Honeywell Windtronics WT6500: October 2012 Report from the Field–Not Operating

I will just start off with a short answer. After 16 months, my WT [Honeywell Windtronics WT6500] produced 29 kilowatt hours. I have in fact sent Windtronics or their affiliate, Altronics, 132 emails, all of which are currently in my “sent” box. On Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012, I telephoned Reg Adams, and was not nice at all. He told me that his crew was coming back from Europe on the weekend, that he would get with them, and get something going. I guess the weekend has not yet come, because I have not heard back from him. Currently, and for about three months now, the WT is inop, and no one will come and fix it.

I have sent numerous emails in which I gave them a detailed description of what the WT was doing, and not doing, to no avail. It never has produced more than about 5% of the power they claim on their published power curve. Reg sent a technician here three times in August, 2011, but he could find nothing wrong even after he replaced the inverter with a new one. Reg blamed their problems on Aurora, the inverter manufacturer.

I had a licensed electrician install the WT in June, 2011. He connected the ground wires in accordance with the revised instructions they gave us. The inverter was not properly grounded and gave us a shock until WT’s tech rep figured out what was wrong and had us change the ground. I have often wondered if I bought the first one they ever sold, because they have acted clueless most of the times I have talked with them.

Bottom line: It has never worked properly and WT will not (can not?) honor the warranty and fix it. I am considering hiring a lawyer, but am afraid that they are on the verge of bankruptcy, in which case I would just be throwing good money after bad.

Lynn Shafer

Oct 22 2012

First off, Mr. Shafer did have issues with his turbine/installation, we fully agree, however it is important to know the facts; his location has very little wind! This is unfortunate as we believe Mr. Shafer is a strong advocate of alternative energy and hence there is nothing more we would like to see but a successfully operating turbine.

That being said Mr. Shafer’s events go as follows:

-Initially he did have an issue with the system only to find it was wired incorrectly as he has already stated. The installer was not supplied by WindTronics but our technical support did help resolve the issue.

-There was then another complaint which was indeed an inverter problem. The inverter was replaced by the manufacturer, Power One, under warranty, once the issue was identified. After initial installation of the new inverter, Mr Shafer informed us he was happy because he had seen improved performance during a higher wind period.

-An additional complaint for low power output was made. A technician installed a data logger and the wind was measured over a period of time which recorded average wind speed between 4- 5 mph.

-The inverter is a grid-tie system. With such low wind it constantly shuts down and it takes time to reset which was another complaint. Even though wind is low WindTronics has offered an alternative solution, replacing the grid-tie inverter with our new Smart Charge Controller, once production is available, (DC charger). Mr. Shafer has agreed he would like to try the new system. Finalization of the Smart Charge controller has taken longer than expected but delivery should be available next month.

-Lastly WindTronics has scheduled a warranty update to replace this turbine’s center bearing with a new bearing assembly, which will be shipped in approximately 6 weeks. Both the new bearing assembly and Smart Charge Controller would be installed at the same time.

We do apologize for some of the delays on the service time to the site for Mr. Shafer but it is not correct to blame the turbine for site selection and lack of wind. WindTronics has continued to support Mr. Shafer despite conditions not favorable for a wind turbine installation.

Reg Adams, Windtronics