WindTronics Wind Turbine by Honeywell

[UPDATED ON 5/18/2012]

I have been speaking with the President of WindTronics over the past few days and they are working on a solution. He admit it has taken a while and he was apologetic for it, which I appreciate. We have a roadmap now that he is working on and I am looking forward to their solution. We talked about the reality of wind speeds in my area and in my specific location and I understand that we may or may not be able to generate enough energy here relative to what I was hoping/ expecting. I also realize that this is new technology and a new use, so lets see what we can do. Fingers crossed and I am hopeful.

[ORIGINAL STORY]

This is a story of how both Honeywell (NYSE) HON and Power-One (NASDAQ) PWER and their WindTronics wind turbine and Aurora inverters have utterly FAILED me. I tell the story below, but top level is that I have two WindTronics turbines on my roof, they produce virtually no energy and neither company seems to care. The customer service of both organizations has been nonexistent. And at this point, I would recommend AVOIDING getting a WindTronics system. So here are the details if you are interested:

One of our quests is to get to (at least) zero net energy at our home, meaning that our home produces as much energy as it consumes. I go (or will go) into the depths of how we tried to make our home as energy efficient as possible in another blog post. We have gotten our consumption down to about 6,500 kwh’s a year (I’ve read, but don’t know for sure, that the average 1,600 to 2,000 sqft home in the US uses about 14,000 kwh’s).

We were all set to get a 6 KW solar system, but heard about Windtronics wind turbine made by Honeywell, with the Power-Ones Aurora inverter. We looked at the endorsements online, thought Honeywell is a reputable brand, and decided it was good to diversify our energy production. So we reworked our plans for the roof, working within the limits of the Chicago building codes, determining we could get 2 WindTronics wind turbines. In class 4 wind, their original claim is that they would provide as much as 2,700 kwh’s a year per turbine, so in optimal wind, the two would produce up to 5,400 kwh’s per year. We don’t have optimal wind on our roof, but we put a anemometer or wind meter to test the wind on our roof. Based on the wind data, we were told by the installer that we “had enough.” (NOTE:  now the WindTronics website claims 1,500 kwh’s per year per turbine)

WindTronics also claims that it starts producing energy in 2 mph wind, which is a big advantage over other turbines that generally start at 6 or 7 mphs. (NOTE: it looks like it has changed since I first made the decision to buy them, they now “start at 0.5 mph” which is even better).

So we signed an agreement with a local installer for $21,861.00 to install the two wind turbines. Our plan was to take advantage of both federal rebates and state rebates which would give us 60% back in tax incentives. So the net cost to us was $8,744.40, which would have taken a long time to get a return on investment on that expense, but we feel it is the right thing to do. (Note: The State of Illinois has since backed out of covering WindTronics wind turbines as a state rebate, so now the full cost to us will be $15,302.70, which will be an even longer payback. Don’t even ask what I feel about the state backing out when they gave us an indication it would be covered and it factored into our buying decision).

 After much delay, we finally got our WindTronics turned on on Dec 15th, 2011. They seemed to be humming in the wind and all of the neighbors were asking us about them, we did interviews with a few media outlets in town and we were very excited. But after about a week, the monitoring system called a Desktop only showed about .5 kwh’s produced. So I thought there was a problem with how the monitors were hooked up. I was told by the installer, don’t worry, it is producing energy. But I couldn’t see registering anywhere. So after several trips back and forth from the installer they determined that between the two turbines, we had only product about 1 kwh in the first two weeks they had been running.

So, they decided to install a wind meter on the roof next to the turbines to see what kind of wind we were getting up there. They installed it on Jan 3rd and let it run to Jan 22. About 20 days of data, in which every minute it record the Current, Min, Max and Average wind speed for just about 30,000 consecutive minutes. This table is a summary of the data (i’d be happy to send it to you if you like) and shows that over 77% of the time the wind speed of the average of a min was > 2 mph. These aren’t ideal wind speeds, but seem like they should work within the specs of this product and maybe not meet the new 1500 kwh guidelines, but might be respectable.

As of the writing of this post, over 2 months since install, we have produce just under 4 kwh’s of electricty from 2 WindTronics systems. Here is a quote from the site: “The WindTronics Wind Turbine is the highest output, lowest cost per kWh installed turbine ever made (in class and size). So powerful, so simple.”

Our installer can’t get responses to their questions to either of the manufacturers. I would have imagined they would have done what ever is necessary to make sure their products were successful. My installer is showing up here again next week to try some more tests and make a few adjustments. But I am just shocked that neihter Honeywell or Power-One have sent someone or done more to help.

Both Honeywell and Power-One have shown so little care about me as a customers. I realize they are both big publicly traded companies, but after reading all of the great stuff on their websites, I made the decision to buy their products. They have deceived me.

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About CTemp

I am an entrepreneur now turned aspiring eco-entrepreneur. I have always had a green tint to myself, recycling and trying not to be wasteful. With the birth of my oldest daughter, I started to wonder what the world would be like when she got older. As I started to educate myself about what is happening to the basic systems we depend on for life and that we have evolved over the past 100,000 years to survive as a species, I became very concerned about the standard of living my kids would have if we continued on this trajectory. The more I became educated, the more I realized the size of the challenge in front of us and the more drawn I became into trying to figure out a way I could help our planet move in a sustainable direction. I think about resilience (local, durable, equatable, distributed, sustainable,...) as the guiding framework for a better future.
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63 Responses to WindTronics Wind Turbine by Honeywell

  1. Milton Dixon says:

    What a bummer!

  2. You think it’s Power-One’s inverter? Can you try Xantrex?

  3. Ben says:

    I’m looking over the product manual for the WindTronics BTPS6500 Wind Turbine and it has a rated power output of 1500 watts at 13.9m/s (31 mph) and is recommended to be used in areas with an average wind speed greater than 12 mph. You got screwed man, who cleared this? I would not have let you put up that system with such low wind speed.

  4. Chip says:

    No offense, but putting up a wind turbine with an ave wind speed of 2mph is clearly not wind turbine territory. No wind, no work. It’s a poor solution for your conditions…no wonder the results were dismal.

  5. itineratefarmer says:

    I bought a turbine from Windtronics, too. I had the same results, produced 28 kilowatt hours in about a year, then totally failed. I am surprised that you talked with the President of Windtronics. I had many, many conversations with Mr. Adams. He made me many promises that he never carried though with. They sent me a new turbine in December, 2012, and were supposed to install it after the New Year. Now I see that they have suspended business. I take that to mean that they have blown through all of the money they got from the Canadians and anybody else, and can no longer sell any more turbines now that the word has gotten out that it will not produce more than a few percent of what they claimed.

  6. someone says:

    I think i looked into these. You have to look at the power curve. Check out slide 3.
    http://www.windtronics.eu.com/wp-content/uploads/Energy-Output-Curve.pdf

  7. time for a lawsuit…..they wont repair my unit or refund my my purchase price and tell me they are out of business and there is nothing they will do about the broken unit for my request for a refund.
    No respect like I said time for a class action lawsuit

  8. Fucker says:

    2 BTPS 6500 = problèm disfonction Nevers product for 2 years, thank windtronic for nô garantie

  9. Larry says:

    Call tech support at Midnight solar. You will need a “clipper” to control the speed of the turbine and a Midnight solar Classic 250 charge controller. Just take off the factory installed components.This, of course, is for a battery back-up system. You should have increased output above and beyond the Honeywell advertised claims. The Turbine is an incredible piece of equipment but the electronics are catching up.”Midnight solar” is well ahead of the game.

    • Todd says:

      Have you actually installed and tested the midnight clipper and can you post the results???

    • Nate says:

      Hi Larry,
      I am also interested in knowing of any results you have with the clipper,
      The system we have installed is on a Classic 200 not the perfect one tho it works, “sort of”, we have not removed the standard windtronics control but have considered this approach.
      After further research on the BTPS we found it will only produce up to 500W DC coupled to a 48V battery bank, this is a spec from Windtronics documentation. This was only found after it had been installed and the question was raised why it never reached 1.5KW simply because it can’t. Though i believe we may be able to reach something better with the clipper after consulting with them at the time and producing a wind curve, THe classic is in development stages of being able to track and trace its on desired wind curve for all turbines, not yet sure if this firmware update is available.

  10. Aaron says:

    How did this work out? I have a 3.675 kilowatt solar system, and have been very happy with it. It never produces nothing….even on cloudy days. Not so sure how it’d work in Chicago but solar always produces something.

  11. Elkin Susan says:

    Is Honeywell working on a solution for your problem or is their a problem with all their turbines If you post the President of Honeywell’s email. I’d like to write to them on your behalf and also tell them your experience has turned me off to purchasing their turbine.

  12. John says:

    Me too. I have one of these POS’s and I want my money back from Northern Tool where I bought mine…

  13. Mike Dunken says:

    Speaking from what I know about the company. You should look into there ETL listing. They have had several issues with listing there wind turbine. As well I know that there software on the inverters dose not meet IEEE code. I am sorry to hear about your problems I would return it and go with something else. Also look into who started the company a Dr. Amade or something to that effect. Don’t blame power one or Honey Well. Windtronics made that pile of crap made out off cheep parts and zip ties. Ask to see there third party wind test data, ask why they mounted this thing on the back of pick up truck and not on a tower. Get out now and get you money back!! consumer reports has some good input I would look into as well.

  14. Jules Boulet says:

    you won’t get any money back since they are bankrupt

  15. BILL WHITAKER says:

    Can you tell me who is the person in charge of Wind Tronics, Is he the inventer or is that TESLA? I was going to buy some to generate electricity, but it looks like they don’t work. Can you fine out why and e-mail me? I heard they went out of business. I might be able to buy the company and fix the problem. Give me any follow up on the wind turbine from Wind Tronics. GO GREEN.

    • William Temple says:

      Hello,
      As I search for solutions to my future project I am wondering about you opinion on the theory as opposed to the equipment.
      Being currently unemployed I have more time and skill then money and I am looking into home made solutions to reduce our expenses. My first thought was to reduce our electric bill, which is outrageous.
      After looking at various designs I felt the “windtronic” type design would be best for our inner city dwelling. I have seen several similar designs but and while I understand the mechanics the electrical theory has me on the baffled side.
      So, before I invest what little I have for my attempt I would like to know if the “windtronics” design theory actually works.
      Thank you in advance of any suggestions you may provide.
      Respectfully,
      Bill

  16. Todd Mason says:

    Disappointed:( I also purchased a Windtronics and its just started working after 2 years of trying to fix the ground fault and warranty replacement on the bearings and re-sealing of the tip magnets. The turbine generated 2kwh in a week while in a storm with average wind speeds of 30+knots.
    Has anyone achieved better performance and is there anyway to fine tune this Pig to generate more energy?

  17. Andy says:

    IT appears Honeywell lent their name to an untested crappy product. There should be repercussions to this action. You should get them to refund your money. Legally if necessary. We, as consumers, can not let companies take advantage of us this way.

  18. Panos says:

    We have also installed a Windtronics BTPS6500 on the rooftop. Expensive, really really expensive. We had to bring it down 3 times, due to a broken fin (ridiculous initial welding at the support aluminum(!) bar) , destroyed bearing and retesting. We have been so disappointed with the service (they eventually went bankrupt), but mostly with the output, that we completely dismantled the machine to pieces, reversed engineered the electrical and mechanical design and tested every single part. We can do that as a university, because we have the skills, knowledge and equipment. UNFORTUNATELY(!), there was nothing wrong with the machine. It just doesn’t produce because it has a faulty design! Let me explain:
    1) It doesn’t matter at all if it starts at 0.5mph, since the inverter has enough input dc voltage in order to connect to the grid when wind speed is over 8-10mph!
    2) There is a dramatic fall of the turbine’s output voltage when load starts to pick up, not allowing the inverter to lead the system to an optimum output. We have checked the magnets (they are 5kG Neodymium magnets with Zinc anti-corrosion coating) and all (yes, like prisoners…) rectifying bridges and attached inductor coils and they didn’t have the slightest problem. However, we have connected the turbine’s wheel with belt to a motor in order to spin it at will. We believe that the machine gets magnetically saturated even with very little input power (i.e. wind power) when the output current (through the coils) starts to pick up. Is it the airgap between the magnets and the coils, is it low flux strength from the magnets, so bigger/more magnets are needed?… We cannot be sure. We have run tests with a box of various resistances, in order to temporarily eliminate the inverter factor, and there is absolutely no way you can get more than 200W even under stormy weather.
    3) The bearing is unreliable. It is plastic and gets worn out in a matter of months. It is plastic… Do I have to say more? We had to make an ad-hoc bearing and shaft support system. The initial, or even the replacement, bearing will barely make it for 4-5 years under normal conditions.
    4) There is a design flaw at the 1m tubo-pole (I am not a native speaker, so I really do not know how it is called) that comes with the turbine. There is a hole that lets a cable connecting the turbine to the switch-box pass. This makes a “weak spot” for really high winds or sudden gusts of wind, even far below specification limits. This created a tiny crack after a year and if we haven’t been inspecting the turbine regularly, would lead to a complete disaster after 5-6 years. We have welded the pole and placed a wee-thicker steel bar inside, so that it fits exactly the internal diameter of the pole and doesn’t wobble.

    Is anyone out there that has experience on how to remedy issue No. 2) for normal generators? My ears are open to learn… and maybe we can both work on some possible corrections, that would make this machine useful to hundreds of cheated people.

    • Nate says:

      Panos,
      We have installed 2 of these turbine in Australia, and now has you state in list 3 the failing bearing…
      I am interested to know if you or anyone has any specs on these bearings looking ofr replacements.
      I am also interested to know more about the ad-hoc bearing and shaft support system you manufactured.
      This has caused quiet a stressful time amongst a lot of people
      Thanks for any help

      • Todd says:

        Don’t waste any more of your money as the turbine has a design floor , as the magnets are not strong enough.
        We are lucky that our supplier SiClean energy gave us our money back and we kept the turbine. In 5 months of howling winds we have generated only 4kWhr.
        My mate has a complete unit with re-engineered ceramic bearings etc for $500 if you want it?

      • Panos says:

        Dear Nate,

        The turbine is practically just a big bicycle wheel. I am sure there are bearing companies out there that build good quality bearings for strong structures (e.g. championship-level mountain bikes etc.) and you shouldn’t have to do an ad-hoc structure. We just had the luxury to ask our guys “to make something stronger” and gave them this plastic junk in their hands. No specifications, no details. Todd gives you a quick and easy alternatice, below.

        To be fair, the whole concept of this turbine, both mechanically and electrically is ingenious. But getting from the concept to implementation is a long way, paved with all kinds of practical problems like the bearing system or the fin welding to the support bar. However, Nate, are you sure you want to replace the bearing system if you have no solution for the fundamental flaw of the system, which is its magnetic coupling which converts the mechanical power which appears on the shaft to electrical power? We are a bunch of people here, some of us are engineers with degrees, some of us practical people with experience having value equal to 1000 degrees. Ideas, please provide ideas and if you can implement them on the turbine itself. I got the same feeling about the magnets with Todd (I give more details in my detailed comment above). Is it possible to replace the 5 kG(auss) magnets with much stronger magnets or… add somehow?

        Point 1:New magnets could be placed. The magnets are practically squeezed with little allen screws into the aluminum frames, which you can see perpendicular to the rim of the wheel. The original frames cannot be used though. We made replicas, because the allen screws are kind of “glued” with the resin covering the whole frame-magnet construction. Our technician screwed the replacement magnets (identical to the original ones) we got straight from the factory in Italy. There are other sizes out there, massively produced. We paid about 300 euros for all six of them, not such a high cost in comparison with the overall (ridiculous) cost. More good news is that if the turbine is accessible you don’t even have to bring it down, because the frames are quite easy to remove. So no need for another costly towing.

        Point 2: Weight is an issue. In my little “pursuit” for the replacement magnets there are technologies out there that provide stronger magnetic fields. But how much stronger magnets do we need??? If we need much stronger magnets, the frames that hold the magnets may be replaced easily, too, so that bigger magnets could be placed. Their weight would be a problem, though, because it is on the perimeter of the wheel (the rim). Mechanical engineers out there, I believe you know what I mean. Suggestions?

    • Q Mgr says:

      For the record, the bearings were ceramic…

  19. Panos says:

    Todd,

    In your reply to Nate you say: “Don’t waste any more of your money as the turbine has a design floor , as the magnets are not strong enough”. This is exactly what I believe,too (please, look at my first post here for details about how the turbine reacts to electric load). However, do you have any numbers to support that or even better: do you know how strong magnets would be needed?
    The gap between the magnets and the coils is something that cannot be changed, so strength/dimensions/size for magnets is probably the only solution.

    Concluding, I think we can make this thing work.

  20. Nate says:

    Hi Panos & Todd,
    Yes it has become an expensive “bike wheel” and i appreciate your feedback. I also believe that there is hope in achieving a better performance.
    Todd do you have any feedback on how the ceramic bearings are performing?
    And do either of you have the specs on the bearings that you could share? or even some photo’s of the plastic ones?

    • Panos says:

      I have some good quality photos of the plastic bearing/shaft support (after fail) and the weak-point of the fin (plus photo of how a proper welding should be done on this thing). How can I send them over to you? Also, I would be very grateful if you could send me any data for the BTPS installed on the Sp Pro.

      • Todd Mason says:

        Hi Panos,
        Thanks for the offer,but I’m done working on my turbine. As soon as it dies, Its going to the scrap yard.
        I received this summary some time ago on this website and for me its the final chapter as it makes sense.

        Quoted!
        We have also installed a Windtronics BTPS6500 on the rooftop. Expensive, really really expensive. We had to bring it down 3 times, due to a broken fin (ridiculous initial welding at the support aluminum(!) bar) , destroyed bearing and retesting. We have been so disappointed with the service (they eventually went bankrupt), but mostly with the output, that we completely dismantled the machine to pieces, reversed engineered the electrical and mechanical design and tested every single part. We can do that as a university, because we have the skills, knowledge and equipment. UNFORTUNATELY(!), there was nothing wrong with the machine. It just doesn’t produce because it has a faulty design! Let me explain:
        1) It doesn’t matter at all if it starts at 0.5mph, since the inverter has enough input dc voltage in order to connect to the grid when wind speed is over 8-10mph!
        2) There is a dramatic fall of the turbine’s output voltage when load starts to pick up, not allowing the inverter to lead the system to an optimum output. We have checked the magnets (they are 5kG Neodymium magnets with Zinc anti-corrosion coating) and all (yes, like prisoners…) rectifying bridges and attached inductor coils and they didn’t have the slightest problem. However, we have connected the turbine’s wheel with belt to a motor in order to spin it at will. We believe that the machine gets magnetically saturated even with very little input power (i.e. wind power) when the output current (through the coils) starts to pick up. Is it the airgap between the magnets and the coils, is it low flux strength from the magnets, so bigger/more magnets are needed?… We cannot be sure. We have run tests with a box of various resistances, in order to temporarily eliminate the inverter factor, and there is absolutely no way you can get more than 200W even under stormy weather.
        3) The bearing is unreliable. It is plastic and gets worn out in a matter of months. It is plastic… Do I have to say more? We had to make an ad-hoc bearing and shaft support system. The initial, or even the replacement, bearing will barely make it for 4-5 years under normal conditions.
        4) There is a design flaw at the 1m tubo-pole (I am not a native speaker, so I really do not know how it is called) that comes with the turbine. There is a hole that lets a cable connecting the turbine to the switch-box pass. This makes a “weak spot” for really high winds or sudden gusts of wind, even far below specification limits. This created a tiny crack after a year and if we haven’t been inspecting the turbine regularly, would lead to a complete disaster after 5-6 years. We have welded the pole and placed a wee-thicker steel bar inside, so that it fits exactly the internal diameter of the pole and doesn’t wobble.

        Is anyone out there that has experience on how to remedy issue No. 2) for normal generators? My ears are open to learn… and maybe we can both work on some possible corrections, that would make this machine useful to hundreds of cheated people.

      • Nate says:

        Hi Panos,
        Thanks for your reply and willingness to share you photo’s/info.
        Mouse over my name to find a links to where info email will be on website. I will look up the files for the turbine for you to look over.
        Cheers

    • Todd Mason says:

      Hi Nate,
      The ceramic bearings were provided by SiClean energy who supplied me the turbine.
      I would give up if I was you.
      Read this from a previous post.

      We have also installed a Windtronics BTPS6500 on the rooftop. Expensive, really really expensive. We had to bring it down 3 times, due to a broken fin (ridiculous initial welding at the support aluminum(!) bar) , destroyed bearing and retesting. We have been so disappointed with the service (they eventually went bankrupt), but mostly with the output, that we completely dismantled the machine to pieces, reversed engineered the electrical and mechanical design and tested every single part. We can do that as a university, because we have the skills, knowledge and equipment. UNFORTUNATELY(!), there was nothing wrong with the machine. It just doesn’t produce because it has a faulty design! Let me explain:
      1) It doesn’t matter at all if it starts at 0.5mph, since the inverter has enough input dc voltage in order to connect to the grid when wind speed is over 8-10mph!
      2) There is a dramatic fall of the turbine’s output voltage when load starts to pick up, not allowing the inverter to lead the system to an optimum output. We have checked the magnets (they are 5kG Neodymium magnets with Zinc anti-corrosion coating) and all (yes, like prisoners…) rectifying bridges and attached inductor coils and they didn’t have the slightest problem. However, we have connected the turbine’s wheel with belt to a motor in order to spin it at will. We believe that the machine gets magnetically saturated even with very little input power (i.e. wind power) when the output current (through the coils) starts to pick up. Is it the airgap between the magnets and the coils, is it low flux strength from the magnets, so bigger/more magnets are needed?… We cannot be sure. We have run tests with a box of various resistances, in order to temporarily eliminate the inverter factor, and there is absolutely no way you can get more than 200W even under stormy weather.
      3) The bearing is unreliable. It is plastic and gets worn out in a matter of months. It is plastic… Do I have to say more? We had to make an ad-hoc bearing and shaft support system. The initial, or even the replacement, bearing will barely make it for 4-5 years under normal conditions.
      4) There is a design flaw at the 1m tubo-pole (I am not a native speaker, so I really do not know how it is called) that comes with the turbine. There is a hole that lets a cable connecting the turbine to the switch-box pass. This makes a “weak spot” for really high winds or sudden gusts of wind, even far below specification limits. This created a tiny crack after a year and if we haven’t been inspecting the turbine regularly, would lead to a complete disaster after 5-6 years. We have welded the pole and placed a wee-thicker steel bar inside, so that it fits exactly the internal diameter of the pole and doesn’t wobble.

      Is anyone out there that has experience on how to remedy issue No. 2) for normal generators? My ears are open to learn… and maybe we can both work on some possible corrections, that would make this machine useful to hundreds of cheated people.

      • Q Mgr says:

        The original J-box (junction box) was designed to reverse the polarity on the turbine to slow it down if it reached 160 volts output. If you remove the J-box, does it still drop off? I have done testing on this unit where it achieved 180 volts in a simulated 10 mph wind, and when we increased the wind speed from the test tunnel, the voltage exceeded 200. I was the Quality Manager for the builder of this unit… which was horribly designed and changes were bound by its inventor. The concept was extremely simple and the actual final redesigned product that we tested was wonderful, but it never made it market due to the massive amount junk already put in the field by Windtronics that was bankrupting the company. The changes on the drawing board would have ensured this unit would last it’s projected 20 year life span, I’m sure of it!

      • Nate says:

        It is interesting that there was further development on the design of the turbine. Are you able to elaborate more on what these “improvements” were ?
        and/or any documentation on this.
        What was the outcome of the higher voltages output by the turbine? Are you suggesting that viable higher voltage output will increase its performance ?

      • Q Mgr says:

        Though I had several concept drawings I made during my time there, they were all left there when the door closed, still on my computer. I can tell you the concept was to remove the bearing assembly at the hub and make it a solid design and the bearing work was done outside the wheel on an independent shaft that was ran on double roller angled bearings. A double increase in magnet quantity (as mentioned by someone earlier here) should double the output (theoretically, right?) because of the nature of the power development, but I would strongly recommend a bearing/hub development before trying that, the current assembly is too weak to maintain running true for very long at higher speeds. Another discovery later in the program was that the epoxy used to seal the connectors across the quad plates was not dielectric stable (another of the good Dr Mahawili’s mistakes, but his arrogance would not allow him to admit it!), and power was noticed going to the ground after a few weeks of service. I removed the epoxy on one unit (8 places with a die grinder) that was barely putting out any voltage and it jumped up and stabilize at 180 volts at 10 mph wind, when previously it could barely sustain 25 volts in the same wind. When I replaced the epoxy with normal black silicone and let it cure, the power was stable and the connectors were water proof. If the wheel becomes out of true it can be readjusted just like truing up a bicycle wheel. Remove one of the shrouds and adjust the spokes accordingly. If you develop magnet rub, those too can be adjusted via the same removed shroud and tighten/loosen the 2 bolts holding them on until it clears up. Sometimes it required actually bending the wheel at the magnet to gain clearance. I truly loved this concept for making electricity, and given the time to get all the design flaws out of it (meaning we needed deeper pockets), it cold have been a real viable solution for rooftop energy. I’m sorry for all of you who are stuck with the Windtronic/Mahawili disaster…

      • Panos says:

        Could you please elaborate a bit more on these improvements, Q Mgr? I am also very interested in this, because I hope that I can retro-fit some of them on the turbine.
        Thanks.

      • Panos says:

        Another thing Q Mgr is that the turbine can indeed produce high OPEN-CIRCUIT (or close to open-circuit) voltages, but when you connect a real load the voltage collapse…letting us wonder if the magnetic circuit is saturated somehow.

  21. CTemp says:

    Our installer tried the following on ours. We will see what happens:

    These are the specs on the bearings we put into service. the original bearings were a ceramic type. The replacements we installed are of a more “standard” metal composition but are shaped a little differently to give significantly more support in an axial direction.

    http://us.misumi-ec.com/

    ANGULR BRG (angular bearing)
    B7003
    BALL BEARING

    There are two per turbine and they are lubricated with “LMX ‘Red’ Grease” (Lubrimatic brand).

    To reiterate…these are better suited to axial loading (the wind pressure against the fan wheel) and should hold up better. time will tell.

  22. Panos says:

    Nate:
    I have emailed the photos to your info address as requested.

    All:
    We have replaced our worn out magnets with new. Since we cannot increase the size of the magnets, for the available space in the rim, what if we increase the number of magnets to the rim to.. let’s say 12, using our old 6 magnets/frames. Would that increase the flux through the coils and let the turbine produce a reasonable amount of power? There is no problem with the electric part, since all coils are connected in parallel via diode-rectifiers, but the question is if there is going to be a problem with the magnetic part.

    Looking forward to hear your suggestions comments. I still believe we can fix this thing.

  23. Les Bradbury says:

    I read this post with interest. It’s a pity that you didn’t see our webpage on this turbine
    http://www.wind-power-program.com/small_turbines.htm
    Go to the bottom of this web page. I think Windtronics has now ceased trading. Unfortunately, this is not the only small wind turbine that has had absurd claims made for it.

    • Todd says:

      My Windtronics just blew up during wind gusts up to 100km. The wheel became untrue and hit the magnets, which exploded the plastic covers and spread wire throughout the wheel. In 6 months of an intense winter we only generated 4kwh. Max. Output was 120watts.
      We are lucky that our supplier refunded our turbine 100% .
      Thanks for your informative website.

      • walter says:

        We just went outside this evening after over 24 hours of high winds and there are several pieces of our windtronic all over the yard. Very disappointed. This is our second one. First one stopped working after a couple months and replaced with this one. Then this one has not worked for almost a year under a good storm a couple months ago, then it works periodically.

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  28. piero says:

    I was almost ready to buy this turbine, the principle is great maybe not well engineerd. for Panos who has “open” it . can you share some pics ?

    • Panos says:

      I will search my email archive and try to find some. I remember I had made a sketch of the internal structure and I will get back to you as soon as I find it. Let me know of your endeavors (what are you up to)…

      • piero says:

        dear Panos , thank you. I was thinking exactly to the same type of turbine , at this point I need to find another manufacturer or build it myself. ….. the generator , eventually can be geared to circunference ring ?

      • Panos says:

        piero, I cannot find the sketch drawing. However, I remember it well since we dismantled it quite recently again (1 year ago more or less). The stator of the generator is on the rim. Imagine that the stator can be broken into little sandwiches, where the two slices of bread are two circular windings connected in series and the ham is the one of the six magnets that runs through the two slices as the wheel spins. The “sandwiches” are connected in series with the other sandwichs around the rim, so each pair contributes a fraction of the current to the generator. There is a rectifying bridge connected to each “sandwich” so what you get as total output voltage is a sequence of hill-tops, which are produced as the six magnets rorate through the sandwiches. I hope this helps.

  29. piero says:

    Dear Panos , Thank you . I have understood , it looks like a Piggott axial flow generator with the permanant magnet on the rotor spinning inside the two coils on the stators ( Piggot usually have two magnets on the rotor and one coils in between) . Of course having Permanent magnets the cut in speed can NOT be so low , but that is not a problem since at low wind velocity the gathered energy is low. Anyway very interesting design .
    THANK YOU
    PS are you working in Patras ?

    • Panos says:

      You are welcome Piero. Basically, the coils are all around the rim, giving a good B speed in theory as the magnets spin at the tip of the wheel. My feeling is that the magnetic design is a big failure. Either the magnets are too week (so we are considering of installing another 6) or there is saturation too early. To be honest, after so many alterations to the turbine’s mechanical structure you can’t say its a BTPS anymore… but it is still spinning for 2 years now!
      Yes, I am working in Patras, now. Being here?

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  31. charles says:

    windtamer no good either

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