Low-quality marine generators are like a bad date ̶ not what you signed up for. They can be noisy, inefficient, and they simply don’t last. Plus, you waste a lot of time and money on them. That’s why it is incredibly important to purchase the right product.
Marine wind generators are pretty much like any other; only these adapt well to a wet and moist environment. They use wind to produce energy that’s converted to electricity and can power various equipment in a boat.
Buying the right generator is easy when you know what you’re looking for. That’s why we created this guide to help you familiarize yourself with the basic features of the best marine generator.
Benefits of Owning a Marine Wind Generator
Before anything else, let’s first make sure you understand why adapting to a marine wind generator is important.
One of the biggest benefits of marine wind generators is that it uses wind. Yes, wind is free, and we’ll never run out of it (at least not any time soon). You buy your generator, and that’s it; no need for gasoline or diesel.
Other than that, running and maintaining a wind generator is very simple. If you purchase the best products, breakdowns and breakages will be minimal. In the long run, it saves you a lot of money.
If you’re so obsessed with caring for the environment like we are, you’ll love that wind turbines produce clean energy. Nothing poisonous or harmful like fossil fuel. The turbines may be slightly noisy, but their overall impact is extremely limited.
Wind generators produce electricity without polluting the air or burning any fuel. If this isn’t the best way to care for mother nature, then I don’t know what is.
Reliable Energy Source
Again, we are not running out of wind any time soon. It is an abundant and inexhaustible resource that is present almost everywhere. We are even in an era where we can get precise info about where it blows powerfully and most frequently.
In the US, wind is the largest source of renewable energy. So, you can be assured of power whether you are out at 4 am or 6 pm.
Sure, some days and locations may not be very windy. But unlike solar panels that only operate during the day, wind is present all through, even at night. It may not always be strong, but you can be assured of its medium and long-term consistency.
Everything with a moving part will produce sound, so getting a super quiet generator is virtually impossible. However, well-designed, high-quality marine wind generators are generally quiet when compared to traditional diesel generators.
Getting a wind generator is the first course of action if you’re looking for a peaceful and more enjoyable boating experience.
Features of the Best Marine Wind Generator
Don’t just add anything to your cart when buying marine wind generators. Take time to pick something high-quality and efficient. Here are the basic features of the best marine wind generators you need to look out for.
Brushless Stainless Alternator
The alternator is the part of the generator that converts wind into electricity. It uses a shaft or pulley to spin the rotor, creating a magnetic field and converting it to electric power.
The best marine generators use brushless alternators for several reasons.
- Brushless alternators are more efficient than their brushed counterparts since they have few parts that create friction and wear.
- As expected, their maintenance is relatively low. The absence of brushes means they won’t wear out and need replacement. This saves you money on maintenance costs.
- Brushless alternators have few moving parts, making them more reliable. Parts are less likely to break and wear out.
- These alternators also produce higher power output than brushed alternators of similar size. They are, thus, suited for high-power applications.
And the list goes on. Now, the reason why manufacturers prefer stainless steel is because of its corrosion resistance. Given how harsh marine environments are, steel becomes the perfect material.
Integrated Emergency Shut Off
Safety is a core feature when choosing any potentially dangerous equipment. Manufacturers install a few safety features in wind generators to minimize related accidents.
For one, there are vibration sensors that automatically switch off the turbine in extreme temperatures and conditions. The emergency shut-off (ESO) system works similarly. It quickly shuts down the generator in case of an emergency.
This mostly occurs when the generator produces too much heat, and there is a fire risk. There are two types of emergency stops; mechanical and electrical.
Many regulatory bodies have made it a necessity for wind generators to have ESOs in place to ensure the safety of the people and environment.
High-Quality Marine Grade Coating
Marine-grade coating is a type of protective coating normally used in marine environments to protect boats, ships, tankers, and other equipment from both fresh and saline water.
Once applied to a surface, it provides it with superior protection from corrosion, abrasion, and UV rays. You probably didn’t know this, but UV rays can damage your generator’s components with time.
A marine coating also enhances the generator’s aesthetic appeal, making it more appealing and potentially increasing its market value. Therefore, before purchasing any generator, check again whether it’s coated with marine paint.
Does size matter? In marine generators, yes. The size of the turbines determines how much electricity is generated. There’s a lot to learn about the power output of generators, and we’ve covered that in the next point.
But aside from that, you’ll need to consider the size and space available in your boat. If yours is big enough, you’ll have more than enough room for a larger generator.
Finally, the wind conditions in your sailing area will also determine how big of a generator you can buy. Consistently high winds can sustain a large generator to produce more power.
We have George Westinghouse to thank for AC. Most appliances today use alternating current, normally abbreviated to AC, as the standard current for distribution. Only a few use Direct Current (DC), and those that do are usually very noisy.
To know how much power you need, experts recommend adding the total wattage of your appliance and then dividing it by 1000. This gives you power in kilowatts.
To be on the safe side, you’ll want twice the figure or anything close to it. This is to make sure that you are not overstressing the alternator. Otherwise, your generator will start overheating and may create a fire hazard.
Settle for twice the AC you plan to use. This way, you’ll have more than enough for you and your crew to use. And if you overstay your expedition, you won’t be in the dark.
You want to settle for at least a quality 2000-watt marine generator or even 3000 watts just to be on the safe side.
A cardinal rule is that a product’s warranty determines its value for money. The longer the warranty, the better the quality. The last thing you want is to be back at the manufacturer’s office barely months after, returning defective equipment.
A good quality wind turbine will last you a year; and even longer with proper care and maintenance. Most model generators have a 1-year warranty, with a few extending this to three years.
Our Recommendations for the Best Marine Generator
If you are in the market for a marine wind generator, we highly recommend the Nature Power Marine Grade 500W Wind Turbine Generator. It’s not everyday you come across a deal giving you 50% off. Yes, Solar Paradise offers that.
This generator comes with most of the features mentioned in our article. For starters, it is made of cast aluminum and marine-grade coating to guarantee durability even in harsh weather conditions. Secondly, it has a built-in emergency shut off for extra safety and an AC output at the wind turbine body.
With its 2-year warranty, you can be sure the quality is impeccable. Plus, you get a FREE portable camping shower bag. Its wattage may not be the highest, but it should be more than enough to power most of your appliances when out at sea.
Did we mention that you get 50% off? We are only repeating because that’s how crazy it gets.
A high-quality wind generator can last more than a year and will provide you with steady electricity on your boat.
Now that you know all the basics of marine generators, why you should buy one, and the features to look out for, what are you waiting for? Take the bold step and purchase the best marine generator today. And whenever in doubt, always double-check with this guide. Happy shopping!