Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

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Comments

  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    BillF wrote: »
    I have sold products from SWWP for many years and have used them on a personal basis and experienced some problems. I have sold and installed other brands too. They have had their share of problems. In fact every turbine manufacture has its share of problems. I did stop offering the SS3.7 while the problems with them were sorted out. .... There is no such thing as a no maintenance wind turbine. No matter what any manufacture states.

    That pretty much states the problem with wind turbines. But to a large extent they have not been sold to the public as such. For many years they were mostly sold to off-gridders who understood the foibles and problems of wind, but in the past few years they have been mass marketed. And many of those marketeers have not been entirely honest.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    By repeating the 49 kWh per day production number, which İ believe you will admit is at the absolute maximum, İ get the impression you want people to think this is routinely achievable whereas it was done under storm conditions and will be rare.

    That would give the impression of 1500 kWh per month generation. With the wind speed available in most of the US people will never even see the 400 kWh per month that Skystream claims.

    With commercial turbines capacity factor is a major consideration - between 10% and 35% of the turbines capacity - meaning rather than 100 kWh per month one might make between 10 and 35 kWh per month.

    With the smaller turbines the manufacturers totally ignore capacity factor. İ suppose that is due to the fact that normally an engineer will not be representing the customer?
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    @russ...To clarify; my point in stating the kWh production was to show that the Skystream 3.7 is capable of generating a decent amount of power when the resource is available.
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    Windsun Quote: That pretty much states the problem with wind turbines. But to a large extent they have not been sold to the public as such. For many years they were mostly sold to off-gridders who understood the foibles and problems of wind, but in the past few years they have been mass marketed. And many of those marketeers have not been entirely honest.

    I agree...and what goes around comes around. Small wind is a sepcialized field. Someone with a post hole digger and a bag of sackrete is not going to make it.
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    BillF wrote: »
    @russ...To clarify; my point in stating the kWh production was to show that the Skystream 3.7 is capable of generating a decent amount of power when the resource is available.

    That 1 percent of the time is exactly the hype and marketing scam. Just how often does the wind blow this fast at this 24' to 36' height. Could you ask your customer what he makes, in power, the other 99 percent of time? What is the duty cycle for this ss 3.7? Just how long can it sustain 49kwh per day? 2.04kw per hour? What is the cp of the complete turbine? At 50 percent efficient this machine would be dissipating 2.04kw average an hour.
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    @russ...Quote: That 1 percent of the time is exactly the hype and marketing scam. Just how often does the wind blow this fast at this 24' to 36' height. Could you ask your customer what he makes, in power, the other 99 percent of time? What is the duty cycle for this ss 3.7? Just how long can it sustain 49kwh per day? 2.04kw per hour? What is the cp of the complete turbine? At 50 percent efficient this machine would be dissipating 2.04kw average an hour.

    I feel like I've come full circle since I think I've had this discussion already on this board. My clients that have Skystream 3.7 units are satisfied with the performance they have been getting. They were provided with realistic expections regarding energy production. Their turbines are working well. What other dealers/installers are doing I have no control over.

    Do you have a turbine? Have you sold or installed any kind of wind turbine? If you feel so slighted then set things straight and promote your knowledge of small wind by producing a wind turbine for residential use, properly market it to people and install them in a manner that will provide reliable power for years to come. You and Truth should partner up. Constantly complaining does not acomplish anything.

    Lets talk about putting solar panels in the shade. With the new micro inverters that will be the norm so I've heard.
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    BillF said:
    "You and Truth should partner up. Constantly complaining does not acomplish anything."

    Now who's slamming who, Bill? Maybe you missed the part where I mentioned I worked for Southwest Windpower for ten years. I would almost bet that's longer than you've been selling their products. I know quite a bit more than you do about their products, because I've been on the inside. I know what goes into them---and from where. You know more about installing them, sure, but you don't know more about what's inside those gennies.

    As far as partnering up and making our own wind turbine, yeah Bill, with what money? What, I'm a millionaire over here?

    See, Bill, there's a huge difference between complaining and warning others. This site is about wind energy. It isn't a cheerleading section where everyone stands around applauding small wind ompanies that, so far, have done nothing to merit any applause whatsoever. You have happy customers. Great. I'm happy for you and for them. But that doesn't mean everything is all cinnamon and sunshine with Skystream. See, Bill, were you there when SWWP was running around telling people they could "spin their meter backwards" with Skystream? And those were the days they only had the 33' monopole tower. You have yet to tell us if your statement about Skystream should only be on a 60' or higher tower is official SWWP policy.


    If you get this combative with people who have justifiable criticisms, then methinks thou doth protest too much, sir.
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    BillF wrote: »
    @russ...Quote: That 1 percent of the time is exactly the hype and marketing scam. Just how often does the wind blow this fast at this 24' to 36' height. Could you ask your customer what he makes, in power, the other 99 percent of time? What is the duty cycle for this ss 3.7? Just how long can it sustain 49kwh per day? 2.04kw per hour? What is the cp of the complete turbine? At 50 percent efficient this machine would be dissipating 2.04kw average an hour.

    I feel like I've come full circle since I think I've had this discussion already on this board. My clients that have Skystream 3.7 units are satisfied with the performance they have been getting. They were provided with realistic expections regarding energy production. Their turbines are working well. What other dealers/installers are doing I have no control over.

    Do you have a turbine? Have you sold or installed any kind of wind turbine? If you feel so slighted then set things straight and promote your knowledge of small wind by producing a wind turbine for residential use, properly market it to people and install them in a manner that will provide reliable power for years to come. You and Truth should partner up. Constantly complaining does not acomplish anything.

    Lets talk about putting solar panels in the shade. With the new micro inverters that will be the norm so I've heard.

    Actually, you should be addressing this to me " Watt ". You are the expert ss guy here. You are praising their generator with first hand knowledge of your alleged customers benefit, so go ahead and sell one to me. This is due diligence, so help me with such great service, I asked you some questions you have clearly avoided. Now step up and back your statements. One more question: What is the tsr of the ss 3.7 blade at what rpm BillF?

    Oh you bet I fly a real world alternator, in the process of my second as we speak. Thank you due diligence. :-) I have decided the wind doesn't blow very often at 22mph here so I harness what I can at 12mph and below. I know, let the other energy that one day a year blow by. It's amazing what physical rotor size can do in reality.

    Sounds to me you are an insider, BillF, you are now defending SWWP's in a way which gives me the impression you are in fact such. Are you a developer and patent holder yourself?
  • SheldonSheldon Solar Expert Posts: 51 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    Perhaps @BILLF could give his company's website?

    If he's getting such good results, there should be a whole lot of people who would want to do business with him.

    failing that, a phone number, BBB reference or even mailing address?
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    Sheldon wrote: »
    Perhaps @BILLF could give his company's website?

    If he's getting such good results, there should be a whole lot of people who would want to do business with him.

    failing that, a phone number, BBB reference or even mailing address?

    Even references would be appropriate. :cool:
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    @Watt, @russ sorry for the mix up.

    I 'm pretty well done debating. I have made honest statements and will stand by them. I will summarize now for all concerned especially you, Watt, since you came in the front door running and may have missed a few things. My opinions only...

    Did SWWP make mistakes in product release and marketing? I blieve so.

    Is SWWP trying to make amends and improve current and future products? Yes

    Will a SS3.7 make 400kWh a month on a 33; tower? Only if the wind blows unobstructed and turbulent free at roughly 13mph 24 hours a day for a month. In other words...not likely.

    How tall a tower should the SS3.7 be placed? My opinion: As tall as possible. I like anything >60'.

    Am I an SWWP "insider"? LOL No

    SS3.7 TSR? 1.25 during initial sync then variable up to 9.2 max.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    1. Talk about un-named but happy customers and 24 hour production - no annual data and no references - not impressive. 24 hour production is meaningless.

    2. Annual average wind velocity, swept area, machine reliability, vendor reliability and annual output - the six critical items - not one day performances.

    3. There have been all sorts of questions asked - you might try answering them rather than pull the old huffy trick. Now you start to sound like a used car salesman.

    İ think the problem is that if you don't make people think about the absolute maximum production because then the whole thing becomes an economic joke. 400 kWh per month at 10 cents = 480 dollars per year - there is no payback whatsoever.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    @Billf - you were posting comments on some of the same points İ was addressing - at the same time - sorry bout that.

    İ am still rather curious about why capacity factor is not mentioned or considered with the residential units?
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    @russ...What do you mean by "capacity factor"?
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    By capacity factor İ mean what percentage of the available power in the wind is actually captured. The document İ am providing the URL for calls it 'Total Efficiency'.

    İ believe the term 'Capacity Factor' comes from the power generation industry and is used to describe actual expected annual production as compared to the calculated maximum.

    http://www.wind-works.org/SmallTurbines/CalculatedYieldofSmallWindTurbinesatZeelandTestSite.html
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    BillF wrote: »
    @Watt, @russ sorry for the mix up.

    I 'm pretty well done debating. I have made honest statements and will stand by them. I will summarize now for all concerned especially you, Watt, since you came in the front door running and may have missed a few things. My opinions only...

    Did SWWP make mistakes in product release and marketing? I blieve so.

    Is SWWP trying to make amends and improve current and future products? Yes

    Will a SS3.7 make 400kWh a month on a 33; tower? Only if the wind blows unobstructed and turbulent free at roughly 13mph 24 hours a day for a month. In other words...not likely.

    How tall a tower should the SS3.7 be placed? My opinion: As tall as possible. I like anything >60'.

    Am I an SWWP "insider"? LOL No

    SS3.7 TSR? 1.25 during initial sync then variable up to 9.2 max.

    Thank you BillF and now I am getting some answers. So at initial " sync " and TSR 1.25, would this coincide with start up wind speed? Start up at 8mph and with the tsr of 1.25 that would be 10mph tip speed or 23~rpm.

    Still need the other questions answered otherwise I'd have to deduce from the product page.

    Wow, 9.2 tsr when does that apply?

    At 330 rpm and a rotor diameter of 12' that puts the tips moving at 207~ft/s and at a tsr of 6 that would put this tip speed and rpm at 23.5mph and not 29mph rated as product suggests. Product max is 216~ft/s if at tsr 9.2 would put max rpm at just over 15mph and not the 29mph at it's best.

    I better quit guessing. This is why I just ask instead of jumping to conclusions.

    As far as running, I'll walk when I'm tired. We running readers are the reason you experts are here, slow me down bud.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    WisJim wrote: »
    In Wisconsin, you couldn't get a rebate on a system with a tower that short . Is the bottom of the Skystream rotor at least 30 feet above everything within 500 feet? That would mean that there s nothing within 500feet that is over maybe 4 or 5 feet high--no trees, no shrubs, no buildings, etc.

    I would say that if a dealer installed it on a 45 foot tower, he is either incompetent or a crook or ignorant. It is worthwhile to get a professional site assessment by a certified assessor before investing in a wind turbine, but of course it is too late for that now, for you.

    I believe most dealers are crooks or incompetent. A dealer from Cape May NJ sold me a skystream on a 50 foot sectional tower and promised 600KWh/month. The sectional tower never worked, he replaced it for a 45 foot one. Since there are trees close to it, it produces 50 KWh/month.

    I am in 7 acres of land, no zoning requirements. If the dealer was an educated one, he should have recommended a 70 foot guyed tower for less, I guess he was more interested in a quick gain than anything else.

    I asked another dealer for a quote for a 70 foot guyed tower and came back with $15k! The reason for the cost is the high cost of the pipes I was told. Is started researching by myself and found out that I could source all of the materials for less than 5K. Am I that off? What would be a good estimate for a 70 foot guyed tower with labor?
  • WisJimWisJim Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    mdwind wrote: »
    A dealer
    I asked another dealer for a quote for a 70 foot guyed tower and came back with $15k! The reason for the cost is the high cost of the pipes I was told. Is started researching by myself and found out that I could source all of the materials for less than 5K. Am I that off? What would be a good estimate for a 70 foot guyed tower with labor?

    The ARE website shows a 5" pipe tower suitable for the Skystream among others, and their 85' tower is $8,250 with pipe, and $4,750 without pipe, if you get the pipe locally. Of course this doesn't include freight or installation or footings, etc.
    http://www.abundantre.com/towers.htm#5-in_Tower
    Not a lot of sites show prices or much other tower info, but some searching on the internet will probably bring up a variety of new towers in a similar price range.
  • vcallawayvcallaway Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    What are your cement prices like?
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    This Skystream ad came in an email this morning....

    Advertising or evidence to use in a court case...??? ;>)

    http://archives.subscribermail.com/msg/afa8f692e81d45ff93cdf53c33025f7a.htm


    Bill
    Bill
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    That looks awful low for being so close to the house and trees.

    Look at this installation. Although I couldn't get to a clear spot to take the picture, there was only one and it was like a funnel between and over trees. Tops of very close trees were cut about 5 to 10 foot lower than the blade tip. Still not acceptable.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament

    With the wind ads... They seem to show about 3/4's of the installations as too low, too near obstructions and 90% of the shots are in clear weather / full sun (great for solar) but with the turbines obviously not spinning fast enough to generate any useful amount of power (even if the trees are blowing and the clothes are being ruffled).

    None of the ads show exactly how much power is being generated (actual watts or cumulative kWhrs over time).

    Most everything is useless relative numbers (power 40-90% of a home's needs).

    They do talk about 12 MPH average wind for 400 kWhrs per month. If somebody averages 200 kWhrs per month over a 1 year period (scroll down to chart)--they should be thrilled.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    BB. wrote: »
    With the wind ads... They seem to show about 3/4's of the installations as too low, too near obstructions and 90% of the shots are in clear weather / full sun (great for solar) but with the turbines obviously not spinning fast enough to generate any useful amount of power (even if the trees are blowing and the clothes are being ruffled).

    None of the ads show exactly how much power is being generated (actual watts or cumulative kWhrs over time).

    Most everything is useless relative numbers (power 40-90% of a home's needs).

    They do talk about 12 MPH average wind for 400 kWhrs per month. If somebody averages 200 kWhrs per month over a 1 year period (scroll down to chart)--they should be thrilled.

    -Bill

    Proof right there, 50 years left to go till payback.
  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream--$20,000 lawn ornament
    Watt wrote: »
    Truth Squad

    I'll have to agree with everything you've said by default. Nothing but disappointment from Skystream in my area. Nothing but bad business dealings all over after all, look at their installations. This dealer does business out of different town about 80 or 100 miles northeast. Check this one out. I was even on a hill about as tall as the house when I snapped this photo. This generator vibrates frantically with turbulence, but only, of course, with high winds. As you see there, hardly spins and not from lack of wind but from poor installation. Just over the trees. I bet this one will not be standing this time next year. Bearings will be destroyed.


    Spoke with this owner today. I sure hope he signs on and gives testimony. One fact from him today, " I have a bill that shows that wind product produced 5kw in one month, no that is not excess, that was my best so far after 1.5 years in service." He has mentioned lots of unhappy folks in this area.
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