Let There Be Wind!

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wind_generator_sailboat

After our early power management struggles I think we finally have a handle on things. This week we installed our first wind generator, a KISS wind generator. KISS, when used as an acronym typically stands for “keep it simple sweetie” and our wind generator is no exception. When winds are above 5mph the blades start spinning, but when winds get too high it automatically starts slowing things down so the motor won’t over heat or burn out. If you know high winds are coming all you have to do is flip the power switch to “off” and the blades stop immediately. For extra security in high winds you can tie it off. The wind generator seems to produce a good deal of power that when combined with a bit of solar generates more than we consume in a day. We still have to run Jenny on cloudy, windless days like yesterday, but the batteries are no where as low as they were when we were a solar only boat. Yeah!

wind_generator_KISS

{Its hard to believe the blades were spinning at about 20 knots when I snapped this photo! How is that for a fast shutter speed?}

In true Chance fashion, we painted our wind generator BRIGHT pink to match our pink lines. It is recommended that you don’t look directly at it for fear of hurting your eyes. Our love of a bit of extra (and colorful) pizazz has been noted before so this should come as no surprise. You can now spot our sailboat from shore within seconds when looking out at the anchorage. It is kind of neat to see the blur of pink the blades leave behind when you look directly at it.

The ability to turn wind into energy that powers our lights and this very laptop that I am writing this blog post on truly amazes me. This is the same wind that blows through my hair and that will eventually sail our little family through the Caribbean. All you need is a motor, fiberglass blades and some wire. I know it is a lot more complicated than that, but we’re keeping it simple here (see what I did there?). This power doesn’t cost anything (outside of the initial investment), leaves no negative impact on our environment, and is really powerful! The only drawback is that it can be a bit noisy the higher the winds are.

We still have one more wind generator that we will eventually install but for now we are both a lot happier with our battery levels. Best of all, we are one step closer to getting the heck out of here! Only a couple of “must do before we head off” things on the list!!

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