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Words of wisdom: “I would recommend you add more solar first. Only once you've topped out with that would I suggest a windgen. – Mike OReilley1)

wind power

Small wind power generators (sometimes called turbines) are popular with homesteaders and cruising boats. Wind works at night when solar does not, and also works in heavy weather when solar harvest is heavily compromised.

Homesteaders can put up tall masts and boats often already have upright masts and are generally away from surface level obstructions:

On my small 37-foot monohull I have 400 watts solar and a 400 watt (theoretical) windgen.2) From my experience in the mid/upper latitudes mostly summer months, I would say my windgen provides about 15 to 20% of my power needs, while the solar does the bulk…

For various reasons wind power is less common with vehicle dwellers.


Wind generators require

  • sustained winds, which are rare where nomads choose to camp. Compare manufacturer specs with this visual wind speed estimation chart.
  • high mounts, with bases on the ground or mounted to the vehicle
  • a way to “dump” load to keep the gen from overspeed damage in high winds, although some nice windgens have built-in electronic controls for this.
  • teardown in very high winds
  • money - windgens cost 3-4x more than solar for the same output rating

tuning for wind

Usable power typically starts around 10mph, where flags stand straight out. Full rating is typically achieved at 20mph+, where small trees sway and whitecaps appear on bodies of water.

Generally speaking, windgens with higher max outputs have higher minimum “start-up speeds”, or speeds when the vanes start turning. Vandwellers in normal wind conditions will likely bias toward low start-up speeds, resulting in relatively low max outputs.

dump loads

The easiest dump load for vandwellers is electric water heating, which can suck up a huge amount of power if needed.

  • D400 (UK) -
  • Superwind (Germany) -

further reading

electrical/wind.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/19 13:48 by frater_secessus