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Old 02-13-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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Question Wind or Sun???

If you could have only one........... over a variety of
travel areas, would you go with a wind generator, or
solar panels?

The advent of low cost, high effciency, wind turbines
seem to me to make them a viable option for charging
battery banks.

Ultimatly I want to have both systems but can't affort
them both now.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:20 PM   #2
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The only wind generators i am aware of have some set-up and that might be a hassle in a lot of situations. I think I would prefer the ease of solar
DC
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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A combination of both may be the best option for an extended boondocking stay. If one didn't mind the set-up work Mr. Cook mentioned. Surely either the sun or wind would be available on any given day.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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Just my 2 cents....but a quality solar rig will generate power even on cloudy days (although not at the level of full sunshine) but if there is no wind......you just ain't gettin' nothin'!!! Know what I mean ????????????
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:22 PM   #5
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The sun comes up EVERY day, not so with the wind.
As Lew said, even on a cloudy day you recharge with solar. With the system I used to have, I could be back up to full voltage by noon even on an overcast day.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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Solar,
It works rolling down the road. If I were stationary both.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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I still like the idea of solar but Michelle's post gets me thinking, which is often dangerous....
What would keep someone from installing a wind gen for recharging while going down the road?
Are they pricey?
While it is true that the TV 12V system will recharge the batteries, it takes a while and wind gen. would be faster at 65 MPH.
Just thinking out loud.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:01 PM   #8
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I've been looking at wind generators just for the heck of it. I run 265 watts of solar panel now and have a Yamaha generator but one of my boondocking books discussed harnessing the wind. Some of the units make noise at high speed. You have to take into consideration the area of the country \you will be in to determine if it would be worth even setting one up. After looking at a number of websites, I found that I am in a category 2 area of the country which is marginal for producing wind power. Further east of my location it goes up to a category 3.

This company carries a nice folding/telescoping tower that you can drive your trailer tire over to anchor it and after mounting the turbine, run the pole up. I think the mounting pole costs more than the wind turbine.
Southwest Windpower

Solar is silent but only works during the day. Wind, if available, might be there during the day and night but you have to be in the right area. You couldn't park right next to the tree line with either because panels might be partially shaded and it cuts down on wind, even creating turbulence.

I'd go solar first and if you find you're wanting more energy than your batteries and solar can provide, add the wind generator.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #9
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The fact that with every passing turck you have a rapidly changing wind direction. This would tear the wind turbine apart.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
The fact that with every passing turck you have a rapidly changing wind direction. This would tear the wind turbine apart.
Maybe that's why I haven't tried it yet.
I didn't realize they were that fragile.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
The fact that with every passing turck you have a rapidly changing wind direction. This would tear the wind turbine apart.
Depends on the turbine design.
One that looked more like a stovepipe hat with slats would do better in that environment than one that looked like a propeller.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:22 PM   #12
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With solar all the dynamics have been figured out, it's proven technology that is in use everywhere, and prices are reasonable if you shop around and do your research on the net first.

I'd start with solar and let others continue to pioneer the wind power generation to a point where it's dependable, cost effective, compact for transport and not too much of a hassle to set up and tear down.

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Old 02-13-2008, 09:43 PM   #13
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... On the subject of generators...
My commute bike now has a generator hub. While not a new idea, some of the LED based headlights are putting out a surprising amount of light. A small turbine based on one of these, linked to a charger & some NiMH cells could provide many hours of reading while boondocking.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
The fact that with every passing turck you have a rapidly changing wind direction. This would tear the wind turbine apart.
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.
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