Installing Silentwind: power projects aboard

27 May
Silentwind install instructions

This could be the shortest post ever, because installing the Silentwind wind generator was a non-event.

Silentwind install

Silentwind install
The instructions were easy to follow.

It took three hours, including decommissioning our old turbine and installing Silentwind.

It worked immediately.


Ease of installation (and instant gratification!) matter to us because of the sharp contrast with our prior wind turbine installation experience. In 2009, it took more than six months for the AirBreeze we purchased from Southwest Windpower to function. The details are on a post Jamie made to Cruiser’s Forum; suffice to say it was a drawn out, frustrating experience hampered by abysmal customer support. In the end, it worked, but it was an exercise in frustration.

This a was the counterpoint to that experience at every level.

After hearing us rave about our new Silentwind, another boat in the anchorage ordered the same model, and Jamie helped with the install. This was the first wind generator on SV Quasar, but didn’t take much additional time. With installing a pole (previously designed and fabricated) and running new wiring, they were finished in about four hours.

There are great details, like the 50 amp fuse included to use when you first connect the controller to the battery bank to ensure proper circuit protection. Then, there’s the fact that the three AC conductors (wires) leading from the turbine connect in any order to the three charge controller terminals. The controller determines each wires function, and directs it accordingly. Basically, you can’t screw up the wiring! And, the controller itself is included in the package, not a separate purchase. This is a nice touch, with a very cool bonus factor. It turns out you can use this same charge controller to manage up to 550 watts of solar- as much as many cruising boats manage.

Of note: per the instructions, it’s important when doing the AC wiring to prevent turbine blades from spinning. If they spin, they’ll generate AC electricity. We used a lanyard, loosely tied between one blade and the mounting pole.

Easy breezy readers know we get a charge when you read this on the Sailfeed website.


  1. Behan - s/v Totem

    Jim- we’re across a finger right now from a boat with a D400, and the fact is that they are both really quiet. I sat in the cockpit in a light breeze the other morning trying to discern the difference. They’re really similar: quiet, but different sounds. How to describe- a distant hum on one, a slice through the air on the other? I don’t think it matters so much. The D400 spins up in less wind, but it’s nonproductive; so you would have more time that it’s doing *something* audible (while doing nothing for your batteries)… but again, it’s just a world apart from our noisy old turbine. As far as the controller, it’s not MPPT- I’m not sure there are MPPT controllers for wind generators.

  2. Jim Cole

    Do you think it is as quiet as the D400? Noise was one of the major points in our decision after a few raft ups with loud turbine. Is the solar controller a MPPT? That is a nice feature to have them combined.

  3. judy fravel

    Niall and jamie. How handsome you both look: Hard at work and ready to sail off..or are you at sea? xoxo

    What is on your book list Niall

    Plug and Poppy

  4. Behan - s/v Totem

    Jay, in our experience so far (which is just a few weeks), it pretty much matches the power curve on the manufacturer’s website. I suggest using that to back you calculations. Definitely cool that you can use their charge controller to manage both the turbine and solar: saves a chunk of cash!

  5. Jay Campbell

    Sweet! What does it add to your battery bank per unit of measurement (hour, day) at a defined wind speed, and what is that defined wind speed? Trying to determine what this would add to my 1500 watts of solar panels. Cool!

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