three KISSes in a row

three KISSes in a row





How to Overhaul

BUY NOW (call us, (727) 943-0424)


The KISS generator was developed by Doug Billings of Toronto, Canada.  He built a few generators for himself and friends before leaving Ontario to go cruising.  While in the Virgin Islands, he started building the “Dougbugger” wind generator.  It was based on a DC motor-turned generator, as were most of the marine wind generators of the time.  In 1994, in Trinidad, he introduced the KISS; A neodymium permanent magnet alternator, which is the technology used by nearly all wind generators today.  Hotwire Enterprises purchased all the rights and equipment to build the KISS in the summer of 2012.  Tragically, while getting his boat ready to go cruising, Doug died aboard his boat in December 2012 in Trinidad.  As originally designed, the KISS continues to be a simple design, with easily obtainable parts.  In 2014, Hotwire Enterprises transferred all rights to the KISS to CruiseRO, see: http://www.cruiserowaterandpower.com/ .




Pre-July 2013

Truck Testing

Truck Testing

Output:  2 amps @ 8 knots, 4 amps @ 10 knots, 10 amps @ 15 knots, 18 amps at 20 knots, 30 amps at 30 knots.  Note: There are little in the way of standards for measuring output.  Some manufacturers use 12 volts for their power curve, and so it looks like you will get about 20% more power.  Some use a “Raliegh Distribution”, a mathematical device that assumes the wind is puffing and lulling, and because the increased wind puts out a lot more power than the lull looses, the curve can be made to show more power than you should expect to actually get.  We use a truck with a stand to mount the generator on.  It looks a little wacky, but you can expect to get the power we say you will.


We have all parts in stock, call to order, (727) 943-0424.  The parts of the KISS that might wear out, and the part numbers you can use pretty much anywhere in world to get replacements:

Collar Lock – This is the white plastic part at the bottom of the generator housing where it goes over the pole.  This part prevents the KISS from coming off of the pole, because it would hit the heads of the screws holding the pole cap in place if it tried to do so.  This is a plumbing fitting called a “male adaptor, 2″X11/2”.  The Home Depot part number is 436-251HC, and the SKU is 744691.  The one from Home Depot will not fit – yes, I just gave you the part number – not fitting is good, in that the inside is too small, and so you can enlarge it to fit your pole.  Other adaptors might be too large, in which case you will get a rattling noise when the wind generator accelerates or decellerates.  You should have enough clearance that the collar lock rotates freely, with no discernible clearance.  We have two special drill bits, one that is 1.900 inches, and the other 1.850 inches.  You can use a large drill bit with foam rubber wrapped around it, and sandpaper around the foam to make a hone that can be used to enlarge to inside.  It is possible to use a knife, slowly and carefully, but not much fun.  Starting July 2013, the pole cap and collar lock are no longer used, changing to a yaw bearing design with needle bearings.


This is an automotive unit used in Delco alternators used in a lot of older cars.  You can use just about any automotive rectifier – if you can get it to fit.   The Delco part number 1984 638 is a 30 amp unit, and was used with the KISS for many years, but we are now using a 50 amp rectifier from Transpo, part number DR5042.  You should be able to get any auto supply to find a replacement.  Take the old one with you, and look for the oldest guy behind the counter, because he has seen these before.  The young guys can only look it up on the computer if you know the year, make, model, engine size, and maybe the serial number.  Also, you can go to an alternator rebuild shop.  They will have this.  There are a couple of modifications required; drill out one hole and add a countersink to another.  It should be obvious when you look at the two parts.  Or, you can order from us.  We do the machine work before shipping, if you order from us, and the price is the same as NAPA ($25).  The rectifier is mounted into the Control Box, along with the on-off switch.  Originally they were using leather washers to electrically insulate the rectifier from the box.  We now use high temperature nylon washers.  The new washers come with rectifiers ordered from us.   We have a U Tube video of how to test the rectifier at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzoh7rhIExQ


The switch is a DPDT 15 amps at 115 volts.  The Home Depot has these in the electrical department, $7 (we charge the same).  The switch is mounted into the Control Box.


6203 with rubber seals on both sides.  Very common everywhere in the world.  We use high quality bearings, typically SKF brand.  On KISS generators in constant operation, the front bearing should last 5 – 10 years, and the rear bearing longer.  Cheap bearing are a very poor investment.  You can find them at any “bearing and seal” shop, many auto supplies, or alternator rebuild shops.  Look in the yellow pages (if you don’t have Goggle).  $16 from us,

Bearing Seats

This is the rubber part that goes the around the outside of the bearing.  Around 2008 they were changed from a black rubber to translucent white, silicone rubber.  The black ones would develop “set”.  That is, they would collapse on one side, allowing the shaft to go off center, and the rotor to touch the stator.  Sorry, but we are the only place to buy them ($3).  In an emergency, you could cut them from 1/4 inch rubber.  The new silicone rubber ones will not wear out.

Shaft Seal

Chicago Rawhide part number 692683, or ask for a 17 X 30 X 7 MM oil seal at the bearing and seal shop.


Now made in Tarpon Springs, Florida.  Hand layed fiberglass with eleven layers of fiberglass reinforcement and one layer of carbon fiber.  The leading edge is protected with helicopter tape to prevent erosion.  Pre-balanced.  AwlGrip painted.   Blades are weighed and marked, so that in the future, you can order one blade.  $350


No Output:   Turn the switch to the off position.  If the generator slows to a near stop, the generator itself is probably OK.  Check for voltage at the battery terminals of the control box (the aluminum box with the on-off switch).  If there is no voltage, there is an open between the control box and the battery; check the fuse and connections.   If there is voltage, test the rectifier, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzoh7rhIExQ.  To test the switch, you can reroute the three wires from the generator from the switch to the rectifier.  Attach the three wires directly to the three center terminals of the rectifier, taking the switch out of the circuit. If the generator works correctly with the switch out of the circuit, the switch is bad.

Generator turns slowly with little or no output;  Make sure the switch is in the “on” position.  If the blades have recently been installed onto the blade hub, make sure the lead balancing tape is facing the tailfin, not facing the wind.  Disconnect the three wires from the generator at the control box.  If the generator turns freely, the rectifier or switch is likely the problem, see above.  Turn the generator slowly by hand.  If it is rough during an entire turn, the bearings may need replacing.  OEM bearings typically last 5 years or more in operation.  Cheap bearings might last a year.If the blade assembly meets with difficulty turning over a portion of the rotation, the rotor is proibably touching the stator.  On generators made before about 2007, the black rubber bearing seat will need to be replaced with a translucent silicone bearing seat, see:  http://svhotwire.com/how-to-overhaul-a-kiss-wind-generator/.

Installation Instructions

Prepping the pole – We are machining the yaw bearing in-house, and so can make it fit whatever the inside diameter of you pole.  The “standard” KISS yaw bearing fits into 1 1/2 inch schedule 40 pipe, sliding into the inside.  The inside diameter of the pipe is 1.600 – 1.610 inches.  The outside diameter is 1.900, with the ASTM allowing a 20% tolerance.  In practice, I’ve found the outside to either be 1.900 or 1.880.  This pipe is available in “mill” (no surface treatment to avoid corrosion), or anodized with “brushed” or “polished” finish.  The brushed looks like it was sanded with rough sandpaper, and the polished looks a lot like stainless steel. We stock the mill and the polished, and sometimes white, polyeurethane painted.  You can buy the whole pole kit which includes everything except the bolts that will go through the deck (I don’t know how thick your deck is).  see: Pole Mounting Kit, or just the Pole Hardware Kit (you supply the pole and struts) or you can buy bits and pieces (call).  Note; the maximum length UPS or FedEx will ship is 108 inches, making the pole 8 feet 10 inches (with packaging).  This might be shorter than you would prefer.  We can ship longer lengths by truck, at added expense, or you can order the Vibration Isolator, which adds 14 inches to the height of the pole.




The pole should be supported by two struts.  The material we use is one inch 304 stainless tube, 0.065 wall thickness.  Looking down from above, the struts should be separated by 90 degrees (ideally) or 60 – 120 degrees, and from the side the angle should be 45 degrees (ideal) or 30 – 60 if you must.  Keep in mind that the wind causes a lot more force to be exerted on the pole than the weight of the generator.


Pole Clamps, wind generator mount

Pole Clamps


wind generator pole hardware, strut hardware, wind generator mount, wind generator strut hardware

Strut Hardware




polehardware 001

Pole Base


The KISS fits onto the pole using two parts; the pole cap and the collar lock.  The pole cap is gray in color, UHMW plastic, and goes into the top of the pole.  Most of the weight and force of the generator is held by this part.  The collar lock is white, screws into the bottom of the generator housing, and acts as a bearing surface that prevents the generator from teetering on the pole, and it prevents the generator from coming off of the pole.  The pole cap is held in place by two screws, located such that the heads of the pole cap screws will come into contact with the collar lock if the generator rises on the pole.  The two screw are installed 90 – 120 degrees apart.


KISS High Output, boat wind generator,

KISS High Output


The KISS is a simple design that makes a lot of power.  It is a permanent magnet alternator, using Neodymium Iron Boron rare earth magnets.  There are three wires coming out of the generator, going to an on-off switch and rectifier assembly, which we call the “control box”.  The control box can be mounted in the lazarette, or the wires can be extended and the control box mounted inside the boat.  I like putting the switch near the companionway so that the generator can be turned on or off from inside or frlom the cockpit.  The switch can be removed from the box and installed in your switch panel.  An additional switch can be wired in parallel, so that the generator can be turned off from (for example) a bunk in the aft cabin.  Just hook the three wires from the generator to an additional switch in parallel (call if you need directions).


As was said earlier, the KISS is a very simple design, with no brushes, which means no radio frequency interference (you can mount it near a SSB antenna or radar), no maintenance, less complexity,

Charge Controller

Rebuild Instructions