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Is a wind generator worth the money?

Overnight you don’t get much sunshine and our batteries drop AH without anything topping them up.

Would a wind generator be a good idea? or would it just make more sense to add more solar and catch up the next day?

So quickly lets compare a wind generator with a power equivalent solar panel.

Wind GeneratorSolar panel
Cost: $1500Cost: $500
Maximum Wattage: 450Maximum Wattage: 400
Real world Wattage:
450w @ 25kts wind
45w @ 12kts wind
0w @ 6kts wind
Real world Wattage:
75% on a sunny day : 300W
50% as an average day: 200W
Average hours of generation/day: 8Average hours of generation/day: 8
Expected Daily output: 360W (based on an average of 8 hours/day above 12kts)Expected Daily output: 1600W
(based on 8 hours of average day)
Cost/Watt/Day: $4.16Cost/Watt/Day: $0.31

Seems a no brainer to me, especially given the desire to anchor in calm hot anchorages. But what about the shoulder seasons or winter? would the figures change dramatically? I think they would but still remain on the side of Solar, lets face it we’ve been fairly generous with Wind and it still would need to increase cost/return by 13.5 times to break even.

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One Response

  1. Expected daily output should be measured in Wh, not W. Cost should be Cost/Wh/day, not Cost/W/day. Units matter. Power v. Energy.

    I agree with your conclusion. On most boats the most significant contribution of wind generators is to shade the solar. That isn’t so good.

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