The small to medium sized wind industry right now is an interesting community. There are many companies and manufacturers out there right now so how do you tell which ones are the good ones and which you should avoid? That is a hard question to answer especially because this is such a new industry and only time will tell which companies will stick around. In my opinion there will be plenty of corporate Darwinism, only the strong will survive.
The good thing is that there are a few ways in which we can all tell a good company from a bad company. Many of these ways are just with our own common sense. First off if a deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is. While wind turbines are a great financial decision for most people that is not true of everyone. The conditions have to be right and you want a company and a person that will tell you if the conditions are not right. Do some of your own research. See if you are in a good wind regime, and talk to your financial advisor to see if the financial incentives that your wind representative told you about are legitimate.
The next major huddle in deciding which turbine is right for you is trying to decide on which company you want to purchase the machine through. First off if a company tries to make you decide on the spot and tells you that you are out of luck if you don’t buy today do not trust them. Do not buy a wind turbine when someone insists that you buy the machine that day. It seems like common sense but I have seen the bad result way too many times. That doesn’t mean that if you like the product you should not buy it the day the representative is there, in fact that may be the best time to purchase. But if it is a pressure close something is wrong. Another major factor in choosing the right company is that company’s longevity. Will they be around in 10 years to service the wind turbine they are trying to sell you? The longer the company is in business and the larger the customer base they have the more likely they are going to be around to help you in the future. Lastly you want to trust the person you are dealing with. Sometimes you just get a bad vibe from someone and if you are getting that you could ask to speak to someone else in their company or just choose a different company. There are plenty of products available and on those kind of issues your gut usually does not lie.
Lastly what do you want to look for in a wind turbine product? A big part of that brings us back to looking for a quality company. Vertical axis wind turbines so far have not been proven to be the most reliable product on the market. Buyers should be very skeptical of any company that is marketing a vertical axis wind turbine. Horizontal axis wind generators are generally much more acceptable but you still want to be careful with the quality.
Remanufactured machines are generally not going to last as long as a new machine and will probably require more maintenance but they will also cost less. It is much like buying a used car. Also with used cars there are differing values with the remanufactured machines out there. If you are lucky enough to get a Vesta’s or Bonus machine great but most of the quality remanufactured turbines are very rare these days with mostly the lower quality units being pushed out there.
Many of the same issues stick out when trying to decide on a quality manufacturer that stick out when you are trying to decide on the right company to buy from. You want a manufacturer that is going to be around to care for what they sell. What good is a 5 year warranty on a wind turbine when the company is out of business in 2? With that I would try to stick with companies that have a track record with the machines they sell. Normally with new machines on the market there tends to be issues and you do not want to be part of the companies testing of their wind turbine. You want a quality product that is going to run. Lastly I would try to locate an AC wind turbine if you plan on hooking into the electric grid. Machines that produce DC are great in many situations and inverters are great pieces of equipment but bottom line is that the inverter will cost you more money to buy and maintain then just having an AC machine. Besides AC machines tend to be more efficient anyway over using an inverter partly because of the loss that occurs by changing over the electricity from DC to AC.