118 of 124 people found the following review helpful
Easy to install with 2 people. Great price. You need to get the tower kit separately. Will not power an entire house,
This review is from: Sunforce 44447 900W Whisper Wind Turbine (Misc.)
I invested in this Sunforce 44447 900W Wind Turbine for a small house in a wind zone. With some help I installed the windmill (I was corrected several times - they're called "wind turbines") - it was very simple. Installing the tower kit is where the time is, because sliding on the turbine and installing the blades is easy. This is a quiet windmill. This 74 pound turbine has only 3 moving parts so it is unlikely to break down. It came with a 5-year warranty. It starts up at about 7.5 mph wind speed and it's working fine! You should get the Sunforce Tower Kit with it, and it will be 30 to 33 feet high. You also need batteries to store the power.
The current price at the time of this review, about $2,200 is a better than what I paid to own it. I paid just over $2,600 early in the year and that was the very best price available at the time, without free shipping and from H.D. Thus the current price is excellent, probably the best price compared to buying it from another vendor, and compares favorably versus similar Gamesa, Enercon and GE Energy turbines because I checked. But make sure you get the manufacturer's 5-year warranty.
With a maximum power of 900 Watts at best, this turbine is not going to be adequate to power an entire big house. It is recommended for a "cottage" or "cabin." But it's great backup power nevertheless, and as long as there is a wind speed average of 12 mph or better, there's no worry about it paying for itself. This experience made me more confident about wind turbines and I'm thinking next time to go with the Sunforce 44490 if that price hits my sweet spot. That one is more expensive but gets higher output at lower wind speeds and delivers twice the output of this one. Still, you can't beat this price for the Sunforce 44447, a wind turbine that will last a long time no matter the weather and give you an early breakeven point.
To determine whether it was a good idea to invest in wind power, I had to first make sure the location has enough wind. It's recommended that you have at least a 9 mph average wind speed at your house, and there are websites where you can check this. You have to have a radius of about 250 feet to accommodate your tower and make sure there aren't any laws against your putting up a tower. Regulations can be a little complicated, for example some states require easement rights to inspect your windmill (turbine!) whenever they want.
It's also a great idea to check with your utility company to find out if their policy is to connect a renewable energy system to the electrical grid, and they vary a lot in this regard. I am looking forward to the day when we get a federal law that requires power companies to buy excess renewable energy under conditions where it is a public good. The more of us that get wind turbines, the stronger our case will be, so I love to see those wind turbines go up. Until then one has to think more about battery storage and letting the system shut down once the batteries are fully charged in most states. If your utility company doesn't have a dedicated individual to deal with grid-connection requests, you can try contacting the state utility consumer advocate group or the state energy authority.
You still need to get the tower kit to mount the turbine. This is the one to get for this turbine: Sunforce 44455 Wind Generator 30' Tower Kit
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 9, 2010 6:41:03 AM PST
V. Calvin Hoe says:
John: you mentioned Gamesa and GE Wind. They are commercial units designed for about 1.5-2 megawatts (I work on these units).
You may have a clear area, free of tree lots, silos or other structures that crate wind shadows, affecting the efficiency of the wind turbine. I AM GLAD you mentioned zoning or local regulations. Wind turbines are not for structures within city limits.
Posted on May 26, 2010 3:54:39 AM PDT
B. McCall says:
In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2010 7:35:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2010 11:22:45 PM PDT
Citizen John says:
I've gone back and forth on this matter of whether public policy should compel utilities to buy excess electricity generated by local wind turbines. I think it's important enough to establish local generation of renewable energy to make sure unused electricity is purchased for use near the source of production. I'd prefer giving power companies incentives to support such a policy rather than impose it without any consideration.
Posted on Aug 7, 2010 8:59:21 AM PDT
F. D. Gillett says:
Very good review. You gave me a lot to think about. I'm considering a wind turbine (yes, I prefer windmill too) to supplement the power I currently receive from the grid and possibly to sell back to the utility company if I have excess. I would hope to recoop my investment in 5 years or so.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 3:45:23 PM PDT
Citizen John says:
Thank you and good luck and good wind!
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2010 5:39:02 PM PDT
Jason L says:
There is no way you will ever get investment back in 5 years. Ever.
Posted on Sep 3, 2010 9:48:24 PM PDT
I think you meant radius of 25 feet, not 250? : )
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