PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

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  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help
    ggunn wrote: »
    It's worse than that. On a car, when the tach is reading 900 rpm the alternator is spinning faster than that because of the difference in belt pulley diameters. I'll bet it's in the neighborhood of 2X the engine rpm's.

    Check my earlier post on this thread, explains the rotor has been replaced with a PM rotor, and the stator has been rewound with many more turns of finer wire, so the rated voltage is hit at around 400 RPM more or less, but the current is way down from the original due to the longer lengths of smaller wire required to get all those extra turns.
    Wouldn't be surprised to see well over 500 volts OC coming out of it if stuck on a car - - IF the rectifier didn't short out first.
  • GlovesGloves Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Oh man, I don't even know what to do with my wind turbine now.

    There's no way I can put that thing 30' off my roof. I could spend a thousand
    dollars (most likely more) on a tower from the ground 50' in the air.

    So it seems I need a better genny & a higher tower. So basically everything with
    the exception of charge controller and blades?

    I got no problems with the Solar. That was easy but wind is so much cooler. Right
    now I have a large/expensive weather-vane that gives me slightly more than
    nothing.
  • SteveKSteveK Solar Expert Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    If it's any consolation, thank you for saving me the expense of considering this unit.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help
    Gloves wrote: »
    Oh man, I don't even know what to do with my wind turbine now.

    There's no way I can put that thing 30' off my roof. I could spend a thousand
    dollars (most likely more) on a tower from the ground 50' in the air.

    So it seems I need a better genny & a higher tower. So basically everything with
    the exception of charge controller and blades?

    I got no problems with the Solar. That was easy but wind is so much cooler. Right
    now I have a large/expensive weather-vane that gives me slightly more than
    nothing.

    I know it's cool to look at. Mine was too, especially after I painted the blades a bright yellow, made a hub cover and painted that black. A beautiful spinning sunflower. I enjoyed seeing it turning in the breeze even though it wasn't producing any usable power. very eye catching. If you enjoy looking at it, leave it there, but I would strongly recommend that if you're considering spending $1000.00, spend it on more solar panels, not this thing. Best thing I ever did regarding renewable energy.
    BTW, if you do get a higher quality turbine, it will have it's own proper blades matched to it's generator. But again, unless you're prepared to spend $ on a tower, I wouldn't even think of dumping more money into wind.
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Actually, I wouldn't totally right off a roof top windgen on principle, I would say the quality of the turbine is part of the problem. You would gain a power by raising it another 20 or 30 feet but if it's a poorly designed turbine to begin with, it's going to hit the turbine's limit pretty fast. On the other hand, a really well designed turbine might still put out some power in a far from optimal site and installation. One thing I noticed in looking at the various sites that sell this and similar turbines--they're all over ebay too--is there is a total lack of real data which indicates a lack of real engineering. A turbine optimised for rooftop suburban installations would be a nice engineering project but if there was an engineer or engineers behind it, there would be loads of data to explain why it worked available and lots of numbers in the specs. Solar panels come with ratings in current, volts and watts and wind turbines should too.

    And I've been having an interesting day with my turbine. The first spring winds have come and my turbine broke the 20 amp barrier for the first time this afternoon and then a storm system came around sunset and the winds were gusting up to 50mph. My turbine peaked at 40amps for a brief instant and the controller started to heat up as the turbine howled like a banshee--scary! And it did exceed it's rated wattage which I've heard of from other owners of HY turbines but this is the first time I've seen it. Might have just needed to wear in mechanically. I'll post more in another thread.
  • GlovesGloves Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    I think I have enough wind (at times) to get some amps, definitely better than 1.5A.
    with a 51"

    It seems like the shaft isn't able to spin at a high enough RPM to get the Amps up.

    How about a gearbox?
    With a simple 2 to 1, I can get that shaft speed up.
    I have a machine shop that owes me that could help connect one to the existing system.

    My Theory: I get 5A when the wind gusts at the top-end, so generator is capable,
    so long as shaft speed is up.

    Obviously the wind will have to push harder to move the shaft twice the speed but,
    Do you think the speed of my blades are approaching reaching their speed limit and
    a lower RPM would be more efficient? (difficult for me to explain what i'm trying to
    get at.)
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Gloves;

    Don't waste your time. As you suspect, if you gear up you will need more air pressure to compensate, plus the extra mass of the turning gears will eat more power. The power simply isn't there.

    This thread has served to reiterate the three common problems of small-scale wind:

    1). There isn't really enough wind at the site to make such a system viable.
    2). Most small wind turbines are poor quality with exaggerated production claims.
    3). Proper installation is essential and very difficult to achieve.

    This is why so many people now have boat anchors at the top of poles in their yards. :roll:

    I'd advise you stop pouring your money down the drain; the wind power isn't worth the investment in your area.
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Gear boxs are not very common on small turbines and there's a good reason for it. They are used on really big turbines with huge blade sweep areas. The simplest thing would be to have the stator rewound.
    explains the rotor has been replaced with a PM rotor, and the stator has been rewound with many more turns of finer wire, so the rated voltage is hit at around 400 RPM more or less, but the current is way down from the original due to the longer lengths of smaller wire required to get all those extra turns.

    This would reduce the maximum wattage but you would get more power at lower wind speeds.

    And looking at the current price of your panels that your link gave me--about $100 less than I paid for mine 2 years, ago--if you want to spend money on power, 2 more panels for $600 and about $50-60 for the right sized cables would be a much better investment.

    Unfortunately, what Caricoocoot said is right, especially in turbines rated under 1kw. There just isn't much out there that is any good. I just did a search for "wind turbine" on ebay and got 22 pages of results. The "ghost" was on the first page along with multiple turbines made with the same delco alternators along with the alternators themselves and the blades and hubs used for them. These turbines, from all of the different sources, are particularly bad and I would even recommend a SW windpower AirX over them. As I get more readings from my HY400 in spring wind conditions, I will post them but I will recommend them at this point. I will point out that I have a good installation on a site I would only rate as fair and I have spent more on the tower, cables and other infrastructure to support the turbine than the turbine itself which is fairly common in doing wind installations
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Gloves, if you go with a gear box to bring the alternator revs up, you will also have to increase the diameter of the blades big time, as the originals will be overloaded and turn so slow that they will be in aerodynamic stall, like an overloaded airplane going too slow, the wings loose their lift, forward movement plummets and the plane falls out of the sky (wind just blows through the blades with relatively little forward movement and no power)
    You'll also have to design some type of bearing to hold the blades, a proper brake, and a bigger tail.
    Sorry man, but your whisper, just like my Hornet, is doing the best it can.
    But in my case, the alternator has been put to good use with micro hydro. Otherwise it's useless except to enjoy looking at while laying in the grass and "watching the wheels go round".
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help
    MisterB wrote: »
    The simplest thing would be to have the stator rewound.
    Unfortunately the stator has already been rewound to more or less match the blades supplied with the Ghost. To rewind it for still slower RPM use, and still larger diameter blades would require even greater numbers of turns in the windings, thus even finer wire which would reduce even further, any amperage the stator could supply. It's just too small to produce significant power at low RPM. And the existing mounting brackets would have to be redesigned, a proper brake designed, and a bigger tail to control the blade direction. And all for what?
    Sorry, I've been there.
    It's a lost cause :cry:
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help
    Unfortunately the stator has already been rewound to more or less match the blades supplied with the Ghost. To rewind it for still slower RPM use, and still larger diameter blades would require even greater numbers of turns in the windings, thus even finer wire which would reduce even further, any amperage the stator could supply. It's just too small to produce significant power at low RPM. And the existing mounting brackets would have to be redesigned, a proper brake designed, and a bigger tail to control the blade direction. And all for what?
    Sorry, I've been there.
    It's a lost cause :cry:

    Pretty much what I thought. One of the newer 5 blade HY400s might put out more in this installation but might is the word. The price of one is about the same as 2 more 120 watt panels and the panels don't come with the word "might".
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help
    MisterB wrote: »
    (PV) panels don't come with the word "might".
    Exactly! Show them the light and they'll show you the power every day for at least 25 years. No bearings to fail, no blades to fly off. For all intents and purposes, maintenance free for life. It's so very, very sad that these small wind turbines don't preform even remotely as advertised and sold. Perhaps regarding the Hornet and the Ghost in particular, it's long past time for a class action event.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 978 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Class action suits would put the little operators out of business. Ever seen the ''Whack a Mole" game at a carnival?:p

    Ralph
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    Ok here's an update. I've been recovering from the flu and have been watching a lot of Youtube videos on wind turbines. There seems to be a video flame war going on between Missouri Wind & Solar and the fans of the HY turbines and I've been looking at a lot of rooftop installations like Gloves. My advice a few posts back about the HY400 looks right:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBIUBB742uI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X02lsmbqaCs

    I like this guy. There's actually an engineer among all the salesmen posting on Youtube. I'm getting ready to watch his video on small wind turbine math. All of the Delco PMA alternator based turbines seem to perform about the same--some better than others due to better blade design but the basic issue of poor low wind speed performance is constant and none of them can put out more than 250 watts at 25mph or reach their rated wattage at less than a gail force wind. I wouldn't say that the HY turbines are specifically designed for roof top installations but their good low wind speed performance makes them better suited for it than the other small turbines on the market. They are sensitive to turbulence which is a real factor in putting them so low.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    The roof top turbines are among the worlds worst ideas ever - can you imagine what happens in a wind storm when the thing drops a blade or has some other problem to cause an imbalabce!

    Wooden frames of houses are not designed/built to take that.
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭
    Re: PHANTOM ENERGY – Please Help

    There are a lot worse things in wind installations on Youtube than putting them on the roof. There is one video where an HY turbine was put on a really nice tower, the tower was really well done, the electrical work was nicely done on the outside--10/3 UF cable running down the tower to a 3 phase box. Inside the wiring was not well done at all, the controller was put on the swinging door of a wooden cabinet and all of the inside wiring was inside the cabinet and the 3 phase lines were fused with 30 amp fuses in a fuse holder that wasn't screwed down. Since I own the same turbine and have seen 40+ amps from it, I posted a comment that the owner should at least put in bigger fuses, that there is such a thing as a freewheeling turbine.

    There is also a company posting promotional video for rooftop wind turbine kits that use relabled HY turbines along with their roof mounting hardware. The price of a $1200 dollar turbine from them along with their hardware is around $5000.

    The main issue apart from safety and noise which should be a concern with any turbine installation is that even a good turbine is not going to perform very well a few feet above a roof. The wind hitting the edge of the roof is going to generate turbulence even if it is a 3 or 4 story building built strong enough to bear the load.

    And back to the original subject of this thread, the Hornet/Ghost turbine, here is an old review of it I found on an interesting site: http://www.wind-works.org/articles/sm_hornet.html
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