Introducing Skystream 600

WadeWade Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
Truth squad said Southwest Wind Power likes to pop golden parachutes. Looks like they will be popping a new golden parachute this coming April. The new Skystream 600 will produce 74% more energy than the Skystream 3.7. Hope they have done something about that annoying whine the inverter makes.
http://www.windenergy.com/news/press_Skystream-600-CES_1-6-11.htm

Comments

  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Posts: 375Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    Interesting. Hopefully it's not another lemon that turns more people sour to wind power.

    Edward
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Posts: 126Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    Well, SWWP could probably have made a case for this one if the original one had actually worked. I heard an interesting rumor going about town that SWWP has approached a local production machine shop to manufacture this one for them. The rumors could be wrong, but if not, one would think SWWP would hire back the people they laid off to build it since they actually know how. But, we know that won't happen because SWWP has a proud history of never admitting mistakes---or even admitting anything at all is wrong. Which is why all the early warnings about Skystream out in BetaTestLand went unheeded. Oh, yes, problems were apparant right from the beginning, but it was still full speed ahead!

    The rumors could also be wrong that SWWP will farm out production to a local machine shop since it is far more likely SWWP will farm it out to China. Also, this Skystream 600 has just been released, meaning we have yet to see the parade of mistakes that will be forthcoming, oh, I predict within three months of them being installed.

    Be that as it may, SWWP can run all the ads on NPR they like about how they're "protecting the environment" (LOL!!!!!) and portray themselves as all-around puppy-kissing teddybears. But the fact is, well over thirty people lost their jobs over there and I see them around town. Most of them are not doing so well; some are doing very badly, in fact. SWWP tries to hide that and also tries to hide the fact that they hired people from out-of-town or out-of-state to replace those people rather than hire them back. So, if SWWP treated loyal employees like yesterday's trash, how are you the customer going to get treated better? Yeah, I see their new Skystream 600. I also see a bunch of people who lost their jobs of 10 years and more. So why anyone would trust SWWP, given their track record, certainly bears out PT Barnum's observation that "There's a sucker born every minute".
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Posts: 714Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    Well it is going to be 74% more productive than the original skystream where did they get 74%?
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Posts: 1,959Solar Expert
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    As my college professor says, "46.85% of all statistics are just made up"
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    oh good, math problems.
    let's see now 74% of 0 is 0.
    100%-46.85% = 53.15% remaining that are lies.
    did i get an a?:p
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Posts: 714Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600
    niel wrote: »
    oh good, math problems.
    let's see now 74% of 0 is 0.
    100%-46.85% = 53.15% remaining that are lies.
    did i get an a?:p

    Yes you get an A+

    and then i need filler for 18 words
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    the noise from the turbine is NOT from the inverter! It is from the mechanical vibrations caused by the magnetic rotor passing by the coils of the stator under load from generating power! You will never be able to eliminate this noise with out some method of attenuation which will only contribute to cost of production and besides that some people have come to enjoy the sound, mostly from a moderate distance, it is a sound that affirms independence and lets you know that the system is functioning correctly. Besides that, It is still less of a nuisance then city noises! These small scale turbines are not that noisy anyway, try being around one of the big ones. The mounting system of the skystream units and many others have insulators to reduce the noise radiated into the tower while the big ones do not, which makes them nearly deafening at very close ranges. I work on the skystreams and have worked on a larger unit of 65kw for a radio station and inside the tower for the 65kw unit you cannot hear someone standing next to you talk without yelling. Also the more output a turbine is generating the higher the decibel level, which is as I stated related to the load placed on the generators output, it is a mechanical noise Not from the inverter !!! It is called cogging from the rotation of the rotor within the magnetic field of the stator!!! No way to get rid of it!!! The bigger the generator the louder the noise !!!
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Posts: 375Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    Hi Bret,

    I've watched a YouTube video of a Skystream (not the 600) and it was surprisingly loud. Hard to believe Southwest Wind Power can't do something simple to make it quieter. I have a Chinese made HY-2000 that is very quiet and costs a fraction of the cost of a Skystream. From what I've read, the Skystream is probably largely made from Chinese manufactured components. My HY-2000 cranks out more power than a Skystream. It has put out over 4400W peaks in 32mph winds. If higher output means more noise, then somehow the Chinese (at least HY Energy) are better at figuring out how to make their turbines quiet. Odd that SWWP can't figure it out - especially considering the cost of the Skystream.

    Edward
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    If noise bothers you then spend 4 times as much and install solar power systems. They are more cost effective anyway and have No mechanical maintenance for the same rating. The sun is more consistent then the wind anyway! I have both systems at 2 different locations and the solar array has produced more then twice the output of the turbine for the same period of time. That is not to say that one is better than the other because different location have different environmental conditions. The farther North you go the better wind is and the opposite is true for the solar. They both work great together as one compliments the other and as they say don't put all of your marbles in the same bag, if it breaks, you loose everything! Been there and done that too! That is why if you plan to do the renewable energy thing don't stop once you get something working, build on it, and use every technology you can cause it all comes back to you at the end of each month for a long time after it is working. When skystream released the model 600 they claimed a 74 % increase in annual power output, this can be done by software control of the power control system in the skystream. The size of the rotor is the limiting factor of the max. output of any turbine, the original 3.7s' had problems with the electronics, at least that has been my experience. They were regulated to 1.8 KW continuous output and they had a less sophisticated radio communication system. The Zigbee system is uprated to 2.4 KW cont. with updated software. Additional updates can increase the annual and instantaneous output. Since the 600 is the same basic size with some improvements in prop design would account for the increase in output. Also if you have one of the 1.8 kw units and it doesn't work then it would be very easy to increase output 74 %!!! DAH !!! I have a friend that works for a large turbine corp. and he agrees with me about the early 3.7s' not being a very good unit. If SWWP intends to stay in business then they must make improvements in their systems, that is just good business.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    I am not familiar with the design of the HY system though I have known about them, on first guess I would say that they have done something to the mounting system for the stator such as additional insulation to the core( rubber bushings) to stop the vibration from passing to the nacelle. I am not going to presume that as fact, just conjecture, this would do much for reducing sound levels. The engineers in China are very creative so I will give them much credit. I think that the 3.7 is a German design but that is not fact either. I do know that the newer Zigbee system is based on the Italian design of the Arduino open source micro controller tech but anymore there is so much international sharing of tech that it impossible to know unless you work for the factory and have inside info. that is what is called trade secret info. I am not an authorized representitive for SWWP although I have inquired about becoming authorized, I just cannot afford to at this time. I am currently working on building my own 100KW 480v 3 ph. unit and control panel with PLC at this time so I have to stay up on wind as much as I can.
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Posts: 375Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    Bret,

    I agree with what you wrote about solar. If the location is right, then wind can be a great complement of solar as well. Wind seems to be a better match for those that are more mechanically inclined and willing to tinker on stuff. Solar is probably a much simpler way to go for most people.

    Your 100kW project sounds very interesting! What size rotor? How tall of a tower?

    Edward
  • WadeWade Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    Your post March 26th, 2011

    Bret

    You said: "the noise from the turbine is NOT from the inverter! It is from the mechanical vibrations caused by the magnetic rotor passing by the coils of the stator under load from generating power!" This is the first time I have heard of this. I was told by several sources it was the inverter that makes that whining noise. All I know is the noise is maddening during night time hours and very disturbing during day time hours.

    You said: "You will never be able to eliminate this noise with out some method of attenuation" But they claim the Skystream 3.7 is as quiet as the wind blowing through the trees. This must be a misleading statement from Skystream dealers then.

    You said: "some people have come to enjoy the sound, mostly from a moderate distance" What is considered a moderate distance?

    You said: "Besides that, It is still less of a nuisance then city noises!" Suppose you don't live in the city but a quiet residential area away from the city. Have you ever seen one within the city limits? Small towns excluded of course.
  • MisterBMisterB Posts: 156Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    I would say that the noise comes from the inverter. If the frequency is constant, it is from the inverter. Electrical noise from a turbine, from my experience, is a whine that is constantly varying in frequency. My old turbine which put out rectified DC made a noticible noise that would be picked up by any 12 volt audio amplifier I connected to the batteries. My new 3 phase turbine is almost noiseless which is just what 3 phase theory tell me to expect from it--the 3 phase waveform never crosses zero and the DC output from the rectifier is much more constant. On the other hand, the old modified sine wave inverter I have running my fridge makes lots of hum when it's running even with nothing else connected to it and the AC line to the fridge isolated by around 6 feet from my DC power lines.

    The most noticble noise from any turbine I've seen in action is the sound of the blades. Noise from the alternator that can be heard without an amplifier connected is not something that occurs normally.
  • 65DegN65DegN Posts: 106Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    The noise sounds like cogging which can be very pronounced in an axial alternator. If it is cogging, the frequency of the noise will change with the speed of the turbine.
    The Skystream is a slotless PM alternator, according to their website. Slotless alternators are supposed to be practically immune to cogging.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    The sound is from the blades cutting the wind/air at a high RPM! inverters make virtually no noise.
    And no there is no Arduino inside the unit.
    And no it wasn't designed in germany, it was designed in the US.
    It uses 2 Texas instruments DSP processors not an Arduino.
  • MisterBMisterB Posts: 156Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600
    The sound is from the blades cutting the wind/air at a high RPM! inverters make virtually no noise.

    By noise, I referred to electrical noise created by the AC either by the alternator or inverter or picked up from the grid, not to the mechanical noise the turbine makes or the sound of the blades moving through the air. There is no link to the video mentioned and searching Youtube got me this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHH86TV4YUo

    Kind of sounds like an air raid siren. It definitely seems to vary in frequency with wind speed. Not 60 hz at all so the inverter is ruled out but it seems to be as much electrical in nature as mechanical. I can't conceive of any way the blades could make this warbling sinousidal sound.
    it uses 2 Texas instruments DSP processors not an Arduino.

    Putting DSPs inside the nacelle of a turbine is something that makes me shudder. I would not be happy to have to lower my turbine because a DSP inside of it fried. It makes much more sense to have something like that in a box on the ground controlling the raw power from the turbine.

    And searching through Youtube got me the sales hype for the Skystream 600 which costs aproximately $17,000 installed for a 2.4 kw turbine. That is a lot of money for that kind of wattage with all the performance, maintenance and noise issues the Skystreams have. There are much better turbines out there for that kind of money. There are better turbines for much less money. Not to mention the solar array that that $17,000 could buy.
  • WadeWade Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    That is my video. The whining noise is not the blades cutting the wind/air. I've been putting up with this for almost two years. Trust me, I know!
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    that almost sounds like the whine of gears turning at high speed which brings me to the question, are there gears in it?
  • WadeWade Posts: 9Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Introducing Skystream 600

    The alterator feeds DC directly to the built in inverter. No gears.
    http://www.skystreamenergy.com/skystream-info/skystreamupclose.php
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