My only complaint with the D-400 is that it is so quiet, you get to listen to everyone else's wind generators in crowded anchorages.
We had a squall come through one afternoon with winds peaking out at 110 kt. We have never stopped or tied down the D-400s. In these higher gusts, and let me tell you it was quite significant, as we broke free on the anchor with 230 ft. of chain out in 15 ft. of water and had to have the engine running at about 1500 RPM to stop from dragging any further.
This lasted for about 15-20 min with winds over 65 kt., and about 5 min with winds over 100 kt. This is the only time that I have ever heard the blades start to flutter, which only occurred in gusts over 90-100 kt. We checked the output (net for the entire vessel) which peaked at about 110 amps of positive charge into the batteries. Keep in mind that we usually have about a constant 15-20 amp draw, and that number goes up to 25-30 amps with all of the navigation equipment running. That being said I would expect the total output of two D-400s in winds peaking at about 110 kt. is around the 140 amp range. If you ask me, that's pretty impressive. Not that you would want to be in those wind velocities for an extended amount of time, but it's good to know that the blades will flex and not self destruct and the generator will continue to operate under those conditions.
Over 600 watts from a 400 watt rated unit, with no vibration or below deck noise. When your auto pilot and on board navigation equipment is working hardest, you can feel confident that your batteries will stay charged. The unique self feathering design automatically keeps blades from self destructing. In the 15-25 knot Trade Winds you can enjoy those sundowners and a conversation, D-400 is whisper quiet. As a renewable energy business - by cruisers for cruisers, we will not recommend anything that we would not use.
Cameron & Leighia Murray
Trans Marine Pro - Sailing Energy Specialists
D-400 Dealer, New Zealand
We're working our way down the ICW. The D-400 has been doing well during the trip. We've had positive comments from people on docks and at anchorages, surprised at how quiet the D-400 is. Output has been good when the breezes pick up, although they're not always as strong as we'd like. But when things hit around 15, the ammeter and Link 2000 show very good news. We hear next to nothing in the boat. The D-400 is effective and quiet, which is just what we wanted. Sitting here in Man-O-War Cay in the Bahamas, we have a variety of wind turbines around us. Our D-400 wind turbine, even at wind speeds in the 30's and gusting over 40 kt., is far quieter than the Air-X's and Breezes, and KISS' near by.
The first generator has been operating for two winters and has converted every storm quietly to electricity. In the fall of 2009 our old-home made generator was damaged in high winds when a tarp blew off the dock and into the blades. If this generator was a D-400 we could have repaired it for under $100. Alas the blades on the 20 year old beast are quite complicated. So we replaced it with our second D-400.
At this time I estimate 80% of the electricity we use comes from our D-400's.
Thanks again for your help in designing the system, and promptly sending the few parts we have needed over the years.
Sincerely, Dave & Susan Abel
Two weeks after installation and we have only run the generator once when Joe wanted airconditioning. We only need the engine for an hour a day for refrigerator. We are absolutely thrilled with the D400 and would gladly serve as a reference both for the product and your service.
Thank you so much,
P.S. The noise is very acceptable. It just sounds like a higher velocity wind, not at all mechanical.
See some nice installation notes on the blog from S/V Liahona
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