On my last boat I had a Duogen, the wind/water version of the D400. It used the same alternator and blades as the wind only D400. VERY quiet and smooth running by either wind or water. It was an awesome machine as a towed water generator: Sailing at 5 or 6 knots it fed a constant 7+ amps into our 12 volt system. More than enough to keep the batteries fully charged all the time on a passage from Hawaii.
As a wind generator it did not make enough power to pay its way. Yes, it could make 4 or 5 amps…for a few minutes at a time in a big gust. Even in quite windy places it was never a significant contributor to our energy budget over the course of a day.
I think you will be disappointed with the cost/benefit ratio with any wind generator you pick. You would be better off finding a place to add 150 watts of solar panels. They would be better, even in marginal conditions, at putting electrons into your battery over the course of a week.
That said, if you do go ahead with a wind generator, the top of the mizzen is a really bad spot for a reason that you did not mention. Adding the weight of a wind generator 10 meters up in the air is NOT a good thing to do for a sailboat. Adding 17kg (the weight of a D400) 10 meters up will have a similar effect on the stability as taking about 110 kg off your keel. Very round numbers, but you get the idea. The boat heels more in the wind, needs reefing earlier, etc. It IS a significant effect.
Lower is better for anything heavy, but of course the lower it is, the less wind it sees… no free lunch!
Port Canaveral, Florida,
Heading north in a day or two.
Hello! We are thinking of adding a wind generator to complement our 650 w of solar power. On cloudy days, during night sailing and in windy anchorage in the Caribbean I think it might be a good complement. But where to put it? We do not like to put in on the solar arc as it will give shadow on the solar panels, thus reducing output from the solar panels which will give the majority of the power. One place we believe might be a god spot is on top of the mizzen mast, but it has some draw backs.
-Not possible to lock in strong wind conditions
-difficult to service
-could be subject to very strong forces when going upwind and pounding into the waves. With the wind generator on top of the mizzen it can experience severe de-acceleration and need to be fastened very strong. On a previous boat when sailing up wind in rough conditions our combined tricolor and anchor light broke loose and fell down on deck, due to severe de-acceleration.
Any experience and advice highly appreciated on where to best place the wind generator, We do like to fly the mizzen balooner, thus on the mizzen mast fare from ideal
We are currently choosing between Silent wind, Super wind and D 400 from Dougen. Noise and vibration are at least as important criteria as efficiency.
Any thoughts of which to go for? The Superwind is by fare the most expensive one.
Paul on S/Y Kerpa SM#259