One of the items listed on our wish list is a wind generator. A good wind generator, and sufficient solar panels, will help to keep our batteries topped up, and allow us to use all of our electronic toys. One thing is for certain, if we had a wind generator installed right now we would have been getting a ton of free electricity the past few weeks.
Here is today’s marine forecast for our area:
Gale warning in effect. Wind south 25 knots veering to southwest 25 early this morning then increasing to 40 near noon. Wind veering to west 35 this afternoon then diminishing to northwest 30 this evening.
There are multiple brands of wind generators available. In researching this subject it seems that the primary considerations are as follows:
- Amount of electricity generated at the wind speeds you expect to encounter
- The noise that the unit generates
- Quality of construction and ease of maintenance
- Reliability of the manufacturer and support offered by them
With respect to number 1, it seems some units will produce high amounts of electricity at higher wind speeds but do not begin producing anything significant at lower speeds. If we anticipate that the normal amount of wind in an anchorage would be, for example 10 knots, we want a unit which will function well at that level.
Any discussion of wind generators always brings up point 2 above, the noise factor. We obviously don’t have much experience with this. We visited our new friends’ boat and they have an older model installed. They felt that it was very noisy although I am not certain it would bother me much, especially if it was giving us free juice!
In one of the comments in our last post Mike recommended I look into the D-400. I did some reading on it, and even found a Canadian supplier. It does seems to be one of the more expensive wind generators on the market, but from what I’ve read it is quiet and produces well.
I think these ones might be a bit large for our small boat.