Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-13-2008, 05:11 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
Devils Lake , North Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 169
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.
Sundance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
 
2006 16' International CCD
Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 56
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
Don Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 05:42 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,695
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.
__________________
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,436
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 ????????????
__________________
lewster
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 07:22 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,698
Images: 8
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.
Dave
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 07:27 PM   #6
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Los Alamos , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,756
Solar,
It works rolling down the road. If I were stationary both.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 07:45 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,698
Images: 8
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.
Dave
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:01 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
davidz71's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,273
Images: 23
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.
__________________
Craig

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Los Alamos , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,756
The fact that with every passing turck you have a rapidly changing wind direction. This would tear the wind turbine apart.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:13 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,698
Images: 8
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.
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:21 PM   #11
Liquid Cooled
 
RedSHED's Avatar
 
2017 27' Flying Cloud
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 563
Images: 2
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.
RedSHED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:22 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
safari57's Avatar
 
1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,790
Images: 10
Send a message via MSN to safari57
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.

Barry
__________________
Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
safari57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:43 PM   #13
Liquid Cooled
 
RedSHED's Avatar
 
2017 27' Flying Cloud
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 563
Images: 2
... 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.
RedSHED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:49 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
davidz71's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,273
Images: 23
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.
__________________
Craig

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,698
Images: 8
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?
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:01 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
tkendall's Avatar
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Anytown USA , The open road.
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 52
Images: 10
Smile

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.
__________________
Genuis has limitations, stupidity has none.
tkendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:31 PM   #17
Liquid Cooled
 
RedSHED's Avatar
 
2017 27' Flying Cloud
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 563
Images: 2
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
RedSHED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:33 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
myboyburt's Avatar
 
1993 25' Excella
Full Time , Anywhere USA
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,708
Images: 12
Blog Entries: 7
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?
__________________
Michelle & Leon
New England Unit

myboyburt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008, 09:47 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
davidz71's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,273
Images: 23
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
__________________
Craig

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008, 11:33 PM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
tkendall's Avatar
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Anytown USA , The open road.
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 52
Images: 10
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.
__________________
Genuis has limitations, stupidity has none.
tkendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
sun bleached wood air66stream Upholstery, Blinds, Walls & Interior Finishes 3 10-27-2007 04:17 PM
Sun n Fun Airshow firefly007 On The Road... 6 04-13-2007 08:15 AM
Seeking the Sun jordandvm On The Road... 17 01-28-2006 09:16 AM
sun tinting windows atvmcg Windows & Screens 22 03-15-2005 04:14 PM
Portable Exterior Sun Shade JohnG Winterizing, Storage, Carports & Covers 2 07-08-2004 06:35 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.