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Thread: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

  1. #1

    Default Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Has anyone put a wind generator on a Leopard 46? If so wondering were would be the best place for it. I am concerned about effecting the wind flow around the sails so wondering about one on top of the mast or Davits? Or pole mounted off the stern near the steps. Also wondering what I could expect out a wind generator. Would solar also be good? I wouldn't want to put a solar panel on the davits as the seat is used to drop off the back and think it would get in the way. Also on the top of the bimini I want access to the stack pack and also needs ventilation under the panels which means having them slightly raised and if stepped on may break.

    I ordered an extra set of batteries and hope to be able to generate enough power to run two fridges freezer ice maker TV and lights. Is there a set up that is able to provide enough power for this?

    Thanks in Advance.

    B

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Thailand
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    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    the Higher the Better, In an anchorage with 15kts blowing - the noise can spoil your sundowner.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Cheers. Any down side to having on top of the mast? Besides the bit of added weight up there?

    B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Ft. lauderdale
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    213

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    We have installed wind generators on the 46 davits and solar between the davits and on the hardtop, wetend to use the Kyocera panels with mppt based controllers, very good outputs.
    We can get x3 Kyocera 130w panels on the hardtop, and x3 between the davits.
    www.justcatamarans.net
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    Dec 2008
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    Ft. lauderdale
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    213

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    We mount the solar in such a way that you get access to the stackpack, and on the davits there is plenty of clearance, as well as the panels being able to tilt.
    With the MPPT, in midday we get up to 25A DC out of x3 panels, pretty good.
    The wind generators are not as impressive to us, we have installed mostly KISS and AirMarine, but they are noisy and break the lines of the boat.
    We favor the solar bearing in mind most of our clients cruise the Bahamas, States and Carribean.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Thailand
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    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    The photos show the Wind generators very low down - cannot help to believe that the NOISE they produce will be a distraction in the cockpit. Although when the wind is strong in an anchorage, at least some of the noise will abated. However, in a marina berth ???

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Do you think the solar panels would almost give you enough charge? Maybe don't need the wind generators then. Makes the boat a quieter place. Wonder how often I would need to run the generator to charge the batteries to run the lights and 2 fridges freezer and ice maker.

    How hard is it to install? Much drilling on the hardtop? Wires must take a bit of routing down the davits and into the boat.

    Cheers

    B

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Devon UK
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    146

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Hi Okinawa,

    We are probably the only Leopard 46 with a wind gen on top of the mast. The benefits are that you get better wind up there and any noise is reduced. The disadvantages are that if it goes wrong you have to go up the mast and if you want to be a stickler for the rules the anchor light doesn't quite give a 360 deg view due to the gen mounting rod. Ignore all the comments you might get about wind turbulance on the main and putting weight up high, it is a cruising cat not a racer and secondly the wind gen only weighs 4 kilos. We were recently moored beside African Seawing and both of us had wind gen's at the mast top and we were both happy with them.

    On the solar front we decided not to put solar between the davits as I was worried about hitting my head everytime I wanted to use the dive platform. We use the platform when at anchor to easily get in and out of the dinghy. We have two 130W Kyocera panels one on the helm roof and one one the port side of the bimini. There is plenty of clearance between the boom and helm roof to put 2 panels with 30mm risers. the wires run down the helm roof riser tubes into the saloon. The panel on the port side bimini is also on 30mm risers and the wires enters above the port speaker and runs around from there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    From my understanding of wind-gens, noise is more attributed to blade imbalance than rotor noise. that said, fewer blades means easier to balance. but it doesnt take much mass removed from the blade to imbalance it. that little deformity in the blade from the last time it hit a shroud or fishing line could be enough to throw it out of balance.

    have you considered a tow behind water flow generator? you get way more torque (read: more amperage per turn means it doesnt wear out as fast) from the water and have no noise and no chance of rigging/flesh interference. you may suffer a 1/4 knot drag though.

    check out the Duogen. its a tow-behind for when you're cruising that can be lifted out of the water and outfitted with blades to act as a wind-gen when at anchor. for a cat, it's best mounted outboard of one of the hulls on the stern.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stratford upon Avon, boat Poole
    Posts
    3,250

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Wind gen and Solar serve different purposes.

    Solar (via mppt) is fine in daytime, particularly if you are in a sunny clime.

    Wind generators work when the usually solar doesn't. So it is good on dark, wet, windy days, (some of us suffer these) and they are good at night. This is particulaly helpful since much of the power usage, lights etc, is after sun-down.

    Unfortunately, most wind generators produce much less power than a good bank of slar panels.

    I suggest you usually need both.

    Mike
    Wrong no man, write no woman.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Now cruising in the SUN! Currently in Malta
    Posts
    969

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Okinawacat,

    do you want to produce electricity primarily when on the move or at anchor? I consider it more important to produce power for the various navigational systems which are in use when sailing than for those comfort systems when I am at anchor.

    My wind generator is mounted on a pole on the port aft transom. When on starboard tack the wind is very often deflected to that effect that the wind generator is not working - great on a long trade wind route! I am considering moving it to the top of the mast for that reason.

    I thus support the water flow generator - various product options are open to you.

    Solar power is a "must have" - works when at anchor or on the move provided of course there is sun.

    To become self-sufficient you will definitely need a combination of wind / solar / water / engine driven solutions all tailored to your specific cruising ground. There will still be days with no wind and overcast skies so all good ideas ground to a halt!
    Roger

    ------------------
    I look to the future, because that's where I am going to spend the rest of my life - George Burns

  12. #12

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Hi friends ,

    do you know this : www.wattandsea.com ?

    Looks very efficient ... when sailing of course , that is when high consumption (auto pilot, radar, nav lights , etc) .
    And when anchor is down, solar panels will work . What's your opinion ?
    Have nice day , Eric .

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    St. Augustine, FL
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    686

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    A water-towed gen is extremely efficient. We looked at the Duo-Gen, but just couldn't come up with a good way to mount it on our cat without effectively giving up one set of stern steps.

    Fair Winds,
    Mike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    I read about a new vertical wind turbine:

    http://www.kronosenergysolutions.com...ts/mastR1.html

    It has many advantages, but I have not yet seen it other than in a video from Miami Boat Show!

    The weight could be an issue, as well as whether or not it is free of the sails.

    Near silent, inherently overspeed protected by design, start-up speed from just a few knots ...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA USA & Cartagena, Spain
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    19

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    We have a '43 with Superwind generators that are pretty quiet. They produce white noise that is easy to talk over when sitting in the cockpit.
    Here's a pic of the configuration:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    15

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Harmonia, thank you for that info - I am curious how it would be to be a neighbour to you, in a marina. People live on boats around here, and I would not want to make myself unpopular by annoying people. Sure there are other noises here, and if there is no wind, the turbines don't turn anyway, so ...

    Btw, I never got the Leopard 44, I ended up buying a second hand Schionning design 1620 55 foot cat (modified from the orignal design) and I am quite happy!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sacramento, CA USA & Cartagena, Spain
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    19

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Wow, quite a switch from Leopard to Schionning. Nice looking boats!
    I would compare the wind generator noise to wind blowing in nearby pine trees. It is not quite as pleasant a sound, but it is not aggravating either. The sound is in very stark contrast to some of the annoying wind generators I have heard in anchorages. So I think the generator design is critical. Here's a picture from a slightly different angle that shows the upper attach points. Good luck.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    Yes, it was some switch, but in Hong Kong, there's limited space for proper moorings, so you cannot just buy any boat you like then expect to park it as you like! The cat we bought also comes very well equipped, and is larger than the Leopard we looked at - we are quite happy!

    Hong Kong gets its share of Typhoons, so I was quite interested in those wind turbines of the helix type, which have a natural stalling tendency above certain speeds. Hence they don't need brakes, feathering or dismantling by heavy winds.

    Your installation is quite interesting - I was thinking of how to support the wind turbine(s) to the top of the helm, but the lines from the mainsail would get in the way. Very simple - just have them in the side, as you did, seems like a good solution.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sacramento, CA USA & Cartagena, Spain
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    19

    Default Re: Wind Generator and Solar for Leopard

    We cannot take any credit for the installation. She came to us with the generators already installed. I have had a passing thought about how to get them down before a storm, but they are so sleek and light that I would be tempted to leave them up (and feathered). Good luck with your installation.

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