1' teak feet create airspace under the panel to dissipate heat.
I used multistage regulators and an inline fuse in the + lead just before each battery.
I later installed a 25w panel via a simple regulator for the genset battery.
My lead acid (dinosaur) batteries love it. Boat lives on a swing mooring.
Panels put out immediately in sun. During install, or other work, put them to sleep by covering them.
Hope this is some help.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:51 AM   #8
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Peter
You are right in what you say however my panel will hang off the rear rail of the fly bridge
It may touch the canvas via the frame it is mounted to however it will be well protected and if it destroys the canvas i can repair it as i have the technology or i will go to a hard canopy
As for the wind generator i am looking at the Rutland as it has a larger flywheel than others meaning more inertia for lighter winds and it is not as noisy as others either

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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Interesting idea Bruce, but I doubt Allan has that wide an area outside the fly bridge rails, I know I don't. Don't forget your vessel is a 36 footer, lucky you.
Allan, the Rutland does rate quite well, so definitely should be on the list. One of the yachting mags did a good wind genny comparison recently. Did you gargle and chase that up. They were looking at all the latest models. Sadly I don't appear to have bookmarked it, sorry.

PS Actually I found the reference Allan, so I've emailed it to you, plus some other possibly interesting links, as long as you have not changed email addresses, it should be there now. If not please advise me what it now is, as mine has not changed.
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