Skystream 3.7 will not light up

t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
It is a new install and was powered up.
But it will not come on.
Why
Power has been checked and has 120 V on each leg with 240 V across.
Everything was checked and inspected.
Work was done by electricians that have done wind generators before.
Is there some sort of trick to get it to turn on.
Do not have the wireless link for it, could that be the problem.
Hmmmmmmm

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,828 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Why does that not surprise me !

    The installers are your first line of troubleshooting, but I suspect you have to get it up to a couple hundred RPM before it powers up. Sorry, but I've only heard one person claim they work, and that almost sounded like a factory shill. (apologies if you aren't).
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Has to be something simple.
    After power up they say it takes 5 min. before it starts.
    Hmmmmm
  • NoodlesNoodles Solar Expert Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up
    t12zh wrote: »
    It is a new install and was powered up.
    But it will not come on.
    Why
    Power has been checked and has 120 V on each leg with 240 V across.
    Everything was checked and inspected.
    Work was done by electricians that have done wind generators before.
    Is there some sort of trick to get it to turn on.
    Do not have the wireless link for it, could that be the problem.
    Hmmmmmmm

    No "tricks" to making it work. You don't need the wireless remote, although it would give you an indication as to what the problem is. I assume you are testing at ground level. Without power, the skystream is fairly hard to turn by hand. With power applied and after a 5 minute wait, it should turn quite easily. If it doesn't, your installers should be able to work with SWWP to make it right, whether that is a new turbine or the parts to make yours work. When I had a failure back in Sept, they sent me a kit with an Inverter, RF board and relay board so that I only had to tilt the tower down once.

    Your electricians made 4 connections at the skystream, correct? 2 hots, 1 neutral and a ground?

    Also, your installers should be authorized to at least pop off the inverter cover and check the internal wiring connections for good connections.

    If you are at a higher altitude (>3000 ft), make sure your installer calls SWWP for instructions. Although this won't keep the Skystream from spinning, it will affect its power curve vs RPM, etc.

    Mike
    Disclaimer: Not affiliated with SWWP in any manner. Just a guy on a solar forum trying to learn about other solar installations, while simultaneously owning a Skystream.
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    The elect CO put a lock on it for now.
    Will make it hard to test.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Why did the Electric Company put a lock on it?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 918 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Maybe they have "trust" issues.
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    What do you mean.
    I do not understand.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    t12zh/Greg,

    From your earlier posts, you said that you were working with your electric utility to get a net metering system installed/approved for you home/site.

    But, from your postings, it appeared that you may have been doing this before you identified which type of Grid Tied system you were going to install? Or, perhaps, you were planing on the Skystream system in your application.

    From what I have read, there are wide variations in what is allowed/supported/or what each utility even cares about when installing grid tied systems...

    Some won't allow it. Others require full building permits, inspections, and even testing of an install to ensure that everything is working correctly.

    What, in your case, was the reason that your utility locked off your Skystream? Usually--it is within their right to do that if their rules were not followed (even if the install were otherwise "safe" and "properly" done).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Two different jobs.
    My house and friends house.
    Skystream is up at friends house very close to me.
    Also i am trading out work on my home wi a solar guy that is building his own home.
    I have poured his garage floor for him today and 3 weeks ago i fixed anouther concrete problem for him to get him out of a jam.
    Aquilla power co here has a man name Kenny Romero that was going on vacation for a couple of days and had them put a lock on it for safty.
    When it did not come on it they decided to do that.
    I am right arround the corner from the 3.7 so my new friend the solar guy that lives farther away had me check a few thing on it.
  • NoodlesNoodles Solar Expert Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up
    t12zh wrote: »
    I am right arround the corner from the 3.7 so my new friend the solar guy that lives farther away had me check a few thing on it.

    What did he have you check?
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Better question is why are YOU checking it out, its the installers job to get it installed, permited and running and work with the utility to get the interconnect approved. To have the unit locked out is a very bad sign and would indicate someone is not following the rules
  • NoodlesNoodles Solar Expert Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    I agree. It sounds like someone didn't take the time to educate/coordinate with the power company on this one. This situation could have happened regardless of whether it was a wind or solar installation.

    So, exactly what did the installer ask you to check?
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    The installer is the 83 year old home owner who bought the skystream from a solar dealer.(very nice guy)
    The home owner wanted to install it himself and did not want to pay the dealer.
    Dealer has been helping kinda for free.(anouther very nice person)
    I met the dealer and have been working on doing some trade work with him.
    I help with concrete and such and he helps me.
    Owner had a elect. buisness do what was required.
    Power co is dealing with a wind turban for the first time so that make's thing hard too.
    There is a bug in the install and power co and owner and dealer along with Electrical guy were supposed to meet today.
    I did not hear from dealer on what happen yet.
    I think the home owner is a little over 10K invested in this project so far.
    Southwest wind power sent dealer equipment to check out the skystream.
    The owner does not want to have anything to do with a computer or electic stuff.
    I know when i checked for power ther was two hot legs at the outdoor box to switch it off.
    They wanted to check if there was power at the base of the pole.
    Owner put the skystream up in the air 85' and the only way to work on it now is with a crane.:blush:
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Well it is up and running.
    Have no idea why it did not come on the first time.
    They took the lock off and put power to it and it came alive.
    It is doing better than expected.
    home owner said it even made more power than what he was using the other day.
    He also said it realy produces power all the time, more than he thought it would.
    Greg
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Does he have some sort of kW/kWhr logger on the turbine?

    It would be very interesting to get the "average kW/Watt" readings and some sort of ongoing history of power production over the days/weeks/months/years...

    I don't think we have seen anyone yet here that has a good wind turbine history (power vs wind vs time) just yet...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    He is 83 and afraid of someone touching the wireless controler.
    he doe not want anything to do with computers.
    He gave it to me to give to jeromy the solar man, because he knows i am friends with him.
    There is a seperate meter installed and was turning from 26 to 27 after a day and a half of running.
    he is realy happy with it.
    He uses elect heaters and is set on his ways.
    Wind is blowing a lot this weekend and should be amazing.
    Greg
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    27 kWhr / 1.5 days = 18 kWhr per day

    Sounds like 18kWhr per day (yea--not much of history--just looking at numbers)--Working a few numbers backwards... Wind Turbine rated at 1.9kW continuous, 2.6 kW peak.

    18kWhr / (24 hr/day) = 750 watt average (over 24 hours)

    * 1.9kW continuous rated) = 395 watt average over 24 hours

    18kWhr per day * 30 day = 540 kWhrs per month

    540 kWhr/Month would imply around 15 MPH average annual wind speed (7 m/s) from their performance doc (PDF)...

    From the Skystream 3.7 website:

    400 KWh per month at 12 MPH (5.4 m/s)

    Sounds like it has been a windy couple of days for you (actually, has been for us near SF CA too).

    On my best days (spring/fall, cool windy weather), I can average 18+kWhr per day with my 3kW grid tied system. Not a bad output for 1/3 the list price of solar PV Grid Tie (or 1/2 price after CA and FED rebates/tax breaks).

    My 2.5+ year average (950 days, all seasons), about 12.75 kWhrs per day...

    Hope the Wind Turbine continues to work well for him.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    I'm a noobie and here's my first post on a topic I'm still learning about.

    After reviewing the Ebay guy in MD selling the Skystream (and others) I'm Googling another "persons" claim that something is "junk"

    The Google search: Skystream & "junk", brought me to this forum.

    I'll post in another thread more appropriate, but from Downloading the Skystream owners manual off the Ebay seller's website from MD, the manual mentions that the unit won't start up for about 5 minutes after turning 'ON" until it synchs with the power grid.

    Hearing that this install didn't start and further reading that the power company lock it up, to me means the Skystream did as the manual stated.
    <To me it seems like the fail safe design factor to not generate into a grid which was down / turned off, where a lineman would be shocked or injured.

    Now the most recent post mentions its up and running, so good for the OP and sounds like the POWAH company didn't want it turned on without their onceover.

    I'll post in another section, but what are the issues with a Skystream 3.7?

    TIA
    -Suf
    NEw England
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    S u f D a d d y,

    No--the part about waiting 5 minutes to connect to the electric power grid is a normal safety feature of any "Utility Interactive Inverter System" (typically also called a "Grid Tied" system)...

    Basically, the inverter is supposed to monitor the AC mains to make sure they are stable before it starts to pump energy back into the AC Mains (and eventually out the meter--if there is enough "extra" power).

    The utility, I am guessing here, just wanted to play it safe and not turn the system on (unattended) until they could be sure it would start up and run safely/correctly.

    In reality, a properly designed and functioning, Utility Interactive Inverter is incapable of ever charging a line and electrocuting a lineman.

    And, whatever one may feel about how well wind power will work, or even this vendor--there is no indication that this system was ever (or will ever) operate in an unsafe manner which will energize utility lines when the utility power lines have otherwise failed/lost power.

    There are a lot of issues around what the power company wants vs what politicians want... I don't think that this an example of that sort of conflict. It was just a first time install that may not have function correctly right out of the box. When they came back the next day (or a couple days later)--everything worked well.

    There are a lot of site and mechanical issues with wind turbines.

    The site issues are that wind turbines require quite a bit of wind (and no turbulance from nearby trees, buildings, etc.) to generate much power--Most people do not have large enough property that is situated where there is sufficient wind to generate reliable power for much of the year.

    While I personally have yet to be convinced that wind turbines are ready for the "general public to install" (unlike solar photo voltaic--which is very mature and working well for many years--if not into decades now)--Wind Turbines are, mostly, mechanical beasts that are installed 30+ feet above the ground, receive very little maintenance, and are exposed to all sorts of nasty weather conditions and mechanical vibrations.

    To make one of these things work well, for many years, with little maintenance, and with a low price would be pretty amazing.

    From what I have read here--it sounds like Skystream 3.7 is having its teething problems. Will they (or have they) addressed them all yet... I don't know.

    It will be interesting to hear what Greg (t12zh) sees over the next months and years.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up
    BB. wrote: »
    S u f D a d d y,

    There are a lot of site and mechanical issues with wind turbines.

    The site issues are that wind mill require quite a bit of wind to generate much power--most people do not have large enough property that is situated were there is sufficient wind to generate reliable power for much of the year.

    While I personally have yet to be convinced that wind turbines are ready for the "general public to install" (unlike solar photo voltaic--which is very mature and working well for many years--if not into decades now)--Wind Turbines are, mostly, mechanical beasts that are installed 30+ feet above the ground, receive very little maintenance, and are exposed to all sorts of nasty weather conditions and mechanical vibrations.

    To make one of these things work well, for many years, with little maintenance, and with a low price would be pretty amazing.

    -Bill

    This is something that all the pundit and news hype seems to ignore. We get calls every day from people thinking that they can buy a $500 wind generator and turn off their grid power.

    The single biggest issue with wind turbines is that they are mechanical, and anything with moving parts wears out eventually. I think the single biggest problem we have seen is broken blades, but things like lightning are also much more of an issue with wind turbines than with solar.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Hey vendors, ever hear this?
    I want to spend under 500 dollars and spin my meter backwards. Oh, and I want the taxpayers to flip the bill with a grant that I, or practically anyone else, does not deserve. By the way, I want the best price or I'll get one from the Internet and bug you, the local dealer on how to install it. For the record, I am NOT willing to do an energy audit on my home or make any sacrifice to conserve energy. I also need to know what my payback is for this system although I don't know how much electricity I use month to month in kilowatt hours.

    Somebody waste your time and help me. I want to quit my job and collect checks from the power company from selling excess electricity from my el-cheapo wind turbine back to the power company.

    I often wonder just how doomed we really are as human beings when I hear this BS all too often. Many people have the sense of 'entitlement' and feel they have every right to renewable energy equipment, just as long as some other entity pays for it.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up
    Hey vendors, ever hear this?
    I want to spend under 500 dollars and spin my meter backwards.

    Hahaha Well said. You're right on the mark and I love it. Great opinion article :)
    Wayne
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    I think some people either forgot or simply don't know some of Southwest Windpower's history with the Skystream wind turbine. See, years back, it was called "Storm" before they released it. Oh, yes, they bragged before the release well over a year ago that the Storm had been in development for FIVE YEARS, which it had been. Well, one must ask oneself, how come it has the serious software problems it has RIGHT NOW if they had well over six years to work on this thing. Come on. If it wasn't ready after six years, a few more weeks of rushing to find a "cold weather fix" isn't going to solve the problems. There IS a "cold weather fix" right now---it's called Spring and Summer! Notice I said problemS---plural. Where was the beta testing? Better you should ask them that question. Obviously none was done in winter----there's the tip off right there as to how long it was tested in the field. Also back in the Storm days, they were first stating it would cost $3000 total for turbine, tower, and wireless remote (which I hear still doesn't work). This they said in a National Geographic article titled "Peak Oil". Go look it up. Then the price went to $5400, then over $6000. Every week a call to check progress on Storm found them with a new price. Uh, shouldn't a smart company figure out COST beforehand? Well, if anyone can install this themselves, more power to them, if you'll pardon the pun. But a dealer install will run $13000 and up, and you better err on the side of up. And before you start counting your kilowatts before they're hatched, you better do the math on the output of that turbine based on the installed price of $13000+ if you're going for a dealer install to get your true payback period. And before anyone says "Install it yourself and save money!", remember, Southwest markets this to the general non-renewables savvy public ("spin your meter backwards, folks!") with the intention that it would be installed by dealers.

    Everyone is free to do as they wish. Buy Skystream if you want. Hey, it might even work for you if you're lucky. But you owe it to yourself to ask why a turbine that was in development for over five years has these kinds of problems. Do the math on the thing. If your installed cost is $13000 dollars and you have an average windspeed of 10 MPH and you pay 9 cents a kilowatt hour, get out a pencil and figure out what your payback is. Ok, now ask yourself: In all those years, do you feature a problem requiring taking down that turbine? You might better since EVERYTHING----electronics, the whole shebang----is inside that turbine on top of the pole. You have to add the cost of doing that to your payback. All I'm saying is go into this with both eyes open. You're going to be dropping a heckuva a lot of money on a wind turbine. BUT! It takes people holding companies accountable, not just "it's green, so it is therefore good" feel-goodism, to create realistic solutions in renewable energy. Using customers as a proving ground for a new product is not cool, nor does it make a good name for wind. Again, after all these years of work on Storm, you would expect a better, more reliable product than was released. Especially at the price it goes for. Southwest Windpower should have learned the lessons of putting the electronics in the turbine from the Air 303 days (uh-huh, a lot of the new Skystream fans won't remember those days). But, no, they did it again with Skystream. By the way, imagine yourself with the 45 or 60 foot tower needing to take your Skystream down for an electronic or other problem. You need a crane for that. The 45 and 60 foot towers are not hinge base towers. Only the 33 foot tower has a hinged base to use a gin pole. A lot of the Skystream cheering section doesn't mention that. Call your local crane company and ask what it costs to have a crane come out. Factor that into your payback.

    Oh, but it's all about "doing what's right for the environment", right? And it should be. But where do you suppose all those failed Skystream electronic parts end up? Is that "green"? I don't think so. Like I said, a lot of people have this idea that just because some company says it's green, it therefore is. Well, uh, you might have checked Southwest Windpower's own website and noticed they got a whole lot of investment capital from Chevron Oil. Everyone can draw their own conclusions on that. I'll just say that some oil company claiming to be "green" is about as realistic as donkeys sprouting wings and flying. (I'm sure some would, of course, then wonder aloud at the payback period on said donkeys and if there are government grants available to purchase them.) The whole "Green" phenomena is a good idea that got hijacked by Big Marketing and Big Corporations. And they get a free pass from scrutiny because, gosh, how could you be against GREEN energy, right? (Even if it doesn't work or never produces the power that went into slapping it together, er, manufacturing it.)

    It's not only the manufacturers, either. How about all these people out there who want some device that produces 10,000 kwH a month (because that's what they use), in total silence, and only costs $100 and all of that cost covered by a grant or tax write-off? Oh, and it actually ought to produce 20,000 kwh a month so they can sell back the other 10,000 to the electric company (yeah, sure...) The minute they find out no one makes this, they couldn't care less about being "green". The only "green" these people are interested in is CASH. And, unfortunately, some manufacturers are also, and that's why they're marketing to these clowns.

    Hey, I'm sure there are a lot of people who might disagree. And that's fine. But prove me wrong with facts. As in solid output data, and not just from one windmill. Prove to me that this bird will produce it's purchase price in power before it's lifespan ends. Don't forget, after the warranty is over and it fails, YOU pay the repair cost plus shipping. You need to factor that into the payback. So, there's the challenge: Prove me wrong with facts.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Kimberly,

    You seem to have some information about the current state of SkyStream (and other vendors)--do you have the details?

    I agree that there are few (if any?) vendors out there that have a reliable wind turbine product for home use, that there are few people that have the land and the wind to support a wind turbine, and that after maintenance is taken into account, few people will "turn a profit" with wind (or any home/farm based system) without massive tax transfers from government programs.

    Have you found any "decent" wind turbine manufacturers or models out there (regardless of price)? Has anyone you have known that actually build a (successful over multiple seasons) wind turbine themselves that did not end up with the same problems (or worst) than the commercial units already out there?

    Have you had any personal experience--sounds like you have been burned badly, at least once, buy somebody out there.

    And, yes, I would warn anyone interested wind to take an honest look at their own site and expectations. And to only use wind as a backup to solar PV and generator--not as a primary power source--at least until they have a few years of experience under their belt.

    That is why I always try to turn the discussion towards dollars and cents per kWhr... People have been oversold on solar and think that they will save money. And they will not, except in very few situations (very expensive grid power or off-grid power with high fuel costs).

    In virtually any other situation, most people should be spending their money on conservation efforts and changing their lifestyle to use less power--if they really want to save money and go "green".

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Very interesting reading kimberly cantrell.
    A lot of good info there.
    Wayne
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Thanks for reading my post.
    Believe it or not, I am a wind advocate. My main concerns are:

    Deceptive and fraudulent advertising of turbines with totally unrealistic expectations.

    Poor quality,Chinese built turbines that are pure &*%^$#@ garbage.

    All the b s scams that are used to prey on unsuspecting people with good intentions.

    VAWT's that are total crap. It takes at least twice the swept area of a vawt to even begin to match the potential of conventional turbine, yet importers tout these pieces of crap to totally outperform a conventional turbine.

    Let me save you folks time and money that are teetering on whether to buy or not to buy a wind turbine. DON"T buy one at this time. IMHO, there is nothing out there I would recommend in small wind. Some day, someone might develop a wind turbine that will last a long time, be cost effective, and produce power.

    I have personally developed a wind turbine but I'm not sure if it will meet my strict standards. I am so sickened from the"wind" culture of deceit that I can't bring myself to finish the damn thing.

    Kim

    Very interesting reading kimberly cantrell.
    A lot of good info there.
    Wayne
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    Yeah, I too got burnt as a result of believing the wind hype. Not being a liar myself, I don't expect to be lied to. I learned the hard way, and went solar. It's not as pretty as a watching the wheels go round, but with solar I actually get power.
    Wayne
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: Skystream 3.7 will not light up

    It's an RE thing, not just wind, There are solar products out there that aren't much better but since solar is taking off, more companys and more users equals better products.
Sign In or Register to comment.