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Price:$149.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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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.
22 comments164 of 167 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 28, 2012
Dear GudCraft
This vertical wind turbine was shipped with no instructions for Assembly if a person was not mechanically inclined they would be lost! I put it together. I would like you to send me a schematic diagram of the generator and the regulator circuit so that I can understand this item- like how do you stop it if the winds are excessive so it does not destroy itself horizontal turbines come with that feature. Also the quality of this item is not worth $189.00 I feel like I really got ripped off, and I would not order anything else from your company period.
Thank you
55 comments96 of 102 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon May 2, 2012
It comes unassembled, and no instructions. See that DVD on "what's in the box"? It's not in the box. I went to the Gudcraft website, and the tech forum guy e-mailed me a PDF on how to put it together. OK, so I put it together, now what? There are 2 PC boards hanging by wires, what are they? How do you hook it up to a battery? Hello! I called them in Washington, and although the woman who answered the phone tried to be helpful, I was on hold for so long, I eventually got disconnected. But she did tell me there was no DVD, they sent a paper manual. Yes, but the paper manual that I was emailed only tells you how to put the blades on.... I'm still hopeful that I will get this on my travel trailer, and add wind power to my solar, and I'm hoping, it will indeed charge a car battery like I was told by tech support. But this lack of instructions is just plain stupid, and I hope this wind generator performs better than the good folks at GudCraft.
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on November 23, 2012
I have to agree with others as there is no manual so I looked at the picture on amazon to see which way the blades went on. After putting it together I found out the generator is an alternator, the blade direction doesn't matter. It appears the turbine is a 3 phase alternator which didn't matter which way I spun the blades to produce electricity. The plug with a circuit board on it has keyed plugs so you can't plug in the board the wrong way but if you must know it is a full wave bridge rectifier for the 3 phase input with a filter capacitor on the output of the diodes and a 7812 voltage regulator to keep the output voltage to 12v dc. The Red and Black wires are the output of the 12 volts and there is a spare plug on the end so you can hook up to it via soldering. You could just cut off the plug for the red/black wires and tie them into your circuit. I turned on a fan in my room to test the turbine with and was able to get 8-9v with the fan on high which was enough to give me .02 amps on my solar charger which boosts the voltage to the 12v battery to trickle charge it. Although the blades go on very tight, I used a small needle nose pliers to pound down the arms. The arms need to be tight to keep the blades from sliding around and getting loose and sloppy. Personally I have no trouble with the turbine and like the small size of it and with my charger it doesn't have to produce 12v to charge my battery. It appears to be very quiet running. So far So good. Time will tell on how long it runs without problems.
55 comments54 of 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 5, 2012
This vertical turbine wind generator came with no instructions or paperwork whatsoever - nothing about assembly or the electronics needed to connect it. After calling the manufacturer and then downloading assembly instructions (still nothing on the circuit needs) it never turned even one revolution when set up in a windy location. Unless you live on the shore or in some other VERY windy place, I don't recommend this unit to anyone. I returned it as a defective design.
0Comment51 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 25, 2014
This item will charge a battery. The wind foils seem like they would be most efficient while turning but it takes a good solid wind to get it going which is normal.

However, it's specs are wrong if not a lie.

The stat says:
"Maximum Output Current: 2.15amps"

And the description says:
"You can connect this unit to any 12vdc battery directly to charge it"

It has a 7812 voltage regulator which some can do 2.2A, but I looked up the specs for the exact one and it's a cheap Chinese voltage regulator rated for 1A (i.e. not the 2.2 on the description). However, I don't think it's relevant, you'd do well to get 1A.

Second issue is the charging a 12V battery part. The healthiest of lead acid batteries will read 13.1V at rest and again and takes 14.4V charging, this voltage regulator is only rated at 12.6V. Thus, you'll have an half empty battery if this is your only charging method.

It does achieve 12V with a good wind, so it does work. I'm highly dubious about a 9mph wind as stated; 44mph, it will definitely be at 12V maybe by 15-20mph, it would hit working voltages. No big surprises here.

The upside is it's not too expensive and I've hooked it up to an oscilloscope and it does have a clean three phase signal and I've built a circuit to amplify the signals to a higher voltage and run it through a 15V voltage regulator connected to a cheap charger to limit the voltage to 14.4V (or a 14.4V cutout can be inserted) so I can get a trickle charge with a slightest of turn. Thus, it's something you might chose to play with but be aware that this is not a serious power supply option.
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on July 28, 2013
I bought this and didn't open it right away. Once I got it put together and out side, it takes about 25 mph wind before it will move. I tried replacing the wings and it works better, however it looks bad. I would like to return it, but can't because it's taken so long for me to get it put together, because of lack of time. I do not recommend this product. There must be other wind generator that works better. This is a lot of money to spend and not be happy with the merchandise.
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on May 11, 2013
I was able to assemble no problem, except for the wires and circuit boards. The directions bad photo copy and skimpy directions are USELESS. No mention what to do with the wires. Customer support is nonexistent, and a shopping list of what you will actually need to purchase to hook up to a deep cycle battery would have been nice, not just aimless shopping suggestions, but actual parts and component add on list in order to assemble and have it work without countless hours on the net to figure out what you need in addition to this turbine. I spent a full day driving around to different stores for the additional parts and no one had what I needed. This has been so frustrating I am returning the unit. A waste of time and energy. I did set it out on back deck, in a 15 mph wind and using a meter, it did not produce enough energy to power anything. If i could give it negative stars i would give it a negative 10. USELESS ALL THE WAY AROUND!
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on March 8, 2013
Takes lot more wind to make 12 volts than what they say , this item is junk 169.00 down the drain
0Comment13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 22, 2014
Only time I got it to produce power was in front of a high power fan ! No wind has been able to turn it to make 1 volt, let alone 12. It spins free, everything went together easy enough, just takes a lot more wind than southern Ohio gets to make it worth while.
0Comment12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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