Most helpful critical review
147 of 148 people found the following review helpful
GREAT CONCEPT - POOR EXECUTION
on April 6, 2012
I purchased this wind turbine because I like the longevity and stability of the VAWT design and because I was looking for a small device that could power small battery packs for use in extended camping.
The product came securely packed in foam with no damage to any of the parts. As I removed the parts from the packaging I immediately realized that the list price of this product should probably have been no more than $40.00.
The generator assembly and the pillar are quite heavy and appear to be made of cast iron. They are much larger and heavier than a 50W generator I already have. The entire device weights 72 oz (4.5 lbs). The pillar alone weights 19 oz with the generator taking up most of the rest of the weight. The generator assembly spins very smoothly. When the pillar is connected to the generator the axis extending up from the generator is not vertical. It appears that the pipe comprising the pillar was cut at an angle before the top plate was welded into position. This creates mounting problems.
The blades appear to be made of cast aluminum and are airfoil shaped. One of the blades was flattened in the middle as if a large weight had stamped it. Each blade has two rivets that are used to hold it in place on the horizontal flanges. Unfortunately, the rivets are not uniformly placed. Some are higher or lower than others. This means that when the device is assembled the flanges cannot be perfectly horizontal. The blades are strong and should last a long time.
The weakness of the entire system are the horizontal flanges that connect the blades to the generator axis. They appear to be of very thin stamped aluminum. When you pick them up by the center the outer edges droop. They should have been made thicker. Further, the slots at the outer edge of the flange where the blades are to be inserted are smaller than the blades. This means you have to enlarge the hole in the flange (a dangerous proposition when they are so flimsy) or trim off part of the trailing edge of the blade. Even with the trailing edge trimmed, they are very difficult to insert into place. The weight of the blade can bend the end of the flange if you let go of it. You must support the flange while forcing the blade into the hole. You must take your time and be very careful.
Once the entire device is put together you must treat it very delicately. The weight of the generator and pillar can easily damage the flanges. After spending over two hours putting the device together I took it outside to see if it would turn in the wind. It is not exactly a "low wind" generator, but it does turn. During a lull in the wind I set it on a flat surface. A small gust of wind tipped the device over. It fell on its side permanently damaging the flanges. If you attach this device to a load, be sure that the blades are not spinning. Otherwise the axis may tear through the flanges as the generator resistance
If the manufacturer will take care of the flanges and make the top of the pillar horizontal this could be a great product. Until then you probably shouldn't waste your money.