After a fair bit of research we decided in the end to purchase an Ampair 300 wind turbine and Ampair Voyager VS-50 regulator. The wind turbine has now been installed on our mooring and the regulator has been installed in BELLE’s stern, leaving us the option to mount the wind turbine on board BELLE at some later date. The system was fired-up at dawn on Monday this week and everything seems to be working OK - performance thus far is impressive.
Looking back to the two questions posed in our BLOG entry 19 July 2011:
Noise and Vibration – Having had brief discussions with a number of boaters that have passed us over the last few months with a wind turbine stowed on their roof, we established that a wind turbine is best located at the stern, where it can be mounted securely to the rear bulkhead and/or the counter. The boat structure is much stiffer here and this helps keep the noise and vibration down. However, noise and vibration is still evident on board in a stiff breeze, so it makes more sense to ground mount the wind turbine whilst on your home mooring when seeking a quiet life.
Charging Control – The Ampair VS-50 regulator is effectively two regulators in one, i.e. one to manage a wind turbine output of up to 25 amps and the other to manage a solar panel output of up to 25 amps. There are other regulators available from Ampair and their competitors, but we opted for this one because it has been designed specifically with the Ampair 300 wind turbine in mind.
For sure, these items of Ampair equipment cost significantly more than those available from Ampair’s competitors, but you do not need to look very hard at all when comparing designs to quickly realise that these Ampair products are definitely built to last a long time in a marine environment.
The wind turbine mast has been made from a 3.0 metre long section of 48mm OD aluminium ‘standard’ scaffold tube – this mounts into a steel ground socket that has been cast into a small block of concrete. The guy lines and fittings are stainless steel - the lines are connected at the ground end to eye bolts that have also been cast into small blocks of concrete.
The electrical output from the wind turbine is delivered to BELLE via a flexible cable assembly that connects via a new waterproof plug and socket arrangement on the stern. A waterproof plug and socket has also been incorporated into this flexible cable assembly at the base of the mast. Therefore, a much shorter flexible cable assembly can be substituted when the mast is mounted on BELLE’s stern in due course.
The regulator has been mounted into an existing electrical equipment cupboard in BELLE’s stern. This regulator is quite large when compared to competitor products and achieving a tidy installation was a bit of a challenge. This regulator is built like the proverbial ‘brick sh1t house’ – built to last.
Those wanting to learn more can mail me.