Hopefully this won't stir up too much emotion with my friends and family back home but I said I would do a post about our new wind generator. I'm hopeful now that it's installed that I'll produce sufficient power so that I can become a major player in the energy field and buy NBPower.
Let me back up. We use a fair bit of power on our boat. While we do have large battery banks (one bank (three batteries) which we had to replace in Fort Pierce) and we have a gasoline generator and we have fairly large solar panels and we have the alternator from our auxiliary engine, power consumption is a concern. In fact, probably the most common topic of conversation with cruisers is what you use to produce power.
Last season, we did ok but had to run our main engine way more than I would have liked. The solar panels worked well but even though it was generally sunny, the days were short. But, recall that the wind howled; day and night.
So like many other cruisers we decided to install a wind generator. Picture those huge, slow turning mammoths which are appearing on our horizons as an alternative to "dirty power" (apologies to you Arden and Fred) and you have a large scale depiction of what we now have.
Essentially these rigs are fairly large, propeller-looking devices which are essentially generators which when the wind blows generates power to restore the power sucked out of the batteries; essentially identical to the behemoths which are sprouting out around our countryside.
Like anything with boats, installation is a big deal. I bought the device and accoutrements from Ft. Lauderdale and had it delivered to the marina. For only a boat buck and a half (I was reminded in the comment from a couple of posts ago that a boat buck is a thousand dollars), I am the proud owner of an unassembled wind generator.
It needs to be installed on its own mast, secured in at least three points, then wired into the battery system through a panel of switches and regulators. I want to at least do the mechanical installation before the boat is launched 'cause I fear that otherwise I'd drop so much stuff overboard. After much planning and consultation with neighbours (primarily Warren from No Justice). I get the mast and supports installed off the stern of Sea Sharp.
Now in Stuart, and with the help of Barry, we install the wind generator itself and do the wiring into the panel, and ultimately the batteries. (Took a call to Norman Raine to help with the wiring; thanks once more Norm).
It's now installed but we haven't had a breath of wind since. Something like bringing your umbrella to work; it'll never rain. But a cold front's coming so I'll report on its sufficiency shortly.