Features May 2009 Issue

New Air Breeze Wind Generator Field Tested

Southwest Windpower’s Air Breeze wind turbine for boats shows solid performance that carries more wind than its minor material flaws.

As sailors, wind energy is at the forefront of our lives. The Practical Sailor wind generator test in March 2007 included a prototype of the Air Breeze from Southwest Windpower. Last year, the company debuted the Air Breeze in the alternative energy market for recreational boaters; it is distributed through retail giant West Marine. Using the same criteria as our 2007 test, Practical Sailor tested the Air Breeze for several months under a variety of conditions, using it to charge the ship’s batteries aboard a Union 36. The wind generator’s body is cast aluminum, and its blades are made of glass-filled polypropylene. Testers found it quiet, easy to mount, and reasonably priced at $900.

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