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Old 08-07-09, 06:33 AM   #11
jwxr7
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I went by this place (in post #1) with the turbine yesterday and noticed a 2nd identical turbine within probably 100 ft of the other.

The industrial park where I work has 3 wind turbines now running and more on the way. 2 of them are a design we helped R&D at my work (they were around 2kw I think). There is also a small solar array on the same pole as the 3rd smaller turbine.

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Old 08-07-09, 07:22 AM   #12
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Sounds like your area is much more progressive than mine!
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Old 08-25-09, 08:26 AM   #13
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Like many Skystream installations, this one is on too short of a tower. Basic rule of thumb is 30 feet above anything within 500 feet, and this sure looks shorter than that! All of the Skystreams in our area are on taller towers (installed by dealers who are familiar with what a wind installation really needs), and are disappointing in reliability and power output. As mentioned above, Southwest Wind Power is basically into marketing and not engineering, as far as I can tell. The Skystream is giving small windpower a bad name, I think, sort of like their little 4 foot machine is doing, especially when mounted on a roof or attached to the house.
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Old 08-25-09, 09:09 AM   #14
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What kind of reliability problems do the small wind generators have?
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Old 08-25-09, 09:25 AM   #15
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It depends on the machine. My 1940s vintage Jacobs had the blades replaced in 1999, but it was partly because I wanted to go to the newer style of governor that had fewer moving parts (and the original blades were over 50 years old by then, and showing it). It may need new brushes this fall, after 30 years of running, but the bearings are all good. I grease it once or twice a year, touch up paint on the wooden blades, and check bolts etc., twice a year. Many newer machines of similar output are lighter built and need more maintenance, but the quality machines should last 20 years or more with twice a year maintenance. Don't believe a company that says "no maintenance required"!! They all need it, even if it is just to check all the fittings and connections! The main thing that I am concerned with for my generator is hail damage. A high wind with hail would be like shooting buckshot at the wooden blades, so I shut it down if a hail storm is forecast. Otherwise, wind blown debris hitting the machine, the blades, or the tower could cause damage. Haven't had any lightning damage to the machine, although I have lost the diode in the controls a couple of times, but it was a cheap repair and not part of the original generator.

The problems that I have seen with modern current machines have been tilt-down tower failures either during installation or when lowering or raising one for maintenance, or bearing failure, or physical failure of magnets or windings where part of the actual generator/alternator came apart and damaged the rest of the rotating parts in the machine. I am thinking of putting up another machine, and had been looking at a tilt-up tower, but I am no longer thinking of that style--I will go with either a fixed guyed tower or a self supporting tower, when I can afford it.

Jim

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