Skystream owners and actual production rates

nurmomnurmom Registered Users Posts: 9
Any Skystream owners (past or present) willing to compare actual production rates?

I'll go first. In the past 2 very windy weeks, I was averaging 2.3-2.8kWh/ day. Since installation in Feb 2009, I have a grand totoal average of .888kWh/day! Yes, you read that correctly. Less than 1 kWh/day. My Skyview data logging has registered
-0.1kWh/day for the past 2 days.

The spec sheet given to me by the Skystream dealer states: Skystream can provide anywhere from 40-90% of a household's or small business's total energy.

REALLY?? Does the new CEO R.Dixon Thayer know this??

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    you guys might want to give more info to compare notes with such as average wind speed for the area and tower height.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Hi, I'm new to the forum, so I thought I'd share my experience.

    I had a skystream 3.7 installed on a 55ft monopole tower on December 19, 2008. The turbine went down due to an ice storm in January 2009 (fried circut board) and after two months wait, SWWP finally sent the dealer a replacement turbine, which was put into operation on April 6, 2009. SWWP did pay me for loss of use during the two months it was down. From the replacement date until today, my skyview software indicates that 1662 kwhr has been generated, for a daily average of 6.3 kwhr. Annualized, that's around 2300 kwhr, or almost 200 per month. I'm hoping the higher wind averages of the winter and early spring can drive my annual rate higher than 2300 kwhrs.

    The turbine is on a hilltop in west/central Oklahoma, 1200ft elevation above sea level. It's located on the edge of class 3 wind. Some of the best days the turbine has put out 30kwhr in 24 hours.
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Well, if a person was paying .25 cents per kWh, which is actually fairly high, though not out of reason, the Skystream would save them $575 a year at a 2300 annual average. Ok, so, let's say the Skystream cost $18,000 full installed. It then takes 31 years to pay for itself. Not good. Ok, let's say various tax credits apply and your out-of-pocket cost is $9,000. Still takes 15 years to pay for itself. What are the possibilities that Skystream will have multiple failures in that 15 year period? Certainly high. Each time it fails after the 5 year warranty period, you will have costs associated with that repair. That adds more to the payback period. And you won't get grants and tax credits for those repairs. If you need an inverter, which is a SWWP-only inverter, I guarantee you're going to pay good money for it. If you have to pay shipping the unit back to the factory for repair, well, call around and ask what the shipping costs for an item that big and heavy. Probably somewhere in the hundred dollars or more range. You have to use LTL trucking to ship it. UPS isn't going to brown-van a crated Skystream.

    Look, as I have said, all the optimistic payback periods were computed before the prices went up on the Skystream, towers, and all the other doodads. Even with tax credits, unless you've got some tremendous wind resource, it may not ever pay for itself. And could you get parts if it fails, say, 10 years down the road? Why do I say that? Ok, how many have fully functional Windseekers or Air 303s, please raise your hands? And if you needed parts for a Windseeker or Air 303, could you get them today? Even better, can you get parts for an Air 403 today? I rest my case.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates
    nurmom wrote: »
    Any Skystream owners (past or present) willing to compare actual production rates?

    I'll go first. In the past 2 very windy weeks, I was averaging 2.3-2.8kWh/ day. Since installation in Feb 2009, I have a grand totoal average of .888kWh/day! Yes, you read that correctly. Less than 1 kWh/day. My Skyview data logging has registered
    -0.1kWh/day for the past 2 days.

    The spec sheet given to me by the Skystream dealer states: Skystream can provide anywhere from 40-90% of a household's or small business's total energy.

    REALLY?? Does the new CEO R.Dixon Thayer know this??

    I'd love to see the installation. It must be behind a barn or in the trees. Don't blame the manufacturer for a poor installation. In my experience, waaaaaaay to many people got on the bandwagon to 'sell' wind turbines who know nothing about siting them nor installing them properly. I have personally seen Skystreams that routinely generate 400-800kwh PER MONTH.....these are in locations with good wind resources, sited properly and installed on appropriate towers.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates
    steevee wrote: »
    .... Don't blame the manufacturer for a poor installation. In my experience....

    Well, who has to take the heat? The Installer or the Manufacturer ? If the Mfg is worth a darn, they would have "authorized" dealers / installers, BECAUSE the install site is so critical, and that is the only way they can keep a clear name. If the mfg does NOT care enough to insure their products are installed properly, then they better be ready to take the heat !
    If they sell a dozen turbines to Joe 5-pack (the guy short of a full load) and Joe pawns them off in a no-wind area, then goes back into the swamps ( is that banjo music I hear... ) Mr. Mfg better be ready to take the heat. These are not TV's or stereos, these are major, complex investments that nobody would expect an average consumer to understand proper siting.
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  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    It is unfortunate that in the quest for sales, both Southwest Windpower and it's dealers are making such a grave mistake.

    İt is 100% the problem of Southwest Windpower.

    They have to police their dealers - it is just plain silly not to! İf a dealer is making a mess then get rid of the dealer.

    This 'public beware' or 'caveat emptor' is a losers way to do business. They already have a poor name and will only make it worse.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates
    steevee wrote: »
    I both agree and disagree with your comment. It is partially the fault of Southwest Windpower and partially the fault of it's dealers. As the manufacturer Southwest Windpower is certainly responsible for the 'authorizing' and 'policing' of its dealers. But, many many people want to cash in on the renewable energy market and many if not most of them don't understand what it takes to site, sell and install a good working wind energy system. And when they bother to take the time to take a class, or attend a training and possibly learn that it is not for them, or their area they insist on doing it anyway--at great cost to thier customers, the manufacturers and the industry.

    steevee,
    it looks like you are talking in circles here blaming dealers for their actions, but you keep avoiding the issue that they have the blessing of swwp by swwp's inaction and continued business with them. it is also up to swwp to only allow dealers that are properly trained and to enforce policies on their dealers. simply put, dealers that do wrong are not being reprimanded by swwp and that is not the fault of the dealer.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    i agree that a dealer not doing a job properly is bad, but is it not up to swwp to discipline those dealers to stop the bad installs of their product or do you contend that it is ok for swwp to just turn a blind eye as long as the money comes in? remember that it was swwp that authorized those dealers in the first place and that weighs heavily on swwp in their choice to have and keep them.
    in an analogy, your way of thinking is that the guy driving the getaway car in a bank robbery isn't guilty of anything other than driving.
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    "I'm sure that SWWP is VERY aware of this problem and trying to fix it."

    Is that so? Sure taking them a long time, because I know this has been going on ever since the product was released. Let's not forget Skystream was designed SPECIFICALLY for the non-wind-savvy public, meaning you MUST train your dealers and hold them accountable right from the beginning----PERIOD. That is not what happened. Especially when the emphasis was placed on "grow the company, we need more sales, grow the company, sell, sell, sell!" And distributors could sign up dealers without SWWP knowing it; in fact, it was once preferred at SWWP to send wanna-be dealers over to distributors and have THEM sign up the dealer. This isn't some innocent babes-in-the-woods manufacturer here.

    Yes, you can't control all your dealers. But there's also this thing called taking responsibility. Shifting blame---oh, it's the dealers; oh, it's the customers not knowing their windspeeds---makes certain that nothing gets solved. Especially when, as I said, Skystream was specifically desgined for the public who know nothing about wind.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,629 admin
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Yep, Been there, done that:

    Truth about Skystream...

    Much of what Truth Squad has posted has been verified by other sources. Here is one:

    Wind Works Commentary


    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    "Sounds like you've got a personal beef with SWWP. You must be an ex-employee..."

    Hmmmm....did you read that here, or did SWWP brief you on that?


    "I have personally been involved with more than 2 dozen Skystream installations around the world."

    Quid pro quo. Sounds like you've got a personal stake with SWWP. You must be a dealer.

    Have a nice evening.
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Well, here's the thing, Steevee. First you've been on here lambasting dealers and customers. Especially lambasting dealers who aren't factory trained. You said here, and I quote:

    "Southwest Windpower conducts a very good dealer training for all of its 'authorized' dealers."

    Later, you said:

    "I have personally been involved with more than 2 dozen Skystream installations around the world."

    Then said:

    "I'm neither a stakeholder nor a Skystream dealer."

    Well, if you're not a dealer, what were you doing installing Skystreams? I noted you said "personally involved", meaning you weren't a bystander or you'd have said "personally witnessed". To what end would you be involved if you were not a dealer? It appears to me you broke your own cardinal rule here. I'm also interested in the specific locations you installed these Skystreams and for whom. You said "around the world", so I'm curious as to where.

    No emotions, Steevee. We all pursue the truth.
  • nurmomnurmom Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Steevee-
    I have a slightly used Skystream. It's yours for the bargain price of only $18,000.:D
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    steeve - İt isn't easy supporting and defending a turkey!
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Bill, I applaud you posting some real numbers. The first two are ok, as far as output. Though we're not seeing the numbers that justify the expense, IMHO. The other three are Southwest Windpower's Facebook page. I don't consider that real numbers, because they can and will cherry-pick what is posted. Especially since I saw one of their marketing hype slogans there: "Electric meters spinning backwards."

    I appreciate you posting those links, Bill. But, would it be possible to get data that doesn't come from SWWP itself? It just isn't unbiased coming from the manufacturer.
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Truth;

    I spoke with a new client who called me last night with concerns about icing on his SS3.7 blades. We all had about an 1/8" or more coating of the stuff on our turbines. Regardless of the make. The first time for him. Anyway, he told me he has been producing 12kWh per day when averaged over the course of a month since it was placed in service, in October I believe. And I have others who have had similar results. All on 70' towers. It would be nice if they would go online to brag but many of my customers prefer to remain low key.

    So far I am comfortable with the current version of the SS3.7 and am confident in recommending it to clients if their siting is suitable and I can use a taller tower to catch decent wind flow.

    However if SWWP, Bergey or Kestrel would come out with a good 5kW unit soon that would really, really make my day. I hope they're "listening".
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 917 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Hi Bill
    Check out Solacity. He is the only one I know who sells Elotec Sirocco turbines. They sound great, their test site is in Northern Scotland (Faroe Islands?). The towers are only 30'high if memory serves, but the output is amazing...and they are robust. A starting point anyway.

    Ralph

    http://www.solacity.com/
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    on their test site a high of 3 kw/h (28000 /yr) not bad for a tree less landscape out in the Atlantic on a 12 m tower. Orkney Island is just off the north tip of 'mainland' Scotland. Not nearly as far as the Faeroes.8)
    HTH
    Eric

    http://www.eoltec.com/English/Main_en.htm
     
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  • WattWatt Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates
    BillF wrote: »
    Truth;

    I spoke with a new client who called me last night with concerns about icing on his SS3.7 blades. We all had about an 1/8" or more coating of the stuff on our turbines. Regardless of the make. The first time for him. Anyway, he told me he has been producing 12kWh per day when averaged over the course of a month since it was placed in service, in October I believe. And I have others who have had similar results. All on 70' towers. It would be nice if they would go online to brag but many of my customers prefer to remain low key.

    So far I am comfortable with the current version of the SS3.7 and am confident in recommending it to clients if their siting is suitable and I can use a taller tower to catch decent wind flow.

    However if SWWP, Bergey or Kestrel would come out with a good 5kW unit soon that would really, really make my day. I hope they're "listening".

    Thanks for the propaganda. Ask your new client to sign up and give testimony of and even pictures of his site.

    Thank you BillF.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    I am an 4 year owner and in the RE adn EE industry for 14 years, I have a 70' tower located in the south west of NH. elevation is at 1000' of a 1700' hill with rough terain and woods upslope from the turbine - not ideal. The previous 3kw North West unit ate itself up about 4 years ago and is no more. After an initial inverter issue the unit is now producing and average of 1050 kwhr per year with 90% in the Nov-april period. I have knowlegde of about 20 - 30 Skystream units none of which produce much more than mine and most less. The 3.7 will produce the rated kW at the rated wind that much is sure. As most know tower hight and terrain is a critical factor in siting.... most dealers are selling the dream and nothing more, mostly because they do not know better. This is the only Skystream that we will probably ever install. They do look cool.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    The problem we have around here is dealers putting turbines on short poles, sometimes even below the trees. (one is on a 49' pole in 70' trees, another a 6KW ~15 feet above the roof of a commercial building, produced 2900 KWH in a year) The customers don't know any better and depend on the dealers to do a site survey and recommend the appropriate tower. I saw one SWWP SS on what looks like a 35' pole on the side of a hill. It made 1,000 KWH in a year. (one could get that much output from a 1KW Bergey on a 80' pole) So instead of cutting the customers utility bill as they had desired, it will effectively double it due to costs associated with purchase and installation, not to mention repairs.
    One problem I suspect is capitalists seeing an oppiortunity and getting into the wind business to make money. Used to be back in the day, only wind power enthusiasts did this stuff, so they knew what they were doing pretty much.
    Kudo's to the guys here putting them on _>70' towers.
    In tests I have conducted with kites I have found that the laminar winds occur around this area at 100 ~ 120' even in an open muskeg bog. Once you get familiar with flying a particular kite it is not difficult to tell where the really good wind is. I like to use a long, light weight tail as a turbulence indicator.
    Am going to experiment with a sport fishing scale to quantify the pull on the kite.
  • DDuffeeIncDDuffeeInc Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Skystream owners and actual production rates

    Here is what we have 30 miles West of Lubbock, Texas on a Skystream 3.7 on a 45ft monopole. I will collect April's numbers maybe this week.

    Date KWh
    06-Mar-2012 0.00
    07-Mar-2012 51.21
    08-Mar-2012 24.43
    09-Mar-2012 42.65
    10-Mar-2012 19.16
    11-Mar-2012 3.00
    12-Mar-2012 28.20
    13-Mar-2012 19.45
    14-Mar-2012 11.34
    15-Mar-2012 13.08
    16-Mar-2012 6.99
    17-Mar-2012 15.71
    18-Mar-2012 25.62
    19-Mar-2012 32.48
    20-Mar-2012 17.84
    21-Mar-2012 5.79
    22-Mar-2012 27.83
    23-Mar-2012 20.43
    24-Mar-2012 3.02
    25-Mar-2012 3.75
    26-Mar-2012 15.77
    27-Mar-2012 26.98
    28-Mar-2012 5.92
    29-Mar-2012 12.95
    30-Mar-2012 8.48
    31-Mar-2012 4.03
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