As with most boat related subjects, there are lots of variants which can affect how effective the wind generator will be on your canal boat.
Firstly the weather, obviously it needs to be windy for the turbine to work! It also needs to be consistently windy to harness energy from your turbine. In the UK, we actually have very few very windy days, where it is blowing a gale for most of the day. We have seen our regulator reach 20 amp/hrs at a given moment in time, but this isn’t maintained for any level of consistency.
location will greatly impact the effectiveness of your wind turbine. Any trees or buildings will disrupt the turbines ability and reduce any potential power output. The ideal location needs to be flat, open space. Unfortunately our mooring
location does have some trees offering some protection from the wind, thus reducing the effectiveness of the wind turbine.
The secret to maximising efficiency is to position the turbine as high as possible. Low level wind is turbulent. If the wind turbine was mounted to a building, you would be looking to reach a height of 6 metres, this is very difficult to achieve on a canal boat. Our mast is 3 metres, which given the height of the boat as well, we are looking at a maximum height of 4 – 4.5metres.
If you have low power consumption on your canal boat, potentially no fridge, minimal, if any, 12v phone charging, low wattage lighting etc you may find the wind generator can provide sufficient charge to your batteries. Likewise if you have a leisure mooring
, on a bank side mooring
, and are looking for a way to trickle charge your batteries when the boat is not in use, then a wind turbine may be a really good solution.
If you are a continuous cruiser you do need to consider the time and effort required to put up and take down the wind turbine when cruising. The turbines are top heavy so require a mechanism to ensure you can safely lower the turbine down, and then have something available to rest the turbine nose on so as not to damage the blades.