Kestrel e300i complete failure, any reliable small scale turbines?

DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
edited November 2017 in Wind Power Generation #1
Had a Kestrel e300i on a 100ft tower for just over 2 years and is no longer operational.  The entire shaft the blades attach to wobbles around now such that it sounds like it is scraping against the coils in the head.  I contacted Kestrel several weeks ago and I was told I would get a response after discussing with their engineers but never heard anything after that.  It does not help they are in Africa and I am in USA.

I realize wind turbines will inherently be less reliable then PV panels but this gets ridiculous.  This is also after an African Wind Power 3.6 also failed prematurely.

Are there any reliable small scale turbines on the market around the 3.6m diameter or less?  Has anyone had one in service for more then 5+ years?

I'm currently thinking my last hope before giving up on small scale wind would be a 48v Bergey XL1 (tower is 300ft away, 48v battery bank)  They are at least based in the US which helps but still have trouble finding people with real world long term experience with them.


  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have no hands-on experience with small turbines, but my understanding is they need to to be serviced at least annually for bearing wear, etc.
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,923 admin
    Our host appears to be getting ready to offer Pika wind turbines next year.

    T701 Turbine Specifications:

    • Rotor diameter: 9.8 feet (3 m)
    • Swept area: 76 sq feet (7.1 sq m)
    • Peak power: 1.7 kW (at 13.5 m/s)
    • Rated power: 1.5 kW
    • Rated wind speed: 25 mph (11 m/s)
    • Cut in wind speed: 7 mph (3.3 m/s)
    • Survival wind speed: 148 mph (66 m/s)
    • Monthly energy output: 202 kWh at 5 m/s
    • Blades: Glass-reinforced polymer
    • Alternator: Brushless permanent magnet
    • User monitoring: Wi-Fi
    • Tower-top weight: 93 lb (42 kg)
    • 5 year warranty
    And here is a test report from ~2015 for Pika:

    Seems like it may be an interesting (albeit a very expensive option at $6,000). Appears to have a 190 and/or 380 VDC output power bus (needs a MPPT or GT controller to use power???).

    Call NAWS and get their take... They also sell the Primus turbines and parts (much less, but may not make sense if they are 48 VDC regulated at the turbine for the run back to your battery bank--I Think):

    -Bill "I do not work for NAWS--Just a suggestion for further study" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Bergey is used over on the next mountain from me. I got it for the client and he has been happy with it. They made a 24V model that is older than alot of people so there is history. I like that in anything I buy also!
    The Pika looks interesting Bill, We had a large rotor Four Winds gen on our sailboat. I never did like the noise but loved the amps.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 990 ✭✭✭✭
    Bergey now ships the XL1 with a Midnite Solar Classic 250 controller, so there's really no "battery size" models IIRC.  Mine came with just the disconnect box originally, get the Midnite Clipper if you want good performance.  Extra money, but you're not having to build dump loads, and it's quieter when being clipped instead of dumped...sort of.

    Light years ahead of the Southwest windpower H80 and controller I suffered with for 11 years before it exploded in a major windstorm (or Santa hit it on Xmas eve collision insurance)

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The owner of wind/sun back many years use to sell Bergey. He probably got tired of all the maintenance calls compared with solar. Interesting that they are opening that can of works again and "santa hits". 

    There is a story from up in Yosemite national park near 10,000 feet of a wind gen that got hit and they never really found the generator.
    The next year some guys decided to really try and find it and went 2 mountains over and found the generator and an old WW2 plane that had been lost over 60 years.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
    E-mail [email protected]

  • geosierranevadageosierranevada Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭✭
    In 2002 I put up a Bergy XL1  24 volt and after 15 years only had one problem ( rectifier ). That was about 5 years ago and while i had it down, regreased the bearings, otherwise been maintenance free. Works like a charm.   George
    Off grid for 20 years. 5KW panels, Trace sw4024, Bergy XL1 wind generator, 3 EG4 Lifep04 200amphr batteries  3 SQF 2 well pump, 12kw back up gen.  Not easy living in the wilderness but it keeps you busy
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