another great opinion article

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
Fresh of the press by my good friend Gale.

by Gale

I've got to tell you, I'd sure hate to be in the business of exclusively selling some of these clunkers out on the market now as far as wind turbines go. Show me a guy who sells only wind turbines and nothing else and I'll show you a guy who has a day job (or night job) or is about to lose his proverbial ass within six months. I know a guy back East who tried this, though he was smart enough to keep his day job. It was a very smart move, because in less than a year, he had to close his shop. A certain overhyped wind turbine out there that gets a lot of publicity in the news---the manufacturer must be paying millions in marketing and it's a damn shame they didn't put the same effort into the engineering of said wind turbine---generated thousands of calls from curious people. And not one of those calls turned into a sale. I guess it didn't help that on one TV show the manufacturer "accidently" (I cannot see how they did not plan this) gave a sticker price that was below the dealer's cost. Oops! Yeah, a big oops for the poor dealers that got stuck having to explain to thousands of people that price was wrong. And you know how that is. For example, you tell a guy the lawnmower he saw advertised for $125.00 is actually $400.00 and the next thing you see is his ass---heading out the front door of your shop. That's why my friend got thousands of calls and not one sale. He spent all day covering for the manufacturer's obvious deceit! I mean, really, do they expect us to believe they didn't check that before it aired on TV? After all, they had to make sure the TV show wasn't about to tell the public that the wind turbine was a complete joke (though that would have been the truth, for once.) No, what they did was a typical tactic of American corporations these days----hype. And, yes, I'm talking about the Skystream. Somehow, they thought giving a $1800 sticker price for this genny on HGTV would generate lots of calls that would turn into sales. Well, according to my friend and a couple other dealers he knew, not one of those calls turned into a sale.

Skystream isn't the only gimmick out there. Have a look on You Tube and do a search for "fsw wind turbines". You'll come to a bunch of the most asinine cartoons of VAWT you'll ever see. These are courtesy of Four Seasons Windpower who obviously doesn't have the marketing budget of Southwest Windpower to basically arrive at the same hyper-bullshit destination of the carnival midway of wind. These videos on You Tube are so poorly executed, I can't see how anyone would buy one. Especially since they're mostly animations. I mean, come on, it's obvious none of these are installed anywhere. At least Skystream is actually installed in a few places. Not that they necessarily deliver on what they're advertised to do, but they are installed. Four Seasons is literally the Ronco of wind. Or maybe the K-Tel. Chinese importing at its finest. Some guys import Chinese toys, Four Seasons imports, uh, Chinese toys that wish they were actual wind turbines.

Pity the poor dealers out there having to deal with some of the public out there who are attracted to these things but not to actually buy one. How many calls my friend got that always started, "I'm building a house and want to put up a windmill..." Well, of course these clowns are "building a house"---that gets them off the hook to have to actually BUY something! They're just looking for the SkyPie 1000. Heard of that wind genny? Yeah, that's that turbine no one sells that does 1000 kWh a week in a 5 MPH windspeed, costs $200, and $150 of that is covered by a grant. And did I mention it's completely silent and so tiny it looks like a 1970s TV antenna and last 1000 years? The manufacturer hype only encourages these people instead of discouraging them to weed them out and get genuine buying customers served.

How about the dealers in states where RE grants make them totally responsible for taking care of the genny if it takes a shit? Imagine the endless service calls, the miles of driving, the irate customer who has a crane coming out and pissing off the neighbors the second time in two months. People think a software upgrade is an easy thing to do, until you realize the software is IN THE TURBINE (on the Skystream anyway) and the turbine is at the end of a 45' or 60' tower that requires a crane to take down. And while that dealer is handling these repairs, he can't make sales because he's on the repair site. This is how dealers finally give up in disgust, or push hard on solar and sell wind gennies if someone insists on one. I can't see how anyone could make a living selling wind alone. I know people who tried and could not. So many people out there hear and believe the poppycock from the manufacturer about a 5 year payback period and when they do the math, they find out it's complete nonsense. The dealer is the one having to try and sell them a genny over such blatant BS and it's uphill all the way. Between having to be the filter for the manufacturer's hype, repair their continuing mistakes, and stay afloat on top of that, it does not pay to be an exclusive wind dealer. You literally HAVE to sell solar FIRST.

It would be nice if some manufacturer out there told the truth about payback and output and price. It would be nice if they also put the hard cash into the genny and not into deceptive advertising or fancy fliers. But, if the way things are going now is any indication, that will not happen for quite some time. Probably not until the oil damn near runs out. But maybe---just maybe---if people starting calling these clowns out on their BS and insisted on HARD FACTS, HARD DATA from REAL GENNIES in the REAL WORLD and not bullshit power curves on fancy booklets, things might change. A fancy bumper sticker does not a good genny make.



  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: another great opinion article

    Hi, I'm Gale and I approved this message. (A little election time humor...):D

    Yeah, I'm the infamous Gale: writer, country gal, RE enthusiast, supreme gardener of the best foods known to man (that being sweet corn, okra, collard greens though not necessarily in that order, heh heh...), curmudegeon extraordinaire, sometime hobby prospector, rock collector, and all-around durn good cook. And I never met a Buck Owens record I didn't like. Yeah, I'm old enough to remember records, but if'n any of y'all wanna know how old I am, I ain't sayin'!!:roll:

    I know quite a bit about wind turbines from information and hard-fought personal experience over the years. I know a number of people that used to sell them I met just because I like to pick their brains. I anted to invent my own genny but time competes with growing okra and sweet corn which are my first loves. Anyway, I'll be popping up now and again as time permits.
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