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Date: 10 October 2021. Adding an Air-Breeze Wind Generator (#2 in series)

janice142
 

This is becoming a multi-part series on power for an off-grid life afloat. It details the order in which I added power to Seaweed. In it I cover both the mistakes made, and the choices that were spot on. Feel free to learn from my mistakes.

For those with  slower connections I am splitting the series into smaller portions. It is far easier to download a smaller webpage especially when the connection is iffy at best. This is Part Two.


As described in part one of this series
Power, Initial Purchases, I first added a single 75 watt solar panel to Seaweed back in 2010. Later friends passed along two batteries which I added to my system. Though better than where I started by a wide margin, I knew that more would be better. In that regard there were other options to explore.
 

Fortunately I was offered a SouthWinds Air-Breeze wind generator at an entirely reasonable price. Thanks to Ken on Sparrow who installed same, Seaweed was on the river to self-sufficiency at anchor.


This is my friend Ken.

 

Solar panels when combined with a wind generator meant I had redundancy. This is important because if the sun isn't shining often the breeze is often blowing. If I were to run down my batteries, having the ability to sit tight and have them recharge via wind or sun is a comforting matter.
 

Memory Lane: Growing up aboard our 40'er, one of the things we strove for and eventually achieved was abundance. We had three belt sanders, two alternators, two anchors, a spare shaft, spare prop, extra pieces of steel, two welders (one regular, one TIG), and just one child. Hey, they hit it right the first time -- no need for a replacement, eh?!? Although if I were to be completely honest, Daddy did say one of me was quite sufficient.


But I digress...
Now the stats according to literature at SouthWinds stated that this unit would produce a peek of 40aH. Although I have yet to see those results, I am not complaining. Experience has lead me to believe companies tend to provide best case scenarios when describing their gear. On the east coast where sea breezes are the norm the wind generator was a Great addition to my power situation.
 

Here on the west coast the Gulfport anchorage has good breezes. As a matter of fact, I have seen more sailboats actually sailing in that area than any other since leaving Pensacola. A bit about the town can be found in the Gulfport, FL weekend dockmaster Tom article.



The wind generator post is just aft of my initial 75 watt solar panel.


One gent had given me the Schedule 40 (heavy duty pipe, with thick walls) stainless support that holds my wind generator. And then Dale (you met him in the
Birds and my friend Dale the Welder article) welded the piece together. Dale added a davit I had found by the side of the road to the wind-gen post. He went above and beyond to create a cleat for me to use. That cleat has been even more useful than I had originally imagined. I am grateful.



A night heron is perched on the dinghy davit Dale welded to the wind generator post for me. Note the cleat too.

 

 

When Ken sold the Air-Breeze unit to me he said he'd supplied Air-X blades as his kitties were annoyed by the sound of those blades on his unit. I thought that was a mite strange and let it pass. It was wonderful to have a working wind generator and blades are blades, aren't they?!?
 

Then a square wave inverter was installed aboard Seaweed. It had the worst tone/hum... the sound of the unit running was beyond annoying. Though I love having an inverter I almost always shut mine off at night so the noise won't disturb me.
 

Ken's crew, Erin and Lessa

 

I am in league with kitties. I too know
empirically certain sounds can be annoying.

 


So a few years into the journey I am making progress. At that point I had one 75 watt solar panel with a Morningstar 10 solar regulator. Friends passed along two great batteries which doubled my battery bank. And then I purchased the Air-Breeze wind generator. I am on my way to a self-sufficient life at anchor, thanks to friends both new and old.
 

Free Advice: Make sure before you opt for a wind generator that your cruising area has strong prevailing winds.


There are going to be more additions... those will be detailed in the next article in this series. Thank you for reading.
 

Do you have a wind generator? If so, what kinds is yours?
Knowing what you know now, would you purchase this unit again?
 

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2021

Categories:  Anchorages, Boats, Characters, Gear, Locations, Memory Lane, Pets, Wild Things,

Power, Initial Purchases (#1 in series) ~ Previous Post ...   
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Next Post ~ Gasoline Generator Added (starting the wrong way) (#3 in series)

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