Eclectic Energy Sail-Gen Towed Water Generator
Eclectic Energy Sail-Gen Towed Water Generator – this is an independent review for Eclectic Energy Sail-Gen Towed Water Generator we have compiled for your reference. Feel free to add your comments or experiences at the bottom of the page.
Features and performance of the Sail-Gen:
The sail-gen is a dedicated, water powered generator for cruising yachts designed specifically to maximise electricity production whilst on passage. at typical passage speeds of 5-6 knots the sail-gen’s output is usually sufficient to balance the power consumed, i.e. 150-200 amp hours per day. larger yachts which achieve higher average passage speeds in the 7-8 knot range can expect yields from the sail-gen of 300-400 amp hours per day. the sail-gen water generator converts into elecricity a proportion of the wind energy captured by the yacht’s whole sail plan . it does this by extracting energy from the boat’s motion through the water. one obvious advantage is that the yacht’s sail plan intercepts a much greater area of wind flow than a dedicated wind turbine ever could. also, water is 800 times denser than air, so a small impeller is all that is required to extract a lot of energy from the water the inertia provided by the yacht’s hull evens out the fluctuations in power output typically seen in wind generators. the result is continuous, consistent power production as long as the yacht is underway. water generation is also quiet and vibration-free. water generators for yachts are of three main types: tow rope machines where a heavy impeller is pulled on a 100 foot line, submersible ‘outboard leg’ type generators, and finally the eclectic concept characterised by a hydrodynamic foil to control impeller running depth. there are many discrete advantages offered by the eclectic approach. the sail-gen can be installed satisfactorily alongside self-steering systems. allowing 400 –500mm of lateral spacing between the equipment usually ensures there is no chance of contact between the steering’s servo arm and the sail-gen.
Unlike tow-rope type water generation systems, the Sail-Gen is truly practical in use and can be deployed and recovered in seconds and with little effort. As the Sail-Gen operates in a controlled way with the impeller close to the transom, drag is minimised and it is possible to trawl fishing lines when on passage with minimal risk of a tangle. Outboard leg type water generators are only free to pivot laterally whereas the Sail-Gen’s mounting is fully gimballed, allowing both vertical and lateral movement. Sail-Gen’s dive plane acts to prevent the impeller either surfacing or sinking, and allows the impeller to ‘fly’ through the waves, independent of the vertical motion of the yacht’s transom as she pitches. Loss of boat speed is kept to a minimum by the Sail-Gen’s efficient impeller and low drag design. The adjustable diving plane controls the impeller operating depth and minimises wetted area. Typically, boat speed losses are one tenth of a knot or less. Water generators that take the form of an outboard motor leg cannot damp out the vertical component of the yacht’s motion. This means the water flow seen by the water impeller continually varies and does not remain perpendicular to the impeller plane. These units are free to pivot laterally and as a result have a tendency to yaw to one side as a torque reaction to the rotating impeller. The Sail-Gen’s design avoids both of these problems, and ensures the water impeller is presented optimally to the water flow more of the time, increasing efficiency and reducing drag. In the unfortunate event of collision with floating debris, the Sail-Gen is free to pivot upwards, reducing the impact. For high speed craft the results of impact can be servere damage. It is possible to rig a collison pull rod between the Sail-Gen alternator and dive plane. The collision pull rod offers physcal protection for Sail-Gen’s drive shaft and impeller. Any floating obstruction is likely to strike the pull rod first. The pull rod transfers this force to the dive plane which will move to its maximum negative angle of attack. This causes Sail-Gen to fly upwards out the water, decreasing the chances of serous damage. A fixed ‘outboard leg’ type unit relies on a mechanical ‘fuse’ in the holddown line to break on impact and mitigate damage. Finally, with the Sail-Gen, the alternator and electrical connections are placed 500mm above the yacht’s water line. With other types of water generator, the alternator is submerged. The serviceability of such units is then wholly reliant on the integrity of the shaft seal to keep the sea water out of the alternator.
Compare power curve with other turbine
Blade diameter is an important thing to look at when comparing turbines, since it effects how much power can be captured from the wind.
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If you are thinking of buying a Eclectic Energy Sail-Gen Towed Water Generator, we'd advise measuring the local wind resource first to give you a better idea of how much power you can expect to generate.
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