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Wind generators 

Over the years we have owned several types of wind generator. At present we have a KISS. The KISS is a very simple very powerful generator.

It was designed to work on cruising yachts in trade wind areas and it has become popular on cruising yachts in the Caribbean. We bought ours thinking about the trade winds and when we were in the Caribbean it worked very well. It was designed to supply plenty of power in an average 15 knot wind. In fact it will probably supply all the yacht needs including running the refrigerator in these conditions.

There are no slip rings so there is a line / rope to stop it rotating more than a couple of times. It relies on the wire passing down the supporting pole being able to twist for the generator to continue to point into the wind. In a trade wind anchorage this works fine.

The unit has standard bearings which are inexpensive and readily available. (we bought and fitted new bearings while in St Martin - for just a few dollars) The regulator is from a vehicle and halfway across the Atlantic I needed to replace our and used a larger version from a standard UK alternator which we carried as a spare.

Inside the unit there are overheat cut outs. So if the wind blows hard for a while these operate and the blades are free to rotate with no load on them. This is a safety thing. The problem with this is that when trying to use the unit in higher latitudes where the wind regularly goes from nothing to gale the cut outs regularly work. When the unit is spinning with no load it becomes frightening at what speed the blades turn.

In our opinion the KISS is good in the trade wind areas but not so good in higher latitudes.

The people who have taken over the KISS give excellent service their web site is here

We have used several others but not for many years and several of them have been updated so to pass comment wouldn't be accurate. Some of the older ones could be noisy and before buying it will be worth listening to one when it is working hard.

There are lots of places where advice can be had about the size / output needed  but if living aboard then the most powerful available will probably be needed.