Almost 4 Amps at 5.5kn!

Those were the first numbers during our sea trial today.
Dan, Doug, John and I went out to finally sail far enough out to where there aren’t too many lobster buoys anymore, installed the hydro generator (an Aquair 100) with a simple lashing to the rail and threw the turbine over board.

What is a hydro generator anyways? It is a turbine that spins in the water to generate electricity. The turbine, a propeller connect via a long rope to a generator, spins the generator similar to an alternator connected to an engine to generate electricity. The generator is connected via a charge controller to the batteries. Our average cruising speed is about 5.5kn. The hydro generator should generate about 5A at that speed and that for 24hr a day – much more than what we get out of our 80W solar panel. This should more than cover our needs during the trip…

We were all a bit nervous. How fast would the prop spin, would it sink down and hit the ground or catch a line, would we be able to get it back in while it is spinning, would the deck-mounted power connector work, would the battery charge controller do its job and would the somewhat custom-built amp-meter show a current,….?
We needn’t have to worry as everything went very well.

The lashing was simple, yet flexible enough to keep the generator in place while allowing the rope to pull it in the right direction.
The prop spins quite fast, but with gloves or a strong grip, it was relatively easy to get the whole thing back on board.
The rope coils up quite heavily, but untangling it by throwing it back in the water to uncoil worked relatively well.

HydroGenHydroGenHydroGen   HydroGen


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