Wind Generator Installation
I had always planned to put a wind generator and solar panels on the boat. Since I had a deck stepped mizzen mast I decided that I should put on the wind generators while I was in Houston. I would be able to take the mast off of the boat and fit the wind generator mount while the mast was on the ground. Running the wiring for the wind generators would also be so much easier while the mast was on the ground. I also wanted to install a GPS antenna on top of the mizzen mast, and this would be much easier with the mast on the ground.
Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the mizzen mast being taken down or put up. Because of the attachments on the mizzen mast, radar, jumper stay and strut, I had to offset the wind generator to the side of the mast. Since I had to do the offset, I decided to put two wind generators on the mizzen. I also decided to go with Southwest Wind Power's Air MarineX wind turbines. I chose this wind turbine because of initial cost and ease of installation. The Air MarineX wind turbines are self regulating, so I would not have to purchase additional electronics for regulation. They are also very light, so there would be less weight aloft. They are also designed to shut themselves down in high winds and the turbine blades feather in high winds. All of these features influenced my decision to go with the Air MarineX wind turbines. As part of the installation, I also installed a stop switch for the wind turbines. This causes the turbines to become a motor, so when you do not want to generate electricity,(at the dock with AC power connected to the battery charger) the blades turn very slow, if at all. Because of the distance in feet from the top of the mizzen mast to the batteries, I had to use #8 AWG wire.
The mount was built at Xtreme-Tek in Seabrook, Texas. I knew the owners, so they gave me a great deal. They would do the welding, if I did all of the fitting, cutting and fabrication. The shop pictures are taken inside their shop, and the fitting pictures are taken at the shop that I had access to in Seabrook.
Since having the wind turbines installed, I have been very satisfied with the installation and the power that they generate. I had some initial problems getting the mizzen mast tuned to get the vibration out, but since then it was great.
Just a quick note about the installation and the turbines. We were living in the Florida Keys when Hurricane Wilma hit. We evacuated the keys, and I put the turbines in the stop position. When we returned, the turbines functioned normally after surviving 115 MPH winds.