Truth About Skystream & SWWP

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  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    hello there!

    I agree with your letter but one question I have for you

    can you help me with air x ; breeze and whisper to understand where is the problem on them and where I must be carefull

    am telling you this because I start to buy this kind of model,here in europe,from skystream-germany,and until now I see that Air x;breeze have problem that doesn't have appropriate element inside,burning very easly,but is very nice device
    that way I would need some help ,of course, if you want !
    bye
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    I'll give you the best advice you're going to get anywhere:

    Don't buy any of them.
  • kenputerkenputer Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    I'll give you the best advice you're going to get anywhere:

    Don't buy any of them.

    I have a whisper 100 and it has been up an working for over 3 years now with out any problems.
    why is that??
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Kenputer, in which city, state is your Whisper 100 located? How high is the Pole? Per SWWP documentation it states, It needs 12 MPH Average (medium-to-high) Winds to generate 100KWH per month. In a very windy city, at a cost of $2,500 the Whisper 100 generates about $10 worth of electricity per month. HUH??? That equates to 21 years just to break-even. How do you cost justify such an "investment"?
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Not the case here but sometimes happens -

    My neighbor has a neat little car of some non-descript brand with a very small engine that is wonderful.

    Great milage - though he never checks the mileage - he just knows

    Great performance - best on the road - never checked against anything but he knows.

    Never gives anyone a ride in it - matter of fact rarely seen out of his garage.

    But he says it is wonderful.

    For power generating units - Without a separate meter to see the output of a turbine they can do magic.

    Russ
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 886 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Ok, realworld results from SWWP...

    My H80 1kw turbine provides between 600 and 700 kwhr per year on my hybrid solar/wind/diesel off grid setup (wind resource 4.5m/sec average). That's about 20% of the renewables per year. One rebuild of bearings and bushings after 5.5years of operation. Simple and flying again in a day (I didn't source parts from SWWP).

    Would I buy SWWP again? Probably not, their reputation is shot. Would I replace the wind turbine? Probably not, I now have utility power to charge batteries for considerably less cost than wind or diesel (or solar for that matter...see signature).

    Ralph
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Ralph,

    How high is your pole?

    So, in the real world, an H80 / Whisper 200 with a 9' Rotor only generates 50KWH - 55KWH per month in a 12MPH avg wind??? Oh my, that is very low KWH output considering the SWWP documentation states: the smaller Whisper 100 with a 7' rotor can generate 100KWH per month in 12 MPH avg winds. Wow, SWWP has grossly over-exagerated the real world production of the Whisper 100.

    With your real world monthly KWH production information, the real world payback for a Whisper 100 is not 21 years (my mistake) but it is more like 42 to 84 years. Ouch!

    When someone states that their 900 WATT Whisper 100 Wind Turbine is "... working for three years ..." but it really only generates about 25KWH per month (about $2.50 worth of electricity) and it cost $2,500 then I would have to say it isn't really "working".
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,327 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    One minor quibble... If this is an off grid system, Solar PV system power costs are probably in the $1-$2+ per kWH range for the "average" system--So, comparing with unobtainium of $0.10-$0.20 per kWH grid tied power costs for an off-grid PV powered system is a bit unfair.

    Wind still may not be cost effective--but it can look better when compared with other on-site resources...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 886 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    H80 is on an 80 foot guyed tower.

    Real payback for off grid power comes when people at work complain about the power being out and you say ''huh?" Peace of mind is priceless.

    Ralph
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    BB, I don't follow your logic. My point is regarding the outrageous claim made by SWWP of Rated Output of 100 kwh per month for a the H40 / Whisper 100 and Rated Output of 200 kwh per month for the H80 / Whisper 200 both at 12 mph. Ralph Day stated that he is seeing only 50 to 55 kwh per month on an 80' pole in 12 mph winds, as required. The Sky Stream 3.7 is over-rated as well. Are Solar Panels rated at 4 times their actual output? No, I do not think so.

    I don't see how your concern about Off-Grid useage vs Grid-Tie useage makes any difference with the Rated & Measured output of a Wind Turbine vs the Rated & Measured output of a PV Panel.

    An H80 / Whisper 200 costs about $3,000 and it is Rated at 200 kwh per month. But in the real world it actually produces only 55 kwh per month.

    1,200 watts of PV panels can be purchased for about $3,000. (You could pay more but that is your choice). Assuming 4 Hours per day x 30.5 days x 1,200 W = 146 kwh. In the real world, at about 80% efficiency, the PV Panel will produce 116 kwh per month.

    My point is for the same amount of money spent ( $3,000 ) the Wind Turbine is RATED to produce 200 kwh (at 12 mph) per month and the PV Panel is RATED to produce 146 kwh at 4 hours per day per month. The wind turbine should be a BETTER deal for the $3,000 spent - 200 kwh for the wind turbine vs 146 kwh the PV panel. But this is so wrong. In the real world, the wind turbine ACTUALLY only produces 55 kwh at the rated 12 mph wind speed while the PV Panels produce 116 kwh at the rated 4 hours of sunlight. Dollar for Dollar, PV Panels are really twice as productive as a Wind Turbine under their Rated conditions.

    Also,
    Most US residential locations will not actually deliver 12 mph winds avg.
    Most US residential locations will actually deliver 4 hours of sun per day.
    Just more biased advertising just to sell over-rated Wind Turbines that will significantly under-perform in the real world.

    In my neighborhood over FORTY SkyStream 3.7 Wind Turbines have already been installed and forty more are scheduled to be installed but not one Solar Panel. About $1,000,000 spent on "Green Energy" that is half as efficient as a $1,000,000 worth of PV Panels and 1/4 as efficient as Rated Output just in my neighborhood. Using 20+ years of Wind data, only one city in Ohio, Mansfield, actually reaches 12 mph avg in one month, January. Millions upon of Millions of dollars are being spent on Wind Turbines in Ohio that will underperform by a factor of 4. And in 5 years will the homeowner pay thousands of dollars or more to start repairing these Out-Of-Warranty and underperforming wind turbines sitting on top of 40' Monopoles? In five years the KILL Switch will be turned ON.

    Of course what is "best" for any one person is the avg Wind Speed vs Hours of Sunlight at your particular location. But deception is deception.

    Only the Wind Turbine industry is allowed to over-rate their product by a factor of FOUR and still get subsized by the State and Federal Governments.

    Can you imagine a car company claiming 160 MPG but only delivering 40 MPG?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,327 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    All I was trying to say is that 50 kWH of power is "worth" $5.00 per month at $0.10 per kWH---But for off grid where power costs north of $1.00 per kWH, that is now $50 worth of avoided generator fuel/maintenance costs....

    That is all... It makes the ROI look a bit better for those folks off grid. Now that $2,500 install has a chance at a ~6 year return on investment (yes--assuming the turbine lasts that long--which is not a given).

    I am not justifying the wind companies who list output power based on a 60' tower mounted in the windiest location in North America as their specification on a glossy and show pictures of turbines on 10' towers in the middle of a forest/next to a home as a typical install.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • kenputerkenputer Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    NEOH wrote: »
    Kenputer, in which city, state is your Whisper 100 located? How high is the Pole? Per SWWP documentation it states, It needs 12 MPH Average (medium-to-high) Winds to generate 100KWH per month. In a very windy city, at a cost of $2,500 the Whisper 100 generates about $10 worth of electricity per month. HUH??? That equates to 21 years just to break-even. How do you cost justify such an "investment"?

    I am in Nova scotia,Canada and on a hill over looking a valley with a good wind,I have a inexspensive weather station and shows close to the 12 MPH average.
    My cottage is 2 km off the main road so no grid power avalible for less then the $1350.00 I paid for the whisper at an estate sale.it was new still in the box.
    It is on a 35' antenna guyed tower with a 600amphr battery bank @ 24 volts,also a 180 watt PV panel with rogue controller,heart interface sx2400 inverter charger. I am there 2 - 3 a week from march til december but leave everthing to look after itself through the winter and all has worked with out a hitch for the last three years.
    Having power for fridge,lights,tv,radio and water pump 2km in the woods is justifying for me.
  • WadeWade Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Check out this video from WeKnow Technologies out of Dallas Texas. This has to be a setup. There is no way this guy produced more than $200 worth of power in a months time with a Skystream wind turbine. That would be around 2000 kwh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s_b5XDWxbA
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,327 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    They did a shot of possibly a new HVAC unit and some insulation work--So it is possible that they have reduced the power usage by other means. Of course, we don't know the month/weather patterns at that time.

    Site does not look windy enough to support any more than a 200-600 kWH per month (guess) wind turbine (being generous).

    So--it may simply be a "bad interview" (asking incomplete questions, providing very little background information).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    WeKnow is a longtime SWWP dealer. So, it's not like they don't have a vested interest in selling Skystream. In other words, they're highly biased, you might say.
  • VTP energyVTP energy Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    we have 2 sky streams 2400 watt HAWT 6 220 watt solar panels 12000 watt propane generator with Xantrex solar charger and 4 XW6048s. we have designed a new 4KW Vawt to replace the skystreams. there start up speed is high and and the power curve is not that great. the Xbee software bites, we have this set up on our portable power trailers which will do 17.5 kw.
  • VTP energyVTP energy Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    BB. wrote: »
    All I was trying to say is that 50 kWH of power is "worth" $5.00 per month at $0.10 per kWH---But for off grid where power costs north of $1.00 per kWH, that is now $50 worth of avoided generator fuel/maintenance costs....

    That is all... It makes the ROI look a bit better for those folks off grid. Now that $2,500 install has a chance at a ~6 year return on investment (yes--assuming the turbine lasts that long--which is not a given).

    I am not justifying the wind companies who list output power based on a 60' tower mounted in the windiest location in North America as their specification on a glossy and show pictures of turbines on 10' towers in the middle of a forest/next to a home as a typical install.

    -Bill

    I am a designer fabricator at VTP, our main goal is to give real power curves that have been validated and are not the inflated numbers ie; peek power over 30 mph etc.
    we design, fabricate and R&D VAWT that can be use on smaller tower and next to homes and turbulate winds.
  • VTP energyVTP energy Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    BB. wrote: »
    One minor quibble... If this is an off grid system, Solar PV system power costs are probably in the $1-$2+ per kWH range for the "average" system--So, comparing with unobtainium of $0.10-$0.20 per kWH grid tied power costs for an off-grid PV powered system is a bit unfair.

    Wind still may not be cost effective--but it can look better when compared with other on-site resources...

    -Bill

    Wind alone is not very cost effective, when it is in a complete system with solar and a Large battery bank on has a chance. when coupled with a generator it better yet.
    if one has a limited budget power will be as costly as grid power.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    I have a customer with a Whisper H80 and in it's first year of production in an almost treeless and rather wind swept area at ~ 2000 ft elevation above sea level it produced only about 580 KWH all year.
    That is woefully short of SWWPs claims.
    His 680 watt solar array made up of 3 REC 215 panels produced about 680 KWH.
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    Hello,

    Anyone here wants to ask questions, ask away. I know the truth. And I will share it.

    I would like to "Pick you Brain" for your experience and comments in the field of small homeowner wind generators. Two questions:

    Do you know what speed the "clam shell" governors deployed on the early 6v and 12 v Wincharger's design?

    What small wind generator would you recommend between 400 to 1,000 watts of 24 volts?


    Thanks, Truthsquad. There are several Skystreams scattered about the county, but I do not know how they have operated. I've pointed several to this Forum and this thread before they let the shine of owning a win/gen blind them. I haven't heard from them, either.....
    Bill
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    VTP energy, my theory is that a relatively small battery bank is better than a large bank for the person with a limit on how much money they can spend on the system, which is most people.
    My reasoning being that batteries are a recurring expense and sulfation is the number one cause of premature battery failure. A large battery bank is going to be more difficult to keep charged as it will demand more power when it becomes discharged. Without a huge solar array and wind turbine this means generator time. I have found that people in general do not want to run generators long enough to fully run through the absorb cycle to where ~1% of battery AH rating keeps the batteries at the absorb voltage. This can take hours and people tend to shut the generator down as soon as the batteries reach absorb voltage. Particularly now with gas prices near $4. This hastens sulfation.
    One fellow in Fairbanks, Alaska bought a 3200 AH 48V battery bank that lasted him 2 years because it was too difficult to charge even withn 4 outback inverters and a huge diesel gen.
    On the other hand if the battery bank is smaller it will be easy for a reasonably sized system to completely charge it with a full day of sun or wind.
    Instead of spending a couple thousand more on a larger battery bank I advocate using that cash to buy solar panels as they produce power rather than just store it and they are not a recurring expense.
    In summary, I think we are better off to try and use as much of our renewable energy as it is generated as is possible rather than to try and operate a huge storage system which is also much less effecient.
    We need to be able to get through the night and have some left over but thats about it, IMHO.
    I have tested this theory with installs and it seems to work great. One customer with moderate demand, had about 5 hours generator time in all of 2010 with a 48V T105 battery bank and a significant amount of float time.
    These batteries will not die from sulfation.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    BilljustBill, as I recall the old Winco Winchargers would govern at around ~ 35MPH. I had one for several years back in the 1980's.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    In my opinion 65DegN is spot on with his evaluation of sizing battery banks. An over-sized battery bank requires more panel and that extra capacity won't be used most of the time. Although the "standard form" calls for recommendations of "X days without sun" this is not very practical and is very expensive. The best scenario is probably plan for 25% discharge per day, know that you've got another 25% if absolutely necessary, and start the gen on Day 3 if the sun has still refused to shine.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,327 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    For anyone that has questions for Truth Squad--Try sending a PM... He has not been back since late January.

    I too agree with the smaller bank/more solar panel/other power solution... 1-3 days (Caraboo/Marc is ~2 days) of stored power is about all that is practical with today's lead acid batteries.

    Any larger bank forces you to choose between 3+ days and slowly killing your battery bank with sulphation--Or, running your genset for hours/days on end to try and get the battery above ~75% state of charge (and occasional 90-100% stage of charge for long life).

    A "too" large battery bank almost forces you to have two gensets... One large one to bulk the bank to 80-90% state of charge (near full charging current), then a smaller genset to get that last 10-20% into the battery fuel efficiently.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    65DegN wrote: »
    BilljustBill, as I recall the old Winco Winchargers would govern at around ~ 35MPH. I had one for several years back in the 1980's.

    Thanks for the input, B.B.

    I had an old and working 6v Wincharger that gave me the idea, but with the new carbon fiber and tapered blades used on the smaller ones, I'm concerned about their higher rotor speed.... Keeping the speed down on a perm. magnet generator, a blade governor is as much a help as it is one that keeps from high winds' over speeding. Heck, today we've got gust to 50mph and averaging winds of 35mph, so I see how scary a win/gen can get albeit a commercial version or home built.....

    The deploying RPM would give me a target to see if I want to continue this design. If it's workable, then setting up an experiment with a vari speed drill-press to learn the exact deploying speed, and the DC motor's top voltage when the governor speed kicks in could be done, would show me if these types of blades could be used.... So, I'm just picking brains for tidbits of info, when and where I can...
    Bill
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    What wind gennie do I recommend? None of them. Go solar.

    ChaseMtnMan, I am not at all surprised by SWWP's response. Funny thing, SWWP has an ad in the Flagstaff paper today for a Customer Service Rep. This is the umpteenth time this year they've had to find a new customer service rep. That position, Tech Support, and Accounts Payable are three positions that they need a new person for every three or four months or so. Hmmmm...one may wonder why, but one need not wonder long to arrive at a logical conclusion.

    SWWP showed no loyalty whatsoever to long-time employees---employees who BUILT the company. They were discarded without a second thought. So, of course, it stands to reason where customers would be in their minds.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Although SWWP has taken a lot of the heat here about wind turbines, a lot of the blame can be placed on media hype and dealer hype. Some blame can also be placed on buyers, who nearly always over-estimate how much wind they actually get. And the lure of massive government rebates and tax incentives certainly has not helped with that, luring many "installers" into the fast buck arena.

    On our own website store, we have various cautions about wind power in general, but we seem to be the ONLY dealer that does. And it seems like the trashier the wind turbine is, the more hype there is - such as some of the junk Chinese made ones being advertised as "saving thousands of dollars" (from a 200 watt turbine...).

    Large wind towers of any type are not that easy to install and require cranes and proper engineering of the footings, and most dealers that are selling these things do not have that.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Driving by a Skystream in Kenai, Alaska last week we had 15 ~ 20 MPH winds and the thing wasn't even turning!! Drove by 2 hours later, same thing.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Windsun you have hit the nail on the head. People have totally unrealistic expectations from wind generators. The buyers never do their homewook ,they dont seem to notice that where they are going to use the wind generator that a lot of the time there is no wind or they believe the wind is "very strong" when in fact if measured would be blowing at about 5mph.

    Mabe there are problems with the AIR X and others from that company. but in my experience (little as it is) they work just fine. but improve dramatically if used with a 5ft dia 6 blade set from a third party supplier.
    I only know 6 people that have them but all have had no probles at all. and that is now over about 3 yrs.
    4 have them on boats where they seem to work very well just stern mounted
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    Windsun wrote: »
    Large wind towers of any type are not that easy to install and require cranes and proper engineering of the footings, and most dealers that are selling these things do not have that.

    Windsun:

    Is there a small wind turbine that may be safely installed on a concrete roof? (I am talking about a 5 or 6 inches thick solid concrete, reinforced with rebar.)
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