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Old 29-03-2005, 09:01   #16
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Bill, I'm not sure a referral to a fellow boat owner/sailor would be out of line here...but glad to oblige. I'll send you an email and thanks for checking back with us.

Jack
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Old 29-03-2005, 10:49   #17
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Question Not Supposed to Promote Here?

Bill,

I think a vast majority of us would be interested in seeing an intelligent conversation on this board pertaining to Whispergens. You have a new, novel product which needs to be discussed by our group.

Who is saying you can't have a conversation about your product on here? Is it the board's moderator, or your own company?

All I personally wanted to know (as seen in my initial post) is what the cost model is as compared to standard gensets. Can we talk about that here?

Thanks,

Sean


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Bill Highet once whispered in the wind:
Thanks Jack - we're happy to provide such information but we are not supposed to be promoting our product via this website. I didn't see my earlier note as 'promotion' as I was responding to an enquiry, but as we are now starting to talk specifics, we should take that discussion 'of-line'.

My e-mail address is bill.highet@whispertech.co.nz - if you provide me with a phone number or e-mail address to that address then I will make sure you are contacted directly and given the information you have requested.

Regards

Bill
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Old 29-03-2005, 12:00   #18
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Bill Highet worries that “... we are not supposed to be promoting our product via this website ...”

Please let me reassure you Bill, we won’t be offended by a little (or even a lot) of self-promotion.

As Sean indicates ”... a vast majority of us would be interested in seeing an intelligent conversation on this board pertaining to Whispergens. You have a new, novel product which needs to be discussed by our group ...”

Please feel free to describe the technology in general, and your equipment, it’s cost, features, functions, and benefits, etc.

Best regards,
Gord May ~ Administrator
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Old 29-03-2005, 14:18   #19
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You're the Admin???

Gord,

I had no idea you were the Admin!!

Great job with the board. There isn't a better one out there. Thank you so much for the effort in maintainting it. If you ever need any help from a coding/upkeep perspective, I would be happy to volunteer - no charge, of course!

Bill (from Whispergen), looks like you have the go-ahead. We are looking forward to learning about your product.


Quote:
GordMay once whispered in the wind:
Bill Highet worries that “... we are not supposed to be promoting our product via this website ...”

Please let me reassure you Bill, we won’t be offended by a little (or even a lot) of self-promotion.

As Sean indicates ”... a vast majority of us would be interested in seeing an intelligent conversation on this board pertaining to Whispergens. You have a new, novel product which needs to be discussed by our group ...”

Please feel free to describe the technology in general, and your equipment, it’s cost, features, functions, and benefits, etc.

Best regards,
Gord May ~ Administrator
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Old 30-03-2005, 04:00   #20
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Just a clarification here.
I am not THE Administrator of this board.
We all owe a great debt of gratitude to our benefactor, Gisle, who is the Creator, Owner, & Administrator of the CruisersForum.
Amphibian & I are merely assistant administrators, primarily tasked to monitor (rare) inappropriate content.
I agree - Gisle has created the best cruising site on the web.
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Gord May
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Old 30-03-2005, 21:59   #21
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Dear Cruisers...

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things relating to our company and our WhisperGen products; in particular our DC WhisperGen.

From the start, we recognize that the WhisperGen is not necessarily the ideal solution for all applications.

The AC WhisperGen (for homes, & small businesses) needs to be connected to the electricity grid to operate, whereas the DC WhisperGen (small remote homes, boats, motor homes) is designed as a stand alone system.

The AC WhisperGen runs on natural gas or LPG and the DC WhisperGen runs on diesel or kerosene.

In short it is not possible to order the DC WhisperGen directly from us as we are unable to sell units outside of areas were we have service and distribution networks established.

As you will see via our website, we currently have dealers set up in Europe (UK, Scotland, Sweden, Norway & Austria) and in NZ/Australia.

At this stage we are not selling product into the US market but are considering the resources required to do this. We have identified partners in New York and Washington (State) who would be our first point of call if we proceed with this.

Pricing enquiries should be directed to our authorized dealers. We make no apology that our price is high compared to some other options but our research shows that there are those who are prepared to pay for the benefits of low noise, low maintenance, combined heat and power efficiency and automated operation. We are currently going through the exercise of securing mass-manufacturing partners to help us cope with anticipated demand.

Whilst it is not appropriate for us to promote our WhisperGen via this website we are happy to answer specific enquiries and welcome any feedback from existing or potential customers.

We at Whisper Tech pride ourselves in a quick and appropriate response to all enquiries and apologise if, for any reason, anyone has experienced difficulties in the past receiving a reasonable response.

To that end I suggest that in the first instance all enquiries be made to us from our website or via ( info@whispertech.co.nz ) as I monitor these enquiries daily.

I would also suggest that you familiarise yourselves with our website ( www.whispertech.co.nz or www.whispergen.com ) as there is a plethora of useful information about our company and our WhisperGen products including technical information.

We look forward to discussing WhisperGen further with you………happy cruising.



Gary Whitfield
Customer Services
WHISPER TECH

Main Number +64 (3) 363 9293
Direct Dial +64 (3) 363 9744
Fax +64 (3) 363 9294
gary.whitfield@whispertech.co.nz

224 Armagh Street
PO Box 13-705
Christchurch
NEW ZEALAND

www.whispergen.com
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Old 30-03-2005, 22:41   #22
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Hi Gary, and thankyou for your reply.
I think most of us have looked at your website an the specs relating to your product. But the info doesn't tell us all that much. We would love some real world knowledge of your product. Like have the DC units been installed on Yachts both power and sail? How does your product benifit over say a Genset type device, delivery similar energy. One question I have, is the heat produced heated Air or water?
The documentation states low maintanance. So what is the life expectancy and what would be the maintanance cost over that time etc.
And I suppose, we would all love to know the cost.
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Old 31-03-2005, 06:58   #23
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I read Gary's comments to mean that Whispergen finds it inappropriate to talk product details on public BB's...which is a shame of sorts, but that's their choice. In that regard, I've been contacted by a Euro WG rep and hope he'll refer me to a living, breathing customer this season. I'll pass along whatever I gather up, and share it with everyone here.

I took a little more time to look at the .pdf docs they make available and had a couple of thoughts that may be helpful. First, I respect WG's decision to not get ahead of themselves, which is why this product isn't so well know in many parts of the world, at least yet. But there are two sides to that reality, and it illustrates one of things I mentioned earlier: long distance cruising boats range about quite widely and packing gear that can only be supported from a great distance is a real liability.

And insofar as reliability, I guess the likely reality of the WG product is that owners/operators of it are going to have the same experience as with other like systems. E.g. let's assume the Sterling Cycle engine and Nitrogen gas chamber are designed perfectly and never give a moment's problem (unlikely, sooner or later). We still have a device that is as complex and with as many ancillary systems as a modern diesel engine AND the control circuitry for 3-stage charging. We still have glycol & raw water pumps, wiring and circuit boards, control logic and numerous plumbing and electrical connections - all in an often hot, often humid environment that is occasionally shaken, not stirred. This is a challenge for any manufacturer's product and for any sailor's operational happiness.

Also, the thought occurred that while WG is placing their product in comparison with the conventional diesel generator and labeling it as far more innovative and modern in design, that's only partly true. In fact, it's offers a very different type of service than a conventional generator and all of us need to keep that in mind. You won't turn on your WG so you can run the AC system and pull down the temp and humidity in the boat; it just doesn't offer those kinds of peak loads. In fact, I wonder if - conceptually - it would serve our purposes better to think of it in the context of a kerosene-powered refrigerator (where the heat generated in turn makes an expansion cycle possible that chills an icebox) or the diesel-fired heaters we see over here in Europe, where burning of fuel makes heat transfer possible that in turn is used for other purposes (hot water, warm air). The technologies are of course all different from one another...but in all three cases, a non-explosive form of combustion is used to transfer work to meet another type of need.

Jack
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Old 31-03-2005, 08:32   #24
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Jack, you are correct....

Jack,

I think you are correct in saying we should think of the WhisperGen in a different category than a standard AC GenSet.

I had envisioned it would provide heat (it provides ample amounts of that), and would provide DC power to a DC-based boat. In addition to wind generators, and solar, the WhisperGen would keep batteries fully charged for running a DC freezer and refrigeration. That would be the bulk of the power consumption in my ideal power system.

I would only carry a small inverter for some household (or boat) appliances that need to be used for short periods of time. For instance, maybe an A/C buffer or something of that nature. I would specifically design all of the systems around DC consumption.

In that scenario, if the WhisperGen could provide long life, it would be more economical (depending on consumption, etc...) than a standard GenSet. This is what I had been trying to figure out... and something I suppose WhisperGen isn't currently interested in, given their large contracts in the UK.

I was sort of surprised that they used the fact it wasn't going to be for sale in the US to back out of the conversation when so many posters on this thread are indeed from the countries they do sell in. ??

Anyway, I guess this thread is dead until we hear back from someone who had seen or experienced this product.

I had a lot of confidence in the product, but not so sure about the company now after no return email, and the posts on this board. Product wise, it seemed nearly perfect, except maybe the heavy reliance on electronics to run the unit. Service wise... not sold at all.
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Old 31-03-2005, 12:44   #25
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I have to agree with both of you Sean and Jack. Although if I may add Jack, my view of the appliance is that it is foremost a heater that has some smaller mechanical advantage. Kinda what you stated, but in a different phrase. The DC generation is simply a By-product of it's intended purpose, that is as a heating device. Useing something like this to power a Fridge is an extreme waste of energy, unless once again, the refrigeration is a by-product of it's original purpose. I guess if you are a very cold climate and want this iunit run non stop, then the by-products could be usable. But if it is a case of turning on for a cold evening and turning off again, then it becomes an expensive option for anything else. Both in it's usage of fuel and the fact it becomes an expensive piece of realestate somewhere in the bildges.
As a Kiwi, I must also say, I was a little disapointed with the response. It was almost along the lines of a Politicians speach. Full of a lot of words, but tells you almost nothing.
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Old 31-03-2005, 21:06   #26
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Dear Cruisers

We have produced a Q&A document to assist answering some of the questions that have been raised, which will be posted on our website by end of next week.

With regards to our website, we would be pleased to receive further suggestions on what information you would like to see on it.

However if you wish to receive an advance copy of the Q&As, please email me.

Regards

Gary Whitfield
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Old 01-04-2005, 00:01   #27
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Alan, I'm not sure if yours is a fair statement (WG geared primarily to providing heat in its Marine application). In reviewing the owner's manual, I notice that they set up the onboard management logic into two basic, parallel paths: if heat is needed, and if it isn't. Given their automatic battery charging logic and circuitry (very much like I have on my Link 2000R and smart external regulator), what they propose is very similar to what cruisers normally do now. I would describe it as follows:
-- boat equipped with alternative energy sources (wind and/or solar) and DC equipment demanding battery support
-- net gain/loss in battery capacity is monitored by the WG logic; no WG operation until battery capacity reaches 40% (I think that's a bit low, BTW and would adjust it to 50%)
-- WG kicks on, goes thru 3-stage charging regimen and then shuts down and monitors again

A major flaw in this sequence IMO is that the unit should allow for programming that would automatically provide bulk charging only, raising battery capacity to roughly 80-85% capacity. This would save fuel, honor a long battery life cycle, and go easy on the hours accummulated on the WG system. On a cruising boat, it's silly to think about running a system - any system - to reach float voltage, as that's well past the point of diminishing returns.

Sean, FWIW I'm finding lots of support coming my way here in England where WG is marketed. Four emails so far, plus the Q&A that Gary mentions (under legal review but still provided to me while that goes on). I concur that there's not enough info on the mechanicals themselves, and for some of us that also is needed.

Gary, if you're looking over our shoulder here, my suggestion is to try and consider a more technical, mechanical description of the system, perhaps for folks with a second level of interest in the product. The gas chamber and Stirling open cycle engine are both very new topics for most everyone, yet we find nothing in the three .pdf docs you offer on the website. The info is basically conceptual, and at the 'basic user' level re: operation. I don't think we are after proprietary info, but inevitably cruising sailors need to know the grubby, dirt under the fingernails side of living with a system. What is the life span of the FW and raw water pumps? How easily accessed, or must a 'WG Rep' do this work? What metals are combined in that raw water circuit. The chamber is aluminum and inevitably aluminum goes away in a marine environment; is that taken into account in some fashion? To help you frame out info of this nature over time, you might think about what your service techs see and what warranty issues you have had to address, then imagine one of us in a coral lagoon somewhere without much access to 20th century communications. Regettably, this is occasionally our fate.<g> I think cruising sailors typically make system purchase decisions in two stages, FWIW: Stage 1 is whether a new system conceptually deserves to be aboard the boat (vs. competing systems, or the cost of doing without). Once that conclusion is reached, Stage 2 is whether a given product is promising the mix of performance (fuel consumption, electrical/heat output, space required, noise/weight, etc.) and reliability (serviceability, trouble-free operation) that is worth living with for the cost involved. It's a bit of this Stage 2 area that's not being addressed.

Sean, I would caution you to think about this system as being too much like your other forms of energy self-sufficiency. The way I read the performance specs, if you look for it to be a steady source of heat AND supplement wind and solar, you're going to burn a lot of fuel and need to resupply it regularly. WG's burn rate is not that much different than a typical boat generator, and a lot more for a given amp/hr than what you'd get from a little gasoline-powered Honda generator...not that it represents a better choice in your plans. OTOH in warmer climes and with alternative DC energy sources aboard, it would pull down the fuel level much more reasonably, I think.

Much to mull, which is of course part of the fun.<g>

Jack
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Old 01-04-2005, 13:00   #28
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Fair nuff. I am only going by my knowledge of the stirling motor principle and what I had read of the AC model. I had also seen pictures of the inside workings of the Wispergen. However, this was some time ago and You obviousley have more info than me, so thanks for the comments and I mean that sincerly.

If this helps others though, the Stirling motor was invented in the early 1800's. It was infact before the steam engine and was suggested that it gave thought to the steam principle. The Stirling engine works on the principle of expanding hot air pushing a Piston and then the air cooling to suck the piston back.
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Old 01-04-2005, 22:17   #29
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I have been looking at the Q&A doc that WG was nice enough to email me. I think this part of the discussion is very relevant to one of my reservations, and it coincides with Alan's comment...which I had previously questioned. See what you think...

"At 5 hours per day you are effectively generating 27.5kWh of heat which is more than enough for most boats. Once you start going above this you will find that the boat will end up dumping significant quantities of heat. This is fine for short term usage but if the boat is a live-aboard and/or going blue water cruising then it is not only an expensive way to operate the unit but impractical in terms of the amount of fuel that must be carried which is always a premium. Obviously local climate has a significant impact on this.

The electrical efficiency of the unit is around 15% and the heat is 80% (combined efficiency = 95%)"

For those of us trying to stay in temperate climates while cruising - and especially for tropical or sub-tropical cruising sailors (SoPac, Caribbean, summers in the Med) and who are looking at the WG as a potential DC source, 15% efficiency and a lot of fuel burn being discharged in waste heat doesn't sound very appealing.

Jack
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Old 02-04-2005, 01:32   #30
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Thanks Jack. Pity the guy's from WG couldn't have just stated all that right at the initial posts from them. Oh well.
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