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Old 02-13-2008, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
I didn't realize anyone was running one on their trailer while driving! I've seen video of one mounted on the front of a boat where everyone is away from the blades but I don't see how you could mount one on a trailer and still make it under an overpass even with 21" blades.
See post #10. Just a wild idea that has possibilities IMO.
Don't they make them smaller than 21"? Is that the blade length or the diameter of the whole assy?
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #16
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After working with solar and wind systems for a few years, I can answer your question for you.

Solar: Works when the sun is out, depending on where you are, depends on the amount of sunshine you get per day/year. Keep in mind that what you use out of your batteries you need 1.2 times that amount to charge them up again. Solar works but depends on your type and size of panels and the size and type of battery your charging. Also in this equation will be your usage. The better the PV design, the better at charging your battery. With this also drives up the cost per watt. Low end will be around $2 per watt for the import cheap ones. Good quality and long life will get you anywhere from $4-$6 per watt. That is just the panel cost.

We run around 200 watts with a good charge controler and 4 220 amp/hour golf cart batteries. That does us fine. It runs all the things in our travel trailer and takes care of our internet and computer.

Wind: This is a good system if you are in an area that is in cat 3 or better. Most wind gens start output around 7-9 mph. They peak around 27 mph. That is a lot of wind. If a flag (5' or larger) is standing straight, that is the wind you need for good output on a wind gen. For a small one that is rated at 400 watts, you can expect your average output to be around 50% for the year if your in a good wind area.

Wind is great for a hybird setup. But it is hard to count on for charging your batteries all the time. Another thing to consider is having the area around you to get the best output for your wind gen. You should have no obstructions for about 300 ft. Also, it is recommended to mount at an elevation of 20 ft. These are to obtain max output for the rating. You can not run down the road and have them work. Newer ones shut down once the reach a certain RPM and the output starts to drop once you get over 28-30 mph winds.

Bottom line. Solar is easy, requires almost no maintainence, (just clean the panels every so often) and last ...forever we think. The original panels are still working after 40+ years.

A wind generator will need replacement blades and cleaned and taken care of a lot more often. One more thing, they are noisy, but you can get use to that.

Solar is really the way to go on a travel trailer. If you have any quesitons, you can always send me a pm. This is what I do for a living.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:31 PM   #17
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Different can be good:

Pacwind


Of course, to use it while driving still means you're recharging with gas/diesel.

Page o' linkies:
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines - Manufacturers
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:33 PM   #18
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We would like to add solar panels on our Airstream. We just don't know if there is enough space on the roof of our 25' as it already has two fantastic fans, the AC and the TV batwing. I don't want solar panels hanging off the sides or anything. Is there an option for those of us with smaller Airstreams?
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
See post #10. Just a wild idea that has possibilities IMO.
Don't they make them smaller than 21"? Is that the blade length or the diameter of the whole assy?
46" rotor diameter on the Air Breeze and Air X. 20" on this unit: Rutland 503 Wind Generator
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myboyburt
We would like to add solar panels on our Airstream. We just don't know if there is enough space on the roof of our 25' as it already has two fantastic fans, the AC and the TV batwing. I don't want solar panels hanging off the sides or anything. Is there an option for those of us with smaller Airstreams?
You can visit some of the solar dealers websites and look at the size of the panels. Check how much area you have to work with and then find something to fit. You can also go with a portable setup. You can just break down your panels and store them in the trailer between stops.

On the wind generators going down the road. BAD IDEA. Unless you have a very stable mounting system, don't run into any birds, and keep your speed at 25 mph. Don't drive into the wind either.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
I didn't realize anyone was running one on their trailer while driving! I've seen video of one mounted on the front of a boat where everyone is away from the blades but I don't see how you could mount one on a trailer and still make it under an overpass even with 21" blades.
You will find that wind generators mounted on boats (sail boats) are for keeping the batteries charged. Most of those boats don't go much over 7 knots for the most part. Most of the work is done by the wind, not by the boat going forward. You won't find them on a power boat, these have alternators that keep the batteries charged, like in your car.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:16 PM   #22
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Efficiency considerations

The extra drag created by the wind generator on the vehicle would increase the fuel consumption beyond any energy that you would capture from the generator. It is likely that a generator operated by fuel would be much more efficient than a wind generator strapped to a moving vehicle powered by fuel. There are more energy transformations, and hence losses, in the fuel-wind-generator-batteries conversion than in the fuel-generator-batteries conversion. This assumes that the ambient wind encountered while traveling averages to zero because of shifting winds and changes in vehicle direction. If you are travelling into steady wind continuosly, e.g. while driving across Wyoming, then you might come out ahead with a wind generator mounted to the vehicle.
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