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Old 30-12-2009, 11:09   #1
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AIR Breeze Problems

After research I choose an AIR Breeze wind turbine, made by Southwest Windpower.

1. It took 3 months and numerous calls to different dealers to finally get a unit because of backorder delays. The different dealers all made the same claim that Southwest Windpower gave misleading information on when backorders would be shipped.

2. After finally getting the unit and installing it to the letter of the instructions, I found that it did not work correctly. I tried emailing Southwest Windpower for 2 months to figure out the problem. We were in a remote part of the Sea of Cortez and email via Winlink was our only way to communicate with them. They only replied with an auto generated case number, but no actual support.

3. In La Paz, I was able to skype with Southwest Windpower. After explaining the behavior of the turbine, which had still never made 1 amp of power, the tech thought he was sure the install was wrong. He asked me to do a couple tests. I do the tests and found that the unit failed. I again skyped with the same guy in tech support. He now agrred the unit was defective and needed a replacement electronics package.

4. In giving tech support a shipping address for the replacement we got cut off at the zip code (which they could have easily looked up) - everything else was processed. I was not able to get a skype connection again, so emailed all of the information again. I stressed that I needed the part to reach freinds in the US coming to Mexico in a few weeks. I sent more emails until I was able to get a skype connection again. Southwest said they were having problems with getting emails and the tech never finished processing my part; and my part didn't ship. Now it was to late for my freinds to get in time.

5. I found other people coming to Mexico that could bring it and gave the new information to Southwest Windpower. They said they had the part in stock, but didn't know when it would be shipped. I paid extra to the the part shipped 2 day air so the new people would receive it sometime in the 10 day window before they left for Mexico. Southwest Windpower shipped the part 11 days later.

6. Fortunatly I've found another person coming to Mexico that was able to get the part from home of where the part was shipped to. In theory, I'll finally get the part last today.

7. I did recently make contact with a person Southwest Windpower that admitted that they were having problems in technical support, customer service, product delivery, and email.

Further, while I am hopeful that the unit will be fixed and work well the absurdity of how they handled this AND the fact that I've since learned of several other cruisers getting new defective units makes this product a loser. I hope that Southwest Windpower can get it together enough to provide proper support, but in the meantime any potential buyers may want to reconsider at this time.

Six months in and not 1 amp of power. I should know by tomorrow if the replacement part works. Now if only Southwest Windpower would compensate me for the hassles and extra out of pocket costs to me needed to fix their problems...
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:41   #2
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Totem,

Any amps yet?
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:27   #3
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Thank goodness mine is working.marc
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:04   #4
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What kind of research led you to the Air Breeze--I don't think there are a lot of satisfied customers on this forum.
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Old 07-01-2010, 18:26   #5
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Came with the boat,had airex on last boat also gave trouble.
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Old 23-01-2010, 09:35   #6
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Sorry for my late update as to the replacement part, but I don't often internet access.

I did get the replacement electronics. The replacement process was complex; the manual was 12 pages and 54 steps, though it was very well done. It took 4 hours to complete the fix and get the turbine remounted - and then of course no wind. When I did finally get wind, it did work perfectly.

So after 6 months and many hours/headaches I have a working wind turbine. I can't begin to know how many faulty units they put out, but I do know of a few other boats that have had problems. I am hopefull that the unit will serve me well, but I don't beleive that Southwest Windpower has solved it's communication/support problems. Hopefully, if enough people compalin to them they will get the message and change for the better.
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