Truth About Skystream & SWWP

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  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Jessica it will still be required to be mounted on a tower of some type about 15ft to 20ft above the roof. I would say the roof is ok to mount the tower but it will need guy support most likely. but really a structual engineer should be consulted to design the tower and its support. Another thing there will always be some noise and vibration transmitted to the building , Meaning if you live just below that roof you will find that noise and vibration anoying especially when the wind genny is opperating in high winds.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,319 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Plus I will add that turbines can shed parts and towers can fail. Placing heavy objects above your home/family yard area may not be the safest thing to do.

    Also, your home appears to be a magnet for lightning--Wind Turbines obviously will really attract lightning and may not survive a hit either... May not be practical for your area even if you get good wind and find a reliable turbine.

    Anybody here with wind turbine + lightning experience that can fill in the gaps of my knowledge?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    BB. wrote: »

    Also, your home appears to be a magnet for lightning--Wind Turbines obviously will really attract lightning and may not survive a hit either... May not be practical for your area even if you get good wind and find a reliable turbine.

    Anybody here with wind turbine + lightning experience that can fill in the gaps of my knowledge?

    -Bill

    Shoot! I had forgotten those dreaded lightnings. (There are almost no strikes from November to April, "dry" season in Puerto Rico.)
    Your advise is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    In general roofs are not designed for having towers mounted on them. The stress would be enormous, even with a short tower. Think about leverage theory and you'll soon see why.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    For a good article about wind and points to consider, please see Rob Beckers article Small Wind Truths.

    Rob is up in Ontario, Canada so no competition for NAWS. The guy likes wind but thinks people should be aware of what they are getting in to.

    http://www.solacity.com/SmallWindTruth.htm

    Russ
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,319 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    When supplying useful, on topic, information--Links to competitors sites are fine too.

    -Bill "moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • henry1henry1 Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    So i know that some moths of the year the unit is not going to produce one watt of power and other times it going to produce some power to charge the batties ..

    but it worth it to use a small turbine system yes to me but it might not such a good idea for you to use one in the area where you live ..

    as one person said it where your location is and where you place it in that location makes a big diffenece in how much power is produce by the unit ..i found a spot on the valley coming into area where i live and it a great site for a small wind turbine set up ..


    some days it has good winds comeing down the valley and other days it like not a breath of air is moveing out there in the high counry ..
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,319 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Charles,

    As you know (from my posts here), I am not a fan of small wind systems in general, and I am truly sorry for the problems you are having with your Skystream installation.

    And, I appreciate you attempting to educate others about your current issues with Southwest Windpower.

    Our host has even had some "discussions" with SWWP about this very thread.

    However, please avoid turning this thread (and your posts) into a repetition of the problems with your install.

    I appreciate how frustrated and upset you are--and I would be too.

    However, please limit your posts to updates (as you see fit) as opposed to posting the entire problem history once or twice per month.

    This forum is here as a service to the entire renewable/alternative energy user community and we don't want to turn it into a claim/counter claim series of postings--and such that could attract lawyers and their attention here.

    This leaves us poor moderators trying to guess at what claims are factual vs those that may be rooted in other issues (contract/payment disputes, etc.).

    While NAWS has supported this forum as free for use for the benefit of all Solar RE end users--I am sure that their funds and time time not unlimited and I don't want to see the forum shut down or forced to avoid contentious issues.

    None of us Moderators have any business/personal relationships with NAWS (other than, for a couple of us, as the occasional customer). What you see is what you get with the moderators here and we cannot add any background to the SWWP (and other vendors) issues that may arise.

    If there is anything the members of the forum can help with (discussions of specific problems with solar/wind/conservation)--please feel free to start a new thread and we will have discussions about those issues.

    Obviously, we really do not have more to offer here regarding SWWP and their products. As it stands now--There are enough design issues and other problems (some related to their products specifically, and some related to the whole issue of small wind) that there is probably nothing else we can help with. Many of the complexities of small wind really have no solutions that will make customers happy.

    For anyone else considering small wind--Please do your own research (and ask questions on the forum) before spending your cash. There are a some people here that are happy with their installations--but even those turbines still require maintenance and only produce useful power under specific circumstances.

    Sincerely,
    -Bill B.
    Volunteer Moderator
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ChasMtnManChasMtnMan Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    BB, I apologize for the multiple posts. Being a 'new guy' AND 75 y/o, I was not familiar with how to maneuver through your site. Those 2 posted in one day was because I failed to see the 1st one appear. Anyway, I'll totally be more careful and sit back and read what others have to say. Thanks for calling this to my attention.:blush:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,319 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Not a problem.

    Take care,
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • peskeybobcatpeskeybobcat Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    ChasMtnMan wrote: »
    To everybody interested in how Southwest Windpower handles warranty issues, please visit: http://b-d.ranch.tripod.com/twoskystream37installationsgonewrong/
    Today they BLOCKED me from posting on their Facebook Page, even though everything I posted was absolutely truthful. Not only have the BLOCKED me, they have file a LAW SUIT against this 75 year old man living on S.S. and what savings I've accumulated in a lifetime. Believing what SWWP said on their website (www.windenergy.com), I decided to "Go Green" and save money on my electric bill as well as to help protect the environment. My initial authorized dealer screwed up, so SWWP's Tech folks took over and sent other dealers, a Master Dealer (3 times), and their TX Rep Jim Brannen, but none fixed the leveling issues and production issues with my 2 Skystreams. After each of them came to work on the turbines, I took videos of what they did after they left. Now the Company is using that as an EXCUSE to do nothing and to file a law suit against me. What a way to run a Company!! They could put an end to all of this by doing the right thing and giving me what I paid for OR to simply return my hard earned $30,000! Those who support me, let me hear from you. [email protected] ~Charles~
    Hello just a note that may help you out.. There is not a judge in the US that will convict some one on SSDI especially a 75 year old on ssi.. it is just the way the laws are wrote..
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Just a bit of advice. The local newspaper in Flagstaff where SWWP is based is The Arizona Daily Sun. You might consider a letter to the editor. Some people have also had luck going through the Better Business Bureau. You should also contact your local district attorney.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    niel wrote: »
    try to refocus a bit guys as this is about skystream and swwp here. feel free to start another thread comparing the other 2 wind turbine companies if you like.

    Hi. My first post.
    Just found your great site. Just been duped by Hummer Wind generator Company. 48V 1KW and Sooo noisy and being fobbed off.
    There are so many glowing reports out there but looking closely they are all from that company.
    Had a 48V Air 403 and it would waken the dead in high winds.
    Should have stuck with my 1938 Wincharger but it was 32V.
    Have started to realize the need to look for a good brand but from this great forum now realize how much disappointment there is out there.
    To Niel Moderator; do you have a forum page re noisy Hummers please? Or do I stay on this one?
    Cheers Frango
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    Hi. My first post.
    Just found your great site. Just been duped by Hummer Wind generator Company. 48V 1KW and Sooo noisy and being fobbed off.
    There are so many glowing reports out there but looking closely they are all from that company.
    Had a 48V Air 403 and it would waken the dead in high winds.
    Should have stuck with my 1938 Wincharger but it was 32V.
    Have started to realize the need to look for a good brand but from this great forum now realize how much disappointment there is out there.
    To Niel Moderator; do you have a forum page re noisy Hummers please?
    Cheers Frango

    welcome to the forum,
    yes wind is a tricky thing to get working with the kind of turbines that are being marketed out there. i hope you didn't get rid of that wincharger as that is a classic turbine.

    if you want a page for noisy hummers you can start your own thread on it.
    niel
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Truthsquad,

    Probably not what you want to hear....

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20073308-54/home-depots-latest-small-wind-deal/

    What's the middle-man percentage is in selling them?

    If there is a "good" side, maybe the clout Home Depot has with its size, and its legal team, they'll have to keep them honest.... Just think how much room they'll take up at the return desk.

    Bill
    Bill
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    Truthsquad,

    Probably not what you want to hear....

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20073308-54/home-depots-latest-small-wind-deal/

    What's the middle-man percentage is in selling them?

    If there is a "good" side, maybe the clout Home Depot has with its size, and its legal team, they'll have to keep them honest.... Just think how much room they'll take up at the return desk.

    Bill
    From that article:
    "The turbine is rated at 2.4 kilowatts and produces about 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month when operating at a minimal wind speed of 12 miles per hour, according to the turbine manufacturer."

    There's the rub, isn't it? Equipment reliability issues aside, where on earth does the wind blow at a steady minimum 12mph 24/7? That's like if PV systems were touted as producing X amount of power per year, assuming 24/7 STC conditions. It would be great if there were the wind equivalent of PVWatts that would give as good a projection of what a wind generator would produce in a given location, but my guess is that that is the last thing that small wind turbine manufacturers would want. It seems to me that small wind sales are largely driven by the unrealistic expectations of their customers.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    ggunn wrote: »
    It seems to me that small wind sales are largely driven by the unrealistic expectations of their customers.

    I'd say they're driven by the unrealistic claims of the manufacturers, which is where the customers get their unrealistic expectations from. :roll:
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    I'd say they're driven by the unrealistic claims of the manufacturers, which is where the customers get their unrealistic expectations from. :roll:
    That is certainly a big part of it, but I have talked to a lot of folks at RE events who say they want to get a wind generator because "there's plenty of wind at my place". Really? Most folks have no idea what a 12-15mph wind feels like or how many hours per day they get it on their property. They walk out their front door and their hair gets blown around, so they think they have "plenty of wind". I advise these folks to buy a weather station and plot the available wind energy for AT LEAST a year before they even think about buying a wind generator, and after that, assuming that the numbers are favorable, they have to be very careful about what they spend their money on. Most folks don't take a long enough view for that. They want it now, and there are plenty of charlatans standing ready to take their money.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    ggunn wrote: »
    That is certainly a big part of it, but I have talked to a lot of folks at RE events who say they want to get a wind generator because "there's plenty of wind at my place". Really? Most folks have no idea what a 12-15mph wind feels like or how many hours per day they get it on their property. They walk out their front door and their hair gets blown around, so they think they have "plenty of wind". I advise these folks to buy a weather station and plot the available wind energy for AT LEAST a year before they even think about buying a wind generator, and after that, assuming that the numbers are favorable, they have to be very careful about what they spend their money on. Most folks don't take a long enough view for that. They want it now, and there are plenty of charlatans standing ready to take their money.

    Absolutely true.
    "Produces up to 10,000 kW hours per year!"
    And people don't realize that "up to" implies a range of output. One that also include zero kW hours per year.
    If people understood physics and language better they would not be so easily taken in.

    Your advice is sound. It agrees with mine. :D
  • WadeWade Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Southwest Windpower posted this on their facebook page.

    http://windenergy.com/community/blog/co-founder-offset-onset-higher-electricity-costs?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social%20Media&utm_campaign=Corporate&utm_content=Facebook%207%2F1

    My comment to their post.

    $25-30 savings a month. Big deal! We are saving more than 400kwh a month just from the new water heater we installed last August. More than $40 a month. It didn't cost $18,000. That has been every month compared to the previous year. I'll bet your wind turbine doesn't do that. Conservation is a lot less expensive than a wind turbine.

    Posted three times and they removed it three times. Could have mentioned that it is a GE GeoSpring Hybrid water heater. But I didn't.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    And, just personally, I would not want to live or spend very much time at a location with enough wind to make a turbine a sensible purchase.

    This does not count the reliability issues. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    most people I know that have small windpower make the comment - gee, I thought it was windy here until I put this thing up
  • raspberryfisherraspberryfisher Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    I think this is my first post .....

    Short message ... wind prediction as it is done today brings alot of dark curtains and false bottom boxes (in the form of math) to create a number. Math and modelling, can be useful and should be used, but it is almost never explained, maybe misunderstood-misued and with no clarity at best is misleading, when the bottom line number is given.

    To provide a number of energy delivered with just a median wind speed is simplicity gross.


    Long: Given I am an old guy, but still need to work for another decade+, I am always want to be open and honest with my customers (who represent very large companies). When we get them to wind a s an answer to their ever expanding power-energy costs, I usually have to spend a few minutes to explain the physics and why some things you see and read from wind manufacturers are wrong (nicest way of saying it).

    Wind usually comes up into the discussion like ..... we are installing a 100+foot tower, could we not get some energy from this (or its always windy here). I usually start with ....

    1. Lets get a real sense of a windy day - sustained wind - not just gusts. Just use to some examples. If they fly-fish, this becomes easier. ;^)
    2. Illustrate what is the amount of energy available at that wind speed - like x Watts/square-foot at x mph et cetera (use some tables).
    3. Then talk about efficiency of tranfer. (I relly do not get into Betz's law, unless they want to - I am often talking to follow engineers).

    By this point, it usually dawns on them on what energy they can collect.

    4. Then we move to some math, principles of V3 (Power is a function of velocity to the third power) and area swept (efficiency to, density....). The significance of how a little change in velocity has dramatic impact in power is a key point, as it has a profound impact on modelling. (and of course, why area swepth is important) (also introduce wind sheer, obstruction and turbulence)
    5. With this first set of math done, I introduce probabilistic modelling - Weibull and explain how it can be used-misuse for preduction ..... some sample curves, illustrate how a small shift has dramatic impact, especially acknowledging v3. In the end, I summarize ... Plan for a Gamma (K) of 1.5 and hope for 2.

    6. Then we close to Mfgr Power Curves ... how to read really read and use them.
    7. Q&A, often talk about axial loads, turbine design and electric design, survivability, annual variances, why I like BWEA certification, et cetera

    It takes 30-60 minutes, and though I am sure the sales team is mildy disappointed we have not accelerate a sale, they appreciative the customer is understanding what they can and cannot achieve, and helps cement them we are not trying to take their money.

    In another forum Paul Gape, who has challenged building wind and another concepts has stated (paraphrase), 'I aint again wind, in fact I am supportive of it, and this is why I push and fight for good knowledge and good application of it.' That is where I am at to.
    .
    Oh yeah, my name is Dave
  • autoxsteveautoxsteve Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    Dave,

    Excellent write up - you're doing good stuff the way you are approaching this!

    I have wondered why wind turbine companies don't offer instrumentation tests for the perspective sites... put a weather kit at altitude of the prospective location (similar to the solar detector used to see how much light is falling on a perspective customer's roof).....
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    autoxsteve wrote: »
    Dave,

    Excellent write up - you're doing good stuff the way you are approaching this!

    I have wondered why wind turbine companies don't offer instrumentation tests for the perspective sites... put a weather kit at altitude of the prospective location (similar to the solar detector used to see how much light is falling on a perspective customer's roof).....

    <cynicism alert> Because it would hurt their sales?
  • raspberryfisherraspberryfisher Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    TY -> I actually strongly encourage the inclusion of a "weather reporting" interface, and with "my" products (telecom power systems) with developing management interfaces ... correlate wind-solar et cetera performance against weather for financial management and performance alarming.

    After doing this for some time, I have been asked to create an industry paper on how to enable some of these issues. It should be web published soon, but its one of the tools I use (I also have to cover power-energy, battery technology, hydrogen fuel cells ot other oxide fuel cells).

    David
  • springer-springer- Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    My story and my 2 cents.

    Of course I found this AFTER buying 2 SWWP SkyStream 3.7's. In my case I bought 2 on 50' towers for $5000. They are 3 years old and seem to be in good working order. Today I took them down and moved them. Quite a task to say the least. I am doing the installs myself and expect to be in for a total of $8500 including purchase price. I am a DIY kind of guy and nothing phases me.

    Baring any real issue I have a ROI of 3-5 years over a 10 year span. Let me explain. To purchase them I accessed a home equity line of credit. In doing so I also checked on my mortgage and found that a simple refinance would save me close to 3% over the next 10 years. If I had not purchased these I would not have checked that out. This essentially will save $6000 on my mortgage over the next 10 years. I can apply that savings directly to the cost of the 2 SkyStreams bringing my total investment over 10 years to about $2500 (baring any problems). I hope they will generate about $60 to $80 per month in savings. IF (big if) they do then the balance of the investment is covered in 3-5 years. I think these are realistic numbers as I had no salesman blowing smoke up my *ss.

    To the OP. First I hate not manufacturing stuff here in the USA and hate companies that move to china. Most chinese manufacturing is crap. I always look to pay more for American made product no mater the cost. I also hate big business that looks at the dollar over the American workers. I am sorry to hear about you and your coworkers losing their jobs and hope you are all doing well now. It sounds like SWWP was on the right track until big business stepped in. It is really too bad as the SkyStream product I have certainly seems like it was on the right track.

    Wind power in general. It has been around a long time. It has run mills, pumped water, probably even ground flour and now it produces power. The staying power comes from quantity but the interest comes from quality. A quality wind turbine would come down in price significantly with popularity (quantity). There are many car engines out there. To buy a Ferrari engine will setup back a lot and it will need lots of attention. However a Chevy 350 can be had for $1500 and will run 150,000 miles without issue. The wind industry needs a Chevy 350 not a Ferrari. The SkyStream could have been the Chevy 350.

    Thanks for the 21 pages of reading and a huge insite into what I am doing now. In the future I would like to add some solar (looking for the right deal) and solar hot water. That coupled with my pellet stove and I am getting greener everyday. Oh and speaking of Green, how green is this stuff? Does it really cut back on our emissions? I mean producing the steel towers, casting the metal turbines, manufacturing the electronics and blades, trucking the stuff across country and around the world ... does it REALLY reduce our emissions??? Hey it sounds good though!!
  • WadeWade Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP

    You bought two Skystreams with the towers for $5000 total or $5000 each?
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Truth About Skystream & SWWP
    autoxsteve wrote: »
    Dave,

    Excellent write up - you're doing good stuff the way you are approaching this!

    I have wondered why wind turbine companies don't offer instrumentation tests for the perspective sites... put a weather kit at altitude of the prospective location (similar to the solar detector used to see how much light is falling on a perspective customer's roof).....

    In addition to the negative effect on sales, a useful measurement would involve leaving the instrumentation there for a full year, so it would not be cost effective for the system supplier to do it unless they actually rented the equipment to the prospect. And put it on a 50' tower or wherever the turbine would be going.
    Honest forums like this one regularly suggest that a serious off-grid small wind prospect get a years worth of data before actually planning and buying a system. And that they start with PV as the base system. And that they have a very good idea of the planned load.
    A lot of up front work before spending any money is required to get any payback other than fun.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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