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Freewheeling

FREEWHEELING

I was talking to a KISS owner the other day.  He had recently purchased a boat with a KISS wind generator installed.  He said that there were three other KISSes in his marina, and that all the owners had told him that it was necessary to turn the generator out of the wind and tie it down when the winds get over 25 knots and the generator goes into freewheel.  Apparently, this rumor has become common knowledge, and like much common knowledge, is untrue.

Why and How

All wind generators have to have some way of preventing overheating.  Most modern marine wind generators use rare earth magnets, which are sensitive to overheating.  Even older generators with earlier magnets can loose their magnetism if they get hot enough.  Manufacturers use a lot of different techniques to prevent overheating.  On the KISS, we use two thermal sensors inside the housing that are bi-metalic discs that open the circuits, stop energy production, and allow the generator to cool.  When both are open, the output drops to zero, and the generator turns much faster than normal, causing additional noise and vibration.  When one opens, the output is unbalanced, and the generator vibrates more than normal and the output drops by 2/3.

The on-off switch on the KISS connects the coil windings in the stator (shorts them out), creating a very large electrical (and thereby mechanical) load.  When the circuits are opened by the thermal sensors, the coils cannot be shorted, and so the on-off switch will not turn the generator off when it is freewheeling.

What to do

There are more than one way to deal with this;

1)  Do Nothing.  When the KISS cools, it will start making power again.  It will be making more noise and vibration while freewheeling.  It will not be damaged.  The thermal sensors we use are rated for something like 500,000 on-off cycles.  We were stuck in 30 – 50 knots winds off shore with no engine or useable sails (it’s a long story).  The KISS kept the SSB/ham, all the deck lights, and VHF radio going all night, cycling on and off it averaged 11 amps.

2)  Turn the switch off and wait.  The KISS will cool, and when the thermal sensors close, it will shut off.

3)  When the winds get up to a steady or average 25 knots, pull the generator part way out of the wind with a tether attached to the tailfin.  In order to avoid approaching rapidly spinning blades, the tether should be set up before hand.  We sat in the Tobago Keys for a few days with nothing but a submerged reef and 3000 miles between us and Africa.  Winds were well above 25 knots.  As the boat sailed around on the anchor, the wind generator (pulled part way out of the wind) would speed up or slow down, but it never went into freewheel.  On a dark and stormy night, alone in the cockpit, without the additional tether rigged, I would probably go for options one or two.

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KISS High Output wind generator

KISS High Ouput Wind Generator
Hotwire is now the manufacturer of the KISS High Output Wind Generator.

Three year warranty
$1,495.00 U.S. BUY NOW
Available in 12, 24 volts

The KISS was designed to supply the energy needs of the average cruising sailboat from the wind energy available in a typical Caribbean anchorage.

Additionally, it has been built to do the following:

Operate quietly
Make lots of power
Be virtually corrosion proof
Be simple to service with parts available worldwide
Be rugged enough to operate in a gale
Yet can be shut down at the flick of a switch

 

Electrical System
The unit has been designed to provide brute force energy. Alternating current is converted to direct current by a 50-amp automotive diode pack (commonly found worldwide) and fed directly to the ship’s electrical system. The KISS Wind Generator can be shut down in up to gale force winds by use of the on-off switch. The switch eliminates the need to approach the wind generator while it is operating.

Rotor Design
Highly cambered with twist, taper and elliptical tips for maximum torque at relatively low RPMs for minimal blade noise. Each blade is made of five layers of bi-axial glass roving pressure molded in polyester for strength with minimal flex and very light weight. All three blades are bolted to an aluminum disk which screws onto the threaded motor shaft.  Both the blade hub and shaft are tapered threads, allowing the blade assembly to be removed quickly and easiy, yet making the connection secure without lock nuts and/or set screws.

Alternator Design
A brushless alternator designed specifically to match the low speed characteristics of the rotor blades. Features such as epoxy-coated neodymium iron-boron magnets and rubber sealed #6203 metric ball bearings (commonly available worldwide) ensures that maintenance will be infrequent, simple and inexpensive.

Weight and Dimensions
The unit weighs only 17 pounds (plus 13 feet of wire at about 6 pounds). Of note is that the blades and aluminum disk weigh only four pounds, resulting in minimal precessional forces on the 3/4 inch motor shaft. The blade diameter is 60 inches. The housing is 24 inches long. The control box is 3 1/4 inches by 6 1/2 inches.

 

Charge Controller Includes isolation diode with heat sink and diversion load $310

Diversion Load $95

Mizzen Bracket $245 – $345

Pole Mounting Kit $345

Spares Kit BUY NOW $80

Extra Blade Set BUY NOW $350

Vibration Isolator $165

Slip Ring $250

Still have questions about KISS? See our KISS High Output Wind Generator Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information.

Contact us for further information. We accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.

Copyright © Hotwire Enterprises — John Gambill & Libbie Ellis
102 West Fulton Street; Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Phone AND Fax: 727-943-0424
Cell 727- 638-7417
hotwiregam@aol.com