Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Wind or Water generator

SV Perigee

Greetings all.

And thanks for the discussion on these topics.

Answering firstly aspects of the wind generator.

I am about to mount our new wind-gen on top of the mizzen.  I was concerned about the weight of a D400 up there.  This siting chosen for best wind speed & clean air, giving maximum output for any given conditions.

I decided upon a Rutland 1200, weighing less than 8kg, vs 17kg for the D400.  Roughly the same power output curve.  Even though this is a relatively new unit (launched 2016), having spoken to owners and listened to installed units, nothing adverse to be heard on either of these fronts. Any support issues have by all accounts been resolved quickly by Marlec UK.

An extra benefit of this unit, is that the included charge controller is a MPPT unit, which also accepts input from up to 500W of solar panels (@24V) - reducing the problems of voltage mis-match than can occur when combining charging sources.  Although this does introduce a single-point-of-failure, having a standard Victron or blue-Sky controller on-hand might alleviate this to some extent.

Another decision point was that the Rutland units puts 'wild' or raw AC down the past, minimising voltage losses that might otherwise be incurred for mounting at the top of the mizzen, compared to a unit that puts out already-rectified DC down the wire.

The unit is a 'maintenance/service free' so, apart from new bearing every 5-7-10 years, hopefully nothing to be done there. 

One downside is that, in the event of needing to fix a broken unit, or in the event of forecast high winds, getting the unit down could be a handful.

Any insights on how to quickly and easily do this (from a bosun's chair and using standard rigging equipment) gratefully accepted.

Perigee SM#396
St Maarten

On Sunday, 8 April 2018, 9:19, "JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

Thanks Danny.
Greatly appreciated.
Best Regards,

On Sun, Apr 08, 2018 at 12:33 AM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Hi Jeff,
the comments were on this forum a few months ago, probably directed at wind generators in general but he had a D 400 he would have been pleased to dispose of. I did wonder if there was something wrong with his install as he had had trouble getting it to work at all. 
For the replacement in the first instance I communicated with Super Wind in Germany to discuss possible servicing options. They were incredibly helpful sending me detailed annotated drawings and diagrams showing tests and then instructions on dismantling. In the event we found the housing worn from failing bearings. After 9 years continuous service you might expect that. So I went with the replacement. As I had installed the original with a knowledgeable technician I needed no help there. The owners manual provided has quite detailed instructions, clear, concise and understandable. It is a bit of a trick lifting the unit onto the top of the mizzen from the bosuns chair. If you go down this path Ill tell you my method. As to advice, you could do no better than contact Klaus Krieger at Super Wind even if you buy elsewhere although they are happy to ship. You will need the stop switch, two fuses, the controller and the dump elements as well as the generator. I got my originals all at once at the Annapolis  boat show and the extras were usable with the new unit.
Kind Regards
SM 299 Ocean Pearl

On 08 April 2018 at 13:56 "JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@opt [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


Will do.
I'm  surprised at any negative comments on the d400. I've only heard good things. 
I need to educate myself on the different components involved. what dealer did you use, and how was their support in helping on the install?
I thought Ocean Energy's people were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, however they don't offer any wind generating systems, only solar and hydro.
I'm skeptical on the hydro, due to my thoughts previously expressed..
Thanks for answering my questions.
Best Regards,

On Sat, Apr 07, 2018 at 08:21 PM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Hi Jeff,
Weight: Superwind 11.5 kg D 400 17 kg or 33% heavier. At the top of a mast that is significant. Output. Superwind is rated for 350 watts and the D400 400 watts. I have been happy with the output from my Superwind, I have read on the forum an owners scathing comments about the lack of out put from a D400. Perhaps we had different expectations. As I said before. Not much output below 10 knots apparent, 15 knots quite good, 20 knots plus, terrific. When the batteries are full the Superwind diverts to two heater type elements to absorb the surplus, means you don't have to monitor the battery status. Its whole design is aimed to independent long term operation. The new 353 model is even more robust designed to withstand ice falls. The output is the same. I saw no reason to change. Google them, they have a good web site.
On 08 April 2018 at 10:08 "JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

It helps a lot. The rail mounting was recommended by someone else, who contacted me directly. Never thought of that, and it makes a lot of sense. Outside the rail wiring isn't a major asthetically disturbing concept. 
I think that the wiring through the locker is also a good idea.
What is the weight comparison between the super wind and the d400? Any idea?
What are the output specs comparatively? Any idea?
A plate to mount the wind generator on top of the mizzen attaching it to the existing extruding plate sounds like an excellent option.  
When I return to the boat later this month, I'm going to envision the options and get a better feel for the actual deployment. 
I greatly appreciate your feedback.
Best Regards,
Jeff Spirit Amel 54 #14

On Sat, Apr 07, 2018 at 03:44 PM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Hi Jeff, The top of the Mizzen has a flat plate on it that extends beyond the extrusion. When we bought Ocean Pearl it had a hole at each corner. We made the mast for the wind generator with a matching plate that we bolted to the top of the mast with a strip of 3mm thick rubber between the two plates. Any wind generator you mount on the top of the mizzen must not need servicing or physical stopping, for obvious reasons. It must be vibration free, some will make the mizzen mast sing, and it must be genuinely quiet.. The D400 was one I looked at closely when we bought ours at the Annapolis boat show. We went around and around looking at all the options. The D400 is very bulky and heavy and I didn't like its clumsy swing to the side feathering in strong winds which is achieved by having a very short tail
Our wind generator is German made Super Wind. It is designed for remote locations and needs no service. I described its feathering and silence in my previous. After 9 years with no need for service at any time the bearings were worn and we replaced it this year. The technology remains the same. I contacted the company in Germany and they could not have been more helpful. We bought the replacement unit from and agent in New Zealand. I posted photos of the mast and month or two back while it was off for the change. Sadly I recently deleted them from my camera.
Solar panels. We have two 130 watt 12 volt panels linked together to give 24 volts, hence just 130 watts. We got them at Island Water world in St Maarten and they provided a clamp system that we used to attach them to the port side rail just aft of the cockpit, about 1/3 in 2/3 out if you get my meaning.Thy sit happily there and are easy to swing up out of harms way when docking.  Because I thought this may be a temporary site I surface ran the wiring down a staunchon across the deck, up and over the coaming and into the big cockpit locker and from there to the batteries via appropriate fuses and a controller. It has worked so well and is so unobtrusive we have left them there for 9 years. A cheap as chips solution and added benefit, works well. The surface mounted wiring is just not noticed so I've left that too I have in the past posted photos.
Hope this helps
On 08 April 2018 at 00:33 "JEFFREY KRAUS jmkraus@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

A couple questions if you don't mind.
How did you mount the wind generator? What type is it? Have you heard of the d400, and any thoughts on it? How large, and where did you mount your solar panels?  9 years is a long time, and I have to assume that improvements have been made on the technology of both the wind and solar components. With that said, you seem to have a great combination that have got the job done with flying colors! That is amazing battery life, and speaks to an opitimal generating efficiency. Bravo!
Best Regards,
Jeff Spirit Amel 54 #14

On Sat, Apr 07, 2018 at 05:19 AM, simms simms@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Hi Paul. I'll repeat my thoughts from past posts. We have had for 9 years a super wind generator on top of the mizzen.  mast. There is no vibration and no noise. It cannot be heard.. It has mechanially auto feathering blades and a stop switch which because of the auto feathering never needs to be used in strong winds. It never has to be used because of the sensibilities of night wstch crew or marins neighbours because you cant hear it.
I agree. Under 10 knots apparent wind the charge is slight. 15 knots good. 20 knots plus terrific. We only have 130 watts solar plus the 350 watt wind generator. I like having my bases covered. Sunny and windless ok. Windy and cloudy. Ok. Windy and sunny. Wow. Hiwever it was never my desire to be able to run all my high draw systems on these secondary chargers. I did not want to cross oceeans relying on diesel engines for my electrcity. Mid ocean storms can go for days with heavy cloud cover. Hence the wind gen. If i lost diesel generation i wanted to be able to keep my esential eletronics going. I could live without air con etc. As an aside. In my experience electric auto helms are not big current users. Radar is as are inverters. Auto helms should not be set too finely.. A little bit of wandering does no harm and use a lot less juice.
Lastly I attribute the 8 years I got flooded lead acid batteries to the combination of wind generator and solar. I thrashed them at times but mostly that constant charge looked after them
AM 299
Ocean Pearl

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: "'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners]"
Date: 7/04/18 01:38 (GMT+12:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Wind or Water generator

We have an Air Breeze generator.. It is okay, not great.
It is one of the quietest systems on the market but can still be a little annoying. One of the best features is it can be turned off and locked with an installed switch. This is also a big plus when at dock..
When on the hook, we turn it on at night. It will add enough charge to the batteries (15+ knts) that we do not have to start the genset in the morning. Solar usually picks up enough after 10am. We run all three refrigeration units, instruments (anchor alarm) and fans at night. During the day, it is off as we have ample solar. In the Caribbean, I can count on one hand the days where our solar set up has not been adequate to charge the batteries and offset our power needs due to cloudy conditions.
On overnight passages, it will be on at night unless the person on watch gets tired of hearing it. No matter what, we always seem to have to run the genset for about a hour at night when sailing due to instruments, radar and auto-pilot etc. The wind generator doesn’t produce enough to offset this usage, even in stronger winds.
Hope this helps confirm your hesitation on a wind generator.
With best regards,
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - Guadeloupe
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Friday, April 6, 2018 6:32 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Wind or Water generator
We have 850 watt of solar power that covers our need when at anchor, even a partly cloudy day. But during passage at night we need to run the Genset something that take away some of the joy of sailing.
I have been thinking of installing a wind generator as we are going to spend a few seasons in the Caribbean where it is not uncommon with strong wind and cloud days. But hopefully we will also cross the Pacific and I assume more or less following wind and the wind generator will not contribute very much.
Does anyone of you out there have any experience with the Watt and Sea or the Swi-Tec hydro generators. Or any other brand? Pros and cons with hydro generators? For you who have both Hydro and Water generators what would be your first choice?
Paul on S/Y Kerpa SM#259




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