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Old 06-20-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
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Default Wind Generator, which one?

Hi guys,

Long time no chat! Did you miss me?

Anyway, I've started refitting SV Chiara Stella for the next big adventure -- a lap around the Pacific, over the top (of Australia), through SE Asia and then on to the Indian Ocean. One thing I've gotten to is the wind generator.

I currently have an Ampair 100 which I'm reasonably happy with, but at 100W max it's probably a bit underpowered. I'm looking to replace it, and the 3 candidates that are most easily available locally are:

* Ampair 300, $2410. As an extra, Ampair will offer me a 100W towed generator for $1475 which I'm considering. Excludes controller.
* Silentwind 400W, $1995, excludes controller.
* AirMovPower 400, Southern Circle Distributors | Wind Mills | AirMovPower 400, $950, includes controller.

Now I've heard pretty good things about the Ampair but at more than double the price of the cheap AirMovPower it's an expensive unit. Having said that, mine's been up for 10 years with no signs of any issues.

The AirMovPower is a strange beastie -- check out the web page. It's a "downwind passive yawing machine which discards the tail vane and any mechanical protection joint". So it has no tail vane and the generator points away from the wind, not into it.

Does anyone have any experience with these?

What do you think?
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #2
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My recommendation would be the Rutland 914i ...

Several of my friends have them and I did some research on Wind generators a while ago and feel they come out tops. Some people still run the original 910 Rutland ... 913's have been all the go for the past few years but now the 914i seems to be the way to go. One big advantage is they have 6 blades and run quieter than the competition. Break a blade and simply take off the opposite blade and it keeps running in balance.

Air breeze and Ampair are pretty common but not anywhere near as efficient and noisy as all hell... not popular in anchorages.

Nope I don't run a wind generator but have thought about it many times ... Hope this helps ...

Lexx
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
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Unfortunately the Rutland is out of the picture at the moment. With no Australian distributors nor any in NZ that I can find, I can't buy it here and international shipping would be prohibitive. I would also find it nearly impossible to get spare parts.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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You can get them from a guy in NSW through EBay at times .. they seem to pop up for a few weeks and then disappear for a few weeks ... round $1700 including the regulator which is usually 3 or 4oo extra...

Or there is the Chinese option of the Rutland 913 copy with a 2 year warranty and parts available ..

see ... Wind Turbine 12V Boat or Off-grid Wind Generator - Chinese Rutland 913 | eBay
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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How does $660 sound for 300W??

Wind Turbine 12V Boat or Off-grid Wind Generator - Chinese Rutland 913 | eBay

Rob
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Rutland Wind Generators are not the ones with the highest power rating, but they start milling at already light to gentle breezes, producing for example already 0,5 to 1 A when on neighbouring boats the three bladers stand still for hours and days.
So, imagining a day of a light, friendly breeze, you can harvest 12 to 24 Ah a day while bigger threebladers produce almost nothing.

Comparing the power ratings of different turbines is just one aspect - you should also concider the average wind situation in the area you wish to sail. So, under constant fresh to strong trade winds it might make sence to install a turbine that starts late but has a higher power rating.
If you prefer the waters with light to gentle breezes, a Rutland is imho the better choice.
I love my Rutland...

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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Rutlands are also kinder in anchorages as they are quieter ... and as I said earlier if you break a blade you simply take of the opposing blade and it keeps right on working in balance.... to me that would kind of be important although if you bought one , then wouldn't you also buy a spare blade or two ...

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:13 AM   #8
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OK, so you guys have almost sold me on the Chinese Rutland, since I can't get the real one nearby. Has anyone tried one of these and how reliable/noisy are they compared to the real Rutlands?

The ampair is also a very quiet windgen, being a six bladed type. It also has low startup speed and quite good output for a 100W generator -- in a 25kt blow over at LHI it pushed out 10 A continually all night, which was a welcome top up for the batteries as we'd been running the fridge all week.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:29 AM   #9
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... except reading the fine print, the "Chinese Rutland 913" only ramps up to 100W at 14m/s (29kts), the same speed at which the AirMov generates 400W and the Ampair generates 320W. Since the aim is to increase power generation rather than reduce it, I'll have to exclude it from consideration. "300W" is what it generates at 55 knots, and at 55 knots of wind speed I'll have better things to worry about than whether I have power for the fridge.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:38 AM   #10
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I wonder why you asked the original question ... never mind.

I still recommend the Rutland 914i and as to there not being an Australian distributor ...

Try ... Outback Marine Rutland 914i Wind Generator

They are on the Gold Coast In Queensland, check out the specs of the 914i and the fact that Rutlands have been around for over 30 years and lots of their originals are still going... at $1700 they are not cheap but why price quality and reliability.

If I ever get around to fitting a wind generator you can bet it will be a Rutland ...

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
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You might consider getting a (towed) water generator rather than another wind generator. Something like the Ferris 200 Amp-hr one shown here which converts to a wind generator for extended in port stays.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #12
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Yes, I'm definitely considering a towed generator as an addition. I was hoping that my Ampair could be converted but the conversion kit doesn't exist as a separate unit. I can, however, get the Ampair 100W towed generator and use my old wind generator unit as a spare part for the towed generator. I'm still trying to decide between the Ampair, the Rutland and the AirMov up top though. Apparently both will be at the Sydney Boat Show end of next month so I may go back and forth between the dealers and see which is likely to work for me.

Thanks everyone for the info so far, it gives me more to work on.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:13 AM   #13
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I think you mean AQUAIR Tow Gen?? yes?? Delatbabel you need to check what your doing first. and identify all needs before you buy it. Tell us what you have now in terms of power..ie... 1. 2 batt banks 12vdc 1 crank=bank and 2 house GEL's 1 solar pan 100w ETC.
i consume 3000w a day. or My battery's go bad every three months and even/or they won't hold a charge long... Life of battery is short.

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Old 01-27-2013, 06:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel View Post
Yes, I'm definitely considering a towed generator as an addition. I was hoping that my Ampair could be converted but the conversion kit doesn't exist as a separate unit. I can, however, get the Ampair 100W towed generator and use my old wind generator unit as a spare part for the towed generator. I'm still trying to decide between the Ampair, the Rutland and the AirMov up top though. Apparently both will be at the Sydney Boat Show end of next month so I may go back and forth between the dealers and see which is likely to work for me.

Thanks everyone for the info so far, it gives me more to work on.


Dear Fellow Sailor!
I think you mean the AQUAIR tow one?? Its cool too and EFOY . com is coming soon. Listen, you really need to tell us what your problem is here to better help you with power stuff. Oh, They can sell you anything but I detect your having problems with your setup?? Tell us what you have in great detail. Example only below:

2 Banks of battery's Bank 1=crank 12vdc Liq. 300 Amp/Hours 5 years old
Bank 2- 2 GMA's 12vdc 250 / 300 A/H 10 y/o
1 solar Panel Max 150watt
How do you charge them NOW? STEPS!!

as much as you can give your reader..

Then we can direct you to the right stuff.

Capt.Rob
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