Stephens Fulks



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Stephens Fulks

by Stephens Fulks
(Oklahoma City, OK)

I bought a Bergey 10 kW wind turbine in the early to mid 80's. I was told all sorts of remarkable things about this unit and since I live on a hilltop, I was told my electrical needs should be reduced drastically. There were four other Bergey units on the SE side of Oklahoma City near my home. The unit and installation were very impressive. I owned the wind turbine for two years. In that time I produced a TOTAL of $60 worth of electricity for the entire two years. The unit blew the inverter which at that time cost $3,600 but it was covered under the three year warranty. The total cost including installation, back then, was $20,000 and I think we got a $7,500 federal rebate, so our out of pocket expense after the credit was $12,500. The neighbors absolutely hated the thing because when the winds were high, it was a constant loud noise, like an airplane starting to take off, and when it would furl out of the wind it was just terrible noise. I called and talked with Mike Bergey, who was a young college graduate and very cocky, about the fact the thing was not producing any significant amount of power. All I had to judge that by was the meter they put on my house. He told me the problem was that I was on a hilltop and the trees on the property caused too much turbulence. When they did a site survey, they told me what a wonderful location I had for a wind turbine. The turbine was on a 100' tower on top of a hill. Part of the problem was that the unit would not produce power without an 8 MPH wind and it would furl out of the wind around 20 MPH. It would just constantly furl out of the wind and make horrible noise. I sold the unit to a man in Kansas for $5,000 after telling him why I was selling it. I was grateful to get rid of that horrible piece of junk even though it cost me $7,000 to dump it. NONE of the other units that were in this area are still here. They were all gone within five years of when I got rid of mine. I have seen one Bergey unit in South OKC which has had a blade missing for many years. I do not know how Bergey is still in business unless they are getting tons of tax payers money through government grants. If a wind generator won't work in Oklahoma, it won't work anywhere. There were a few huge egg beater type wind turbines in OKC back then too but they are gone now.

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