Re: Wind Generators

Colin - ex SV Island Pearl

Hi Gary

After 2 years cruising with the two Rutland 1200's we are still delighted with them. Had dual Airx and Airbreeze wind gens on our last boat and these are better in every way.

Your wind gens however will only ever be incremental amps with solar being the key driver, but without two of them you will absolutely never stop the need for daily generator use.

How much solar? We started off with 540w and had to run the genset morning and night. (note we have two freezers running all the time for 8 months out in the remote Indian Ocean & now again as we are stocked up for 7 months crossing the Pacific).

540w was clearly insufficient so in Malaysia we added another 280w taking us to 820w total run through two independent solar controllers for redundancy.

Whilst better, we still found yourself using the genset approx1 hr morning and night. (I had crew in the Indian Ocean & Atlantic oceans so we had 5 computer's, numerous ipads, cameras etc..Also I should point out we use a electric kettle jug and induction stove exclusively with  very little gas use except when oven baking food. 

Unlike now when it is just Lauren and I in the Caribbean and crossing the Pacific, with crew we found our fast boiling electric kettle was used at lib very inefficiently ie. each crew boiling it every time they wanted a hot drink. This wasted a lot of power and I was equally surprised at how much power each PC drained from the batteries.

Wind forward to the Caribbean and I added another 200W again through another independent controller taking our solar to 1.04kw and BINGO!!!

Now with just two of us on board, we are able to run the boat energy needs totally off solar and wind alone. What a pleasure!!!  ...not only in saving genset wear and tear and noise, but also for the extended fuel range we now have as the genset, although frugal in diesel use, actually chews up a large portion of your fuel reserves reducing substantially your motoring range if you ever needed it. For example we set off next week on a direct Panama to Marquesas sail of 4000nm without stopping at Galapagos in windless doldrum conditions, so for us, not wasting fuel through the genset can sometimes be a huge bonus providing peace of mind.

Only sometimes when night sailing down wind in the trades do I find it necessary to run the genset for an hour or less. In the Caribbean however, we found the two Rutland powered our night sailing needs fine as we were generally on a beam reach, with the wind gens pumping in significantly more power than the autopilot, lights and freezers needed.

Thought I'd share this as others may also be wondering about how much solar is enough in the quest to run a typical Amel power needs totally on nature to leave a lighter environmental footprint.

Colin & Lauren Streeter
Shelter Bay Marina. Panama
SV Island Pearl II, SM#332 
(soon for sale when we complete our circumnavigation in either New Zealand or Brisbane)

On Thu, 2 May 2019, 08:53 Gary Wells, <gary@...> wrote:
Just replaced an ancient Air-x with a Rutland 1200.  
The new level of sound from the Rutland is such a nice change from the Air-x.  I won't ever complain about the "noise" when I can remember the db level of the old one. 
Can't wait till we add some solar later this year ;)

Gary W.
SM298, Adagio
St.Thomas, USVI

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