Most helpful positive review
961 of 987 people found the following review helpful
Great for the right site - made in USA - about the output...
on September 16, 2008
First of all, this wind generator's output is preset to 14.1 volts (for charging batteries, you know. The preset can be adjusted from 13 to 17 volts, by the way). 14.1 volts divided into 400 watts is 28 amps, so the specs are correct as stated in the product description. Remember to always keep in mind the differences between 120 volt AC current and 12 to 14 volt DC current -- it's really important on this alternative energy stuff.
Naturally, you are only going to get close to the 400-watt maximum output with a steady 28 mph wind. But the unit won't "go up in smoke" at that point as some reviewer said -- all wind turbines have built in cut-out system that prevent them from going over their rated output and being damanged. C'mon, folks... the people who make these things are not dummies.
But it's true that there are not many places in the world where you get 28 mph winds blowing on a regular, continuous basis. The suggestion of other reviewers to figure on getting maybe a 15 mph average wind speed with output from the wind generator of 50 to 60 watts at 2 to 3 amps is a realistic evaluation of what most people can expect out this or any other small wind turbine on a fairly regular basis. On days when you've got more wind, you luck out and get more power is all.
That's why, for most people, the first alternative power choice is amorphous solar panels (they continue to work on cloudy days and with partial shade) because you can rely on the sun on a day to day basis more than you can on having a good steady wind consistently. The manual for this product states that the blades should start turning in a 7 mph wind, which is just a good breeze. The product manual is *outstanding* by the way, the most complete I've ever seen for any product and indicates the integrity and honesty of the company who makes these units. They obviously want their customers to have success with their product. You can view the manual in PDF format at the Sunforceproducts.com website at:
Anyone considering this purchase or looking into wind power in general should thoroughly check out the manual. Wind power can be wonderful in the right location and in many other places it can be *combined* with solar so that you get power from the sun when it's shinning and power from the wind when it's dark (the wind often blows well at night) or when it is really cloudy/stormy (that also usually means good wind).
In this era of everything-is-made-in-China it's great to see a solid product that is price-competitive like this one which is actually made in the USA by Southwest Windpower Inc. of Flagstaff, Arizona. When I get around to adding some wind capability to my existing solar panel setup, this product would be a good choice because a 60-watt solar panel will run you around the same price. So you can add 60 watts of wind for about the same cost as adding 60 watts of solar -- and with a hybrid system you get to take advantage of both alternative technologies. Think outside the oil barrel!